Take a step back in time in Dublin and blend fun, history, shocking tales and imagination. Visit an old Gaol, learn of gravediggers and the city’s haunted past or spend an afternoon in the Victorian era. Learn about Ireland’s rise to independence. Put yourself in the shoes of those imprisoned for fighting for their rights or mere survival. Climb aboard the Gravedigger bus for an animated tour filled with tales of a dark past whilst visiting the city’s most haunted spots. If that is not enough, join an entertaining walking tour of Dublin’s heritage by daylight.
If you often imagine yourself on the set of Downtown Abbey, now's your chance. There are plenty of entertaining ways to absorb history in the Emerald Isle. Experience Dublin of the past with our top tips!
The fight for a nation
Kilmainham Gaol has no inmates today but historically was an important stage for history, victory and tragedy. Within the prison walls are many hidden secrets but some facts we do know. This building played an important role in the emergence of Ireland as a nation in the 1700s until the 1920s. Many of the leading figures in the rise of Irish independence were held captive here during their struggle to be free from British rule. Prisoners lived through the famine, the War of Independence and the Civil War. The conditions in the earlier years were gruelling. For an emotional and sombre journey into the struggles of Ireland’s dark past, and to see the remarkable restoration, visit the exhibition and enjoy an interactive guided tour.
Journey back 600 years into Dublin’s haunted past
If you want to feel the hairs on the back of your neck standing and goosebumps on your skin, then this is the trip for you! The Gravedigger is perhaps the scariest bus tour you will ever go on and is not for the faint hearted. Starting at Trinity College, you will learn of 600 years of spooky history including the plague house and ancient Augustinian Priory. Discover the tragic fate of those who were plague ridden and those who were trying to fight it. Move on to meet the prisoners of Kilmainham Jail and hear haunted tales from graveyards and churches before a well needed stop at The Gravediggers Pub, the regular haunt of body snatchers and burkers. Beware, there might be some sneaky surprises lurking along the way!
A walk through history
This is one for the history buffs. What better way to join the history graduates of Dublin’s famous Trinity College and the National University of Ireland than in an entertaining walking tour of the city? Along the way, you will encounter the House of Lords, the old Parliament, Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College and more. As you go, you will learn of this nation’s interesting and turbulent past. Don’t worry, although the subject can at times be serious, tours are light-hearted and informative.
Live like Victorian gentry
Put yourself in the shoes of Victorian gentry or hard-working maids. At Victorian Escapade you will feel like you have walked onto the set of Downtown Abbey. A visit to the manor will find you exploring both sides of the classes. You will spend time in the maid’s quarters, preparing food, cleaning and other chores, dressed in the same uniforms that were traditionally worn, all under the watchful eye of the butler. Later you will be transformed into attire of the gentry. Like lords and ladies of the manor, dressed in your finest, enjoy afternoon tea or host a grand party. Both individual and group events can be booked by prior arrangement, making this an excellent opportunity for a fun day out with family or friends, or if you need ideas for your next team building adventure.
A historic stay at Farnham Estate
The Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel, Dublin is nestled into a beautiful estate that dates back to the 1700s. You will be mesmerized by the striking décor inside and the tranquil landscaped estate garden outside. Enjoy the best of both worlds and complete your step back in time with this rural retreat, just 5km outside the city. See the sights and attractions of the Irish capital then return to the hotel, stroll the gardens or indulge in treatments or a massage at the spa. Tantalise your taste buds with a delicious lunch at Le Panto or savor delicious Italian meal at Talavera Restaurant. What better way than to complete a walk into history.