The Liberties starts 2018 with a very healthy set of visitor numbers to The Guinness Storehouse, the area’s (and Dublin’s) most visited attraction. In 2017, the Storehouse saw its numbers soar to over 1.7m visitors, an increase of over 100,000 on the previous year. Since first opening its doors to the public in 2000, the Guinness Storehouse has welcomed almost 18 million visitors.
In addition to reporting its latest visitor numbers, the Storehouse also published an independent economic report which highlighted the role of the Guinness Storehouse in the wider tourism offer of Ireland. It estimates that the Storehouse generates as much as €361m in additional revenue to the tourism sector in Ireland. Overseas visitors to the Guinness Storehouse spend an average of €134 a day on other services and experiences outside of the Guinness Storehouse; and in turn supports an additional 8,907 jobs. Located in the heart of Dublin city, Guinness Storehouse is also a significant direct employer, employing 320 full-time staff and 62 seasonal workers. Its clear the attraction is the major anchor for tourism in The Liberties and an essential element in how the area promotes itself to a wider audience.
And 2018 will to see continued growth in visitor numbers to The Liberties, with a number of major developments set to add considerably to the range of hotels and attractions on offer here in Dublin 8.
Three new hotels are set to open their doors in 2018 – the first hotels to develop in The Liberties. Maldron Kevin Street will be the first to open in June: the 138-bedroom hotel will open close to St Patrick’s Cathedral. Later in 2018, both the new Aloft Hotel at Blackpitts and the Sheraton Hotel at The Coombe will bring a further 460 rooms to the area. The 8-storey Aloft Hotel will include a stunning rooftop bar and restaurant, offering panoramic views over the city, and is one of a number of major new developments transforming Newmarket. Nearby at The Coombe, Hodson Bay Group is developing a 257-bedroom Sheraton Hotel, which will also include conference and meeting rooms and which is expected to employ 200 people when it opens at the end of 2018.
The Liberties will also welcome a number of new visitor attractions in the coming year. Whiskey distilleries have returned in style to The Liberties since the opening of Teeling Distillery in 2015 and the Pearse Lyons Distillery at St James last year. These combined distilleries and visitor centres will see a further player open in summer 2018, the Dublin Liberties Distillery on Mill Street, being developed by Quintessential Brands. Work is currently underway on the project, which will include a small production distillery, cafe, bar and venue and retail.
The Vaults Dublin is a historical-themed attraction set to open at John’s Lane West later in spring. The themed attraction will offer visitors an actor-led journey through 800 years of Irish history.
Existing attractions also will not be resting on their laurels. The Guinness Storehouse will embark on a major expansion of its iconic Gravity Bar later this year, doubling the space. A new Archive Building is also set for Grand Canal Place. Meanwhile work has started on the new Roe & Co Distillery in the former power station on James Street.
The area’s two magnificent cathedrals both have ambitious plans in train for 2018. Christ Church Cathedral will undertake a major landscaping of its grounds and entrance. Nearby St Patrick’s Cathedral is set to commence a costly refurbishment of its roof from later this year. The work is the first major overhaul of the roof since the 1860s and ill be an enormous undertaking for the church. As part of the works, it is intended to allow access to the roof of the Cathedral, offering visitors unparalleled views of the area and a unique insight to this historic building.
There will also be continued development of festivals and events in The Liberties over 2018, with the expected return of Culture Date in Dublin 8, a new community tourism initiative and an exciting Liberties Festival 2018 to look forward to in July.
Browse the Visit pages of this site for more details on sights and attractions in The Liberties.