Things to See & Do

From ancient churches and cathedrals and recreated Viking life at Dublinia; to world-famous brewhouses and distilleries and the hustle and bustle of Thomas Street and Meath Street markets; from the eclectic delights on Francis Street to the area’s galleries and design hubs, The Liberties is Dublin’s ‘must-see area’, with some of the city’s top visitor spots waiting to be discovered.

Home to the iconic The Guinness Storehouse, which welcomes over 1.7m visitors each year, Dublin 8 also includes four of the country’s other Top 20 Visitor Attractions, including cathedrals, new distilleries, lively streets and restful parks and spaces. The Liberties boasts a wealth of local history and heritage that you can discover by walking its ancient routes. The area is now at the heart of The Dubline – an exciting series of discovery trail through Dublin city centre telling the 1,000-year story of our beautiful capital.

Here’s just a flavour of what’s on offer…

Maps & Guides to Help You Explore

First things first you’ll need a map!

Why not download our great Liberties Map and Visitor Guide and discover the attractions and history of The Liberties for yourself. The guide includes two walking routes:

Industrial Dublin: Past & Present – Celebrate the long tradition of commerce and trade in what was Dublin’s original industrial suburb. Learn about the crafts and enterprises that made this area the powerhouse of Victorian Dublin and explore some of Ireland’s best surviving industrial archaeology in the heart of the ‘Golden Triangle’ brewing and distilling district.

The Design Trail – With the National College of Art & Design right at the heart of the area and a long history of design innovation, The Liberties is bound to throw up a treasure or two. From stained glass masterpieces, to moving pietas, to everyday sparks of genius to bring you the perfect pint, discover some of the area’s designer delights.

Looking to venture a little farther afield? Why not visit Kilmainham & Inchicore. 

A visit to Kilmainham & Inchicore is highly recommended – they’re among the city’s most colourful urban villages.  Home to the historic Kilmainham Gaol, the elegant Royal Hospital Kilmainham incorporating the Irish Museum of Modern Art, newly-restored Richmond Barracks, and the beautiful War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge, this area is the forefront of Dublin’s political, religious, and military history. The area played a key role in the recent centenary commemorations of The Easter Rising 1916 and is makes for an essential visit to understand our nation’s founding.

You can download a map and visitor guide of Kilmainham & Inchicore here.

Uncover the watery origins of The Liberties

Water has been key to the commercial success of Thomas Street and James Street throughout the ages. During the medieval period, the monks of St. Thomas’s Abbey rerouted the streams of water that entered the walled city of Dublin in order to power mills and industry on the outskirts of the city. Industry continued to flourish in the area during the 17th and 18th centuries with breweries, distilleries and tanneries all taking advantage of the plentiful water supply. The construction of the City Basin and Grand Canal Basin further enhanced the area’s reputation as the most significant industrial area in the city by providing a more reliable means of transporting goods from the city to the rest of the country.

Explore the fascinating story of how water powered the development of  The Liberties with this guide compiled by Dublin City Council’s Conservation Office. Download the walking map and guide here.

Discover key historic attractions on Thomas and James' Street

Explore The Liberties’ creative side with The Dubline’s ‘Real Dublin’ Discovery Trail

The Real Dublin Trail takes you on a ‘creative’ journey of the capital to explore the historical links between commerce and design. From the craft and design stores of Powerscourt Townhouse, via Aungier Street to the vaulted heights of St Patrick’s Cathedral, and on into the historic Liberties, this trail delves deep under the surface of Dublin to provide some clues to how it became the thriving city it is today. On the Real Dublin Trail, you’ll discover the craftspeople, whiskey makers and antique dealers that helped keep the wheels of Dublin commerce turning for generations. Download the Discovery Trails App from the Visit Dublin website.