Wanna find out more about your city? There’s no better way to explore the streetscape in front of your face than by riding the coattails of someone who knows and loves what she does. That’s why we’ve scoured Dublin for six super tours more suited to locals than visitors – and don’t worry, there isn’t a double-decker bus or Viking helmet in sight.
French Foodie in Dublin…
“I’m French, therefore I eat.” That’s the tagline on Ketty Elizabeth’s fab blog and Facebook page, and it might as well be the tagline for her foodie tours of Dublin too. For a first-class primer in how to eat like a Parisian in Dublin, look no further than this three-hour munch-fest incorporating wine, cheese and macaron tastings and a French lunch with a glass of wine among a brilliant stream of Francophile finds in this fair city.
Details: frenchfoodieindublin.blogspot.ie; €45pp
Le Cool Dublin Experience
It’s no secret that city walking tours can be eye-wateringly boring. Especially when you hit that 1.5-hour slump when the prospect of yet another historical spiel about yet another historical statue makes you wither up and die a little inside. Rest assured, that is absolutely NOT what happens on the Le Cool Dublin Experience. This is a two-hour walking tour of Dublin as it is, rather than as it used to be, with stops ranging from pop-ups to street art, fleeting exhibitions and other of-the-moment happenings. Walk this way, people, for what could be the best €15 you’ll spend this summer.
Details: lecoolwalkdublin.tumblr.com; €15pp
Northside Ghost Walk
Dublin gave us Bram Stoker, Charles Maturin, Darkey Kelly, John ‘The Hanging Judge’ Toler and Scaldbrother (a 16th century thief said to have lived in the tunnels beneath Smithfield), so it comes as no surprise to learn that it has its fair share of ghosts, too. This two-hour romp through the former Viking enclave of Oxmantown takes in 1,000 years of history, including Croppies’ Acre, the mummies of St. Michan’s, a haunted hospital and a deconsecrated graveyard. It ends at the Brazen Head.
Details: www.hiddendublinwalks.com; €13pp
Visit Dublin iWalks
Want the expert guide, without the expert price tag? Visit Dublin has put together 16 free podcasts in a series aimed at bringing the city to life for locals and visitors alike. The self-guided iWalks cover topics as diverse as Georgian Dublin, Dublin on the Dart, Ulysses and Dublin in Film, and can be also downloaded in PDF format if you’d prefer an ears-free experience. They haven’t scrimped on the illustrations, research or narration (which is provided by veteran Dublin expert, Pat Liddy) either. Kudos.
Details: visitdublin.com/iwalks; free
Ingenious Walking Tours
Here comes the science… author, broadcaster and all-round rock n’ roll renaissance woman Mary Mulvihill runs a regular Ingenious Dublin tours throughout summer. Departing Saturdays at 11am from the Science Gallery at Trinity College, the focus is on geeky Irish ideas and inventions that changed the world… including an air raid shelter, two elephants and a sneaky Butler’s chocolate stop along the way. Other tours celebrate the city’s geology, the lives of its most rebellious women, and 1,000 years of dastardly deeds and deadly diseases. You’ll be impressing your friends for years after this…
Details: ingeniousireland.ie; €12pp
Dublin Tasting Trails
Forget statues, buildings and ‘historic’ street corners. Here’s a 2.5 hour tour with enough bakeries, street markets, food halls, cheesemongers, delis and other specialty shops to send you home with a stomach the size of a suburb in itself. Run by Fabulous Food Trails, this is very much the gold standard for urban food tours in Ireland – and thankfully, one that adapts and evolves to include new trends, stores and scenes as it grows.
Details: fabfoodtrails.ie; €55pp