Dublin is home to some of the best, brightest and most eccentric people, places and things the world has ever known.
And in a city of wonder such as this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that there are secret landmarks around every corner, just waiting to be discovered.
For, even though we may seem small, we certainly put up a good fight when it comes to total and utter creativity and madness. Have a look at some of the following hidden gems, and soon enough you’ll find yourself seeing Dublin in a different light…
1. The Secret Letterbox, Dame Lane
At first glance this letterbox looks just like…well, a letterbox. But it is so much more than that.
In fact, it’s a piece of guerrilla art, named ‘Letterbox Dublin’ installed by artist, publisher and designer Sarah Bracken in 2008. Bracken labelled it with varying themes; ‘Letters to God’, ‘Letter to the Past’ or ‘Confess Your Secrets’, to name a few.
When passers-by posted random responses, she gathered them into a brilliantly bizarre collection of testimonies ranging from ‘I wish to win the lotto’ to ‘I’m not really gay, but I do like to tease the boys…’
2. Bram’s Café
Named after Mr. Dracula himself, Bram’s Café is a hidden gem of a café, located just a 10 minute bus journey from town, in Marino, just off the Malahide Road.
A favourite with locals and tourists alike, Bram’s is renowned for its good food, great staff and stellar menu. Give this place a try the next time you’re in the area, you won’t be let down.
3. Huguenot Cemetery, Merrion Row
You’ve walked past this millions of times and never even noticed it.
The Huguenot Cemetery dates from 1693, and is located right beside The Shelbourne Hotel. Buried there are the descendants of the Huguenots, a family who fled persecution in France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which had guaranteed religious freedom.
Although the cemetery isn’t open to the public, it is visible through the railings and a list of 239 surnames of those buried – including relatives of Samuel Beckett – is inscribed on the wall plaque to the left.
4. Science Gallery
Located just out the back of Dublin’s most famous landmark, Trinity College, the Science Gallery is an incredible hub of activity that many walk by, but never enter.
Past exhibitions have included robotic art, vampire content and the science of bursting. And the best bit? Admission to the exhibitions is absolutely free. It may have the word ‘science’ in the title, but this place is a total work of art. Trust us.
5. Vintage Cocktail Club
Fact or fiction: Hidden away in the depths of the tourist haven that is Temple Bar is the most lucrative club in Dublin.
‘Fiction!’, I hear you cry. But, strangely, you’re incorrect. The Vintage Cocktail Club is indeed located in this hub of activity, but the difference between this place and all the rest? You need to ring the bell to get in, on the door that simply has VCC on it.
Their old-style cocktails are phenomenal, and the speakeasy vibe makes you feel like you’ve just stepped back in time to the Roaring Twenties.
6. The Little Museum Of Dublin
The Little Museum of Dublin charts the story of Ireland’s capital city in and around the 20th Century. Based around social, cultural and political history, this place explores the true grit of Dublin and the people associated with its complicated history.
It’s been voted Dublin’s best museum experience, and includes famous guided tours of a city that has undergone remarkable changes in the last 100 years.
7. Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church, Aungier Street
Dublin has been home, at one time or another, to many a famous face. Bono, Oscar Wilde, Mrs. Brown to name but a few. But did you know that none other than Saint Valentine was among their ranks?
Bet you didn’t.
We can’t say we’re all that surprised really. I mean, love originated in Dublin, right?