Search icon


07th Aug 2020

How to have the ultimate day out at the Dublin Docklands

James Fenton

Dublin docklands

With travel options currently quite limited, it’s time to fall in love with the city of Dublin all over again.

It’s been a difficult year for everyone but with restrictions continuing to ease, there are plenty of opportunities to make up for lost time and rediscover the magic of our fair city.

Dublin is full of wonderful areas that are just waiting to be explored and this week we’re focusing on the abundance of things there are to see and do in the Docklands area.

All you have to do is follow the Liffey to experiences some of the best taste, sights and activities that the capital has to offer.

Come here to me Dublin!

Time to take in some of that famous Dublin culture! There’s plenty to see and do in the Docklands area and here are some recommendations for an unforgettable day out…

Epic at CHQ

Having won the European Museum of the Year award in 2018, you know you’re in for an immersive and enriching experience when you visit the EPIC Museum. Irish emigrants who became scientists, politicians, poets, artists and outlaws all over the world. Emigration has played a massive role in Irish history, from the famine until recently, and EPIC is by far the best place to learn all about that.

Irish Family History Centre

There’s nothing more important than family and the IFHC will allow you to trace your heritage with the help of some Irish ancestry experts. Using a deep catalogue of archives, the IFHC team will guide you in shedding light on your family roots, making for a personal educational journey that will spark wonder in family members young and old. The ideal bonding experience, you can get started on your ancestry journey here.

Famine Memorial

Step outside to Custom House Quay and reflect on one of the darkest moments in Irish history. The Famine Memorial consists of six statues which depict people clutching their children and belongings as they attempt to leave Ireland for a better life. The sculptures were designed by Rowan Gillespie and provide a sobering glimpse at the difficulties our ancestors faced during the Great Famine.

The Docklands is full of great places to start your day with a light brunch or finish it off with some fine dining along with great views…

Charlotte Quay

Charlotte Quay on Ringsend Road provides a range of locally-sourced dishes, with something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. After tucking into a beef burger, pan-fried cod or harissa roast summer squash, you can finish your meal with a raspberry parfait or a dark chocolate ganache. More information can be found here.

By its very nature, the Docklands is a source of hours of water-based fun. Check out some of the best on offer below…

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Get on your feet and experience the city from a new perspective. Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to check out the Docklands area from the water while giving your upper body and legs a workout. More information on how to book can be found here.

City Kayaking

Experience the calm of paddling down the Liffey in a kayak as you pass the hustle and bustle of the city overhead. Your journey will bring you underneath the iconic O’Connell and Ha’Penny Bridges and is a unique way to check out some of Dublin’s most famous landmarks. More information can be found here.

Escape Boats

Ireland’s first-ever boat-based escape rooms are located at Grand Canal Dock. You and your friends can test your problem-solving ability as the pressure increases with every second that ticks past. Two to ten players can work together to solve puzzles, crack codes and, ultimately, unlock the doors before it’s too late. More information can be found here.


Did you know that Ireland’s first cable wakeboard park is located in the heart of the Dublin Docklands area? Well, if you didn’t, you do now. This is the perfect introduction for anyone who hasn’t tried wakeboarding yet or for those who want to hone their skills. There are sessions available for adults and kids and you can book your adventurous day out here.

You can’t beat a day out in the city with your nearest and dearest. Here are some of the activities available in the Docklands that will have your family smiling all the way home…

Discovered Boat Tours

All aboard for a fun day out that your family will never forget. Step inside the vessel and allow your knowledgable guide to entertain and enlighten you as you learn all about Dublin’s past and present. Whatever the weather, this is a great way to see the city and you can find out more here.

South Bull Wall

One of the most refreshing walks in Dublin can be taken at the South Bull Wall. The distant Poolbeg Lighthouse gets larger with every step you and your family take and after around 20 minutes you’ll be within touching distance of the red-coloured behemoth. On the way back, you get a great view of Dublin’s southside to your left and northside to your right, providing ample opportunity for inquisitive little ones to ask about everything that catches their eye. One of the more pleasant ways of getting those daily steps in!

Grand Canal Dock Cycling

A fun urban activity that will suit family members of all ages. The Grand Canal Greenway is well-surfaced and provides all the peaceful sights and sounds of the city’s nature as you and your family zip along. More information can be found here.

cycling in Dublin docklands

(pic: Waterways Ireland)

Visit the Jeanie Johnston

The great thing about this one is that kids go free for the month of August! Meet the passengers from the past and experience first-hand what life was like on a famine ship with their award-winning tour guides. Although the tour lasts 50 minutes, the Jeanie Johnston is an experience that promises to stay with you long after that.

Looking for more inspiration? screenshot this bingo card to tick off some of the best attractions around The Docklands!

Dublin’s best attractions are reopening and we are so ready for it. Between fascinating history, the tastiest food, thrilling adventures and loads of family fun, there is just so much to squeeze in. Dublin, here we come!

Limited capacity and procedures may be in place at visitor attractions, sites, and restaurants so make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment!