Do well in 'developing UK tourist destinations'

AC 1.3


The Features of Dublin which appeal to different types of tourists

Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland is a small, lively city with a world-famous night-life as well as a good range of visitor attractions.  Dublin is famous for the ‘craic’ (pronounced crack) which is the Irish word for fun and having a good time. Dublin is the gateway for many tourists who wish to explore the island or Ireland with its spectacular scenery and pretty towns and villages. 

Different types of Tourist


Most people who visit Ireland are either on holiday or visiting friends and relatives. Many of these visitors include a visit to Dublin. There are about 7,000,000 leisure visits to Ireland and only 1,350,000 business visits.  As can be seen from the figures on pages 2 and 3, many visitors enjoy the charging attractions in Dublin, such as the Guinness Storehouse as well as the free attractions, such as The National Gallery and Botanic Gardens.

The location of Dublin allows tourists to enjoy a range of activities either along the coast of Dublin Bay or in the Wicklow Mountains to the south of the city.  Being a small city, it is easy to get out of Dublin to attractions in the surrounding area.


There is a great deal of trade between Ireland and the UK. Business people have to make many visits to Dublin to attend meetings and conferences. There are many airports in the UK from where business people can fly to Dublin, which is good.  However, one of the problems in Dublin is that there is a shortage of hotel rooms. This means that hotels tend to be expensive. Also, Dublin does not have many large conference venues, so it cannot hold big business meetings.

Different Ages

Figures for visits to Ireland show that:

22% were under 25 years old

24% were 25–34 years old

13% were 35–44 years old

40% were over 45 years old

This shows how much Ireland and Dublin appeals to younger tourists who enjoy the night life, bars and restaurants in central Dublin.

The figures also show that 42% of visitors come as a couple.  This also shows that Dublin appeals to younger tourists who enjoy visits to attractions such as the Dublin Storehouse.

Different cultures

The figures also show that:

1,430,000 visitors were from Britain

1,700,000 visitors were from mainland Europe

1,040,000 visitors were from North America

240,000 visitors were from the Rest of the World

Many people visit Dublin and other parts of Ireland because of family connections. Some people visit the area where their family came from or where they were born.  This is why Irish cultural attractions in Dublin, such as the Book of Kells and St Patrick’s Cathedral are very popular.  This also explains why so many people from North America, in particular the USA, visit Dublin and other parts of Ireland.


VisitDublin is the official tourism information website providing lots of information for visitors to Dublin. The website can help with planning a trip and finding out what concerts and other events are taking place in the city. The site also has a facility for booking accommodation. Thanks to the site being easy to use, many tourists book accommodation through it.


There are hundreds of music and arts events taking place in Dublin throughout the year and visitors can find out about these through the ‘Visit Dublin’ website.  Many British bands and comedy acts play in Dublin as part of their tours.

The Irish celebrate their patron saint, St Patrick, for five days each year, with the St Patrick’s Day parade through the streets of Dublin being one of the highlights of the year.

Sporting events and major concerts are held at the Aviva Stadium, to the south of the city centre.

Amongst the most popular attractions is Kilmainham Gaol.  The website information about the gaol is as follows:

Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. It closed its doors in 1924.

Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building.

It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offences such as stealing food to more serious crimes such as murder or rape. Convicts from many parts of Ireland were held here for long periods waiting to be transported to Australia.

Many visitors to Dublin are fascinated by the history of the building. It costs 8 euros for a guided tour of the building, but you have to book in advance. In 2016 the gaol received nearly 400,000 visitors. Seeing that the entry charge is quite cheap, many tourists are likely to include a visit to the gaol during their stay.

The most popular attraction in Dublin is the Guinness Storehouse. In fact, it is the most popular attraction in Ireland with 1,667,000 visitors in 2016. Guinness is the famous dark beer which is sold all over the world. A special building has been constructed to provide a number of different visitor experiences, starting from 17.50 euros if booked in advance.

The advert for the Guinness Storehouse experience reads:

Find out exactly what it takes to make beer the Guinness® way. From our famous strain of yeast to the passion shared by all our brewers, we go to extraordinary lengths to bring you the world's number-one stout.  Find out more about how we have shaped Dublin city.

Also, there are lots of public squares and open spaces through which tourists can stroll. These include the grounds of the Botanic Gardens. The most famous square is Stephen’s Green. Due to these attractions being free, they are popular with many tourists.

The famous night life of Dublin is centred around Temple Bar. This area is located to the south of the River Liffey and is a network of streets with bars, night-clubs and restaurants which are packed with locals and tourists every evening.

The other important area worth mentioning is Grafton Street, which is the main shopping area in the city.

Built Attractions

Dublin does not have a wide range of modern built attractions such as theme parks and water parks. This means that Dublin is not a very popular destination for families with young children.  However, this group might make a visit to Dublin Zoo and the Leprechaun Museum might be of interest to some.

Dublin’s attractions are mainly of the historic and cultural variety. Being a capital city, Dublin has the National Museum and National Gallery of Ireland amongst its attractions. Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral and the Trinity College Library are also popular attractions visited by tourists who wish to explore the history and culture of Ireland.

The table below shows the most popular free and fee-charging attractions in Dublin in 2016.

Natural Attractions

The River Liffey flows through the centre of the city, adding interest and appeal to tourists, who can take walks along its banks.

The River Liffey enters the Irish Sea in Dublin Bay, so visitors to the city are not far from the coast with lots of coastal walks and water-based activities available.

Just to the south of the city lie the Wicklow Mountains with peaks rising to 3,000 feet.  This area provides opportunities to get out of the city and enjoy activities such as mountain biking, walking and climbing.  Therefore, a wider range of tourists are likely to be attracted to Dublin.


For internal tourists, visiting from other parts of Ireland, Dublin is accessible by rail and air with most rail routes and motorways leading to Dublin.

For visitors from the UK, Dublin is very accessible by air. Three major airlines, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Ryanair operate flights to Dublin from most major cities.  Also, three companies offer ferry crossings from ports in the UK to Dublin and other ports in Ireland.  So, UK tourists who want to visit Dublin and other parts of Ireland can take their car.

Dublin is very accessible for visitors from the USA. Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport caters for long haul flights, mainly from the USA.  Major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta, United and Emirates operate regular flights to and from Dublin. This is helpful because many people in the USA have Irish ancestors.


Dublin is located on the east coast of the island of Ireland. The city is just over 100 miles south of Belfast, which is the capital of Northern Ireland.