One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of Dublin is the nightlife. That’s why it’s a popular destination for stag and hen parties. You might be surprised to know it’s also a fun city to visit as a couple.
If you are planning a trip with that special someone, there are plenty of for romantic things to do in Dublin.
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- Dublin and St. Valentine
- 11 Romantic Things to Do in Dublin
- Where to Stay For Your Romantic Trip to Dublin
- Is Dublin Romantic?
- Expert Tips for Your Romantic Trip to Dublin
Dublin and St. Valentine
Dublin has an interesting connection to St. Valentine, the patron saint of love. While he was executed in Rome and originally buried there, his skeleton now lies under Whitefriar Church in Dublin. Those seeking love come to this church to pray that they will find that special someone.
If you have already found your match, you can honor his legacy by falling even more in love during your time in Dublin.
11 Romantic Things to Do in Dublin
Dublin is a city full of culture, history, and lovely green spaces. I have visited several times and look forward to returning. Here are my suggestions for the best things to do in Dublin for couples.
Picnic in St. Stephen’s Green
This idyllic park in the middle of Dublin is perfect for a picnic or romantic stroll. It’s a peaceful and serene spot that feels miles away from the busy city. If you visit during the summer, you might be lucky enough to catch one of the lunchtime concerts.
Be sure to check out the waterfall and Pulham rock work on the western side of the green. The lake is a popular spot for water fowl. There is also a Victorian-style gazebo that makes for nice photos or shelter if it happens to rain.
Browse the Long Room Library
Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature so it’s fitting that they have a library that is like dream-come true for book lovers. It’s arguably the most beautiful library in the world. There are over 200,000 books stored on these dark wooden shelves. Just think of all the love stories inside these walls.
There are also busts of some of great philosophers, writers, and other men connected with Trinity College Dublin. You might recognize a few of them including William Shakespeare who wrote Romeo and Juliet.
The Long Room Library is located on the campus of Trinity University. To go inside the Long Room Library, you need to buy a ticket for the Book of Kells exhibit. You will learn more about why this illuminated manuscript Gospel book is famous and some of the history behind it.
If you have time, it’s also worthwhile taking a tour of Trinity College. You can check the schedule for the guided tours here.
Cross the Ha’penny Bridge
If you need to cross the River Liffey, the Ha’Penny Bridge is the most romantic way to do it. The bridge’s official name is the Liffey Bridge, but originally it was named the Wellington Bridge after the Duke of Wellington who was born in Dublin. It gets its nickname from the ha’penny toll that was charged to cross when it opened. At one point the fee was increase to a penny-ha’penny (1½ pence), but was eventually dropped in 1919.
Hold hands as you stroll under the wrought iron arches of one of Dublin’s most recognizable sights, then pause to take in the views over the water. Keep your eyes and ears open for the buskers that come to the bridge to play music.
Please don’t put any love locks on the bridge. While it’s a sweet gesture, it can be damaging to the historic structure.
Toast at the Gravity Bar
When you are in Ireland, you should at least try some Guinness. While I’m not a huge beer drinker I did enjoy my pint with a bit of blackcurrant syrup at the Gravity Bar. The 360-degree views of Dublin through the floor to ceiling windows are quite breathtaking.
A pint at the Gravity Bar is included with your Guinness factory tour, but you don’t need to do the tour to visit the Gravity Bar. They also have other drink options so you both don’t have to drink beer.
Have Dinner on a Canal Boat Tour
If you want to have a memorable experience with your partner, consider taking a dinner cruise. In Dublin, you can cruise in a canal boat along a scenic stretch of the Grand Canal while you enjoy a freshly-prepared meal. It’s a battery-operated eco-friendly barge so there won’t be any fumes or loud engine to disturb you.
The two-hour escapade begins with some drinks on deck, then you go down to the dining saloon for a romantic three-course meal. All the food is prepared by on-board chefs. If you let them know of any dietary requirements, they can accommodate you. Between courses, you can go back up on deck to take in the views and watch the crew go through the old locks that are still operated by hand.
Do a Whiskey Tasting
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a shot of whiskey and Dublin is home to some of the best whiskey in the world. If you want to fully appreciate it, consider taking a whiskey tour. Not just any whiskey tour though, you want it to be special and intimate.
If you know a lot about whiskey, you can create your own tasting or tour, but if you want to learn more a expertly-trained guide is a must. A whiskey guide can take you to the best places and will help you choose whiskeys that you will love.
On this small group tour, you get to go to some of Dublin’s most famous whiskey establishments and taste five deluxe Irish whiskeys, two Irish farmhouse cheeses accompanied with Irish soda bread, and some luxurious Irish handmade chocolates. Pairing whiskey with food takes the tasting experience to another level.
You start at the Dingle Whiskey Bar, built to showcase Irish whiskey. Then you move on to the Bowes Lounge, a legendary Irish pub. And last but not least, you will visit the Palace Bar in the Temple Bar area. It’s the spirit home of Irish whiskey with a rich history, frequented by both Brendan Behan and Flann O’Brien.
Enjoy an Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is an enchanting way to spend time with someone you care about. Dublin may not be the first place you think of to have afternoon tea, but there are some appealing options. If you want to go the traditional route, check out the offering at the Shelbourne Hotel.
Alternatively, you could try something a little different – enjoy afternoon tea onboard a restored vintage 1960’s double deck bus while it takes you around Dublin. The tour starts at 4-6 Essex Street East and travels past some of the top attractions in Dublin including Trinity College, St. Stephen’s Green, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, the Guinness Brewery, and Phoenix Park.
While on the bus, you can delight in the seasonal full afternoon tea menu with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options available. It includes a trio of freshly made sandwiches, freshly baked scones with jam, butter, and clotted cream, and pastries. You can also choose from a wide range of teas, coffees, and hot chocolates.
Along the way, the hosts will share their favorite stories of Dublin and play some 1950s jazz. You can spend quality time with your partner, enjoy some treats, and learn more about the city at the same time. Plus, they let you keep your cup as a souvenir to remember the special experience.
See a Show
Dublin may not have Broadway or the West End, but there are still plenty of quality options when it comes to entertainment. You can choose from several historic theatres as well as a few newer additions to the Dublin theatre scene. Browse the different theatre offerings here and pick one that both of you will enjoy.
The top theatres in Dublin are:
- The Abbey Theatre
- The Gate Theatre
- The Olympia Theatre
- The Gaiety Theatre
- Smock Alley Theatre
- New Theatre
- Bord Gáis Energy Theatre – Formerly known as The Grand Canal Theatre
Before you head out for your show, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Formal wear not required, but you should be dressed smartly. Also take advantage of the pre-theatre deals at some of the restaurants. Afterwards, you can have a nightcap at a cocktail bar or pub.
Have a Romantic Dinner For Two
In Dublin, there are plenty of delicious restaurants to choose from, but if you are looking for some place that is romantic, I would suggest La Caverna. It’s an Italian restaurant and wine bar in the Temple Bar area.
In addition to Italian specialties, they have some original Irish dishes using meats from local providers. They also have options for vegans and vegetarians too.
Not only do they have fantastic food and wine (or beer/spirits) at reasonable prices, but the atmosphere is perfect for a date night. Downstairs they have transformed a 300-year-old cellar into a beautiful dining space and wine bar. The unique brick wall full of candles is entrancing.
Discover the National Botanic Gardens
Flowers and romance go hand in hand. Grab your date and head to the National Botanic Gardens where you can see all kinds of colorful blooms. There’s more to see at these gardens than just flowers though. They have over 17,000 different plant species.
You’ll also want to see its famous Victorian glasshouses: the Curvilinear Range, designed by Richard Turner, and the Great Palm House, where you will find Ireland’s only tropical rainforest. Some of the other highlights include the rose and rock gardens, double herbaceous borders, the pond and river walks, and Wild Ireland, the native conservation area.
Admission is free and it’s only 1.6 miles from the Dublin city center. Get more information about the Botanic Gardens here.
Lunch at Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle is known for its history. While most of the current buildings date back to the 18th century, the first castle on this site was built around 1200. It was the seat of the United Kingdom Government’s administration in Ireland until 1922 and is now a major Irish government complex.
It’s definitely worth taking a guided tour to learn more. You get to see the medieval undercroft and Chapel Royal in addition to the luxurious state apartments.
Before or after your tour, save time for lunch at the Terrace Café. It is located inside the Dublin Castle complex and promises to “promote Ireland on a plate.” Not only can you dine on the fresh, locally sourced food here, you have the perfect view, overlooking the picturesque Dublin Castle gardens.
Where to Stay For Your Romantic Trip to Dublin
In addition to planning romantic things to do, you also need to find a place to stay during your time in Dublin. In general, Dublin hotels can get expensive, so it’s best to do your research and book in advance. I’d recommend avoiding the Temple Bar area because while it is centrally located it can get loud. There are some excellent options like:
- The Shelbourne Hotel – It’s a historic luxury hotel with some contemporary touches. They have a modern gymnasium, an indoor pool, and a spa offering a wide range of treatments. It’s located right by St. Stephens Green. Read reviews and check availability here.
- The Merrion Hotel – Located just a few blocks from the Shelbourne, this is another romantic 5-star hotel. It features a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars, a luxurious spa, an Italian marble steam room, sauna, infinity pool, and a fully-equipped gym. Read reviews and check availability here.
- Roxford Lodge Hotel – This affordable boutique hotel is located a bit outside the city centre but has excellent transport links. The room décor is a chic mix of Victorian and modern styles. Read reviews and check availability here.
Is Dublin Romantic?
I think pretty much any place can be romantic if you are with the right person. Dublin does have a lot to offer couples though. You can create special memories that will last a lifetime.
What are your favorite romantic things to do in Dublin?
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