Tours and Excursions

If you are spending time in a new city, guided tours and excursions are a great way familiarize yourself with the area, as well as see some of the great sights. Tours can vary from regular walking tours to helicopter or boat tours, depending on the location. If Dublin is where you will be heading, Viking Splash Tours is among our top picks.


History buffs won't want to miss this popular tour that meets in front of Trinity College and takes a two-hour trip through Dublin's most historic sites. History graduates of Trinity College provide background as you explore the college, Temple Bar, Christ Church Cathedral, Four Courts and more. Learn about Irish history while you walk, including the 1916 Rising, the War for Independence, and much more. For those with specific interests there are also tours that concentrate on areas like the birth of the nation, Irish food and drink and women in Ireland.

Local Expert tip: I would personally opt for a specific tour with a graduate whose special interest coincides with the topic - it ensures a more engaged guide.

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Viking Splash Tours

The aspect that sets this tour apart from the pack is its ability to let you see Dublin from both land and water. Reconditioned World War II "ducks" (amphibious vehicles) take you past some of Dublin's top sights, including Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College, and Merrion Square, while a costumed guide tells you about life in the time of the Vikings. The tour splashes into the Grand Canal Basin for a 15 minute cruise before returning to Stephens Green North.

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Though Dublin's city center offers much to explore, this tour allows visitors to widen the scope by seeing the sweeping Irish coast, coastal towns, harbors and mountains. A knowledgeable and humorous guide will explain the history of the surrounding area and show you the sites you can't see on in-city tours. The tour heads south along Dublin Bay, passing Dun Laoghaire's promenade and harbor before turning inland to the Wicklow Mountains, through the village of Enniskerry and onto Powerscourt Gardens. The ticket includes entry to the gardens; after exploring the grounds, you can stop off at the Avoca Handweavers shop and cafe. The tour takes a scenic route back to Dublin. Note: a shuttle bus picks people up from various Dublin hotels. See the website for details.

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This three-hour tour takes a northern route out of Dublin to Malahide, site of the popular Malahide Castle, and the fee for admission to the castle is included in the price of the tour. Afterwards, you'll pass through one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland, the fishing village of Howth. On the way back to town, Dublin Bay offers stunning views, and several lighthouses dot the landscape.

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Make it early for this nightly tour because space is limited. This tour is popular with folks who want to learn about the history of Irish music. Starting at lively Oliver St. John Gogarty's in the beating heart of the Temple Bar area, the crawl is led by two professional musicians who take you to the places where historic musical events took place. They explain the history and perform plenty of their own music. This tour hits many of Dublin's most famous pubs.

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If you fancy a more active take on exploring the city then a bike tour might be the way forward. Dublin City Bike Tours meet outside Isaac's Hostel in the North Georgian Quarter, making them the perfect backpackers resource for a fun day out. You'll visit all the main historical sites that Dublin has to offer and the tour is designed for people of all levels of fitness so you won't find yourself lagging behind, puffing and panting. It's an eco-friendly way to see the city and they'll even provide you with rain jackets when the heavens open!

Local Expert tip: If you want an all-day excursion or a corporate tour then get in touch with the office as they can arrange something for you.

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Dublin Bus Hop-On Hop-Off

This flexible tour allows you to pay one price and travel all day, getting off to take a closer look at all the attractions that interest you most. Several companies offer similar services, but this one has reliable buses running at each stop every 10-15 minutes and knowledgeable drivers that regale you with stories, facts and songs as you explore.

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If you fancy a more hair-raising, spine-chilling experience from your Dublin tour then your first port of call should be The Gravedigger Ghost Tour. Spanning two hours you'll be taken by bus around some of Dublin's creepiest landmarks of yesteryear. From the plague-house, to Dublin's most mysterious graveyard to Kilmainham Jail where prisoners would spend their final days while awaiting execution. The price of the tour includes access to the haunted walking tour of Dublin and a free drink in the 'Gravedigger Pub' - a popular haunt for the bodysnatchers of old. This is one hair-raising tour you won't forget.

Local Expert tip: Your free Haunted Walking Tour ticket which is included in the price can be redeemed up to one month after your ghost tour.

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This is probably Dublin's most popular and well-known tour, and many people become regular attendees. Visitors meet at The Duke, a pub off Grafton Street, and stroll to some of Dublin's most famous literary haunts that were frequented by the area writers who fought writer's block in these historic pubs. A local publication praised the tour as a way to simultaneously replace brain cells as you drown them. A fun look at some of Dublin's best attractions.

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