Tips for Visiting Dublin, Ireland with Kids


family vacation dublin ireland

Both my husband and I have Irish ancestry so when my husband traveled to Dublin, Ireland for work, we decided it was a great time to take a family vacation.

What to Do

Ireland is a great place to take a first international family vacation. Our kids were 10 and 12 at the time so we were still able to enjoy the Dublin Zoo, National Leprechaun Museum, and the Natural History Museum (or as Dubliners call it “the dead zoo”) as well as drive into the countryside of Glendalough, the harbor town of Howth, and explore several of the historic churches like Christ Church Cathedral.

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Always check the websites of the places you are interested in going to.  We wanted to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College but the line was way too long, and I hadn’t purchased tickets ahead of time, so we had to skip that one. There are also some unique Irish holidays in which places are closed or have reduced hours.

While dad was working, the kids and I spent a lot of time simply walking the streets of Dublin and stumbling across fun places like the Ha’penny Bridge, taking a horse and carriage ride around St. Stephen’s Green, and grabbing lunch in Temple Bar. We were there in the summertime when the days are even longer (the sun doesn’t set until almost 10:00pm) so we took advantage of those long days to pack in as much as we could (including a Manchester United soccer game!). It also allowed us to come back to our apartment in the middle of the day to rest (mom’s naptime and kid’s game time).

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Where to Stay 

We were in Ireland for a week with 2 pre-teens so we opted for a 2 bedroom apartment to give us some more space and the ability to cook (because they tend to be picky eaters and it cut down on costs).  Check out short term rentals, Airbnb, or hotel suites for comfortable lodging.  
The apartment we stayed at was in Grand Canal Square. We were there because it was a block from where my husband was working, but it had a lot of other benefits.  There was a grocery store, pharmacy, and some great coffee shops around and we could walk to most of the main sightseeing places.  It was also quieter.  Grand Canal Square is home to many big tech companies so people go home at the end of their workday.  We didn’t have to worry about the loud groups coming out of the pubs at night (most places do not have air conditioning so your windows are open).

How to Dress

The weather in Dublin is very similar to San Francisco (even in July, Dublin weather is cool) — bring layers and small umbrellas.

Where to Eat 

Yelp was our friend, especially when looking for places to eat. Anything we tried that fit our family requirements did not disappoint. Some of our top family-friendly restaurants:

Our kids are always bringing up our trip to Dublin and how much fun they had. All four of us agree that if we were given the opportunity to move there, we would. If relocating doesn’t pan out, we look forward to going back again and again and spending more time in the beautiful Irish countryside.


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