(That don't involve alcohol)
1. Catch a movie at the Lighthouse Cinema
Or any cinema. But the Lighthouse cinema has a particularly beautiful aesthetic with multicolour seating and film exhibitions. The Stella cinema in Rathmines is a close second with a vintage, luxurious feel.
2. Visit Dublin's bookstores
Dublin has some beautiful bookstores, but the independent stores are getting fewer and fewer. You can check out Books Upstairs on D'Olier Street, Chapters on Parnell Street and The Village Bookshop in Rathgar Village. Hodges Figgus on Dawson street is a favourite of mine, and although it's owned by Waterstones, we're still supporting Irish jobs by shopping there. Dubray Books is an Irish owned bookstore with shops across the country. The one of Grafton street is lovely for a browse.
3. Take a stroll through the art galleries of Dublin
The National Gallery is the perfect place for you if you're feeling arty. It's no Louvre, but there is some beautiful art to be found there. The Hugh Lane gallery is a lesser known gallery in Dublin bu has so much character. You can even see a replica of Francis Bacon's Art Studio.
4. Try a parkrun in a local park
Feeling sporty? Come join a no-pressure 5km run. Parkrun operates every Saturday at 9.30 in various parks around Ireland (and the world). It's a great community and whether you are an avid runner or just starting out, you are welcome at parkrun.
Find your nearest park here.
5. Grab brunch at Metro Cafe
I'm a sucker for brunch, and Metro serves up one of the best in Dublin. Some more great spots include Hugh Brown's, Anglina's, Balfe's and herbstreet.
6. Grab a coffee in M&S rooftop cafe on Grafton Street
A long standing favourite of mine. Keith and I went here on our first date many many years ago and we love to go back and have a coffee whenever the mood strikes. M&S cafe is a hidden gem as it has a lovely rooftop terrace looking over Grafton Street. Just beware of seagulls, they have no fear!
7. Take a free tour of the Botanic Gardens
Did you know you can book a free tour of the National Botanic gardens? Because I sure didn't until the world shut down and I started researching fun outdoor activities in Dublin! The botanic gardens have lots of different themed tours too for Halloween and Christmas. Or if you're not in the mood for a guided tour, you can grab a coffee and take yourself on a lovely walk around the gardens yourself, or even pack a picnic!
You can book a tour here.
8. Go for a walk down Dun Laoghaire Pier
A favourite of mine. Myself and Keith love nothing more than a Sunday afternoon in Dun Laoghaire. This beautiful coastal town is full of character, great food and gorgeous nature. You can grab and ice cream or a coffee and stroll down the pier, have lunch at a fish and chips shop, or explore the weekend market in the Peoples Park.
9. Go Bowling!
Old-fashioned? Maybe. But still good fun! Get your friends together and organize a bowling night! Maybe even go for pizza afterwards! You can book a lane pretty cheap at The Leisureplex and some venues you can even order a pizza there and feel like you're in a John Hughes movie.
10. Visit the Museums of Dublin
Dublin is FULL of history, and history means museums. The National History Museum, the Natural History Museum and the National Museum of Ireland are good places to start. They are all free and are filled with artifacts from Ireland and around the world.