Dublin’s Rainy Days: What to do in Dublin when it rains

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Rainy activities in Dublin
A midsummer's rain in Dublin. Photo: Laura Smart

By Jessica Colley—

Expect rain in Dublin. A trip that lasts a day or longer will inevitably include a little rain, a short shower, or as the Irish say, a “soft day” of persistent mist that isn’t quite strong enough to warrant the opening of an umbrella.

Locals are thankful for any sunny days that they can get. An arsenal of indoor activities and strategies for dealing with the rain will come in handy during a trip to Dublin.

Tip: One thing I learned living in this city was never to leave home without an umbrella. Even if it looks sunny in the morning – if you leave your umbrella in the hotel you will almost certainly get drenched in a passing storm. Bring an umbrella everywhere and pack shoes that are comfortable for walking around on a wet day.

Once you have your packing list set, take a look at some of my favorite things to do in Dublin on a rainy day.

1. The Dublin Writers’ Museum and Hugh Lane Gallery

On a rainy day, you are going to want to choose a couple attractions that don’t require a ton of walking between them. Two of my favorite attractions in Dublin are right next door to each other. Start your day at the Dublin Writer’s Museum, a historic Georgian townhouse full of fascinating exhibits relating to Ireland’s best known writers.

Next door is the Hugh Lane Gallery, home to the recreated studio of Francis Bacon. The studio was recreated in the gallery just as it was found when the artist died. After checking out the temporary exhibitions, finish your day in the gallery’s cozy café for a pot of Irish tea.

2. Irish Film Institute and the Gallery of Photography

Too many visitors to Dublin only see one side of Temple Bar: the overpriced pubs full of tourists. The truth is, this old, cobbled section of Dublin is also known as the city’s cultural quarter. Skip the nightlife here and instead check out attractions during the day.

Start out by exploring the exhibitions at the Gallery of Photography. A short stroll away is the Irish Film Institute. Grab lunch here in the artsy café before checking out a foreign film. Afterwards, a bookstore called the Gutter Bookshop is nearby. For a sweet finish to the day, grab a table at the Queen of Tarts for dessert and coffee.

3. George’s Street Arcade

Shopping in Dublin is an easy way to get soaked on a rainy day – unless you head to George’s Street Arcade. This indoor market is full of interesting stalls and restaurants – all shielded by the rain. It’s the length of a city block and has many shopping choices for cheapos.

Browse the racks at vintage stores, make an impulse purchase on costume jewelry, or pick up affordable souvenirs like replicas of antique Guinness ads. There are also a few affordable restaurants in the arcade, including Honest to Goodness and Little Macs.

While there are many indoor activities for a rainy day in Dublin, the locals don’t let a little rain get in the way of their fun. With the right gear, a hike can be just as rewarding on a “soft day” as on a sunny one.

Also in our guide: If you’re planning a trip to Dublin now, check out our list of recommended cheap hotels in Dublin, all visited, verified and reviewed by the EuroCheapo editors. They’re all safe bets, rain or shine.

About the author

Jessica Colley is a freelance travel writer and poet. She blogs about Dublin and more at www.thegreatamericantraveldream.com.

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