10 great date ideas if you are new to Dublin

Spring fever is on its way, and what could be better than a successful date in times like this? But if you don’t know the city very well yet, it’s not so easy to drop any date ideas. Why not grab your fancy and explore your new home? At the same time you can figure out whether you share the same interests. Also couples, maybe just in town for a romantic weekend trip and not sure what to do in Dublin, will benefit from this guide. Where to go and what to see, to unite a discovery and a date – read on!

1. Free walking tour

Have you ever heard about Free Walking Tours? That’s when habitants offer a guided tour through their city. They often have insider tips, which you won’t get in an overpriced booked sightseeing tour. Sometimes these free walking tours have a special motto, like “The Alternative Side of Dublin”, where you get insights in places which probably the citizens themselves don’t know.
The best of it: It costs you nothing. Well, in the end it’s up to you, whether you pay the guide a small fee. Just 5 euro is fair enough, which isn’t expensive for a two-hour guided tour through the city. Especially if you and your date are both new in town, you’ll learn a lot. You can choose between different topics on Dublin Free Walking Tours and there are also some events on Meetup.

2. International Comedy Club

Laughter connects! And although you’re not as focused on your date partner at a comedy show, that doesn’t mean you can’t get to know each other well there. It’s worth a lot to find out if you share the same sense of humour. And if you’ve laughed together, just go for a chat and a drink afterwards. If you’re looking for a comedy show, there are many comedy clubs in the city centre, like The Craic Den Comedy Club or The Laughter Lounge.
But if you want to go to Dublin’s most famous comedy bar, I recommend The International Bar. It describes itself as “the original home of Irish comedy” and presents shows every day. Even if you recognise you and your date don’t match, just focus on the comedians on the stage and enjoy a lot of laughs. Nothing to regret.  

3. Dublin Zoo 

Snow Leopard

“What’s your favourite animal?”, “Do you have pets?”, “Are you afraid of certain animals?” – All these questions can be discussed during a visit to the zoo. The Dublin Zoo at Phoenix Park is the place to go. On an area of over 28 hectares you can experience snow leopards, lions, monkeys, meerkats and other rare animal species.
If you’re sceptical about the concept of a zoo, don’t be. Dublin Zoo is run by compassionate zookeepers who dedicate their lives to animal health and care, as well as understanding their needs. They understand the creatures’ natural habitats, food and social grouping. Besides, Dublin Zoo follows strict animal welfare guidelines laid down by European and Global Associations. Enjoy your day there and if you still have time afterwards, feel free to extend this date with the following suggestion:

4. The Phoenix Park

Going for a walk on a first date is always a good idea. If you run out of things to talk about, just look left and right at nature (and maybe think about the shortest way home). A highly recommended place for a walk is The Phoenix Park. Especially if you are new to Dublin, you should know that The Phoenix Park is not just any park – it describes itself as the “largest enclosed public park in any capital in Europe.” There is a lot to discover. Follow the walking routes and you will pass the Wellington Monument and the Papal Cross. If you prefer sharing sweet moments with your date, go to the Western part of the park: You should find a large herd of fallow deer there. I bet your date will be impressed by all the knowledge you already have now.

5. Dublin Mountains

This date also offers the benefits of a walk just mentioned, but this trip is more adventurous and sporty. The Dublin Mountains are based in the south, 10 kilometres from the city centre and more than worth a visit for someone who’s new in town! There are several hiking trails with different levels of difficulty. No matter which walk you choose, you will get breathtaking views of Dublin’s nature. 

6. Coffee and a walk at Bull Island

date at the beach

There are so many beautiful places in Dublin that I suggest another walk for a date. We’ve already had a walk in the park and in the mountains, what’s missing? The sea! If you googled pictures of Dublin before you came here, you’ve probably seen Bull Island. This 5 km long island has its own sandy beach…Imagine lying there in the sunshine with your crush! Apart from that, you can of course walk along the beach first. Back on the mainland, you’ll come directly to Saint Anne’s Park. There is a nice café where you can continue your date. Sounds like a great day, doesn’t it?

7. Afternoon Tea

afternoon-tea
Afternoon Tea at The Old Music Shop

This date is especially good in bad weather and when you want to do something more relaxed. The Afternoon Tea ceremony is perhaps more British than Irish, but there are plenty of places in Dublin that offer a classic Afternoon Tea as well. Book a table at Old Music Shop or The Cake Cafe and treat yourselves with a delicious selection of savouries and sweets.
If you want something fancier, go to Silk Road Cafe. There are no finger sandwiches or scones, but there are sweet and savory goodies from over 15 countries, including Palestinian chicken, falafel, and sweet corn fritters, as well as Persian love cakes, mango mousse, and Indian burfi. This guarantees an exchange about favourite foods and cooking skills. If your conversations aren’t so good after all, take a card game with you and pass the time with it. 

8. Kilmainham Gaol

If you want to add some thrill to your date and combine that with visiting a popular attraction, Kilmainham Gaol Museum is the place to go. Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin jailed some of Ireland’s most notable political and military personalities like Robert Emmet and Charles Stewart Parnell. You’ll get an insight into some of the most important, troubling, and inspiring subjects in modern Irish history. If you get scared about the things that happened there, grab your date’s hand – you can protect each other! Isn’t that romantic?

9. Rent a bike and explore the city and surroundings together

two people cycling

Now that you have a few walks to choose from, I’ll introduce you to another way to get to know the city and enjoy a romantic date. If you feel safe in traffic, I highly recommend renting a bike. There are several rental options in Dublin, like Dublin Bikes whose bikes are located all over the city. In this concept, you pay a certain amount per minute after 30 minutes of free riding. Or you can go to a bike shop like River Cycles where you can even decide whether you want a city bike, a road bike or a mountain bike. You usually pay a flat rate for the whole day. As soon as you’re ready, hit the road! You can have a good chat and flirt on the bike.   

10. Museum tour

If you and your date are more interested in cultural and historical things, explore Dublin’s museums! There will be a museum for all kinds of interests, like The National Museum of Ireland, The Irish Museum of Modern Art or Chester Beatty. The best of it: They all have free admission. After you have finished your museum tour, you can go out for a meal or a drink and talk about the impressions of this educational day. Smart is the new sexy 😉 ! 

date ideas in dublin – Which one is your favorite?

Now you have plenty of opportunities to propose a romantic date to your date, even if you haven’t lived in Ireland for a long time. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how your date was! 

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Julia Hansjurgen

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