Dublin Decoded continue adding to our schedule, of the best public guided walks of our capital for the culturally-curious.   For Private tours, exclusively for your own private group, which are bookable on any available date, please hit the green Book Now button onscreen; then choose Private Tours from the pop up menu,  choose your tour, then your preferred date and start time.

For everyone else you may prefer to join one of our scheduled Public tours, running on selected dates throughout this summer, as listed below  Visitors and local people alike have found these tours a revelation; the subject of hundreds of 5* reviews on TripAdvisor and elsewhere, and routinely described as the best tours of the Irish capital.    We maintain that there may never be a better time to explore or to discover the pleasure of being a “tourist in your own town“.   Here is what we offer…

  • Public Tours still limited to 15 guests maximum
  • Focused purely on outdoor sights.
  • fantastic audio-receiver sets on all public tours.
  • These sets are sterilized and quarantined prior to every use, with a single-use disposable earpiece.
  • They offer superior sound for our live commentary, they screen out background street noise and, crucially…
  • allow enhanced social distancing.
  • With a range of over 60 meters, they also allow each guest to have their own space and to walk at own pace.
  • The cost of this audio headset technology is borne by us and included in your ticket price.
  • All this, and Dublin’s best tours!
  • Here what we have coming up, for Public Tours – running on selected dates only, from 23rd June right through to the end of August 2021.

Dublin Castle, Ship St, Werburgh St. and Smock Alley: Books, Politics and Theatre in Georgian & Early-Modern Dublin

Learn about the first play ever staged in Dublin and the capital’s first two theatres, founded in the mid-1600s amid the intense, often fatal politics of the era.  Plus old booksellers and former guild halls, with tantalizing glimpses of the medieval and early modern Dublin of narrow alleyways and vanished “courts”.  We’ll discuss the legacy of Swift and Sheridan; the theatre riots of the 1700s; bitter, savage, literary rivalries; and an accidental on-stage stabbing!

Come and explore the history, the politics and the literature of old Dublin on this remarkable tour with us,  and learn how all three threads often intersected!

Our Dublin Castle to Smock Alley: Books, Politics and Theatre Tour takes place one moire time this summer, on Saturday 26 June at 11am.  3 Tickets remain at time of writing.   Find them here.

Classic Highlights Walking Tour of the South City Centre: history and architecture

Let us walk and talk you through a thousand years of history, as well as a fantastic selection of Georgian and Victorian gems.  We’ll explain and illuminate aspects of their architecture, all made highly accessible and enjoyable.  This refreshingly brisk, yet brilliant guided walking tour – assisted by the live audio commentary in your audio headsets – takes you from elegant Stephen’s Green, down fascinating South William St, then along the procession of spectacular 18th and 19th century banks on College Green, then the whole way through Temple Bar, with its unique mix of historic and contemporary architecture, to the secrets of medieval Christ Church and Dublin Castle.

Fancy being a tourist in Dublin for a change?  Try this two hours of sights, spectacle and fun-filled facts.  We promise to add new i9nsight and fresh perspectives, to even the best known Dublin sights!

Our Classic Highlights Walking Tour of the South City Centre takes place one last time:  on Wednesday 30 June at 5.30pm.  Tickets for that dates here.

The Capel Street Quarter:  Markets and Monasteries: Prisons and Courthouses.

One of the most fascinating, richly-layered historic parts of Dublin city centre, featuring once powerful medieval monasteries now vanished.  We’ll use maps from the mid-1700s to see how their presence influences the street plan, street names and even the culture of Dublin right up to to the present day.

We’ll also see and discuss the historic marketplaces that dominated this area, including one 19th century market building with unique, highly evocative decorative sculpture.  Two former prisons feature on our tour, including a notorious “sponging house” (debtors’ prison) and we’ll conclude at a fine 18th century courthouse that witnessed some of the most dramatic, bitter, and controversial trials in Irish history.

Our Capel Street Quarter Tour was old out but now has one additional new date:  Saturday 10 July at 11am. Tickets here.


Glorious Georgian Grandeur.

An historic and architectural city walking tour, of the historic Gardiner Estate;

From O’Connell St, to Mountjoy Square, via Parnell Sq, Black Church, Blessington Basin, the old Mater Hospital and St George’s Church, concluding at Mountjoy Square.  The tour contains great detail on social and political history, as well as, of course, a host of outstanding architecture, described, interpreted and placed into context.

This brilliant tour takes place over three dates this summer:

Wednesday 14th July at  2PM;  then Saturday 17th July at 11.30AM;  then finally Saturday 14 August at 11.30AM.  The ticket link to all those three dates is here.


From Patrick’s Park to Cork Street

Starting at the fountain in the park beside ancient Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, then featuring Blackpitts, Newmarket, Mill Street, the former St Luke’s Church and its old Almshouse, Cork Street and the Coombe.  Explore neglect and regeneration, beautiful housing from the late 1800s, historic hospitals, industry from the medieval period though the 1600s and beyond, underground rivers, revolution and more.

Weavers, tanners, brewers and distillers; trade and riches; fire, poverty and rebellion; all packed into this extraordinary quarter of Dublin’s famous Liberties.

Our Patrick’s Park to Cork Street Tour sold out quickly on previous dates,  We have now added one final date for this summer;  a sociable, early evening tour, at FRIDAY 23rd JULY,  at 5.30PM.     Tickets may be found here. 

Merrion Square and its area:

Mount St and the Pepper Canister Church, Merrion Square, (its planning and evolution, its houses, architecture and park)  the great institutions of the western side, plus Fenian St, Westland Row and more.   A brand new tour, showcasing and exploring in real detail Merrion Square:  one of the stars of Dublin’s South Georgian Core.

This Merrion Square tour runs on Saturday 24th July at 11AM and again on Wednesday 11th August at the later time of 2PM.   Tickets for both events may be found here.



A walk around Portobello: vanished infrastructure, artists and writers, and the Dublin Jewish experience

A relaxing yet fascinating early-evening walk around Portobello.  We will mine the hidden, now forgotten history of this enigmatic Dublin district, including its former 18th century walled estates, its vanished reservoir basin, former canal harbours, long-gone ornamental lakes and pleasure gardens and much more.  Historic features discussed include links to everything from L.A’s Chinatown to the Beatles’ John Lennon, WWII Spies and Modernist legend James Joyce.  Along our route we will consider the many other artists, writers and states people who have called the area home, and ponder history, infrastructure, and philanthropic housing, as well as its architectural, Jewish, political and architectural histories, all discussed by local resident and local historian Arran Henderson.

Portobello Tour tends to sell out quickly.,  We have now added one one more final date for this summer; an early evening tour at FRIDAY, the 27th of  AUGUST,  at 5.30PM.   Tickets here: 


Around Dublin’s Medieval Walls and History

For centuries – since the time of the Vikings in the 9th and 10th century, through the years of the Anglo-Normans, the Early Modern period and up to their destruction in the late 1600s – the Medieval Walls of Dublin defended, delineated and defined the former ancient city.  On this tour we trace their entire line around the ancient city core.  This is one of our very favourite walks.  We usually hand out maps too, so you can track the line of the walls in the modern street-scape, helping you locate the former city gates and watch towers.  This is our type of treasure hunt!  We also reckon it’s the best way to think about, discuss and to visualize Medieval Dublin.

We’ll use both maps and tell-tale signs in the modern street-scape, to locate the former walls, towers and gates that defended the city, as well as other long-lost medieval fabric, including vanished churches, monasteries and prisons.  We’ll also treat the half-hidden, half visible walls as a kind of “story-line” to discuss the often traumatic events that marked the medieval history of Dublin including wars, rebellion, plague, a foreign invasion, a huge explosion and at least one vast, catastrophic fire that destroyed the entire western city.

If you haven’t done this walk with us before, join us!  Please note this wonderful urban loop walk can take up to 2 hours given the distance covered.  We believe it will be easy-going however, given that our new audio receiver sets allow guests to set their own pace.

New date added for Medieval Walls Walk on Saturday 21 AUGUST at 11am.  Tickets HERE.


River and Canal: Harbours, Quays and Docks

The Port is Dublin’s heart and soul: its very raison d’etre. A walk along the quays and “campshires” gives us an opportunity to explore the rich seam of Dublin history.  We’ll also take a good look at the superb architecture, sculpture, symbolism and intense politics of James Gandon’s great 18th century Customs House.  We’ll tackle the deep history and geography of the area, its land reclamations, its risks and perils, explore the dredging of the river and the shipping channel with technology designed by legendary Irish engineers.

We’ll then cross the river and make our way to the Grand Canal Docks to discuss the remarkable, unprecedented developments of the last 25 years here, as this former industrial area has become a centre for international finance and tech, while also driving the appearance of some superlative contemporary design, including key works by acclaimed Irish and International architects.

Our River and Canal: Harbours, Quays and Docks Tour runs on one more additional date:  SATURDAY 28th AUGUST at 11.30AM.  Tickets here.  


To book any of these excursions, which still have availabilty,  you can go two ways:  you can either hit the ticket link after the relevant description above, or click on the Green Book Now button, at any time, then go to Public Tours.

Hit Green Button

follow the menus to select Public Tour

then the individual tour route you want >

>then finally, the date that suits you best.

For people who would like alerts on these popular public tours, we highly recommend subscribing to our free monthly newsletter, here.

Please help spread the word about Dublin Decoded tours, via social media and share buttons? Or consider emailing this web page onto a friend!   We look forward to seeing you on tour.

Below, two or three nice pictures from some recent tours, including our Medieval Walls tour late summer 2019, in those easy-going, pre-Covid days before social distancing and before we starting using our hands-free audio kits.

Medieval Walls walk in the Dublin Liberties, with Arran Henderson of Dublin DEcoded, photo courtesy Kevin Reid

St Audoens Church

Dublin Medieval Walls tour with Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded

Dublin Castle with Arran Henderson and Dublin Decoded Tours


Arran Henderson with guests on a Dublin Decoded Tour

Portobello Tour with Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded Tours

Worth Library 1

Gragegorman Tour 2018 photo credit Luke McManus

Dublin Medieval Walls tour with Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded

See you on tour!





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