Our philosophy and approach: With our long-standing expertise in art and architectural history, our tours are especially loved by people interested in visual culture, as well as historic context. Our love of showing you the less obvious and hidden away treasures makes us the tour of choice for determined urban explorers and the intellectually curious.
Either way, our guiding principle is helping you read the city, landscape, buildings, street plan, pointing out everything from street names, to underground rivers, from topography to marks and scars on buildings, architectural oddities, craved dates or inscriptions, or an allegorical sculpture on buildings; then helping decode that information for you. This is what we do best. The same applies to our much loved private tours of the National Gallery, where we take a similar symbol-reading approach with the lovely art works there.
Together we’ll use the built and visible fabric of the city to interpret and reveal the story and history of Dublin, from people, politics and literature to industry, economics and revolution. From our past experience with over 7,000 guests over more than 5 years, and the feedback we regular receive, we think you’ll find the experience a revelation.
Most Dublin Decoded tours are led by writer and local historian Arran Henderson, a Dublin native with a passion for historic research and for communicating the city’s many treasures: whether concealed behind closed doors, or hidden in plain view.
Arran, who trained originally in Art History, has various graduate and undergraduate degrees, and was educated in Ireland, England and the US, including the National College of Art and Design, Oxford Brooks, Central St Martins London, and the Dublin Institute of Technology. He has appeared on radio and written for the Irish Arts Review, among many other publications. For the last 4 years he has designed and led the annual series of summer walking tours for the Irish Georgian Society, and in general led tours for Culture Night, the Irish Architecture Foundation, Open House Dublin; Dublin City Libraries’ Festival of History and the Trinity College Architecture Society. On smaller group and private tours, he has hosted figures from business, medicine, law and the arts and entertainment, several cabinet ministers and a current European Prime Minister.
Our specialty is high quality, private tours, to discerning small groups, whether family groups or a company of friends (everyone from holiday makers to a book club annual outings) as well as to companies, corporate excursions, schools or colleges and universities. These tours are booked by an inquiry from you via the contact form. To ensure a speedy response, please state the title of your preferred tour and your preferred date, in the contact form please. It is also appreciated if you say how many people in your group, where you are coming from, and any areas of special interest you may have. Thank you.
But first, go to South-side or North-side tours, (for walking tours North or South of the river Liffey respectively) Enjoy the descriptions, and choose the title of the tour you’d most like to do. We look forward to welcoming you on tour.