we recently relaunched our public walking tours, and are currently focusing exclusively on outdoor tours. Until further notice we are now also using the fantastic hands-free audio receiver and earpiece technology. These little kits, which are sterilized and quarantined prior to every use, and which we hand out at the start of every public tour- offer superior sound and screen out most background street noise. Even more crucially, they also allow increased social distancing to keep you extra safe. With a range of well over 50 meters, they allow each guest to walk at your own pace, which both makes for easier-going (no more rushing along to please others, or to catch the guide) and also makes the whole walking tour experience far more mobile, more seamless and fluid. (No more waiting for the slow coaches to catch up, for example. The other guests may be 10 – 100 feet away. But they are already listening! )
The cost of this audio headset technology is included in your ticket price, when you book onto a public tour. All this, and Dublin’s best walking tours, with our traditional emphasis on architecture, art and design, as well as history (including literary, political, religious and social history) Our current tours are listed below, more are added constantly.
Please note: this is our Public Tours page. We run from just 1 up to 5 public walking tours per month, to which everyone is welcome (subject to availability naturally). New tours, routes and dates added here all the time. If you primarily wish to join on our public tours then perhaps bookmark this page, so you can visit often? And/or better and easier: join the mailing list, for our handy, free newsletter. This generally goes out once a month (or very rarely, more often only if we get an opportunity to offer a very special tour that’s happening at very short notice)
To book your own private tour, this is the wrong place: please just hit the Green button any time, choose your preferred route, date and numbers. If your private group is over 8 or 9 people we can certainly supply headsets on request. (For groups over 12, we will insist)
To see our current Public Tours, please just read on below.
Thursday 20 August South East Highlights (aka South East Treasures) 2PM start: This is more or less the walking tour I laid on recently for a private group that included the wonderful Frank McNally of the Irish Times. Details from that tour then featured in that paper on the three separate occasions over the following two weeks. It’s a tour you might guess therefore that’s rich on information, and a route that features many of my favourite Dublin historical characters, buildings, architects, stories and details. And it all takes place around Kildare, Dawson and Molesworth streets. (We may also include sections and details on Stephen’s Green and/or Grafton Street, that’s strictly time allowing, and TBC only on the day). If you have done this general South-East area with us before over the last 2-3 years, some of the material may be familiar, while some of it will be new. (We are always tweaking and improving!) If you haven’t covered these streets with us before, then you are in for a treat. Behind the familiar facades and well-known institutions lie many curious stories. Guests enjoy the mix of architectural and design gems, from Victorian and Georgian times to modern, with a good mix of social, political and literary history thrown in. We’ll discuss the National Library and Museum, the Department of Trade and Industry Building and the Shelbourne Hotel as well as many other nearby landmarks. We’ll also talk about contemporary changes, and at least two very current threats to local heritage. Do not miss this tour.
Booking fee not included in list price (It is under 9%) Your audio headsets are supplied by us and are included in the advertised price.
Practical Tour details and Ticket Link:
Meet Point: outside St Anne’s Church, Dawson Street. (Eircode DO2 YVOO)
Start Time, 2pm. Thursday 20th August.
End Point, somewhere nearby: also in south central/ Grafton St area.
End Time 3.45- 4pm approx.
Audio headsets supplied.
Numbers/ Tickets limited.
Tickets: €21.50 each, including your audio headset (+ 8.5 % booking fee)
Tickets must be booked in advance.
Walk-up tickets available? No.
Link to South East Highlights tickets, 2PM Thursday 20 August here.
For more public tours, read on below…
Saturday 05 September: 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, into 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, and we like to do it at least once a year. We usually hand out maps too, so you can track the line of the walls in the modern streetscape, 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.
As we walk we’ll use both maps, and tell-tale signs in the modern streetscape, to locate the former walls, towers and gates, 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 “storyline” to discuss the often traumatic events that marked teh medieval history of Dublin including wars, rebellion, plaque, 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 this September could be your best chance in the next few months. Please join us if you can. Please note this wonderful urban loop walk can take up to 2.5 hours, given the distance covered. We believe it will be easy-going however, given the new headsets allow guests to set their own pace.
Practical Tour details and Ticket Link:
Meet Point: outside The Gutter Bookshop, Essex Street West, Dublin 8 (Eircode D08 DK27)
Start Time, 2pm. Wednesday. 2nd of September
End Point, The Gutter Bookshop, Essex Street West.
End Time 4.45pm. (approx.)
Audio headsets supplied.
Numbers/ Tickets limited.
Tickets: €21.50 each, including your audio headsets. (+ 8.5 % booking fee) Tickets must be booked in advance.
Walk-up tickets available? No.
Link to Medieval Walls tickets, 2PM Wednesday 2nd September here.
below, two or three pictures from last years Medieval Walls tour, in those easy-going days before Covid, and before social distancing!
below: the medieval St Audoens Church (CoI) above the ancient city wall and gate, now sitting in a beautifully, newly restored park.
Remember, we are adding new tours and dates all the time. If you are not already subscribed to the newsletter and would like to receive notification when our public tours are resumed and announced, please sign up to our free monthly newsletter .
Coming soon: autumn with a range of well over 50 meters, public tours including Ballsbridge Tour; Leeson St area tour; Rathmines Tours, North -East Georgian Dublin and the Gardiner Estate, and more. Subscribe to the mailing list, for our monthly newsletter using the link above.
Remember you can also book any of our rich menu of walking tour routes for a Private tour, exclusively for your own group, on a date of your own choosing, by hitting the Green Button then selecting the Private Tours option. From there the navigation will bring you seamlessly through the different options. Payment with credit or debit card is both convenient, seamless and secure.
For recently completed public tours, read on below.
Rail, River, Army & Commerce: (featuring transport and engineering; the Army Barracks; two great Churches; Justice, Commerce & the Law)
The Italianate architecture of Kingsbridge (now Heuston) Station; the wonderful Seán Heuston bridge, Croppies’ Acre; the tragic heroism of 1798; Collins Barracks and its massive parade ground; notes on the military in Ireland and on Wolfe Tone; then exploring the side streets one block back from the river, viewing Blackhall Place, then Smithfield, with its history of drovers and distillers; then richly historic St Michan’s Church, finishing at the majesty of James Gandon’s Four Courts. As with all Dublin Decoded tours, expect architecture, design and engineering history, along with notes on politics, literature, revolution and more!
Bridge Street to Fishamble via the River and Liberties: the long way round!- Bridges, Quaysides, Revolution, Architecture, Medieval Dublin and the Liberties.
The river and its bridges (Including an appreciation of the Father Mathew, Mellows and O’Donovan Rossa Bridges) going along the quays to view the James Joyce bridge, the ‘House of the Dead” and Ushers Island. Then uphill to Thomas St, where we turn left to travel west to east along Thomas St, with its rich history and magnificent buildings, several which have recently been magnificently restored. Along this street we discuss monasteries, distilleries, architecture, art and revolution. Then at the Cornmarket and NewGate area, we will look at the two St Audoen’s churches, including the oldest functioning church in Dublin, and the wonderfully refurbished and re-landscaped St Audoen’s Park alongside. Then proceeding east again along Cook Street via Winetavern Street, concluding at Fishamble Street, at the western end of Temple Bar.
Patrick’s Park to Blackpitts, Newmarket and the Coombe: Mills, Markets and Mass Graves! Tour concluded. To see more of our other public tours, please read on below…
Classic Highlights of Dublin Public Tour. Stephen’s Green and its great mansions and clubhouses, the Kildare, Molesworth and Grafton Street area; the rich and sometimes unexpected history of Temple Bar, Fishamble Street, Christ Church Cathedral; City Hall, the Rates office, Cork Hill and finishing up at Dublin Castle: all given the distinctive Dublin Decoded treatment, with our traditional focus on architecture and design, alongside an entire Irish history,
an Private Evening Art tour of the National Gallery of Ireland, Your perfect art tour, with 2 wonder-filled hours of this wonderful collection and its superb highlights, including works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Paulo Uccello, Andrea Mantegna, Goya, Nicolas Poussin and Caravaggio. Exploring everything from pictures from Rome and Venice for the Grand Tour of the 1700s, to masterpieces of history, biblical subjects and mythology by the great French and Italian Renaissance masters, this famous tour, the subject of hundreds of 5-star rave reviews on TripAdvisor, shows you how to read, follow and understand old master paintings, all in our unique, highly accessible Dublin Decoded way. Tickets sales for this tour are temporarily suspended: Any existing ticket-holders will be contacted soon and offered the choice of a ticket for the new date, or a full refund.
a section of previous, recently public tours continued…
2PM: SUNDAY 16th of February, 2020 (S Valentine’s Weekend) Dublin’s Great Lovers & Romantics: a walking tour of Art and of History, St Valentine’s week, 2020.
THURSDAY 12th December 2019. an evening tour at the National Gallery of Ireland. Met 17.55. Started, 6PM (18.00).
Saturday 23rd November 2019: -Drama, Books and Publishing, in the time of Jonathan Swift. In partnership with St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Jonathan Swift Festival.
Sunday 24th November: –Drama, Books and Publishing, in the time of Jonathan Swift. Started at the earlier time of 12.30pm.
on Sunday 13th October; Temple Bar Treasure Hunt,
Tuesday 22nd October Morning Art tour, of the National Gallery of Ireland,
Sunday 13th October 2019 Temple Bar Treasure Hunt.
Other previous tours from 2019, undated.
a walking tour of the Kildare St / Molesworth St area.
a Victorian masterpieces walking tour.
“Portobello, Portrait of an Area: a Walking Tour” (on two dates)
Dublin West of Capel St: – Monasteries, Markets, Courthouses and Prisons (ran on two dates).
A walk around Dublin’s Medieval Walls (3 hours approx, ran on one date, as a public tour; but also available as a private event, as with all our routes)
Monto tour with Arran Henderson & Terry Fagan
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This is by far the best way not to miss the public versions of our fantastic walking tours.
below: images and details from some of our public tours
Please use the green button to order your own private walking tours.