A Fangirl’s Guide to U2’s Dublin

Title Photo of U2 Dublin Map

Last updated: July 25, 2017 – I’ve just left Dublin after the Joshua Tree Tour in Croke Park, Dublin (Gahh – that was freaking amazing! Check out my ponderings on the night and why fans make the pilgrimage to see u2 live in Dublin here.) I decided to walk the route I laid out in this map so I could test the timing between major spots and see if anything has changed.  I’ve updated the list below with my findings.  Enjoy!

Ok, as promised, here is my list of U2 sites to see in Dublin and area.

Dublin is my heart.  I love this town. Heck, I love the whole Island.  Even without the U2 connection, it is my favorite place ever.  Even before I ever stepped foot on the Emerald Isle, I longed for Ireland.  I have Irish ancestry, so I’ve always said it must be the blood calling me.  It’s always called me.  It keeps calling me.

My first trip overseas was to Dublin in 2001 (yes, for the Slane gig; no, I didn’t get to go to the show).   I went back in 2004 for a tour of Ireland and ended up moving to Glencree (about a 40 min drive from Dublin) for over a year total.  I’ve been back to Dublin so many times since that I get strange looks from the immigration officers – “Weren’t you just here?”  “Why are you back so soon???” Well, because I get Ireland withdrawals… and you know…  that band keeps having hometown shows.

As with the U2 Berlin Guide, I’ve included a map (from my Frommer’s Dublin Day by Day Travel Guide, 2011) with a green highlighted path of U2 sites and non-U2 sites that are must-sees (green highlight) and worth seeing if you have time (orange).  I’ve also included my favorite non-U2 sites (purple).

U2 Dublin Map With Highlighted Path
U2 Dublin Map With Highlighted Path

However, as there are soooo many more spots in this town than in Berlin, and many of them are clustered together (e.g. Temple Bar), I’ve organized this list a bit differently. This time, all U2 sites are listed together, rather than in two separate lists.   The ones that are asterisked (**) are the must sees; but while you are in the area, if you have time, check out the other items as well (many of them are actually on the walking path to the next site, anyways).  The non-U2 sites follow as a separate list.

Please note, the numbers on the map are not the order of the below list – I numbered the map years ago and have added to it since.  I have placed the map numbers in brackets on this list though, for ease of reference.

As with the Berlin list, I’m including walking directions, but please double-check your own map (especially if you are driving) for one ways, closed routes, faster routes and pedestrian areas (e.g. Grafton Street and much of Temple Bar).  Please let me know if something has changed or closed so I can keep the list up to date.

If you want to take public transportation (especially to the childhood homes and Mount Temple Comprehensive School), there are three main methods of public transportation: Dublin Bus (the city buses), the DART (commuter rail) and the Luas (light rail transit lines). (Please note, if you are taking the bus, passengers must hail the bus to make it stop – I learned this the hard way the first time I was in Dublin – In Canada, we don’t hail the buses, they have to stop if there are passengers at the stop – so I, not knowing any better, just waited at the stop and had about 3 of the buses I wanted pass by before I caught on to the other passengers who were raising an arm  to stop the bus…)

Note: I used atU2.com’s Guide to U2’s Dublin when I was first searching for U2 sites and have added my own findings since then (Grafton Street, Merchant’s Arch, The Church, Croke Park and The Sweetest Thing). atU2’s Guide is a fantastic resource with some spots I haven’t included on my list because they have since closed down (Principle Management’s Office, Nude, POD, Hot Press Music Hall of Fame (I did go here in 2001 – it was pretty cool!)) or I just didn’t want to go to myself (The Factory – rehearsal space, National Art Gallery – portrait of Bono, Howth Presbyterian Church – last gig with Dick Evans, and the Blue Light – where Adam was arrested).

A Sort of Homecoming: U2 Sites in Dublin

One: Savoy Cinema (Spot 1 on the map) (17 O’Connell Street Upper):  The Bonavox Store, one of the most important U2 sites, is just off of O’Connell, so we might as well start just a bit up from there with the Savoy Cinema.  The world premiere of Rattle and Hum was held at this theatre and U2 performed as part of the festivities.  It’s quite a lovely theatre, red carpets, sparkle and shine.  If you have time, come back later to grab a flick and see the inside!

Savoy Theatre O'Connell Street Dublin July 20 2017
Savoy Theatre O’Connell Street Dublin July 20 2017

Carry on down O’Connell and turn left at the Millennium Spire onto Earl Street.  (Fun fact: Dubliners love their naughty nicknames so the Spire is also known as the Stiletto in the Ghetto and the Stiffy at the Liffey…) Walking time to next stop: 4 min

Two: **Bonavox Hearing Aids Store (2) (9 Earl Street N):  The infamous store where Bono got his name.

Bonavox Hearing Aid Store
Bonavox Hearing Aid Store

Go back to O’Connell if you want to see the other sites of O’Connell Street (see the non-U2 sites section below).  Also there’s this little detour:

Detour:

Three: The Sweetest Thing (17 Bachelors Walk): This yummy chocolate cafe has no U2 connection (I asked :D), but the name makes it a fun stop nonetheless.  Plus the menu is just delicious!  I had the orange hot chocolate… so very yummy!!

The Sweetest Thing Chocolate Cafe
The Sweetest Thing Chocolate Cafe

Otherwise, from Earl Street, turn right onto Marlborough Street and then left onto Eden Quay.  Walk along the River Liffey on the north-side. Walking time from Bonavox to Point Depot/3 Arena (without the detour): 40 min (I took my time taking pictures along the Liffey though, Google Maps says it’s 30 min).

You will pass the Custom House and the Famine Statues (see the non-U2 section for more info).  Also, enjoy the beautiful Samuel Becket Bridge, which was inspired by the Irish harp, a national symbol of Ireland.

When you just pass the harp bridge (Guild Street), look across the Liffey – somewhere on the other side is where the Docker’s Pub was (23 on my map – I’ll discuss in detail below).  

Where Docker's Pub was - Sir Rogerson's Quay Dublin July 24 2017
Where Docker’s Pub was – Sir Rogerson’s Quay Dublin July 24 2017


Carry on along the quays – when you pass Castleforbes Street look to the other side of the river again, somewhere near the corner, where the Grand Canal begins, is where the U2 Tower (24) was going to be.

Where U2 Tower was to be Built Dublin July 24 2017
Where U2 Tower was to be Built Dublin July 24 2017

Keep walking until you reach:

Four: **Point Depot Theatre (3Arena) (25) (North Wall Quay):  Now called the 3Arena, Point Depot is where Bono said the “we have to go away and…and dream it all up again” speech during their concert on December 30, 1989. (Go here for the full speech.)

Parts of Rattle and Hum were also filmed here: the performance of Desire and the interview with Phil Joanou,  from which I grabbed my blog subtitle. (Phil asks what the movie is about, and Larry says “It’s a musical journey.” And the Edge continues: “Well, it’s about music. I hope. At least that’s what you said it was going to be about.”

The next stop is right across from the Point (but you can, of course, see them as you approach the Point):

Five: East Link Toll Bridge and Grand Canal Docks Loughs (26) (Google Maps is calling the East Toll Bridge the Tom Clarke Bridge, the highway is called R131): This bridge is in the Pride video.  Be sure to take a photo of the 2 red and white tower things on the south side  to your left (??? I have no idea what they are called…)

East Link Bridge Dublin July 24 2017
East Link Bridge Dublin July 24 2017

The loughs of Grand Canal Docks are just to the right, this is where the cover for October was shot.

Grand Canal Docks Dublin July 24 2017
Grand Canal Docks Dublin July 24 2017

Walk over the bridge.  July 2017 Update – Use the sidewalk on the right side of the bridge (coming from Point Depot), and follow it straight on to York Street.  The sidewalk and road diverge – it looks like this:

SIdewalk off of East Link Bridge Dublin July 24 2017
SIdewalk off of East Link Bridge Dublin July 24 2017

Turn right at the end of the sidewalk onto York Street and turn almost immediately left onto Thorncastle Street.  Walk to the very end of Thorncastle and turn right onto Bridge Street, cross the bridge and carry on this street as it becomes Ringsend Road.

July 2017 Update: After a few minutes on Ringsend, I thought I saw road signs calling it Shelbourne and I thought I went to far – but I’ve just checked and Google has the road as Ringsend until it crosses the Grand Canal… Basically, stay on this road and you will find the current Windmill Lane Recording Studio.

Walking time from Point Depot to the studio: 20 min

Six: the current Windmill Lane Recording Studios (21) (20 Ringsend Road): The original Windmill Lane Studios (20) was moved here in the late 80s.

The Current Windmill Lane Recording Studio Dublin July 24 2017
The Current Windmill Lane Recording Studio Dublin July 24 2017

Carry on down Ringsend Road.  You will cross another bridge, this one over the Grand Canal, turn immediately right onto the Grand Canal Quay.  It looks like this:

Grand Canal Quay Dublin July 24 2017
Grand Canal Quay Dublin July 24 2017

Turn right at the end of the water (where all the red things are standing up) onto Hanover Quay and walk until 18 Hanover Quay. Walking time from Windmill Lane Recording Studios to Hanover Quay Studios: 15 min

Seven: **Hanover Quay Studios (22) (18 Hanover Quay): This is U2’s current recording studio head-quarters.

Hanover Quay Studios Dublin July 24 2017
Hanover Quay Studios Dublin July 24 2017

If you have time, take the next detour.  Otherwise walk back along Hanover Quay and turn right onto Forbes Street and then left onto Sir Rogerson’s Quay.

Detour:

Eight: U2 Tower (24):   walk further along Hanover Quay, turn left on Benson Street and then right on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.  Go to the end of the quay and here, close up, is where the U2 Tower was to be built.  Construction was stopped years ago, however, an article from 2013 suggested it might start up again.  July 2017 Update:  This site is under construction (see above photo from the other side of the Liffey), but I don’t know if it’s the U2 Tower being built, or some other project… Time will tell!

Walk along Sir Rogerson’s Quay and stop just before the corner of Cardiff’s Lane.  

Nine: Dockers Pub (23): Docker’s is the pub the boys used to frequent when recording at Windmill Lane.  July 2017 Update: There are two buildings on this block facing the quay – one is an old building called the Ferryman Townhouse Hotel and Pub, the other is a newer building… I assume Docker’s was in the old building… I should check my photos from my first trip…

 

Where Docker's Pub was - Close Up Dublin July 24 2017
Where Docker’s Pub was – Close Up Dublin July 24 2017

Carry on along Sir Rogerson’s Quay, turn left on Windmill Lane and turn right with the lane until you reach the next stop. Walking time from Hanover Quay to original Windmill Lane Studios location: 13 min

Ten: **the original Windmill Lane Studios (20)

July 2017 Update: The studios and the walls are gone.  The portion of the lane where the studios used to be is completely blocked off with construction and a new building is in its place.  This is what I saw:

Where the Original Windmill Lane Studios were Dublin July 24 2017
Where the Original Windmill Lane Studios were Dublin July 24 2017

Here (or what used to be here) is where the early magic took place – the famous Windmill Lane Studios.  This is such a U2 mecca stop that fans took to leaving messages for the boys on the walls.  Eventually the owners, or the city, or whoever is responsible for cleaning up such stuff, stopped trying to clean the ‘graffiti’ and left the messages and artwork.  Eventually this spread to other walls in the area, so someone put up “This is the Wall” and “This is Not the Wall” signs to indicate where fans could write.  As you can see from my picture in 2001, this didn’t really work.

When I first visited Windmill Lane Studios, there was a door and set of fire escape looking stairs that were apparently called “the Stairs of Inspiration” because the boys, after hours of recording would run down these stairs to Dockers Pub for a pint or two and then run back up after having been ‘inspired,’ lol! The below photos are from 2001.

From here we head to Temple Bar.  I prefer walking along bodies of water when I have the choice so, carry on along the lane and turn right onto Creighton Street and turn left onto the quay.  Walk along the Liffey until you reach Aston Place.  If you have time take the detour, otherwise continue along the quay until you come to the Clarence. Walking Time from the former Windmill Lane Studios to Hard Rock Cafe Temple Bar: 24 min

Detour:

Eleven: Hard Rock Cafe (5) (12 Fleet Street): Turn left on Aston Place and walk down the street to the Hard Rock Cafe. Here you will find various U2 memorabilia, including a Trabant hanging from the ceiling.

This is a good place to stop for refreshments after all this walking.

Or the next stop will do as well if you want more traditional Irish cuisine and music. Walk along Fleet Street until Anglesea Street.

Twelve: Oliver St John Gogarty’s (6) (corner of Fleet and Anglesea Streets): This isn’t directly a U2 site, but this pub, restaurant and hostel has paintings of Bono and the Edge hanging on the walls.

I found this place on my last night of my first trip to Dublin and had one of the best nights of the trip there.  A bunch of Irish trad musicians were having a jam session.  It was so wonderful I even bought the CD 😀

Carry on along Fleet Street to Merchant’s Arch (between the barber shop and take out place.

Thirteen: Merchant’s Arch (35): I was walking along this area in 2001 and when I saw the arch I said to myself – “Hey, this looks familiar… ahhh! this is where that photo was taken!!”  Yes, yes it was… here is my photo and the one of U2 from the early days.. I have no idea who their photographer was…

July 2017 Update: The record store under the Arch (Mojo Records) is still there and has a fantastic U2 selection.

Merchant's Arch Temple Bar Photo Of U2 In The Arch From The Early Days And My Photo From 2001
Merchant’s Arch Temple Bar

Walk through the arch and turn left onto Wellington Quay.  Keep walking until you see:

Fourteen: **The Clarence (11) (6-8 Wellington Quay): Bono and Edge’s hotel.  I managed to stay there once, in 2015.  I hit a great sale.  It felt weird walking through those doors, but the staff made me feel instantly welcome and at home.  The lobby, The Study, and The Octagon Bar are rich and lovely; the room itself is an interesting blend of minimalism and luxury.  If I remember correctly, the art on the wall was by Guggi.  (The bed was super comfortable!)

U2 played Beautiful Day on the roof here in 2000 for BBC Top of the Pops.

From here, if you are like me and not brave enough to go into the hotel (when you are not a guest) and through the back door to Essex, turn left on Parliament Street and left again onto Essex.  Carry on until you reach:

Fifteen: Project Arts Centre (10) (39 Essex Street East): This is where Paul McGuiness first saw U2 play.

Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin
Project Arts Centre

Continue along Essex just past Sycamore Street.

Sixteen: Rory Gallagher Tribute by The Edge (9): Here on the right is Rory Gallagher Corner and the Edge’s tribute to Rory Gallagher – a model of Gallagher’s Fender Stratocaster.

Continue along Essex, turn right onto Temple Lane and carry on until Cecilia Street.  Look left onto Cecilia Street. 

Seventeen: STS Studios (8) (2 Cecilia Street): This was another recording studio used by U2 in the earlier days.  It is no longer there. Now it is Claddagh Records.

Look to your right.

Eighteen: Wall of Fame (7) (Temple Lane S): Just as the name suggests, this is a wall of famous Irish people, including U2.  July 2017 Update: The Irish Rock n Roll Museum Experience is here as well.  Apparently there is some U2 content but I haven’t made my way into it yet – has anyone gone? Is it worth it? Walking time from Project Arts Centre to Wall of Fame: 9 min

Wall of Fame and Rock n Roll Museum Experience Dublin July 20 2017
Wall of Fame and Rock n Roll Museum Experience Dublin July 20 2017

Walk down Cecilia and turn right on Fowne’s Street, left on Dame, right on Trinity, right on St Andrews, left on Exchequer Street. (Still with me?) Stay on this street as it becomes Wicklow Street.  July 2017 update: on your left is a record store: The Secret Book and Record Store / Freebird (15a Wicklow Street), which sometimes has a good U2 selection.

Carry on Wicklow and turn right on Grafton Street. Walking time from Wall of Fame to Grafton (minus any shopping along the way… come on… you bought some new U2 records, didn’t you!?): 10 min

Nineteen: **Grafton Street (32): This pedestrian shopping street is wonderful on its own, but it is also where Bono and friends occasionally busk on Christmas Eve – the 2015 video looks like they are in front of the Dunnes store, next to the Disney store.

Walk up Grafton and turn left on Duke.

Twenty: The Duke (13) (9 Duke St): Apparently, Bono used to come here a lot in his younger days.

The Duke Pub off of Grafton Dublin July 20 2017
The Duke Pub off of Grafton Dublin July 20 2017

Go back to Grafton, carry on up the street to:

Twenty-one: Captain Americas (14) (44 Grafton Street): July 2017 Update:  I convinced some of my non-U2 friends to have lunch with me here – it is indeed full of U2 photos and such, including a set of drums signed by the band that are hanging from the ceiling at the top of the stairs.  The food was decent.

Continue up Grafton and turn right onto King Street.

Twenty-two: Gaiety Theatre (15): The performance portions of the video for Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own were shot on the stage at the Gaiety. July 2017 Update – just noting that the stage photo is from my viewing of Riverdance (which was awesome!).

Go back to the corner of King and Grafton and walk up St Stephen’s Green West to TGI Fridays (2 St Stephen’s Green).

Twenty-three: **Dandelion Market plaque (16) (2 St Stephen’s Green)Here, at the TGI Fridays, is where the Dandelion Market used to be. U2 played in this car-park/concert stage frequently when they were first starting out. There is a plaque on the wall commemorating the importance of this location to Irish music.

July 2017 Update: The plaque is gone!  There are distinctive plaque marks where I sort of remember it hanging, but no more plaque!

Head back down to the corner of King and Grafton and turn right on St Stephen’s Green North.

Twenty-four: **Little Museum of Dublin (17) (15 St Stephen’s Green): This little museum houses a room stock full of U2 memorabilia, photos and more.  It is super cool, with a Trabant (half) you can sit at, a very large guitar and a life-size MacPhisto.  This museum is also where you can sometimes find the U2 Made in Dublin sticker, and other U2 stuff (I bought the Cedarwood children’s book and a book of early photographs by Patrick Brocklebank (U2 1978-1981) at the museum).

Little Museum of Dublin, U2 Room
Little Museum of Dublin, U2 Room

And here is where I’ve ended the walking tour on the map – but if you have time, carry on down St. Stephen’s Green as it becomes Baggot Street.  Stop at:

Twenty-five: Baggot Inn (18) (142 Lower Baggot St.):  Back in the early days, the boys used to play here frequently.   The original pub was closed years ago, not sure if there is anything there now.  (If you go, please let me know what is there.)

Turn onto Fitzwilliam Street Upper and walk until you reach:

Twenty-six: Fitzwilliam Square (19): This is where the video for The Sweetest Thing was filmed.  This whole area also has some of the more beautiful and well-maintained Georgian houses.  Check out the colorful doors and their arched windows.

These next locales are more about the events there than part of a walking journey so I am not including them in any order or with walking directions – do check them out when they strike your fancy!

Twenty-seven: **Croke Park (33) (Jones Rd): Well, many of us have been and will be here again for a U2 gig or two or more.

This stadium has a sordid history outside of the U2 joy.  One of the Bloody Sundays in Irish history took place here on November 21, 1920, the era of Michael Collins and the War of Independence.  A number of killings took place that day around Dublin by both sides, including 14 civilians who were shot down when the British forces opened fire at Croke Park during a Gaelic football match.

When there are no events underway, the stadium offers tours of the venue.

Twenty-eight: **The Church Restaurant and Pub (34) (corner of Mary and Jervis Streets): The bar goes well out of its way to be a haven for U2 fans when U2 comes to town.  During the I&E tour in 2015, the bar was plastered with U2 posters and stuff, they played almost non-stop U2 music and concert footage and had U2 tribute bands play. If the boys are in town for a show, this place is well worth dropping in on if you want to hang with like-minded fans!

U2 Off The Map:

These next U2 sites are off of my map and too far to walk to from city centre (well, for me anyways), so I haven’t given directions.  See below for information on various tours that may take you here.  Otherwise check out the local public transportation mentioned above.

Twenty-nine: **Mount Temple Comprehensive School (27) (Malahide Road): And this is where it all began; where Larry posted that fateful note on the board asking for musicians to join his band and the world was forever changed for the better (go ahead, try to argue this one with me, I dare you…  :D) I’m gonna leave it there – we all know the history and relevance of this place…

If you go in the grounds, you will find the outside platform where U2 played (were they the Hype at that time?) – here are my photos from 2001 (the gate) and 2015 (the platform) and a photo from that gig (photographer unknown).

Thirty: **Bono’s Childhood Home: 10 Cedarwood Road (28):  Please be respectful of the current owners and neighbours.

Thirty-one: Ballymun Flats (29) (Ballymun):  The seven towers from Running to Stand Still no longer exist.

Thirty-two: **Larry’s Childhood Home: 60 Rosemount Avenue (30): I think the extension in my picture below is the infamous kitchen where the Feedback first rehearsed.  Please be respectful of the current owners and neighbours.

Larry Mullen's Childhood House
Larry Mullen’s Childhood House

Thirty-three: Kilmainham Gaol (31) (Inchicore Road): The video for A Celebration was filmed here. As was In the Name of the Father, an excellent movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis.  Bono co-wrote three songs (Billy Boola, In the Name of The Father, and You Made Me The Thief of Your Heart) for the soundtrack and sang on the first two.

This gaol (pronounced ‘jail’) has a long dark history as well.  The tour of the gaol is well worth it.

Yes. I am purposefully ignoring the band’s current homes.

U2 Way off the Map

Thirty-four: Slane Castle (Slane):  U2 recorded parts of The Unforgettable Fire in this castle (watch the ‘making of’ for video of this).  They also performed two shows on the grounds in 2001.

Thirty-five: Moydrum Castle: This is the ruins on the cover of The Unforgettable Fire.  The ruins are on private property, so if you go, be respectful.  Check out this site for more info on the castle and directions.

July 2017 Update: Soooo, be for-warned, the owner does not like people coming to see or taking pictures of the ruins, which are right in the middle of a residential area (I thought it would be more isolated). Some friends and I went and were there for just seconds before the owner came and chased us away with some irate words. We were only on the road (and the rock ledge on the outside of the fence), not on the private property… 

Moydrum Castle
Moydrum Castle

Recommended Non-U2 Sites

Below are some of my favorite places to visit around Dublin.  They include historical landmarks, shopping, and just things that make Dublin, Dublin.  I’ve arranged them into town areas that more or less follow the same route as the U2 sites.

O’Connell Street and Area:

  • Henry Street: just off of upper O’Connell, this is another pedestrian shopping area with all the usual Irish and UK stores.
  • General Post Office: Beautiful architecture and Irish history all in one building.  If you look closely, you can still see bullet holes from the 1916 Easter Rising.
  • Millennium Spire: I didn’t really understand this monument at first but its grown on me – I particularly like how it’s become the ‘l’ in Dublin on many a postcard 😀 And it is a great meeting place, as it is hard to miss! Other nicknames: The Poker Near Croker and the less imaginative – The Spike…
  • Penney’s: Sure it’s not high quality clothing, but its cheap and usually stylish.  It’s an institution in Dublin.
  • Daniel O’Connell Monument:  If you love Irish history like I do, you will not be disappointed in Dublin.  This monument is of O’Connell, one of Ireland’s most famous political figures. If you look closely – you can see bullet holes.

Custom House Quay:

  • Custom House: this government building is a fine example of neo-classical architecture.
  • Famine Statues: In the 1800s, massive potato crop failures over several years led to the Great Potato Famine (1845-49).  It destroyed the economy and resulted in mass starvation, deaths and one of the largest diasporas of Irish people.  During my tour of Kilmainham Gaol, we were told that people purposefully broke the law during this time so that they would be thrown in the gaol, where they were guaranteed shelter and at least some nourishment.  Of course the conditions in the prison weren’t much better, with overcrowding, rampant disease and so on… These emaciated statues are located on the docks where thousands of Irish boarded ships to America and other destinations in hopes of survival.

South of the Liffey:

  • Trinity College: The grounds of Trinity are just gorgeous.  Find a nice quiet plot of land and people-watch as students, faculty and others go about their day.  Oh, and I hear there’s this book there as well, it’s in the library… I mean, there’s a few books in this library, but this one – it’s really old… like super old…medieval times… intricate illustrations hand-painted by monks… seriously… The Book of Kells.
  • KC Peaches Cafe: this cafe “serves only all-natural food – free from additives, preservatives, artificial flavours or colours.” The menu is amazing.  There are four locations now.  I’ve only been to the Nassau street cafe near Trinity.
  • Kilkenney Shop: (6 Nassau Street): This shop is a wonderful place to stop for good quality Irish jewelry, artwork, clothing and other gifts. It’s one of my must-go-tos every time I’m in town. Check the website for other locations.

Grafton Street and Area:

  • Avoca Cafe and Store (11-13 Suffolk Street): If you can’t make it to the original Avoca Mill store in Wicklow, this one will more than do. Avoca’s woven items are to die for.  I hemmed and hawed over purchasing one of their wool blankets for years and many visits.  I regretted not getting one every time I left, so finally I got two – one for a wedding gift and one for me.  I love it, its worth the expense. Just do it! And get the Avoca cook book while you are at it.  Stop in at the cafe for lunch.  You won’t regret it.
  • Phil Lynott Statue (Harry Street): Thin Lizzy, one of the ‘other’ Irish bands.
  • Butler’s Chocolate (51 Grafton Street):  Have a hot chocolate.  You are welcome.
  • Visit Dublin – Tourist Information Stop and the Molly Malone Statue (25 Suffolk Street): Go here for maps, brochures, tickets, souvenirs and more.  And to see the statue, also know as the Tart with the Cart, the Trollop with the Scallops, the Dish with the Fish… I told you Dubliners like their naughty nicknames!

Temple Bar and Area:

  • You might as well just bar hop here… my favorites – Oliver’s (see above), The Temple Bar, and Fitzsimons.
  • The Temple Bar Book Market (12 East Essex Street): this outdoor market is held every Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 6pm.  There is usually a stall or two with a number of U2 items.
  • Ha’Penney Bridge: connects Temple Bar with the north-side.  Love this bridge.

And More:

  • Georges Street Arcade (Georges Street):  More shopping, but this mall is full of unique shops, including SpinDizzy Records (C on my map).
  • Dublin Castle
  • Christchurch
  • Dublinia (near Christchurch): for a viking and medieval adventure, check out this museum. Great for kids and adults!

Ok – I have to stop here!  This is already a super long post – can you tell I love this city!!?? I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

By the way  – if you don’t want to go alone, don’t want to walk, or don’t have a car to take you to the U2 sites, there are several options to get you around.

  • DublinDifferently offers a private walking tour. Prices depend on the number of people and they are open to altering the itinerary to meet your wants.  (I’ve never taken their tour, if anyone has, please leave comments below to share your review for me and other readers! Thank you!)
  • Informal U2 Taxi Tours: there are a couple of taxi drivers in town that are U2 fans who are willing and happy to drive fans around in their taxis to the various sites for a pre-determined fixed price, depending on the locations you want to see.  They can either suggest an itinerary or work with you if you have must see sites.  Thanks to the U2 Facebook network, I ended up helping arrange one of the first ones during I&E and it was fabulous. If you want to jump on board one of these taxis, message me with your email and I will pass it on to the driver I used.

 

Ok – now it’s your turn! Let me know if you find any more U2 sites I should add or if you find better directions, closed sites, etc.  I’d love to hear your stories as well!  Did you run into fellow fans on your journeys? Did you get the feels or experience connections to the band while visiting these locations?  What are your favorite U2 and non-U2 places in Dublin?

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6 thoughts on “A Fangirl’s Guide to U2’s Dublin

  1. Very Good guide and I can confirm that Captain America’s on Grafton Street is loaded with U2 signed memorabilia including a full set of Larry’s Drums which hang directly above the reception. U2 members have allegedly occasionally been spotted at the bar years ago when the bar was in its golden days. Nowadays the cookhouse has gone down in quality in terms of its food. Service is still good though but its noticeably a lot emptier than it was 10-15 years ago. There is also many Guitars signed by the Edge and Vinyls signed by the other group members in the bar. Here is a photo of some of the stuff https://www.google.ie/search?q=captain+america%27s+u2&sa=X&tbm=isch&imgil=_aUE8dmBkDWx4M%253A%253BLdW3K84LxDWRwM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Ftravelandfilm.com%25252Fsur-les-traces-de-u2-a-dublin%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=_aUE8dmBkDWx4M%253A%252CLdW3K84LxDWRwM%252C_&usg=__EjudV056fPyFY4gAC5tdJyVnYzQ%3D&biw=1275&bih=699&ved=0ahUKEwi6l-KIx_PUAhXPY1AKHeRPAHYQyjcIbA&ei=FJldWbq9PM_HwQLkn4GwBw#tbm=isch&q=captain+americas+u2&imgrc=_aUE8dmBkDWx4M:.

    Also something thats not in your guide, Bono resides in Dalkey, south Dublin with his wife and family. His local pub is known as Finnegans and my cousins live in the same town, they have spotted him there multiple times Locals tend not to bother him and treat him as an everyday citizen along with his neighbours such as Enya and Pierce Brosnan. ( Pub https://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186605-d2477377-r198792131-Finnegans_s_of_Dalkey-Dublin_County_Dublin.html )

    Only other thing I think you missed is the Church in Raheny where Bono got married called All Saints Church.Bono married Alison Hewson at the church on 21 August 1982, with Adam Clayton as best man.

    Also perhaps if U2 fans are in town on Xmas Eve, never forget the annual craze of hearing Bono sing on Grafton street usually with other Irish songwriters such as Sinnead O’Connor, Glen Hansard & more.

    Other than that, Brilliant Guide although there is lots more to see and do in Dublin with such little time :).

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  2. Lots of good info that you have included here, because you are right ….. Dublin is an amazingly fun city!! We’ve been to Dublin 3 times in the past 6 years, and visited many of the sites that you have listed. Looks like we should make another trip soon to see some more! LOL!! You mentioned the Baggot Inn …. we have visited the Baggot Inn for lunch on 2 of the visits. It is basically a pub/restaurant. Didn’t really look like it had much anymore in the way of live entertainment other than an occasional bingo or trivia night – but we only saw what was on the schedule for the week! Not really sure if that is what the it looked like back in the day when bands used to perform there?

    Also, if you take the DART to Dalkey, Killiney Hill is a beautiful park up the road past Bono’s house. You can get an awesome view of the city from the top of the hill, and you never know when you might run into someone!! We actually met Gavin Friday out walking his dogs at the park on a beautiful Sunday morning last spring!

    It is also well worth the trip to take the DART north up to Howth, which is the seaside village where Larry lives. It is a beautiful little village with many quaint restaurants and shops, and a pretty waterfront. Larry’s house of course is down a private road, but you can walk on the beach in the area, which is really pretty.

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