Updated in summer 2022
Like any thousand-year-old city, Dublin has a lot of gristly and macabre stories to tell. After years of bringing people around this city, this is my advice on the best ghost tours in Dublin.
The best ghost tour in Dublin. There are great options for ghost tours in Dublin, depending on your budget and schedule. While there is a fantastic ghost bus tour that takes you all over the greater Dublin area, seeing many of the sights, there is also an excellent walking tour that brings you right up close to the darker side of the city’s past.
I have been on almost all of the different ghost tours in Dublin down the years and I have given more than a few myself! These are the ones I think you should check out while you’re here…
Ghost Tours in Dublin
Dublin is over a thousand years old. In that time, it has seen its share of bloodshed and has more than a few scary stories to tell. This city has seen grave-robbers, serial killers and plenty of ghosts and monsters.
Before I talk about the best tours to see in Dublin, lets talk about the city’s horror pedigree.
Dublin was the home of horror luminaries like Bram Stoker. The author based his literary work on many different sources, most famously the Romanian Count, Vlad the Impaler.
But he was also influenced by ancient Irish myths like the Banshee.
You should be able to find out more about this influence on the author on any good ghost tour of Dublin. There are plenty of ancient Irish myths that have had an impact on the modern world.
Like any old city, Dublin has been harassed by a number of notorious serial killers. The first of whom was likely the infamous brothel-owner, Darkey Kelly, who’s ghost still haunts the city today.
Another killer, D’Olloger, terrified the residents of Dublin for over a year while wearing the head of a pig as a mask.
There are plenty of haunted parts of the city too. The popular Olympia theatre has long been known to be one of the most haunted buildings in Ireland. But to find the most haunted part of Dublin, you will have to venture a little out of the city.
The Hellfire Club today is a ruined structure in the foothills of the Dublin mountains. It was once home to a notorious satanic cult and was burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances.
Now that we know about some of the different things to expect in Dublin, let’s talk about some of the best tours on offer…
Dublin is a walkable city and the best way to explore it is definitely by foot. If you want to get up close and personal to some of the most haunted parts of the city, you should look into the walking tour.
This tour will bring you all around the oldest parts of Dublin’s city centre. You will be able to explore Dublin castle and the gristly medieval practices used to keep the Irish peasants in line. Your guide will also bring you to some of the locations of the city where some of the darkest moments in Irish history took place.
While this tour will bring you to places that are on the darker side, you will also get the chance to explore some of the ancient Irish culture that gave rise to many modern myths and traditions.
This tour runs throughout the week, but will run more frequently during the summer months. It starts near the Templebar district of the city centre and finishes at the popular Smithfield area.
Starting Time: 5.30pm, Every Day
Duration: About 1.5 to 2 hours
What is the tour like? I think this tour offers a great experience for budget travellers, especially if they want to experience something during the evening.
This company also runs free tours of Dublin throughout the day and the guides are very experienced. They will be able to bring the city and its history alive with their enthusiasm and storytelling.
Also, this is one of the few really great activities you can take part in at this hour of the day in Dublin as most other attractions will be closed/ not running.
If you would like to take park in this experience, please book through this link in advance as tickets tend to sell out quickly.
Gravedigger, Bus Tour
If you want to explore more of the city’s dark history, you could join the Gravedigger Bus Tour that runs every night. Starting near Trinity College, this tour will take you to some of the best parts of the city that you wouldn’t be able to reach by foot.
This tour covers some of the most important spots in the city, including Kilmanaham Gaol, where Irish nationalists were tragically executed by the British Government.
The tour also goes to the St. Auden’s Church, this is one of the oldest structures in the city and has been the site of, among other things, a leper colony and has a 1,000-year-old graveyard.
The final stop on this tour is Glasnevin Cemetery. Founded at the beginning of the 19th Century, there are more people buried here than there are alive in Dublin today!
While there you will learn about some of the infamous grave-robbers who frequented the spot. After that you will be treated to a glass of Guinness in one of the oldest pubs in Dublin.
This tour runs every night and lasts for about 2 hours. You will be collected from the city centre and brought right out to Glasnevin Cemetery. The bus will then bring you back afterwards. The price of your Guinness is included in your ticket.
Starting Time: 7.45pm. Daily
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
What is the tour like? This tour is a more theatrical experience than the walking tour as the guides will be in costume and portray different characters.
This is one of the best evening experiences in Dublin and you will be able to see parts of the city that you wouldn’t normally.
The stop at Glasnevin Cemetery is excellent as this is one of the most important sites in all of Dublin and the addition of a free glass of Guinness is not something to turn your nose at as the Gravedigger pub has, arguably, the best Guinness in all of Dublin.
If you are interested in this tour, please click this link to book in advance as it is popular and tends to sell out quickly! This is an affiliate link and if you book here, this site will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
For a quick summary of my recommended ghost tours in Dublin, please check out the table below:
|Days it Runs
|Dark Dublin Walking Tour
|Gravedigger, Bus Tour
What to do in Dublin at Night? There are plenty of things to do in Dublin at night. The city has some of the best pubs in the world and a stellar literary tradition, with great plays and live musical performances every night. I have a full guide here.
How to Get Around Dublin? Though getting around Ireland has improved a lot in the last couple of decades, the infrastructure here is still not up to the same standard as the rest of Western Europe. Click here for my full guide.