5 Of The Best Alternative Tours In Dublin

For a relatively small city, Dublin has a lot to offer! Whether you’re a history lover, architecture fan, foodie, party animal or just someone looking for something interesting to do, this city has you covered. 

As is happening in many other famous European cities, there is also a growing demand for tours that offer something more than just the standard fare of walking tours through the historic heart of the city, pub crawls and other generic or overcrowded offerings. 

The Guinness Storehouse is great, and so are the castles and cathedrals, but there is so much more to Ireland’s capital. To help you see some of it for yourself, we’ve created this list of the best alternative tours in Dublin.

All of the below experiences are easily accessible from our city centre hotels and can be completed in a day or less. They’re also either free or extremely affordable – as any good day tour should be!

True Crime Tour

Bored of true crime documentaries yet don’t quite fancy being the subject of a manhunt yourself? Get a taste of the dark side of Dublin with this fascinating 90-minute walking tour. While the city is now considered one of the safest capitals in the world, it has played host to many a crook over the course of its long and storied history, making it an ideal place to enjoy a spot of true crime tourism.

Learn about everything from famous heists to serial killers while exploring some of the locations where these crimes actually took place. This tour is also popular with locals, always a good sign!

The company that organises it, Alternative Dublin, also offers several other alternative themed tours, including one that takes in the city’s eclectic street art, another focused on the secret history of gay Dublin and even an excursion that spotlights the amazing women of Irish history.

Cost: €15 per person

Book it here.

Dublin Alternative Tour

Be Original is a company that offers free walking tours and experiences all over Europe. Their Dublin offerings include a regular tour that takes you past most of the famous sights and locations, a pub crawl and a 2.5 – 3 hour long alternative tour that will give you a taste of the other side of Ireland’s eclectic capital.

Guided by locals, this tour is all about exploring Dublin’s thriving underground culture and visiting some of its hippest spots. The route and places you’ll visit depend on who your guide is, with Be Original encouraging all of its guides to make the experience their own and showcase their unique local knowledge. Expect everything from trendy cafes and hipster-filled galleries to street art and bohemian vibes. It’s a great opportunity to socialise with like-minded people and learn about the city from a local’s perspective, all the while avoiding the crowds and queues at more mainstream attractions. In that sense, it’s undoubtedly one of the best alternative tours in Dublin.

Cost: Free

Book it here.

Dalton’s Musical History Tour

Music tours may be a dime-a-dozen in Dublin, but a musical history tour with a singing guide is about as unique and alternative as you can get! Hosted by professional singer and qualified tour guide Fiona Dalton, this two-hour walking tour will take you on a musical journey that introduces you to some of Ireland’s most storied events, places and people.

If you’re a fan of interactive tours, you’ll likely want to take up the invitation to join in with Fiona as she sings her way through Irish history, although just enjoying the music is perfectly fine as well. Amongst other things, you’ll visit Dublin Castle to relive the Irish Rebellion through one of its most famous rebel songs, learn about Dublin’s ‘first lady’ through the famous Ballad of Molly Malone and become an Irish Viking as you sing an age-old melody and practice traditional braiding techniques at Wood Quay.

Cost: €30 per person

Book it here.

Dublin Kayaking Tour

Not quite ready to skip all of Dublin’s most famous attractions but don’t fancy a crowded walking tour or an open-top bus? Not to worry, with this lovely Dublin kayaking tour you can experience the historic city centre and still do something a little bit different. Paddle gently down the calm waters of the River Liffey, taking in some of the city’s most renowned sights from an entirely different perspective.

The experience is open to anyone over the age of 6 (under 18s require adult supervision) and you don’t need any previous kayaking experience. Before setting out, you’ll be provided with a life jacket and be given some basic instruction on how to paddle. There are also safety kayaks crewed by trained professionals who stand ready to help out at any moment, including by providing a gentle tow if your untrained arms start to get a little bit tired.

 Cost: €35 per person

Book it here. 

7 Wonders Of The City Exploration Game

As alternative tours in Dublin go, this one is right up there with the most unusual of them. Embark upon an epic quest to uncover the hidden secrets of the city while exploring some of its most famous areas and also walking a few less trodden paths as well. Part outdoor escape game, part treasure hunt, this is a self-guided tour that compels you to follow your nose and decipher clues provided to you by an app. Each time you solve one, you are provided with your next location and detailed instructions on how to get there.

As your journey progresses you’ll learn about the landmarks you visit and the history of Dublin itself – built by Vikings, invaded by the English and ruled with an Iron fist by the catholic church. While the tour can be completed in around two hours, you’re free to move at whatever pace you prefer. The puzzles that you must solve in order to proceed are well thought out and interesting yet not overly difficult, making this tour suitable for the entire family. If you’re looking for a truly different way to explore this historic city, the 7 wonders game certainly won’t disappoint.

Cost: €7.50 per person

Book it here.

Your Base For the Best Alternative Tours Dublin

Are you excited to book these cool, unusual tours? Don’t forget to book your hotel first! Consider staying at Maldron Hotel Kevin Street, which overlooks St. Patrick’s Cathedral. St Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street are also just minutes away, perfect for tour aficionados!

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Common Questions

  • General Hotel Information

    What time is check-in?

    Check-in is officially from 3pm. Earlier check-in is subject to room availability. For this reason, the only way to guarantee an early check-in is to book the room from the day prior to arrival. If it is not possible to check-in earlier than 3pm, our guests may leave luggage with our front office team at the reception area.

    What time is check-out?

    Check-out is 12 noon. Late check-out is subject to availability. It may be possible to check-out later than 12 noon with a €10 charge per hour until 3pm. It is advisable to discuss the possibility of this with our front office team at the reception desk.

    Does the hotel offer baggage storage?

    Yes, you can leave your luggage at the reception free of charge before check-in or after check-out.

    Does the hotel have WiFi?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Kevin Street is pleased to offer complimentary WiFi in all public areas and bedrooms.

    Is there a laundry service available?

    Yes, laundry service is available at an extra fee.

    What do I do if I accidentally left some items in the hotel?

    You can call or email the hotel with information such as the item in questions, stay dates and your room number so we can check our lost property for the item in question. If the lost property is found, you can collect the belongs or organise a courier to collect the items.

    Are pets permitted in the hotel?

    No, pets are allowed at the hotel, except for guide dogs and service animals.

    Is the hotel reception desk open 24 hours a day?

    Yes, our reception desk operates on a 24 hours basis.

    What is the hotel’s smoking policy?

    All bedrooms at Maldron Hotel Kevin Street are completely non-smoking. We do have a designated outdoor smoking area at the front of the hotel to accommodate guests who smoke. A deep cleaning fee will be charged to guests who are found to be in breach of our no smoking policy.

    Is the hotel accessible?

    Yes, we are proud to be verified as offering superb levels of accessibility throughout our hotel. Please click the button below for full details or contact us if you would like any additional information.

    Hotel Accessibility

    Do you sell gift vouchers?

    Yes, we have Maldron Hotels gift cards available to purchase at reception or online. Our gift cards can be used in any Maldron Hotel or Clayton Hotel.

    Do you provide printing facilities for boarding passes?

    Yes, our reception team can assist with printing your boarding pass.

    Does the hotel offer currency exchange?

    No, but we will be happy to direct you to the nearest facility.

    Does the hotel provide international adaptors?

    There are European sockets in all of our bedrooms. Adapters for United States plugs are available at a charge.

    Does the hotel offer spa or gym facilities on-site?

    No, but we will be happy to direct you to the nearest facility.

  • Location & Parking

    Where exactly is Maldron Hotel Kevin Street in Dublin city centre?

    Located on the corner of Kevin Street and New Street in Dublin 8, the hotel is centrally located overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral and just minutes’ walk from Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green shopping district, providing a city-centre location for guests who are looking for stylish and comfortable accommodation with Dublin city at their doorstep.

    How far is the hotel from Dublin Airport?

    We are a 30 to 35-minute drive from Dublin Airport.

    We would recommend using the Aircoach route 700 to Dublin city centre which operates every 15 minutes between 3.25am and 11.55pm and every 30 minutes in the small hours. Catch the Aircoach from outside either terminal to Kildare Street and return from Dawson Street – both are off St Stephen’s Green, just a 10 minutes-walk from Maldron Hotel Kevin Street.

    Alternativity, taxis are available outside arrivals in both terminals. Journey time and fares depend on traffic, outside rush hour the journey time is typically around 30 minutes costing €25 to €35.

    Are there any shopping areas nearby?

    Yes, Grafton Street is only 1.3km from Maldron Hotel Kevin Street and is one of Dublin’s most prominent shopping districts and home to the iconic Brown Thomas Department store.

    How close are public transport links to the hotel?

    There are a number of Dublin bus stops on the doorstep of the hotel, which will take you to many locations around the city. The LUAS is also just a 12-minute walk from the hotel.

    What is there to see and do around the hotel?

    One of the best located hotels, Maldron Hotel Kevin St is minutes’ walk from St Patrick’s Cathedral, music venues, shopping streets and so much more. For more information visit our Things to do and see in Dublin page.

    Is there a car rental station near the hotel?

    Yes, Hertz have a car rental outlet just 1.1km from our hotel, located in Dublin 8.

    Is parking available at the hotel?

    Yes, we have an underground car park at the hotel. Spaces are limited and are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost for overnight parking is €16 per day.

  • Rooms & Amenities

    What room types does the hotel offer?

    Maldron Hotel Kevin Street boasts 137 spacious and comfortable hotel rooms in total. Room types range from Double Rooms and Twin Rooms to Double & Single Rooms and Quad Rooms. We also have interconnecting rooms available at the property.

    What in-room amenities are included?

    All of our bedrooms are equipped with a hairdryer, an iron as well as an ironing board and tea/coffee making facilities for your complimentary use.

    Do you have wheelchair-accessible rooms?

    Yes, we have 7 wheelchair-accessible rooms. These rooms have roll-in wet rooms and are fully compliant.

    Does the hotel have family rooms?

    Yes, we have a number of family rooms available with 2 double beds that can sleep 4 sharing.

    Can I get a cot or camp bed in my room?

    Yes, cots are available on request. While we do have camp beds available they can only be used in some room types and must be checked with our reservations team at the time of booking.

    Are the hotel rooms air-conditioned?

    Yes, all bedrooms have full climate control. This includes air conditioning and heating.

    Do the bathrooms have a shower or a bath?

    Most rooms have a shower. However, we do have a small number of rooms available with baths. If you have a preference, please let our reservations team know prior to your arrival.

    Does the hotel offer wake-up calls?

    Yes, wake-up calls can be arranged with our reception team.

  • Dining

    Is there a restaurant at the hotel?

    Yes, our Grain & Grill bar and restaurant is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Our lunch menu features an array of mouth-watering sandwiches, salads and hot dishes. Our dinner menu is more extensive offering a wide selection of dishes so you will be sure to find something you love.

    Does the hotel offer breakfast?

    Yes, we are renowned for a great selection of breakfast options available each morning. Choose from hot breakfast items as well as healthier and nutritious options to kickstart your morning. Breakfast is served in our Grain & Grill restaurant 7 days a week from 7am to 10am Monday to Friday and from 8am to 10.30am weekends as well as Bank Holidays.

    Maldron Hotel Kevin Street offers both room only and bed & breakfast rates. Room-only rates do not include breakfast. If breakfast isn’t included in your rate, you can still purchase breakfast on your arrival.

    What are the opening times of the Grain & Grill?

    Lunch and dinner served are served at our Grain & Grill restaurant daily between 12.30pm and 9.00pm.

    Does the restaurant cater food for allergies?

    Yes, all our of menus have a full allergy listing. Our chefs will be more than happy to assist if you have any questions regarding items on our menu.

    Does Gain & Grill offer a dedicated kid’s menu?

    Yes, we have a kids menu available.

    Do you provide room service?

    Yes, in-room dining is available daily from 3pm to 9pm. Simply order from our Click & Go menu, available through our Guest Service Platform. The food can be then collected at the collection point in our restaurant at the requested time.

    Is there a reservation for dinner required?

    Guests can choose to pre-book their dinner or walk into our restaurant. To book, you can either email reception.kevinstreet@maldronhotels.com or call us on +353 (0)1 906 8900.

    Do you cater for large groups? Can I book a private dining space for a special occasion?

    No, unfortunately, we don’t have any function space.

  • Booking & Cancellation

    What is Make It Maldron and how do I sign up?

    Signing up and being part of Make it Maldron means you can save €10/£10 per room per night every time you book directly on our website (excludes selected sale and promotional special offers). To sign up, visit our ‘Make It Maldron’ page and join in 3 simple steps to ensure your discount is applied to all future online bookings.

    Can I claim back on the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme?

    Yes, we are delighted to confirm that all Maldron Hotels are registered for the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme. That means if you stay with us between 1st October 2020 and 30th April 2021 you can claim up to €125 under this scheme, please see revenue.ie for more information and details.

    What is the best way to make a reservation?

    All of our rates and special offers are available on our website. You can also call our reservations team on +353 (0)1 906 8900 or email res.kevinstreet@maldronhotels.com.

    What should I do if I haven’t received a booking confirmation?

    The best way to book is online on our website where you can easily see our best rates and what exclusive offers and packages are available. Alternatively, you can call our reservations team directly on +353 (0)1 906 8900 or email res.kevinstreet@maldronhotels.com and they will help you.

    What payment methods does the hotel accept?

    At Maldron Hotel Kevin Street, we accept all major credit cards and cebit cards.

    What is the hotel’s credit/debit card policy?

    A valid credit/debit card is required to secure all bookings made online or over the phone, unless in cases where this is otherwise stated. Please note that nothing is charged to the card at booking stage when booking directly with the hotel (with the exception of advance purchase offers or bookings that require a deposit. This will be clearly outlined in the special offer terms and conditions).

    What age are children for the purpose of hotel packages?

    Under 12’s are considered to be children.

    How do I make a group or multiple room booking?

    For group bookings contact our reservations department at res.kevinstreet@maldronhotels.com or call +353 (0)1 906 8900.

    Are there any age restrictions when booking a hotel room?

    One guest must be 18 or older to guarantee the booking. All under 18s must be accompanied by a guardian or parent.

    Can I show up at the hotel without a booking?

    Yes, you can. However, we cannot guarantee a room as it will depend on the availability on the day.

    Can I extend my stay?

    Yes, depending on availability, we’ll be happy to accommodate you for further nights at an additional cost. Please contact our reception team at any stage during your stay and we will happily arrange the rest for you.

    How do I amend or cancel my booking?

    If you have booked directly with the hotel, you can amend or cancel your booking by visiting the ‘Manage Booking’ section on our website by using your confirmation number and email address. Alternatively, you can call us directly on +353 (0)1 906 8900 or email res.kevinstreet@maldronhotels.com to cancel or amend your booking.

    What is the cancellation policy?

    If you have booked the reservation directly with the hotel over the phone or online, Maldron Hotel Kevin Street offers free cancellation up to 24 hours prior to the day of arrival unless advance purchase non-refundable rate was selected. Please note that some special offers and key dates outlined in the terms and conditions may specify a special cancellation policy applicable to that offer and date.

    What does the “no-show” policy entail?

    If you do not successfully cancel your booking or don’t show up on your selected date of arrival, the booking will go through as a no-show and you will be charged the first night. If your booking is advance purchase, the total amount will be non-refundable.

    How can I cancel my reservation if I booked via a third-party website?

    Reservations booked via third-party websites or online travel agents must be cancelled directly with them as we cannot do that on your behalf. Please note that third-party websites and online travel agents have their own cancellation policies, so please refer to your confirmation email.


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