If you have ever visited Dublin one of the things every cab driver and tour guide will ask is if you plan on touring the Guinness Storehouse. If you have an upcoming trip to Dublin and you have not booked your tickets, you absolutely should. I have visited Dublin twice in the last 10 years and one of the coolest things to see and do in the city is the Guinness Tour.
Guinness is arguably one of the most well known beers in the world. The dark ruby red stout is rich and unique in taste. I won’t get into details (because that would ruin the tour!) but even if you aren’t a fan of Guinness you need to see this place. The storehouse is any stories high with bars throughout the 4-6th floor, but you should save your free drink tickets for the Gravity Bar and I will explain why.
The tour starts out on the ground floor and explains the process of making beer from the beginning. As you climb your way up the steps (or if you take the escalator or elevator) you will see the process from start to finish, you will be able to watch how the barrels are made, and watch how shipping changed over the years. You should also take advantage of the free Tasting Experience which instructs you on how to taste the beer properly (plus you get a free sample). You do not need to use your free drink at this location and you can still get your free Guinness after this. Brandon was excited because he was chosen to ring the bell at the end of the tasting since it was his birthday.
There is an entire floor dedicated to advertisements through the years. Different mascots they have had and their marketing campaigns. There are life size sculptures you can take photographs with and a large surround sound movie theater you can watch a continuous loop of their commercials on. I recommend taking a few minutes to sit here on the floor or stand and watch a few of the commercials as some of them are moving and worth the time.
At the end of the tour you can use your tickets for a free pint of Guinness. I recommend taking the stairs if you are able as the elevators take quite a while and there is a long line. There are about 4 flights of stairs to the Gravity Bar just a few steps from the elevator shafts. The Gravity Bar is a small room at the top of the Storehouse with a round bar in the middle and windows all the way around the outside, on a clear day you can see all of Dublin. On the windows are information about famous structures and places you can see through that window. Most days are cloudy and rainy, but if you can swing it so that you are there on a clear day the views are amazing.
Here are a few of my recommendations for this location:
- Try to arrive early. The view at night with all of the lights is really cool, but it can be very busy around dinner time and lunch times.
- Visit during the week if possible. You will fight less crowds and you will not feel like. you are in a cattle car moving from one place to another.
- Keep your free drink tickets for the Gravity Bar.
- Check out the smaller hidden bars in the front of the building on the way down. They are more or less empty and most people do not even know they are there. If you take the stairs you can find them near the bathrooms and stairwell exits on the top few floors.
- If you plan to eat at the Guinness Brewery, eat on the way back down. There is a large cafe on one of the top floors that has decent options. Keep in mind these can be over priced.
- Buy your tickets online so that when you get to the front desk you have everything in order, plus you can take the express line. You can buy tickets on the Guinness website.
- When you purchase tickets you can do a self guided tour, a tour with headphones, or you can take a guided tour. If you are really interested in how the beer is made, then I recommend the headsets. If you are just there for the Guinness and to enjoy the experience I don’t think the headsets are needed.
- Spend some time in the gift shop. It is HUGE and there are a lot of really cool things. My husband is a huge bicycle enthusiast, so he was able to get a Guinness biking jersey and pants so he can show off to his buddies and coworkers.
- Take your time, there are a lot of really cool things to see and do. There are a lot of interactive screens and you paid for the experience so you should make the most of it.
- Make sure you bring your FEXCO card with you if you are from outside the country. This will save you money and Guinness uses the card, if you do not have one yet, they will also set you up with one and explain how to use it. You just need to set up an account and log all of your receipts and you can claim everything at the airport before you leave. They will send you a check for your tax dollars spent.
If you are going to stop in Dublin for the day or even longer, you will need to make this one of your primary stops. Guinness has an amazing history of the city and you should definitely take the time to ask the employees about the history because there is SO much history there.
If you want to read more about our Ireland trips you can read an over view of it here, and I will have a more in-depth article on Carrick-A-Rede and Trinity College coming up, so stay tuned and subscribe so you get a notification when I post them. If you have visited Guinness and have any recommendations leave a comment below.