30th Birthday Ideas: Dublin Is the Answer (and Here's Why)

Turning 30 in the Irish capital? You’ve made the right choice. Read on for your essential guide to 30th birthday ideas in Dublin.

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People standing outside a pub in Dublin

Dublin has a thriving food and drink scene, world-class attractions and access to some of the most scenic beauty spots. You’d be correct in thinking this sounds like the perfect place to celebrate a 30th birthday. You’ve also made a smart move in visiting us here at Plum Guide. We’re experts in this kind of thing and we’ve got you covered with all the best 30th birthday ideas in the Irish capital.

Restaurants

Bastible

Sounding like a forsaken version of the Bible, ‘Bastible’ is actually the word for a traditional Irish cooking pot. Located in the foodie district of Dublin 8, this is where all the cool kids hang out. This stylish neighbourhood bistro is a whiz when it comes to food. Delicate, pretty plates have a way of surprising you with their bold and confident flavours, like the buttery scallops with blood orange, fennel and bottarga. Fancy cracking into a bottle of wine? Of course you do, it’s your birthday. Luckily, there’s a refined wine menu featuring a selection of bottles.

The Exchequer

This award-winning gastropub is the ideal place for a relaxed birthday meal with a group of friends. With its bright colours, sleek wood finishings and colour-blocked bookshelves, The Exchequer has a modern, mod cafe vibe. If you and your friends have different palettes when it comes to alcohol, that’s no cause for concern. The bar is fully stocked with a wide selection of wines, beers and liquors. If you fancy something celebratory, they also have cocktails like the ‘Key Lime Pie’ and ‘It Is What It Fizz’. While the pub specialises in comfort food with a modern twist, it’s best known for its sharing experience, whether that’s the full Sunday Roast or the <s>over</s>indulgent weekend brunch. If you feel you’ve consumed a little too much, you can always roll back to one of our luxurious apartments in Dublin.

The Woollen Mills Eating House

When it comes to 30th birthday ideas, Dublin's The Woollen Mills Eating House is always a good idea. Set over four floors with the addition of a roof terrace, this restaurant is the best choice if you’re looking for somewhere with a view. Right by the Ha’penny Bridge, the restaurant oozes modern-rustic charm with large windows boasting views of the River Liffey. You’ll find modern Irish dishes, homemade baked goods and a wide drink menu featuring fresh, local ingredients, craft brews and European wines.

Bars

Farrier & Draper

For a glitzy night out, head to Farrier & Draper. This bar exudes romance and glamour, with its plush armchairs, high ceilings and artwork that covers every inch of the walls. There are different rooms within the bar, each with different decor but no less elegant than the other. While there are a great selection of beers on tap, it’s the cocktail list that really shines. When it comes to drinks, trying some poitín is one of our better 30th birthday ideas in Dublin. This traditional Irish spirit was once an illegal moonshine...so you know it’s good.

Bar 1661

Speaking of, Bar 1661 was named after the year poitín was banned. It offers a huge range of cocktails made with the stuff. If you’re staying out all night (don’t kid yourself) you might need some caffeine -we recommend the Belfast Coffee- a version of Irish Coffee made with cold brew, cream, nutmeg and Ban Poitín. If this spirit really doesn’t do it for you, then there is also a great selection of Irish whiskey and gin as well as some great craft-beers.

Vintage Cocktail Club

If you find yourself outside a weathered door in Temple Bar with ‘VCC’ stickers all over it, step inside - trust us. Vintage Cocktail Club is literally a hidden gem, and inside you’ll come across three floors filled with vintage furniture, reclaimed floor tiles and floral wallpaper giving a cosy, living room vibe. With over 80 cocktail options, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. The menu is divided into eras, but whether you opt for a tipple from the 1800s or something a little more modern, it’s hard to go wrong.

Shop for a gift

Hen’s Teeth

Hen’s Teeth is an art shop and gallery where you can find a wide range of artsy, handcrafted goodies. If your giftee needs a little wall art, there are limited edition prints, photography and graphic art by a range of Irish and international artists. It’s the kind of gift where you can look like you know your stuff without actually having a clue. Furthermore, the shop has books, magazines, clothing, accessories and homeware goods. Shopping is of course exhausting work, so there's also the onsite cafe for a quick bite.

Chupi

For a little sparkle, visit Chupi. This multi-award winning jewellery brand was founded by designer Chupi Sweetman. Taking its inspiration from the shapes and patterns of nature, the brand has a sustainable focus, only using lab-grown diamonds and ethical gold. Is it sustainable on your bank account? We’re not so sure. But it is a great way to please a magpie bling-loving giftee.

Maktus

If you think your recipient will appreciate something fun and quirky meanwhile, then Maktus is the place to be. Located in Dublin’s creative quarter, the shop offers unique and thoughtful gifts designed by Irish artists. Whether it’s accessories, homeware, games, tech and gadgets or books, you’re almost guaranteed to spend hours in here.

Best experiences

Guinness Storehouse

You knew this one was coming. No list of 30th birthday ideas in Dublin is complete without the world-famous Guinness Storehouse. The drink is synonymous with the Irish and it’s only right that you find out why. On this tour you’ll be taken through the full history and distillery process, getting to pour and drink your own pint (it’s not as easy as you may think, by the way). At the end, enjoy another pint (it is a birthday after all) whilst taking in some rather special panoramic views of the city from the rooftop bar. To make it extra special, there are exclusive tours such as the ‘Guinness Beer Club’ where you’ll receive a guided tour of the storehouse followed by a tutored tasting session. There’s also ‘The Connoisseur Experience’ - an intimate tasting experience with a beer specialist at a secret bar (oo-er).

Cliffs of Moher day tour

One of the best 30th birthday ideas Dublin has to offer is in fact to get out of the city and experience Ireland’s natural beauty. One of the country’s most famous sights, the Cliffs of Moher stretch for 8km along Ireland’s west coast. There are tons of coastal walks along the cliffs where you can catch views of surrounding islands, bays and mountains. You can get there and back in a day, and there are plenty of tour companies leaving from Dublin. Bonus point if you pronounce ‘Moher’ correctly first time round.

Kilmainham Gaol

For those of you looking for an unusual way to celebrate, how about a trip to an abandoned prison? Kilmainham Gaol is the ultimate destination for history lovers. The prison offers guided tours that take you through the different areas of the prison, covering the stories of the inmates and revolutionaries who were executed here. All very lighthearted, breezy birthday topics.

Sold on celebrating your 30th in the Irish capital? We had no doubt we'd convince you - we’re experts in this kind of thing after all. Time to take a look at our guide to the best neighbourhoods in Dublin and start planning your dream trip. If you're making a weekend of it, be sure to include our 2 day Dublin itinerary in your plans.

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