Dublin’s most popular attraction can get crowded. Here’s how to skip the lines and plan your visit. We’ll also tell you what to expect inside, and how to get there.
Guinness was born in, and remains, intrinsically part of Dublin. And you can visit where it was first created and is still made, to observe the fascinating process and history in an immersive multimedia experience. But as the city’s most popular tourist attraction, you can expect long lines. Luckily, you can skip the lines at the Guinness Storehouse, and we’ll tell you how.
But first, what awaits you.
In the beginning: Arthur Guinness
Master brewer Arthur was born in 1725 in Cashel near Cork. As a young man he perfected his skills and opened a first brewery in Leixlip just outside Dublin.
As well as being an innovative beer maker, Arthur was also a canny businessman. He took advantage of a financial crisis that caused plummeting property prices across Ireland, and moved to Dublin where he secured the lease on an abandoned brewery at St James’s Gate in 1759 – the site of the current Guinness factory and Storehouse. The agreement Arthur negotiated was astonishing: he agreed to pay an annual £45 (now €34, or $36), fixed for an unbelievable 9,000 years!
And it was there that he began to experiment with a revolutionary new recipe: stout. And the legendary Guinness was born.
The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is in the site of Arthur’s original brewery, which is still in operation to this day. The huge museum is built within historical brewery buildings, and honors the memory of its late founder and his life’s work— the ever-popular Guinness.
Here’s what’s waiting for you on each floor:
Ground Floor: Enter the Black and Gold-lettered Gates and Be Amazed
Remember the 9,000-year-old lease we talked about earlier? Well, take a good gander at the signed lease enclosed in a protected glass case. When you look around you, you’ll find yourself standing at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass. Only 14.3 million pints of Guinness can fill it up.
Explore the ground floor, admire the beautiful waterfall, and discover the souvenir shop. On your way out, you can get something to commemorate your visit to one of Dublin’s best tourist attractions.
Right now, the first floor awaits your arrival!
First Floor: Journey into the Mind of Arthur Guinness
The tantalizing aroma of roasted barley will swirl around you, beckoning you to follow its scent. It’ll lead you past huge wooden vats. You’re in the roasting room where you’ll find the Guinness train and the enormous copper kettle. Exit the room to explore a section dedicated to keeping Arthur’s life and achievements alive.
The exhibition will introduce you to his loving wife Olivia whom he married two years after he established his brewery business. A second exhibit on the same floor narrates the beer-making process, which involves transporting them via handmade barrels made by coopers. The brewery employed 300 coopers who created 1,000 barrels to transport Guinness each week.
Once you have absorbed the fascinating history of their dark beer, you’re ready to level up.
Second Floor: Awaken All Five Senses
- See the glowing lights directing you to the tasting room called the Velvet Chamber.
- Smell each key ingredient that goes into brewing the timeless beverage.
- Feel the mini pint glass with Guinness, poured at the right temperature, in your hand.
- Hear the tour guide telling you about the proper way to drink a pint of Guinness.
- Taste the exquisite and legendary stout to experience a unique combination of malty sweetness and bitterness with flavors of chocolate and coffee coming through and a hint of roasted unmalted barley.
After you have downed your Guinness, discover the world of advertisements on the next floor.
Third Floor: Advertisements Galore
Before the 1930s, the Guinness brand advertised solely through word of mouth. When sales started to fall, they kick-started a memorable advertising campaign. Immerse yourself in digital, print, and TV campaigns. From a fish riding a bike, toucans flying, and oysters whistling, discover one of the most unique and creative collections of advertisement campaigns.
With your creative juices flowing and your creativity at its peak, it’s the right time to enroll in the Guinness Academy.
Fourth Floor: When the Drinker Becomes the Pourer
Learning the six-step method to pull your own pint of Guinness at the Guinness Academy is a whole other level of fun. Although pouring the perfect pint takes months to years to master, drinking your own poured beverage will be an unforgettable experience. So, pour the beer from the tap and take it to the bar while gazing at the sights before you.
Around this point, your stomach may begin to rumble. Silence the hunger pangs by stopping at the fifth floor.
Fifth Floor: Take Your Pick from the Three Restaurants
- The Connoisseur Bar – Sample four of the most ordered beers created by Guinness along with a brief history lesson.
- 1837 Bar & Brasserie – The year represents the tasty union of oysters and Guinness. Of course, they have oysters but you can also try their flatbreads, burgers, and chocolate mousse.
- Arthur’s Bar – Their all-day menu consists of traditional Irish food, smoked salmon bagels, pastries, salads, triple-decked toasties, and more.
Finally, with only one floor remaining, you have arrived at the end of your tour.
Seventh Floor: Best View in the Land
Where’s the sixth floor? You just skipped it to be on the roof.
And what a roof. You’re at the renowned Gravity Bar, a staggering panoramic construction with the best views in Dublin, sweeping across the city from the mountains to the sea. One free drink on the house, please – one complimentary draft Guinness, expertly poured, in the home of the ‘black stuff’. If you’re not a fan you should still come here – wine and non-alcoholic drinks also available.
No visit to Dublin is complete without this astonishing place. Don’t waste precious minutes of your visit lining up – buy your ticket in advance below.
If you like the boozy, innovative vibe, by the way, you can also visit the Jameson’s Distillery Experience in a combo ticket.
How to get to The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness storehouse is a little bit out of the city center. South of the Liffey and close to the main thoroughfare of James’s Street in the east inner city.
If you want to take the Luas, you can get the Red line and get off at “James’s” stop from where it’s only 5 minutes on foot. Alternatively it’s accessible by the 13, 40, or 123 buses that all stop in James’s Street.
A taxi there from Grafton Street will cost you between €10 and €15.