If you’re visiting Dublin, you absolutely must stop by the Guinness Storehouse, which is one of the most-visited attractions in all of Ireland! Don’t let that statistic fool you; the Guinness Storehouse experience is really unlike any other brewery tour out there, and it’s one that will really stick with you!
Here are some quick facts about the Guinness Storehouse:
- It’s made up of 7 floors!
- You can get an official certificate showing that you know how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness from the Guinness Academy.
- Get a free pint at the end of your tour! It’s included in your ticket.
- At the end of the tour, you’re rewarded with panoramic views of Dublin in the Gravity Bar, which is the highest bar in Dublin.
- The inside of the storehouse is shaped like a giant pint (the world’s biggest pint, to be exact); if it were to be filled, there would be 14 million pints in it!
History of the Guinness Storehouse
Arthur Guinness, with a 100-pound inheritance from his godfather, signed a 9000-year lease in 1759 at St. James Gate Brewery. Yes, you heard me right – a 9000-year lease. That lease is still going strong on the 4 acres of land! For a while up through the 19th century, this brewery was also the largest in the world.
Believe it or not, the Guinness family has also helped out Ireland a lot over the years. Firstly, the brewery gave many people in Dublin jobs (with good compensation!) and even provided more rights to its workers back when many places didn’t.
The family has also aided with the construction of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, helping with reconstruction often. Also, if you happen to stop by St. Stephen’s Green, you may realize that the family also helped with making it a prominent park in the city!
Buying Tickets to the Guinness Storehouse
The easiest way to purchase tickets is to go to the Guinness Storehouse website and purchase them ahead of time. You can purchase tickets for a time slot, and that’s when you’ll be granted entry. For anyone over 18, tickets start at €19.50, for children 13 – 17, tickets are €16, and for children 6 – 12, tickets are €5. Any child under the age of 6 is free.
Notice how I said that tickets start at €19.50… that’s because ticket prices can change depending on how busy the time is that you choose. Keep that in mind when purchasing your tickets!
If you purchase your tickets ahead of time, it’s super easy to get into the storehouse. All you have to do is go and type in your information once you arrive and your tickets are printed. Then you can waltz right in and begin your self-guided tour!
How to Get to the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is easily accessible by public transportation, which is how I got there.
The first option is to get to the Guinness Storehouse by using the LUAS, which is the Dublin tram system. To do this, take the red LUAS to James’s. From there, it’s a short 5-minute walk to get to the storehouse.
If you’d like to get there by bus, you can get off at O’Connell Street from any of the following buses: 40 towards Liffey Valley, 13 towards Grange Castle, or 123 towards Walkinstown. Make sure you have a leap card or you’ll have to have exact change on you to take the bus.
You can also easily get to the Guinness Storehouse by taking a taxi; the best way to get a taxi in Dublin is by using an app called Free Now. I used this app often in Dublin and it’s extremely reliable, though taxis can be costly in the city!
Other options include walking (very easy to do if you’re already downtown) or taking a car. There’s first-come-first-serve free parking near the storehouse on Crane Street.
The Ground Floor
The ground floor sets the stage for a lot of the tour. There’s an orientation to your self-guided tour every five minutes, and I highly suggest sticking around to hop into one of these orientations.
Since the tour is self-guided, it’s nice to at least start off by hearing from a Guinness expert! After you’re oriented, you’re free to go off on your merry way.
This is also the area where the Guinness merchandise store is. There is a lot of things in the store, but don’t worry, you can come back down to the store after you’re done with your tour if you want. That way, you won’t have to carry your stuff around with you the whole time.
One thing that I suggest you consider purchasing is a customized Guinness pint glass to commemorate your stay. My friend and I did this and we love our glasses so much! They come in a pack of two, so if you split it with a friend you can snag a deal. Plus, each glass can say something different in the pack of two!
After you leave the orientation, you begin to become a little more knowledgeable about Guinness, as you’re told about the four main ingredients in the beer: water, barley, hops, and yeast. There are some pretty cool exhibits in this area. Trust me, you’ll want to take some photos!
The First Floor: History & Transportation
At this part of the tour, you learn all about the coopers who make the barrels that transport Guinness. You also find out that Guinness is being transported to over 150 countries worldwide! Everyone loves their Guinness.
There’s also a section where you can learn more about Arthur Guinness and the Guinness family, giving you some of the history mentioned earlier in the blog post. This floor also features the Cooperage Cafe, so if you’re hungry, you can already stop and grab a snack!
The Second Floor: Smell & Taste Guinness
Now, this is where the tour starts to get fun. You get to experience the awesome aroma room, where you can smell each of the four ingredients that go into Guinness. You may be shocked at how amazing these aromas actually smell! It really does something to your senses.
This is also the floor where you are officially taught how to drink Guinness in the Velvet Chamber. Yes, this means you get even more free Guinness on your tour, though it is a mini pint glass! Be sure to listen to the tour guide when they go over how to taste Guinness; it actually does make a difference if you drink it the way that they tell you to!
The Third Floor: Guinness World of Advertising
Believe it or not, but this was actually my favorite floor of the entire tour! It’s where you get to explore the Guinness World of Advertising and see all of their awesome marketing over the years that they’re so well-known for.
Some of the awesome exhibits that you’ll definitely want to see include the fish riding a bicycle and the “tick followed tock” section. There’s even one exhibit that you can partake in, making it look like you are actually on a poster for Guinness! This is a great photo opportunity.
This floor also has a Guinness Advertising short film that I suggest watching. It’s a great break from the rest of the tour in my opinion!
Really take in everything on this floor; it’s one of the busiest floors of the entire tour.
The Fourth Floor: Guinness Academy
Now, this is one of the most fun floors because you get to pour your own glass of Guinness. This is, of course, not required, and it does use your free pint ticket. However, there’s just something about pouring your own glass that makes you enjoy it even more!
Though there may be a bit of a wait since there’s a line, I’m here to tell you that it is 100% worth it. Once it’s your turn, you’ll be in a group with a guide who will teach you all about holding your glass at 45 degrees and filling the pint to the harp on the pint glass. You’ll also learn that it takes 119 seconds to pour the perfect pint!
Another stop on this floor is the Connoisseur Experience, which I didn’t partake in. You can book a stop here for an extra fee and experience a tasting of the different kinds of Guinness with a staff member! When I go back to Dublin, I’m definitely doing this part of the tour.
The Fifth Floor: Food
This is the floor where the Guinness restaurants are! The first option is Brewer’s Dining Hall, which has a lot of Guinness-inspired dishes and other foods that are traditional to Ireland. This is a more laid-back option with an open kitchen.
The next option is the 1837 Bar & Brasserie, which has both small dishes and bigger entree options. There are also platters that you could get to split between yourself and some buddies.
Lastly, Arthur’s Bar is also on this floor. This is your traditional Irish pub with small snacks to go with Guinness. Sometimes there’s even live Irish music in the bar which only adds to the awesome atmosphere!
If you don’t want anything to eat on this floor, don’t worry. There’s a lot of other great places to eat in Dublin!
7th Floor: Gravity Bar
Okay, I know I said the Guinness World of Advertising floor was the best floor, but… I lied. This is the best floor. Grab the pint that you poured and head straight up here if you aren’t going to any of the restaurants. I highly suggest taking the elevator so you don’t spill it. I saw so many people accidentally do that!
This is where you get the amazing views of Dublin. It really is the best view of the city and it’s the highest point in the city too. You can even see the Wicklow Mountains from here, which is where the water used for Guinness is taken from; not the River Liffey, as many assume!
It can be very busy up here, so if you see an open seat, grab it quick! The earlier in the day that you book your ticket, the less of a chance you have of it being busy. My tour was at 4:30 p.m. and it was so busy up here but I didn’t mind! It only added to the fun.
Check out my vlog from when I visited the Guinness Storehouse below!
Have you been to the Guinness Storehouse? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!