Dublin Zoo is very old and space is limited. It is depressing to see the animals in small enclosures, but for the most part, they're really well looked after, and the keepers care about them. However, the animals are usually just as bored as the visitors and are often hiding. So don't get disappointed if you don't see the large cats like lions, leopards, and cheetahs...they probably couldn't be bothered getting up! The elephants do look depressed and they probably are, but their area is small. Have a bit of patience and you will see the rest of the animals.
It is expensive going to the zoo, so bare that in mind. The number 10 bus takes you into the Phoenix Park and it's a short walk to the zoo.
Where does one start? The zoo? - (ridiculously overpriced and only for people who enjoy watching neurotic animals in captivity) The Guinness Factory? - (being charged the price of a theatre ticket to see dull machinery and advertisements, and then avail of a glass of 'free' beer. Purely for giant corporation fetishists!) O'Connell Street late at night? (Billed as Dublin's principal street but currently a fastfood and amusement arcade-ridden travesty of its former glory, and very dangerous at night when the pubs start to empty) 'Live' Irish music in Temple Bar? - (Performed by largely bored musicians, desperately wanting to be able to play some real Irish music and not the diddly-eye stuff the bar owners think the tourists expect!) There are of course the obvious tourist traps of any big city - get local knowledge of correct taxi rates, B&B prices etc as soon as you can! Bear in mind that some of the spots worth visiting are in quiet or less salubrious parts of town - try not to look so obviously like a tourist! Oh, and before I forget, DO NOT TRY TO CAMP IN THE PHOENIX PARK!!!!!!!!!!