About Us

The Best Tour You’ll Ever Have!

About 

We offer the highest quality private, custom-made walking tours of Dublin city.

Our sight-seeing tours involve a huge variety of subjects and themes, which ensures that you never get bored. Our guides are carefully selected and purposefully trained to deliver a tour experience that’s uniquely tailored to the needs of the traveller and the client.

We ONLY do private tours, which means that we have become the best in the country for listening to the expressed and unexpressed needs of travellers.

You may not know what you want when you visit Dublin, but we do.

Our tours include sightseeing tours, themed tours, combination tours as well as bespoke tours and itineraries that can be created just for you.

How Dublin Tour Guide is different

  • Quality

    Quality: We focus on quality, not quantity.

    • We don’t offer dozens of tours. We offer only a few private walking tours. Keeping the choice low means we can keep quality high, because we can continue to perfect our tours. Most tour companies try to be the ‘jack of all trades’ and end up ‘the master of none’. We distinguish ourselves as the leader amongst all those offering walking tours of Dublin.
    • Another way we focus on quality is by keeping the group sizes small AND private. Though our company would, in theory, make more revenue from bigger groups as well as from offering public tours, we don’t believe that results in a high-quality experience for our guests, who are our top priority. Consider the experience of guests who have a private tour with our guide, where it’s just the four of them, compared to a group of 30 strangers on a tour. It’s Michelin compared to McDonalds.
  • Our guides

    Our guides are carefully selected from the best tour guides of Dublin.  Besides the necessary experience and knowledge, they’re chosen for their personality and ethos – they want to authentically connect with people and truly want to give them the best tour they’ll ever have.

    • We, however, believe that it takes a guide with the right mix of personality, listening skills, talents, professionalism, intellect, travel experience, enthusiasm, knowledge and passion to deliver a truly outstanding and memorable experience. Many tour companies just look for a few of those qualities.
    • At Dublin Tour Guide, we focus on a guide’s personality over their experience. Tour guiding experience can be acquired through training, but the personality fit for Dublin Tour Guide is grown through years of personal development. 

    How we choose our guides: 

    • Recruit trained and experienced guides (we prefer guides who have lived in another, preferably non-Anglophone, country. This perspective change is a difficult personal rite of passage and it has, as a result, a lasting impact on people: it enables them to be more empathic to those of different backgrounds and viewpoints.)
    • Demonstrate our ethics and vision to them
    • Ascertain their scores on various parameters (from knowledge and experience to communication skills and personality traits)
    • Determine their suitability for small, private tours (our core business)
    • Take them on as a trial guide until they get 3 stellar reviews
    • On-board them as a junior internal guide and nurture them to become even better tour guides. The more 5* reviews they get, the more they’re paid.
  • Connection

    We emphasize the importance of making a personal connection with Ireland through a very personable guide. Travellers don’t want to walk around a destination inside a tourism bubble. They want to experience the destination as much as possible, to really understand and feel the spirit of a place. The best way to do that is, naturally, with a tour guide, but a tour guide that doesn’t just relay cold facts like dates, but one who gives unique cultural insights and, most importantly, one who wants to connect with travellers.

    • Our guides have warm, extroverted personalities and therefore are sincerely interested in getting to know the traveller. As a result, in the course of just five hours, we establish friendships that have already lasted years. Invitations to come visit have been offered and accepted. In some cases, more than once. These travellers will never forget their Dublin tour.
    • We don’t focus on the black & white of history – academia. We don’t blabber on endlessly with superfluous information. We believe that the traveller’s attention is limited and so the guide must carefully choose the information. You don’t need to know the architect of a building (our guides do), but you do need to know what that building means to the people. A city without its people is called a ruin. We focus on informing, for example, you about how people feel about a building, what it means to them today and what it meant to them in the past.
    Most Tours Our Tours
    The goal Share information about Dublin and Ireland Connect visitors with the country and its people, present and past
    The content History (too many dates) History (dates kept to a minimum), current affairs, sociology, culture, modern life, language, music, food & drink
    The guide Trained and knowledgeable Trained, knowledgeable, personable and passionate, good communicator
    The delivery Can be monotonous due the oftentimes scripted and iterative nature of the tour Animated and varied. We do not offer scripted tours of fixed itineraries: the guide is happy to follow client’s suggestions and requests and to develop the route as they go 
    The presentation Spoken only, with occasional maps and images Spoken, Visual (images, maps etc.), and sometimes poetry and songs will be recited.
  • Our Story

    Garvan Rushe started tour guiding in 2009. Within six months he became the city manager of an international tour company. This experience provided insights that would inspire him to create his own tour company based on ethics like:

    • Beyond just anecdotes and architecture – Some people crave an understanding of Ireland that takes them out of their ‘tourist bubble’. They want to know Ireland, Irish culture and the Irish people. They need a guide who is sufficiently skilled in order to attain that.
    • Guides need more than just history in their heads – Bringing history alive in an interesting way is essential for every tour guide. However, the ability to distil one’s own insights and wisdom from the tomes of history is critical to be regarded as an expert tour guide. They need to be able to think creatively as well as analytically. Only a guide like this will be capable of delivering a profound experience for their clients.
    • Happy tour guides make happy clients – Only if the guides are happy and enabled to deliver a great tour experience, will they be able to do that.
    • Fun over facts – the guide must listen to their clients in order to create a tour experience just for them. No cookie-cutter approach. Each person is unique. They deserve a Dublin experience that is tailored to them.

    Doing tours for groups of budget travellers, although fun for a thespian like Garvan, was not fulfilling his need to connect with people. It also was shallow in terms of the tour content – Garvan has a degree in Medieval Irish & Celtic Studies, which has given him a much more profound understanding of Ireland compared to not just the typical Irish person, but the typical History graduate! He knows who the Irish people are, what they are like, and how Irish history and society has developed over the centuries. 

    So Garvan decided to specialise in private tours for small groups – the smaller the better. It is far easier to connect with a person if there are only 3 people in the group compared to 20! It is also far more likely that someone asks a potentially difficult and perplexing question if there are only friends/family on the tour.

    With this model, Garvan’s background and personality, he became dedicated to providing people with ‘the best tour they’ll ever have!’

    However, without brand history or credibility, nevermind budget, getting the word out to prospective visitors to Ireland was going to be tough. An unorthodox strategy (at the time) was hatched: Garvan focused on getting exceptional reviews on TripAdvisor. This would lead to better visibility on the site (at the time, results were always shown by rank). By 2013, Garvan succeeded in achieving the #5 position of all the things to do in Dublin. That summer was not only going to be the most successful season yet, but also the most tiring. A lesson was hiding in wait.

    As a young fella, doing several tours in a row over the course of many days wasn’t going to be an issue as far as energy is concerned. However, enthusiasm is a different factor. With twenty days of touring in a row scheduled, Garvan felt from Day 18 onwards that he was lacking enthusiasm. He didn’t feel like he gave those people the best tour they’ll ever have. They very likely still had a fantastic time, but he didn’t want to take that risk. So the options were either: (a) Reject many bookings for summer so that enthusiasm and passion can be maintained, or (b) Find other guides out there who share the same level of enthusiasm and personability as himself. B it is!

    This is where ‘he’ became ‘we’. Over the next few years, we would recruit and train tour guides as well as office staff. Although the quality dipped initially as we learned the ropes of how best we must screen and train our tour guides, eventually, we were back up to #5 on TripAdvisor, and even occasionally dipped into #4 position. 

    Dublin Tour Guide has proven itself to be one of the most reliable tour companies in Ireland for giving people a tour that not only shows them the sites, but explains the culture and history of Ireland, of Dublin, and leaves them feeling like Ireland has become their second home. They not only know it. They feel it.

  • What we believe
    • We believe that people don’t just want ‘a tour’, but they want to experience the city like the locals do. They want to truly understand Dublin and her people on a deeper level. They want to know what it feels like to BE Irish.
    • We believe that creating unforgettable experiences is what makes life worth living.
    • We believe that memories are worth investing in.
    • We believe the world needs to know about the cultural treasures of Ireland and how wonderfully unique and passionate the Irish are.
    • We believe in connecting curious travellers with passionate and inspiring guides.

    We are embarking on a journey to transform ordinary trips into extraordinary ones. 

    Our goal is to give the client the best tour they’ll ever have. 

    We want the client to not only see Dublin but feel it. We want every visitor to remember Dublin in five years and recall how they felt when they stood on the cobbles of Dublin Castle or the hallowed ground of the General Post Office. We want the client to recall fondly the charming and lovable guide with whom they made a deep connection. The client will look back on the tour and feel like they didn’t pay for a tour with a professional tour guide, and it was merely a transaction, but rather like they met up with an old friend.

Dublin Tour Guide

Who we are

Office - Garvan

Garvan is the Founder, Owner and Managing Director of GPR Tours Ltd (with trading name as Dublin Tour Guide). He is a certified tour guide with B. A. Int. in Medieval Irish and Celtic Studies. He spearheads the growth of the Company, identifying new markets, hiring qualified tour guides and strategic financial planning. He works closely with clients, guides and virtual assistants to maintain the quality of tours being offered and see to it that DTG achieve its financial and corporate goals. Garvan is a passionate historian, thespian, linguist, rocker, beer-drinker, as well as an experienced, energetic, passionate, enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide of Dublin City.

Office - Kathleen

Kathleen is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA – Philippines). She has over 11 years of experience in accounting and finance. She is currently the Financial Manager of Dublin Tour Guide and has been working with the company for almost 5 years. She is responsible for managing the company’s finances and is responsible for financial reporting, assessing financial risks and opportunities. She also set and tracks the financial goals, objectives, and budgets of the company. Kathleen was a former Senior Accountant of International Manufacturing Company, Project Accountant at Upwork (with Top-Rated Badge), Senior Accounting Analyst at IBM Business Service, and an Accounting Staff at Department of Environment & Natural Resources. Kathleen graduated with a Degree in Accounting from St. Louis College.

Office - Fitri

Fitri has over 10 years of experience in human resources, technical writing, company supervisory and coordination. She is currently the Booking Manager of Dublin Tour Guide and has been working with the company for almost 1 year. She is responsible for communicating with clients which include answering inquiries, providing details of the company, coordinating with tour guides and accounting and booking the tours on different platforms. She also works closely with the accounting and marketing team to achieve the required volume of bookings. Fitri was a former Operations team leader and Fleet Executive of PT Buffalo Tours Indonesia, HR & GA Officer of PT Indo Seleksi Makmur Abadi, Freelance Copywriter of Private Leisure Asia and crewing assistant PT Indoseleksi Makmur Abadi. Fitri graduated with a Degree in Linguistics/Languages from Warmadewa University.

Office - Nicholas

Nicholas is a seasoned professional with 8+ years of expertise in Sales, Marketing, and Customer Experience. Currently serving as the Business Development Representative at Dublin Tour Guide since early 2022, he manages B2B clients, drives sales growth, and collaborates with the bookings department. Nicholas, hailing from Nairobi, Kenya, is passionate about connecting with people and providing exceptional customer experiences. Holding a BCom degree in Marketing from Kenyatta University, he showcases both academic and professional prowess. Previously, he worked as a Business Development Manager at Symmetric Training, focusing on Biopharma Industry training programs across Europe and the USA, and has diverse experience across Entrepreneurship, Transport, Technology, NGO, Customer Service, Construction, Media, Training, and Finance sectors.

Office - Jessica

Jessica stands as a versatile professional, skillfully navigating the intersections of diverse industries with finesse and dedication. In her role as the Booking Manager and Bookkeeper at Dublin Tour Guide since early 2023, she excels in orchestrating client interactions, tour logistics, and financial management. Originally from the scenic province of La Union in the Philippines, she finds inspiration in the exquisite beaches and the dynamic local culture that thrives with energy and vibrancy. Her heart is deeply connected to the lively events and traditions that define her community – she relishes being a part of its spirited festivals, joyous celebrations, and meaningful connections with fellow community members. Holding a Degree in Nursing from Union Christian College, she’s all about complete well-being. Beyond her academic achievements, her innate curiosity fuels a passion for exploring novel horizons and immersing herself in diverse cultures. Whether through nature walks, dancing, or embracing new experiences, she actively broadens her perspective on the world. With a background covering accounting, social media, admin work, and customer service for more than 5 years, she’s skilled at handling a variety of tasks and ensuring customers are satisfied.

Guide - Carl

Carl is a professional and passionate guide who has been giving tours of Dublin since 2012. He is currently an Internal Prime guide of Dublin Tour Guide. Carl has given over a thousand tours of the city covering every topic you can imagine from History, Sights, Traditional sports, Vikings, The Famine, Independence to the recent IT boom and everything in between. He is fortunate to have represented the country at chess throughout his life and he is currently the Irish International chess team captain so it is not just a hobby but a big part of his life. Carl believes that travelling is one of the factors for why he got into this industry and to date he has visited over 40 countries and is still planning to see many more.

Guide - John

John was born and raised on the Northside of Dublin, and has been active professionally as a tour guide since 2015. He is currently an Internal Junior guide of Dublin Tour Guide. He prefers working outdoors – whatever the weather – probably owes something to his provenance from farming folk on Ireland’s rugged Western seaboard. In spite of these earthy origins, He can talk Irish Blarney in any of three languages (Russian, German and our own Gaelic) and has recently published an ebook on door-to-door sales training. He believes Tour guiding is one of the best decisions he ever made, and he just loves the job. He likes to think that it shows too, in the 400+ 5-star reviews which he has logged online to date, across numerous review websites. Outside of tour guiding schedules he is an avid astronomy nerd, likes to maintain a strict keep-fit routine and a French cuisine aficionado.

Guide - Austin

Austin, a native Dubliner with a strong connection to the city’s history, possesses curiosity and a genuine fascination with people. His background in graphic design and IT Publishing led him to explore the world, but his heart always remained with history. He transitioned from being a part-time genealogist to becoming a tour guide after achieving a National Tour Guide Badge in 2017. Austin’s deep devotion to Dublin’s history and essence is evident as he enthusiastically guides walking tours, sharing the city’s captivating stories and embracing its charm. He welcomes you to join him on an enriching journey through Dublin’s culture and narratives.

Guide - Mark

Mark is a dedicated storyteller known for his unique guided tours that bring history to life. He started in 2015 as a U2 walking tour guide in Dublin, sharing the story of the iconic rock band. From 2016 to 2020, he specialised in Haunted History tours, leaving a lasting impact with his expertise in ghost stories and knowledge of haunted sites. Since 2022, Mark has expanded to conducting bus tours across Ireland’s famous locations, carefully crafting each itinerary to highlight rich historical context. Throughout his journey, he’s committed to creating unforgettable moments, blending entertainment, education, and a deep connection to the past for every traveller.

Guide - Brendan

It was his early sales career that led him to explore all 32 counties of Ireland that inspired an interest in becoming a tour guide. His passion for storytelling and connecting with people shines through in his personalised private tours, where he tailors the experience to his clients’ interests. His favourite site is Dublin Castle, where he shares captivating stories about the city’s history. Beyond major sites, Brendan enjoys highlighting Dublin’s intricate details to make the experience enjoyable for all, including children. He holds a QQI level 6 qualification in National Tour Guiding and aims for clients to experience the friendliness and informality of the Irish people during the tour.

Guide - Eamon

Eamon, a former finance professional with a lifelong interest in history and nature, has transitioned into his dream job as a tour guide. He is dedicated to sharing his love for Ireland and its rich culture with visitors. Eamon brings history to life through engaging storytelling and even acts out historical conversations to transport you to pivotal moments in Irish history. While he may not be a professional singer, he’s not shy about singing beloved Irish classics like Molly Malone or the Auld Triangle. Eamon is enthusiastic about showcasing Ireland’s journey over the years, highlighting both its progress and enduring friendly nature. He also brings a wealth of travel experience, having explored various countries and even lived in both New York and London. As your guide, Eamon is committed to making your Irish experience memorable and educational.

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