Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland and is located on the east coast of the country in the province of Leinster. Dublin is divided 3 neighbourhoods; Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South County Dublin. Despite the sprawling nature of Dublin, the city centre itself is not too vast and all the main attractions can be found there. The Georgian Architecture can still be found in notable districts such as Four Courts and Custom House. Other popular areas such as Temple Bar and Grafton street, however, have a distinctly medieval character.
The best time to visit Dublin would be May and September, this way you avoid the crowds which will be prevalent during the peak tourist months of June to August and the weather is still warm.
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|Must Know:||Dublin has an extensive bus network, but just a couple of train and tram lines.|
|Must See:||When in Dublin don't miss going on a tour around the Guinness Storehouse.|
|Must Do:||Go to see the Book of Kells, written by Irish monks in 800 AD - one of the most beautiful manuscripts in the world.|
|Did you know?||Dublin is home to the largest walled park in Europe - 5 times the size of London's Hyde Park.|
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A Guinness drinker’s paradise and an over-enthusiastic American’s heritage – Dublin is a great place for an old-fashioned good time. Why? The streets are snug, the history has depth and the craic is real, making Dublin the ideal weekend getaway whether you’re going solo, in a group or with that special someone.
With a ton of attractions, including museums and over 1,500 bars packed into this modest city, it can get a little overwhelming when it boils down to deciding on an itinerary. But worry not – we’ve strung together a 3 day plan overflowing with culture, beautiful sights and authentic local pubs for a very merry Irish time.
Dive deep into Dublin’s dubious history, begin the day with a guided tour around the city to find your bearings and discover its dramatic history. For a lite-bite afterwards head up to South William’s Street where you can pick up scrump-diddly-uptios cheese-toasty and a pint of the black stuff at Grogan’s pub, a favourite among local thespians and sandwich enthusiasts.
Once you’ve had your fill of food and drink, take a gander into St.George’s Street Arcade just 20m away for some serious bargain hunting. Wander through vintage clothes shops, second-hand bookshops and independent art galleries where we very much doubt you’ll leave empty handed yet satisfied.
Skip across the street for something special, The Little Museum of Dublin offers visitors an alternative insight into Dublin’s past as each artefact has been donated by a Dubliner, creating an authentic experience. They have guided tours every hour on the hour, where you’ll be given an entertaining and quirky insight into Dublin’s culture.
With a full day of sightseeing behind you, it’s time to grab some grub. For a traditional Irish meal and music head to The Old Storehouse, located a stone’s throw away in Dublin’s Cultural District, Temple Bar.
Temple Bar is renowned for its electric nightlife, but if you’re really looking for a genuine taste of Dublin’s late night shenanigans, you’ll have to look elsewhere. This is easy enough, take a tuk-tuk tipsy, an absolute must for first-timers, to the lively Camden Street and join in on the craic in any bar that lets you in.
Ease into the day with a fresh-to-death breakfast at the uber-hip Brother Hubbard Cafe, with all-day brunch menu and coffee that could warm anyone’s heart you’ll feel refreshing and ready to explore Dublin’s Northside.
Immerse yourself in Irish mythology with a trip to The National Leprechaun Museum, where storytellers unleash the hilarity and peskiness of Ireland’s best-known mascot as you weave through this playful attraction.
Ramble up to Hugh Lane Gallery afterwards to find yourself surrounded by the swirling colours of Turner’s paintings, find delight in Renoir or take in the raw imagery of their Francis Bacon collection. Like all of Dublin’s national museums, entrance is free and it’s open 6 days a week!
After working up an appetite take advantage of the city’s Italian Quarter where you’ll find Enoteca Delle Langhe, with hearty meals available at a reasonable price, friendly staff and bruschetta to die for you’ll leave feeling pleasantly plump.
Hop on the tram, known locally at the Luas, down to Smithfield square. As the location of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, this is an international meeting spot for worldly whiskey lovers. Cruise through the distillery as the beauty of Ireland’s most famous whiskey is unveiled to you and even enjoy a free drink at the end of the tour!
Time for some tiddly-dee music, popular among locals and located on Smithfield Square also, Cobblestones Pub hosts live traditional music every night. With an influx of Guinness and welcoming locals you’ll become taken with Dubliners, their pub culture and their booze.
Time to get outside the city. Grab a regional train heading towards Greystones/Bray from Connolly Station to the sleepy seaside town of Killiney. On the way, you’ll be privy to see one of the most beautiful journeys Ireland has to offer.
As you swerve around Dublin Bay taking in the sheer allure of the vast coastline spoken about in James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ you won’t feel the time pass when you arrive at Killiney station.
Before taking the ascent up Killiney Hill, stop by Druid’s Chair for a heart-warming cup of coffee for that caffeine kick. The path leading to the Obelisk crowning the hill is sign-posted so that chances of you getting lost in the woods are very slim.
On the rise to the top you may notice a walled-property graffitied with scribbles from adoring fans of the renowned Irish rock band U2, this is the band’s frontman Bono’s house. A pleasant surprise for anyone who grew up with ‘The Joshua Tree’ blaring on the stereo on route to their seaside holiday.
Reaching the summit will have you feeling proud as you are rewarded with breath-taking sights of Dublin city to the North, the Wicklow Mountains to the South, the lowlands to West and on a clear day, Wales Mountains to the East.
Descend into the town of Dalkey for a bite to eat at De Ville’s Restaurant, from fresh salmon dishes to sizzling steak at an affordable price it’s the ultimate treat after a long day of hiking.
Move onto The Magpie Inn, a bar with a passion for supporting small craft beer breweries such as Wicklow Wolf Brewery Co, O’Brother Co. and MacIvor’s Cider Co, and that’s only to start with. Find 20 different beers on tap, plenty of which you won’t find anywhere else, and copious amounts of other craft beers available in bottles behind the bar.
Are you ready to start planning your weekend getaway to the capital of the Emerald Isle? If you’re travelling from the UK you can find very reasonable prices from airports all over the country.
Dublin Airport is the biggest airport in Ireland. It is located 6.2 miles north of the city centre and has 2 terminals. The airport sees short and medium haul flights travelling to such destinations as North America and the Middle East. Many buses and coaches connect the city centre with the Airport every day, operated by Dublin Bus, Airlink, Air Coach, Airport hopper, Ardcavan and City Link. Currently there are no direct trains to the City centre from the Airport. However, connections are made available once you are within closer proximity to the city centre. There is a taxi rank outside the airport, the journey takes around 15 minutes to the centre and costs around €20.
Connolly station is the biggest and busiest train station in Ireland and the main focal point in the Irish route network. The station serves intercity routes, the DART and Suburban journeys. From Connelly station, take the DART to Tara Street which depart every 15 minutes, then walk an additional 10 minutes to Grafton Street. You can also take the number 130, 27B, 29A or 14C bus and get off at O'Connell Bridge.
Busaras is the central bus station in Dublin and is operated by Bus Eireann. Public transport between Busaras and the city centre is easily accessible. The Luas, the Dublin tram, stops at Busarus every 3 minutes during peak times and every 10 minutes during regular hours.
If travelling from Cork or Galway to Dublin (or vice versa), gobus operates frequent daily services to both Dublin City Centre and Dublin Airport. Citylink, another Irish bus operator also services the same routes as well as those from Dublin City Centre or Dublin Airport to Limerick; Cork Airport (via Cork City); and Clifden (via Galway City).
The transport system for Dublin provides services for the greater Dublin area and is the most popular way to travel around the city. The area currently utilises electrified suburban trains operated by Iarnrod Eireann, the DART, the Luas, metro and the bus system. The Luas is only transport system in Dublin that is restricted to the city centre.
Cycling is relatively common in the city centre, however this is often weather dependent as Dublin has a tendency to be very wet. This is reflected in the availability of cycle lanes in the city which tend to be good in the centre, but cut off when you go further afield.
Dublin city centre is very pedestrian friendly, which is where all the main attractions are located. Some of the main shopping districts, such as Grafton Street, are completely pedestrianised.