Welcome to Dublin, the city of Saint Patrick, Temple Bar, Guinness beer and over-friendly people! With its rich cultural and social scene, natural playgrounds such as Dublin Bay and the Dublin Mountains, this small, yet lively capital has so much to offer to its visitors. Europe’s friendliest city (twice!) is maybe not the prettiest as well, but without doubt it will win your heart in a second. If you want to see how true our words are, book your ticket to Dublin and follow our guide for a perfect city break in Irish capital!
Getting to Dublin: Dublin has one airport, in Irish known as Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath. The airport is connected to the city by two express bus lines:
- line 747 – from Dublin airport to Busáras bus station and Connolly and Heuston railway station
- line 757 – from Dublin airport do Camden street
We will start our tour with a visit to Georgian Dublin. What’s that, you may ask? The term refers to layers of history established the city in the period between the 18th and early 19th century. Although the area has many streets and squares which may catch your attention, but we will highlight the Merrion Square, oozing with gorgeous colorful and imposing Georgian houses, park full of sculptures and art events on Sundays. The square’s most famous residents were Oscar Wilde, one of Ireland’s most celebrated authors, William Butler Yeats and Daniel O’Connell. Oscar Wilde’s house is now part of the American College which took over it in 1994 and made the first floor available for rent for corporate and private purposes, exhibitions and other cultural events, while students of the College take classes on the top two floors of the house. The author’s house can be toured in groups by appointment. The National History Museum dating back to 1857, situated only a few metres away, is not to miss on this visit. Famous for its Victorian cabinet style, housing one of the world’s finest collections to be seen, with over two million species (half of which are insects, together with depicted mythological figures), both from Ireland and world’s most hidden corners, some still alive and other long extinct. There is no admission fee for the museum, but before you go, please check the opening hours. For those of you interested in art, hop to the nearby National Gallery opened in 1864 boasting 2 500 paintings and 10 000 other art pieces including sculptures, prints and drawings. The gallery is open daily and there is no admission fee as well. Our next stop is Trinity College Dublin, recognised on global level as Ireland’s premier university and home to amazing library which contains 5 million volumes and an extensive collection of manuscripts, the most famous of which is the Book of Kells, world’s most famous medieval manuscript consisting of 4 gospels brought to the monastery of Kells following the Viking raid on Scotland at the beginning of the 9th century. The book attracts over half million visitors each year which come to see the two volumes which are on display at Trinity College. Make sure to check admission fees and opening hours prior to your Trinity Old Library tour. After this cultural education, it’s time for something more relaxing to start, so head to the Drury Street, one of the trendiest areas in the city and a ‘food destination’ within the city. The street has been filling with restaurant and cafes over the years, as well as with many charming and creative shops selling clothes, jewellery and furniture. Don’t miss out on Cocoa Atelier with the best candy delicacies in Dublin, Kaph which sells amazing coffee and Drury Buildings restaurant where you can have an amazing meal at affordable prices. The street is also known for shopping, so check out Om Diva, the best vintage shop in the city or Industry for excellent homeware pieces. When you’re done with food and shopping, take a 20-minute walk towards the Church Bar for a cooling drink (or another meal) and even cooler experience in a former St. Mary’s Church which is now home to bars, cafes and restaurants.
We hope you had a good night’s rest as a busy day is ahead of you. Start with Molly Malone Statue, presenting an attractive fishmonger who sold cockles and mussels from her barrow which she dragged around the city. You have probably already heard about the same-named ballad telling how she died of a fever and now her ghost haunts Dublin’s streets. Take a selfie with Molly Malone and continue towards the well-known Dublin Castle, a major tourist attraction situated in the heart of historic Dublin. It was for 700 years the seat of British power in the country, while today you can see the remains of the original 13th-century structure as part of the guided tours. The present Dublin Castle dates from 1700’s and its highlights are the Throne Room, St. Patrick’s Hall and the Ladies Drawing Room. You can plan your tour online. Your next stop is the Christ Church Cathedral, the oldest building in Dublin and a site of pilgrimage for almost a millennium. Known for its beauty, architecture and extraordinary floor tiles, the cathedral is home to the 12th-century Medieval Crypt, one of the biggest and oldest in Britain and Ireland altogether which displays manuscripts and ancient artifacts as well as a spectacular exhibition of original 16th-century costumes from the historical series ‘The Tudors’. Check more information on prices and opening hours before your visit the cathedral. Head towards the Dublinia, with four fantastic exhibitions which take you back to the period of the Vikings and Middle Ages and gives you an opportunity to try on Viking clothes, become a slave, learn of the mysteries of their era and to play medieval games and much more. Only a short walk away is another interesting site, the National Leprechaun Museum, the first ever museum dedicated to the world of Irish myth, folklore and stories. The museum is divided into 12 different spaces and its most popular feature is gigantic furniture on which you will feel like a real leprechaun. It’s a perfect opportunity, both for children and adults, to get a deeper sense of Irish cultural identity. See the museum’s official website for more information on admission fees. Wander on along the charming streets of Dublin until you hear some cheerful music playing from the city’s most popular hangout zone, the Temple Bar area. It’s a place where you can spend the rest of your afternoon and evening, as it gets better and better as the time passes by. It’s the area with highest density of bars in the city, so it won’t be a problem to have a pint and grab a bite. However, the Temple Bar pub is the place to be whenever there is a big party or holiday or simply to start your weekend, so make sure to take a picture in front of this iconic place and to step your foot inside the Dublin’s most crowded pub with excellent choice of beer and snacks.
It’s your last day and you need to make the most of your time, so first things, head to the Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison which held some of the most famous political and military leaders in Irish history, which gives a dramatic and realistic insight into one of the most disturbing themes of Ireland. Access is by guided tour only, so make sure to check the availability in advance. 30 minutes away on foot (or by bus nr. 40 if you don’t feel like wandering around the city’s streets) is a Guinness Storehouse, home of the world-famous Guinness beer. Situated in the heart of the St. James’s Gate Brewery since 1759 (when Arthur Guinness signed a lease for exactly 9 000 years!). By visiting the site, you’ll discover what goes into every single pint and learn about the fantastic story behind the brand’s name and enjoy everything Ireland’s most visited attraction offers you. However, to avoid long queues, plan your visit ahead. The next requires also a bit of walking (15 minutes), but it is worth it. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is has been one of the most visited sites in the country for more than 800 years. Built in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, the cathedral offers a rich cultural experience and represents carefully saved traces of medieval Dublin. If you decide to participate at a mass in the largest cathedral in Ireland, you will notice a fantastic choir which there performs daily, as well as the Lady Chapel from 1270 and an exhibition called Lives Remembered dedicated to the World War I. Buy tickets online. Only a hop away is the St. Patrick’s Park where you can rest from all the walking and refresh yourself. Continue your way to Marsh’s Library, a charming building from the 18th century. Ireland’s first public library houses more than 25 000 volumes of rare books. A daily tour is available each day at 15:00 for anyone who would like to join. Keep walking towards the Little Museum of Dublin, full of amazing things of discover, from the displays of events like the visit of Queen Victoria to the story on enormous popularity of U2. Free guided tour is available every hour. The rest of the evening should be spent on a little bit of shopping, whether just for souvenirs or vintage items, clothes, etc. The closest (and best) shopping center in the city is just 300 m away. Find Stephen’s Green Shopping Center, boasting with over 100 shops and boutiques, as well as all other services you might need, from shoe repair to key cutting. Take your time and buy few things which will remind you of magnificent Dublin.