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Insiders Travel Guide to Dublin

Capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin has skyrocketed to star status over the years.  Now a trendy and bustling oasis amongst the lush greenery of the rest of the island, there is never a dull moment in this town.  Dublin has not forgotten its quiet past, and thus exploring the countryside can be easily done if and when the buzz of the city proves to be too much.

Be sure to see our post for hotel suggestions, Where To Stay In Dublin – Editor’s Picks.

What to see in Dublin

Dublin Castle: The Dublin Castle sits on the site of a former Viking fortress, which can still partially be seen.  Explore the castle grounds while you learn more about Irish history.

Temple Bar:  Temple Bar, while the name of a specific establishment, is also the name given to a swath of the city devoted to pubs, clubs, and revelry.   The atmosphere here is electric; the area is full day and night with tourists and locals enjoying good food and drink as well as the many buskers showing off their skills.

Ha’Penny Bridge:  This beautiful bridge is the oldest pedestrian bridge in the city, dating back from 1816.  It earned its name due to the halfpenny toll previously required for crossing.  Today it is free.

Guiness Storehouse
:  This beer mecca in Saint James Park has been home to the famous Guiness Brew since 1759.  The Guiness brewery tour is informative, and the views from the bar are impressive.

Trinity College and the Book of Kells:  Trinity College is blessed with one of the most graceful university campuses in all of Europe.   The Book of Kells is an impressive sight to see, whose pages were penned over 1600 years ago.

Hugh Lane Gallery:
Here you find an expansive collection of contemporary art, including Francis Bacon, Monet, and Renoir alongside famous and noteworthy Irish artists.

Shopping in Dublin

Grafton Street is the primary shopping district.  Name brand shops and department stores can be found on the main street, while on each adjoining roads are full with boutiques selling crafts and gifts.  Stephen’s Green is a major shopping center full of both discount and luxury choice.

Cow’s Lane is known for locally designed fashions.

Temple Bar is home to a food, book, and fashion market on Saturdays from 10 to 17:30.

Where To Stay in Dublin

HostelDublin is a great resource to find cheap and cheerful accommodation in the city center.

Two boutique hotels worth having a closer look include the Hotel Dylan and the Morrison Hotel.

Where To Eat

The Steps of Rome (Chatham Street) has excellent pizza in a variety of flavors.

Kaffee Klatch (Westbury Mall) is a great stopping point during a Grafton Street shopping spree.

Café en Seine (Dawson Street) has good pub grub with French flair.

Dublin Up Close

Check out the former city reservoir, Blessington Street Basin, now called Dublin’s Secret Garden.

A great ‘unknown’ pub choice is the Central Hotel Library Bar.

Nearby Dublin

Head to Enniskerry which is home to the highest waterfall in Europe and surrounded by a beautiful estate, woodlands, and gardens.

Howth Heath, a peninsula just north of Dublin, offers a summit view of Dublin with the mountains in the background.   Suitable footwear is required.

Interesting and informational websites

Dublin Tram System
Irish Rail


New Year’s Day – January 1
St. Patrick’s Day – March 17
Good Friday – Friday before Easter
Easter Monday – Monday after Easter
May Holiday – First Monday in May
June Holiday  – First Monday in June
August Holiday – First Monday in August
October Holiday  – Last Monday in October
Christmas Day – December 25
St. Stephen’s Day – December 26

Written by Andy Hayes for

Brian Whelan

Monday 19th of July 2010

Great factual guide to Dublin - for some laughs see this website - Hidden Dublin

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