You’ll never be short of a drinking den in this friendly Irish tourist hot-spot
While the Euro has made Dublin a little more pricey for the UK traveller, this charming city still attracts tourists in their droves. The compact capital offers centuries of history and streets of graceful Georgian architecture blended with a buzzing nightlife. Book a city centre hotel to ensure most of the main attractions are accessible by foot.
The River Liffey cuts through the centre of Dublin, dividing north from south, with the cobbled streets of Temple Bar in the heart of the city, just south of the river. A short walk further south is St Stephen’s Green and the shopping hub of pedestrianised Grafton Street. North over the Liffey, broad O’Connell Street is replete with high street stores and traditional Irish bars.
A Dublin city break packs in centuries of history. From Viking skeletons at the National Museum and 12th-century churches, to the stunning Georgian architecture around the chic Merrion Square, once home to Oscar Wilde. Look out for the bullet holes on the General Post Office’s pillars on O’Connell Street, a sobering reminder of the 1916 Easter Rising and the venue of the Declaration of Independence. In addition to plenty of history, Dublin also has a thriving night scene where you’ll be spoilt for choice for drinking dens offering a cold pint and some friendly banter.
When to go?
Any time is a good time to visit this vibrant city. Whether you’re looking for a 5-star hotel or a bargain B&B; high-end boutique stores or tacky souvenir shops; cocktail bars and chic eateries, or cosy pubs and cafes, you’ll be sure to find something to suit all tastes whatever the season.
How to get there?
Most low-cost carriers offer cheap flights from major hubs across the UK to Dublin. Flights are frequent and take just over an hour. Alternatively, you can hop on the ferry, although the waters can be a little choppy in bad weather.
Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College, is a must-see - if you have time, join the snaking queues to see the ancient Book Of Kells. Check out the ornate National Library, pop into the National Gallery to see Irish 19th-century art and Italian School treasures, or head to the National Museum which brings Ireland’s ancient history to life. If you fancy exploring, hire a bike and head out to the vast Phoenix Park, home to Dublin Zoo.
For shopping, stroll over the Ha’penny Bridge to O’Connell Street or stick to the famous Grafton Street for high-end purchases. Sample the national beverage at the Guinness Storehouse, then head to the buzzing nightlife hub of Temple Bar where streams of Guinness are accompanied by hearty Irish fare and impromptu traditional music sessions. Fans of Dublin’s literary greats can see Beckett’s or Wilde’s plays at the Abbey or Gate Theatre.