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The Bank of Ireland

Ordinarily, it might be thought a little unusual to recommend to any visitor to the Republic of Ireland a sightseeing tour of a branch of the Bank of Ireland. However, this is Dublin, where the rest of the world’s rules clearly do not apply.

Situated on a three-sided “square” in the heart of the city, the breathtaking Bank of Ireland on College Green was originally built as the Irish Parliament House in the 18th Century. The monumental stone façade features rows of gigantic columns seemingly designed to leave ordinary citizens feeling awestruck. It’s one of Dublin’s must-see landmarks that you can actually go inside and visit.

While the building is a working bank, with counters in what was once the House of Commons, there are also guided tours that helpfully point out the glories of the ceilings, huge tapestries, crystal chandeliers and rich oak panelling.

It’s incredible to think that the modern-day Bank of Ireland was the world’s first parliament building that was built for the purpose of national government. That means the House of Lords and House of Commons here in Dublin predate those of the Houses of Parliament in London.

The design of the building was also influential in that its façade instantly recalls that of the British Museum, which was later based on its colonnaded look. In America, its design was copied for the original House of Representatives in Washington DC.

After learning about the building’s role in Ireland’s economic history, there’s nowhere more fitting to have a drink and a meal than at the nearby Bank on College Green restaurant.


Guide to Exploring Bank of Ireland


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Temple Bar Hotel £124
Temple Bar Hotel

Temple Bar Hotel

13-17 Fleet St Temple Bar, Dublin
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Temple Bar, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from Bank of Ireland, The Book of Kells and Trinity College. O'Connell Bridge and Ha' Penny Bridge are also within 5 minutes. Abbey Street Station is 5 minutes by foot and Jervis Station is 7 minutes.

    Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin
    Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin

    Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin

    23 Upper O Connell Street, Dublin, Dublin
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in City Centre Dublin, this romantic hotel is steps away from Rotunda Hospital and O'Connell Street. Garden of Remembrance and Parnell Square are also within 5 minutes. Abbey Street Station is 5 minutes by foot and Jervis Station is 9 minutes.

      Arlington Hotel O'Connell Bridge £72
      Arlington Hotel O'Connell Bridge

      Arlington Hotel O'Connell Bridge

      23-25 Bachelors Walk, Dublin, Dublin
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in City Centre Dublin, this hotel is steps away from The Spire, O'Connell Bridge and Ha' Penny Bridge. Abbey Theatre and General Post Office (GPO) are also within 5 minutes. Abbey Street Station is only a 3-minute walk and Jervis Station is 5 minutes.

        Temple Bar Inn £86
        Temple Bar Inn

        Temple Bar Inn

        40-47 Fleet Street, Temple Bar, Dublin
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Temple Bar, this hotel is steps away from Bank of Ireland, The Book of Kells and Trinity College. O'Connell Bridge and The Spire are also within 5 minutes. Abbey Street Station is 5 minutes by foot and Jervis Station is 7 minutes.

          Academy Plaza Hotel £61
          Academy Plaza Hotel

          Academy Plaza Hotel

          10-14 Findlater Place, off Upper O'Connell St, Dublin, Dublin
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in City Centre Dublin, this hotel is steps away from O'Connell Street and Gate Theatre. Dublin Writers Museum and General Post Office (GPO) are also within 10 minutes. Abbey Street Station is 7 minutes by foot and Busaras Station is 10 minutes.

            Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane £100
            Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane

            Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane

            Cardiff Lane, Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin, Dublin
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in City Centre Dublin, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grand Canal, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, and The Convention Centre Dublin. Dublin Port and Custom House are also within 15 minutes. Mayor Square - NCI Station is 7 minutes by foot and Spencer Dock Station is 9 minutes.

              Trinity City Hotel £116
              Trinity City Hotel

              Trinity City Hotel

              Pearse Street, Dublin, Dublin
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in City Centre Dublin, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Trinity College, O'Connell Bridge, and The Book of Kells. The Spire and Custom House are also within 10 minutes. Abbey Street Station is 7 minutes by foot and Busaras Station is 9 minutes.

                Marlin Hotel £128
                Marlin Hotel

                Marlin Hotel

                11 Bow Lane East, Dublin
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in City Centre Dublin, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Dublin Castle and Trinity College. Guinness Storehouse and Bord Gáis Energy Theatre are also within 2 mi (3 km). St. Stephen's Green Station is only a 4-minute walk and Harcourt Street Station is 11 minutes.