Dublin Castle

On Dame Street, south of the River Liffey in the heart of Dublin, stands the mighty architectural achievement that is Dublin Castle, parts of which date back to 1200. Over the centuries Dublin Castle has been a fortress and treasury, a royal palace and a prison. Prior to Irish independence in the 1920s, it was also the centre of British rule in Ireland. Today, Dublin Castle is a government building and significant historic emblem.

While most of the building dates to the 1800s, its ancient heritage is still evident in the ancient Record Tower. This sole surviving element of Dublin Castle’s medieval origins is a magnificent stone stalwart. It is the perfect complement to the adjoining 19th century Chapel Royal, built in the Gothic Revival style.

Today, the castle is primarily used for official Irish government engagements, but its opulent State Rooms are accessible to the general public via guided tour. Open all year round, including bank holidays (but not Christmas and New Year) the castle has a wonderful craft shop and heritage centre. It also has its own restaurant, meaning you can absorb the historic bustle of Dublin as you tuck in to some tasty local cuisine.

Surrounded by excellent eateries and a number of theatres, Dublin Castle is served by nearly a dozen bus services. As such, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t soak up the area’s eclectic heritage by visiting this gem at the heart of the Irish capital.

Explore More of Dublin

Old Jameson Distillery

Dublin is home to two drink brands that have spread their marque, and made their mark, all over the world. And both are keen to share their heritage, induct you into the mysteries of their production and ply you with their wares on guided tours. There’s the Guinness Storehouse where the black stuff is promoted and there’s Smithfield’s Old Jameson Distillery where the rather more potent stuff is celebrated.

The O2

Once you’ve attended a concert at Dublin’s superb O2, there’s no going back to theatre-style venues where the seating is arranged in regular rows. The audience and artist friendly design of the O2 amphitheatre is often likened to that of Rome’s Coliseum, with blocks of seats emanating out like a great fan from the impressive stage.

Aviva Stadium

If you’re heading to Dublin for a rugby or football match at the Aviva Stadium, then you’re in for a real treat. Situated just south of Dublin’s bustling city centre, the Aviva Stadium is a state-of-the-art, four-tiered sports stadium and concert venue, located on the rushing River Dodder not far from Ireland’s east coast.

Grange Golf Club

Ireland is renowned around the world for its incredible golf courses, and they don’t come much better than the Grange Golf Club. This amazing course is located just 15 minutes from the centre of Dublin. Lying in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, there are incredible views and a tranquillity that’s hard to imagine so close to a major urban area.

Clontarf Castle

Head to the centre of Dublin for a hint of the town’s historic past at the picturesque Clontarf Castle. Built in the 1830s, this stoic Georgian country house stands on the site of a much older building. In fact, the history of the area dates all the way back to the 11th Century, when the original medieval Clontarf Castle stood here.

Trinity College

Trinity College is proudly ensconced at the very heart of Dublin and it carries the same mix of medieval beginnings, Georgian architecture and cultural importance as the city itself. There is nowhere finer to enjoy the fading sun of a Dublin summer’s day than in the spacious landscaped grounds of Ireland’s world renowned university. And you are free to do just that: the gardens are open until 10pm so you can gaze as the sun casts its changing colours on the splendid architecture of the university.

Croke Park

Croke Park in Dublin is so much more than an impressive sports stadium. “Croker”, as it is locally known, is in many ways is a bastion of Irish identity that protects the spirit of Gaelic games from forces seeking to dislodge it. If this all sounds a bit dramatic you should take the fantastic Croke Park Experience tour to get a very real sense of just how important and deeply ingrained the GAA and Gaelic games are to Ireland’s sense of itself.

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