Visit Dublin

A medieval city with strong connections to classic literature, residents delighted to involve you in their ‘craic’ and a deliciously rebellious streak, Dublin is a mecca for the Irish diaspora who have spread out to all corners of the globe.

Whilst the city of Dublin itself is home to just over half a million people, it is thought that in excess of 100m people worldwide have direct Irish heritage – no wonder Dublin is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.

With a pleasingly compact city centre that can easily be traversed on foot or by rented bicycle, the city of Dublin is alive with the joyous Celtic spirit. With music spilling out from every pub, it’s hard to resist a pint of the black stuff – the perfect preparation for soaking up the historic buildings and monuments that chart the Irish nation’s rich cultural heritage.

For those new to the city the Spire of Dublin - just off the city’s grand O’Connell Street thoroughfare – is a great place to start. The spire is visible for miles around, which makes it an ideal landmark for finding your bearings – no bad thing in Dublin’s mass of winding streets.

Cross the River Liffey to visit Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious university. The university can be explored independently, or as part of a fascinating two-hour guided tour delivered by one of the college’s history graduates. However you choose to experience Trinity, make sure to make time for the Old Library – home to a famous illustrated manuscript crafted by monks over 1,300 years ago.  Continuing the artistic theme, the university is situated in close proximity to the National Gallery of Ireland where you can see some of the nation’s most precious treasures.

Whilst Ireland is now a relatively moderate Catholic country, religion has significantly shaped Dublin. To learn more about the spiritual side to the city simply wander down Dame Street past the impressive City Hall until you reach Christ Church Cathedral – a spectacular tribute to Catholicism featuring a unique medieval crypt.

The story of Irish independence is hugely important to the city of Dublin, and visitors can gain a real insight by visiting the museum at Kimmainham Gaol. A grim institution built in 1796, the gaol is now home to passionate and knowledgeable tour guides who will be more than happy to tell you the stories of the people held there.

Of course, no trip to Dublin is complete without a pint (or three) of Guinness, which can be enjoyed at the Guinness Storehouse. Featuring an interactive tour which includes the opportunity to pour your own perfect pint, the tour is famous the world over amongst Stout drinkers. Once suitably lubricated, why not head to the Temple Bar district – ostensibly the city’s arts district, but party central once the sun goes down.

Guide to Exploring 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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