You’ll never run out of things to do and see in the Irish capital – there’s just so much happening all year round. The capital of craic, one-time home of James Joyce and birthplace of the black stuff is full of unique charms, friendly locals, fresh air and plenty of history and culture to sink your teeth into, along with a buzzing center with masses of great shops and restaurants.
At its heart, Dublin is still a Viking city and its streets are an eclectic mix of the historic and contemporary. Whether you like your city breaks with a modern look or with another-era gleam, Dublin has something for you.
For that reason, we picked out what we think are the top reasons to visit the Irish capital, just to give you a little teaser as to what you might expect.
But, before we move to that part, you’d might want to read…
How to get from Dublin airport to Dublin
The Dublin airport is located approximately 10 km of Dublin city center. After arriving at Dublin Airport many visitors to Ireland pick up a rental car and begin their explorations. But if Dublin city is your first stop this is not necessary.
You won’t need the car in the city center and if you happen to be four people with luggage and all you want to do is get to the city center then choosing a taxi provider might be the best cost-effective way to get there. You can even book in advance or make the reservation online.
Once, you’ve settled that, make the most of your time there and begin your exploration.
To drink Guinness in its home city
Guinness, undeniably, is one of Dublin’s essential tourist attractions. Brewing more than 3-million pints daily, the Guinness Storehouse gives a behind-the-scenes look into their thirst-quenching enterprise. The Guinness Storehouse has recently expanded to also feature a new bar where you can try brewers’ experimental beers, ones that you can literally get nowhere else in the world. And why would you not want to do that?
Open just three nights a week (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5.30pm to 10.30pm), the bar is amongst the bowels of the factory, and entry has to be booked in advance. Tickets, which cost €6, include a tasting board of three small beers, after which you can snap up as many others as you want.
The hospitality extends to light refreshments and traditional Irish meals in four eating establishments. Or you can always satisfy your cravings with a well-earned pint while taking in the stunning 360-degree views of Dublin from the relaxing environs of their Gravity bar.
Indulge in the Irish food scene
In the collective imagination in Ireland, we only eat potatoes, stews, and fish but do you know that in recent years the food and wine culture has become very important and today is one of the great boasts of this land? Irish chefs begin to make their way internationally and foodies are discovering that Ireland is a must-dine destination.
Today, Dublin offers a wide choice of food specialties and is fortunate to have numerous talented chefs. Traditional dishes such as Irish stew, soda bread, farmhouse cheese, and colcannon (cabbage/kale and potatoes) are still on the menu, but the new wave of Irish cooking focuses on fresh, locally-grown ingredients and the catch of the day. If you are looking for non-Irish food, in Dublin you will really have bread for your teeth: there’s just so much to choose from!
Particularly impressive is The Pig’s Ear, whose menu offers everything from roast duck leg to Earl Gray tea-cured salmon with Irish trout caviar. The Coburg Brasserie, located in the aforementioned Conrad Hotel, is a great spot to sample the country’s best ingredients, with Irish beef, Irish salmon, Irish lamb and a huge assortment of gins and Irish whiskeys. Local fish-and-chip shops are also superb, serving fresh Irish salmon or North Atlantic cod. Drench it all in vinegar like the Irish do — you won’t regret it.
Discover the city’s hidden gems
Dublin has plenty of famous landmarks (Trinity College, Dublin Castle, the above mentioned Guinness Storehouse), but many under-the-radar treasures, too. Sweny’s Pharmacy, immortalized in Joyce’s Ulysses, holds frequent readings of the author’s work; here you can browse and buy second-hand books and take home a unique literary gift, the famously referenced lemon-scented soap.
For a glimpse of what Dublin was like in the early 18th century, go to Marsh’s Library, little changed over time and home to a large collection of rare books and manuscripts. It is one of the city’s few buildings still operating as it did in the 1700s. If you love vintage stores and retro clothing, then you simply must head to the quirky store that is Lucy’s Lounge. Set over several levels and dedicated to all things weird and wonderful, you could easily find yourself lost in there for an hour or two, exploring the many pre-loved and repurposed vintage items for sale.
And last, but not least the Shrine of St. Valentine. Believe it or not, the patron saint of love and lovers, St. Valentine, is buried in Dublin. He was executed and buried in Rome in the 3rd century but his remains were moved to Dublin in 1835 – a gift from the Pope to the Irish people. You’ll find his shrine in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Whitefriar Street.
So, did we manage to get the Irish capital on your bucket list?