It really is true when they say that the grass is greener in Ireland. Even in a thriving and exciting city such as Dublin, the landscape and surrounding rugged scenery reminds you that you are firmly on the beautiful Emerald Isle. Its seemingly eternal history is prevalent in most of its historic sites, including the formidable Dublin Castle, the enormous Guinness Storehouse, and the world-famous region of Temple Bar. Make the most of your time with this unpacked guide to Dublin
The Dublin Pass: The Dublin Pass gives you free entry to over 25 museums, monuments and attractions across the city, as well as free access to the hop-on hop-off bus tour. When to visit: The summer is a great time to visit the city, as it's at the perfect temperature and the city streets are filled with music and festivals. However any time of year, particularly Christmas time, is a great time to visit the city. Getting around: Dublin is an extremely small city for its stature and most of it can be walked as so many of the top attractions are located close together. There are also tourist buses and local buses, as well as trams, to take you around the city.
Dublin has a long and tumultuous history, which is reflected in both is mesmerizing historic buildings and its modern and exciting culture. Over its long history the city has transformed itself, keeping some of its incredible history alive. The cobbled streets of Temple Bar used to be a slum and now it is the hottest street in Dublin. Get to know this ever-changing city with these top attractions: Be sure to check out these must-see sights during your time in Dublin:
Dublin Castle The fortress of the city, Dublin Castle was once the seat of the United Kingdom government's administration in Ireland until 1922. Thought to be an early Gaelic Ring Fort, the castle is situated strategically on a ridge in the center of the city's historic site.
The Guinness Brewery and Storehouse Take a tour of the impressive Guinness Brewery and Storehouse, an enormous warehouse complex where you can learn more about the creation of the city's famous brew and even sample a pint or two. The tour also includes a complimentary pint in the stunning rooftop bar, which offers 360 degree views across the city.
The Temple Bar This lively region of the city is probably the most famous tourist destination in Dublin. It's made up of a combination of bustling pubs and bars, including The Temple Bar Pub itself, and generally continues on late into the night, with revelers on the streets enjoying the city's spirit.
Dublin Writers Museum One of the most recognized museums in the world, the Dublin Writers Museum is the pinnacle of the country's strong literary tradition. Evident in the fact that the country has produced four Nobel Prize winners. The museum was opened in 1991 and has continued to thrive as one of the most popular museums in Dublin.
Trinity College Trinity College is Ireland's elite university with one of the world's most impressive research facilities. Recognized worldwide for its educational acumen, the university was founded back in 1592 on the same grounds as England's Oxford and Cambridge universities. Explore the campus which includes cobbled streets and historic buildings.
Like every major city, Dublin has an eye for shopping. From the highest caliber of designer to the more unique, independent stores selling a whole host of treasures. The city is also filled with markets, selling food, vintage items and arts and crafts.
Grafton Street The swankiest street in Dublin, Grafton Street is known for its exclusive designer boutiques from around the world. One of the main shopping streets in the city, the street was voted the fifth most expensive shopping street in world in 2008. The street is also known for its buskers, who feature in the street's past and present.
Temple Bar Night Market If spending an evening shopping is your idea of heaven head to the Temple Bar Night Market. Located in the city's bustling Temple Bar in the Cultural Quarter, the market runs from 3pm to 8pm during the summer months and features stalls from artists and independent designers.
Drury Street If you are more of a unique shopper, and are looking for something unusual to bring home, head to Drury Street. With a whole host of quirky stores selling their wares, the street is the ideal place to find a memorable souvenir or keepsake.
Ha'Penny Flea Market If you love to seek out a bargain or a timeless antique then head to the Ha'Penny Flea Market located at the Grand Social. Open every Saturday between 12pm and 6pm, the market is filled with ancient vintage pieces that are just waiting to be discovered.
Mespil Road Farmers' Market Located in Dublin City, be sure to catch the weekly Mespil Road Farmers' Market, which takes place every Thursday between 11am and 2.30pm. Enjoy an organic coffee at this locals market, as well as some delicious international food, both hot and cold.
Traditionally, Irish food is known for being homely and hearty - from tasty Guinness stew to tasty sausages and mash, it is usually filled with goodness that leaves you feeling nice and full. But Dublin also offers all kinds of food to tickle your taste-buds, from Michelin-starred restaurants to quirky cafes. The city also has plenty of markets if you like to prepare your own food and want to pick up some fresh ingredients.
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Chapter One Taste some of the finest haute cuisine in Ireland at this welcoming and laid-back restaurant in the heart of the city at the famous Dublin Writers Museum. If you are looking for a flawless dining experience then this is the one for you. Not only do you get a delicious meal but you also get to experience the beautiful landscape that surrounds the restaurant.
Trocadero An institution on the city's eating scene, The Trocadero is has been established for over 50 years and offers quaint banquette seating, dim lighting and an intimacy that you won't usually get in a place like this. The menu is stepped in history and is at the heart of the theater community.
Drury Buildings Take a historic building with stripped-back brick walls, a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of new-age cocktails and you have the Drury Buildings. Not only is there a fun open-plan restaurant in the building but also a bar that serves up tasty bar snacks and tapas.
Cavistons It may be easy to forget this, but Dublin is on the sea, and as such it is a good place to sample some seafood, and there is nowhere better to try the offerings of the sea than at Cavistons. The place is tiny, but that's all part of its appeal. The restaurant serves up three sittings a day to ensure the food is as fresh as it can be.
The Hot Stove Located in Parnell Square, The Hot Stove is one of the more modern establishments in the square and yet is located in the basement of one of the stunning Georgian houses. It has a classy vibe about it, with leather furnishings, exposed brickwork and some historic features. Not only this but it also serves up only the best Irish ingredients that go into the quirky dishes and at a reasonable price.
Staying in historic Dublin is all part of your experience to the green isle. Choose to stay in one of the city's historic establishments or modern boutique hotels and enjoy the city from the perfect position.
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The Morrison Young, hip and happening, the Morrison is one of the coolest places to hole up in Dublin. Located in the North Quay, the hotel is extremely close to all of the city's top attractions and even serves up its own impressive cocktails. The vibe is informal and friendly, and definitely fashionable.
The Shelbourne Stay in one of the most beautiful locations in Dublin at the Shelbourne hotel in St. Stephen's Green. Situated in a historic red-brick Victorian building, the hotel is not only a beautiful hotel but it's also a famous bar that historically holds afternoon tea in the Lord Mayor's Lounge. If you want something that is truly Irish and truly traditional, be sure to book a night or two here.
Buswells Hotel Located in the Trinity College area of the city, Buswells Hotel is not only perfectly central it is also wonderfully quaint. Within stumbling distance of the National Museum, St. Stephen's Green, and the Irish Parliament, the hotel is also only a five minute walk from Grafton Street and all of its shops.
Trinity City Hotel If you want to be in the real heart of the city then Trinity City Hotel is for you. This eclectic hotel is entirely unique and favors tones of purple and gold. The labyrinth-style hotel has a Victorian wing and a Georgian wing with almost 200 rooms across its premises.
The Dylan This five-star hotel is tucked away in a beautiful part of the city, offering unrivalled luxury and easy access to Dublin's top sights. Located in a Victorian building, the hotel offers the level of history you would expect from a top-end Dublin hotel, as well as plenty of quirks of its own including mirrored walls, statement frames and patterned carpets.
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