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Tips on What To Do in Dublin

Dublin has a wide range of attractions, from watching an Irish football match at Croke Park to downing a pint in Temple Bar. But Dublin is also renowned for its vibrant culture, and many of its museums and art galleries are popular sites, like the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, which exhibits contemporary Irish art. In addition to Dublin's new culture, you can also see the classic Dublin landmarks, most of which are in walking distance of one another, and include the Guinness Storehouse at St. James Gate, the expansive Phoenix Park, the sprawling shop-filled Grafton Street, and the peaceful St. Stephen's Green.  

  • If you have a somewhat nostalgic view of Ireland and expect a traditional music 'session' to be the staple of every pub, you're in for a disappointment. It can be found, but expect to go a little further afield than the immediate city centre: O'Sheas, O'Donoghues, the Harcourt Hotel and the Cobblestone in Smithfield are just a few." -- Travel Channel
  • South of the Liffey is the walking tour: 16th-century Trinity College (don't miss seeing the ancient illuminated manuscript the Book of Kells in its library), Grafton Street shopping, Merrion Square, Dublin Castle, and St. Stephen's Green. South of there, leafy Ranelagh is old-meets-new: lattes and Guinness." -- Concierge.com
  • You should visit the excellent museums, amble through the landscaped parks and engage with Dublin's myriad cultural offerings, but make enough time for socialising, the beating heart that makes this city thrive." -- Lonely Planet

Sightseeing

From old Gaelic prisons to haunted castles and Celtic illuminated manuscripts, Dublin brims with interesting sights to see. The Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison known for its brutality and its famous prisoners (like Michael Collins). Visitors can also tour Dublin Castle or travel a bit northeast to the green grounds of the supposedly haunted Malahide Castle. Fans of church history might enjoy a peek at The Book of Kells, illustrated manuscripts of the four Gospels in the New Testament. And those with an interest in literature might enjoy a tour of the Writers Museum or the James Joyce Centre.

  • If you can only visit one castle, head to Malahide Castle, located on 250 acres about nine miles north of Dublin. Along with the usual stately rooms, the grounds bloom with acres of gardens." -- Away.com
  • Make sure to also visit the less-heralded Dublin Writers' Museum (18 Parnell Square, 353-1-872-2077; 7 euros admission), which has the original chair used by Handel for the first performance of 'The Messiah' (in the Temple Bar in 1742) and a first edition of 'Dracula,' written by the Dublin-born writer Bram Stoker." -- New York Times
  • Before embarking on the [Kilmainham Gaol] tour, it's well worth visiting the exhibition galleries. The ground floor display includes a mock-up of a cell and an early mug-shot camera, and there is a small side gallery showing paintings by Civil War internees and a huge self-portrait of Constance Gore-Booth (better known as the Countess Markiewicz) as the Good Shepherd." -- Rough Guides

Nightlife

Dublin's nightlife congregates in the city center with bars, clubs and art venues. The most popular bars are to the south of the Liffey, including the popular Temple Bar district, but you can also find exciting and more local Dublin hangouts to the south. Because the "pub" is so central to Irish culture -- and Dublin is no exception -- travelers find that drunkenness tends to be very characteristic of the nightlife, especially around the Temple Bar area.

  • Nightlife in Dublin is a mixed bag of traditional old pubs, where the likes of Joyce and Behan once imbibed and where traditional Irish music is often reeling away, and cool modern bars, where the repetitive rhythms of techno now fill the air and the crowd knows more about Prada than the Pogues. -- Frommer's
  • Most nights, the city's nightspots overflow with young cell phone-toting Dubliners and Europeans, who descend on the capital for weekend getaways. The city's 900-plus pubs are its main source of entertainment; many public houses in the city center have live music -- from rock to jazz to traditional Irish." -- Fodor's
  • The Temple Bar district is both an attraction for tourists and for pickpockets. Be aware of your surroundings." -- Wikitravel

Shopping

Dublin's newfound wealth in the 1990s also brought high-end boutiques and clothing stores from around Europe and the United States. Some of the city's best shopping can be found in the city's south end, especially on the pedestrian walkway known as Grafton Street, which is home to many well known labels, as well as local clothing shops.

  • And be prepared, if you're shopping in central Dublin, to push through crowds -- especially in the afternoons and on weekends." -- Fodor's
  • Home of popular fashion boutiques and department store Brown Thomas -- with its large cosmetics hall and two floors of fashions -- Grafton Street is the hub of the city’s upmarket shops." -- Sherman's Travel

Attractions for Kids

Some cities can seem boring to children and aggravating to many parents seeking a pleasant vacation. Dublin, though, has plenty of offerings that cater toward families. A couple popular choices are the Phoenix Park and the Dublin Zoo, as well as the Dublin double-decker tour bus rides. Children may also enjoy Dublin Castle and the exhibits at Trinity College, including the colorful Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript from 9th century Ireland.

  • West of Dublin's city center, the vast Phoenix Park is paradise for children on a sunny day. Not only does it hold the Dublin Zoo, but also sports fields, playgrounds, and herds of free-roaming deer. Ice-cream vendors and teahouses are on hand to help keep you going." -- Frommer's
  • Dublin, the once 'tired' city along the banks of the River Liffey, has morphed into one of Europe's trendiest towns. Teenagers, especially, will like browsing the Temple Bar neighborhood, home to cafes, clubs, galleries, and funky boutiques. For more finds, check out the clothing, jewelry, and crafts sold on Grafton Street." -- Away.com

Dublin's Outskirts

You'll find several rewarding attractions outside of Dublin's city center, including a number of small seaside villages accessible by Dublin's regional rail system. The village of Howth is highly recommended for its great views of the Irish Sea and its scenic clifftops. Returned visitors also highlight the southern coastal town of Bray; there, you can take a short hike up Bray Head, one of Ireland's telltale green hills, for an excellent view of the rolling countryside, as well as the sea.

  • Dublin's proximity to the sea has always been one of its greatest assets, and there is much to see along the shoreline of Dublin Bay. The DART public metro, which hugs the coastline for miles, is a good way of orienting yourself. Coastal villages such as Dalkey, Killiney & Greystones all lie along the DART line and are worth visiting in their own right." -- Travel Channel
  • Head north via the DART suburban rail line to the fishing village of Howth with its summit views, or south to Dalkey and Killiney Bay, home to U2's Bono and Enya, perhaps stopping off at the James Joyce Tower in Sandycove on the way back." -- Sherman's Travel
  • To the north, 14 km (9 mi) from the city centre (still marked by 18th-century milestones), the peninsula of Howth is very nice for a walk. Just take the bus or DART (€3.60 return from Connolly Station) out to Howth and walk around the cliffs!" -- Wikitravel
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