DUBLIN: INVITING | MEDIEVAL | MODERN
SEE & DO: GRAND CANAL DOCKS
A short stroll from the city center is the waterfront home to an area that is fast becoming a popular location for high-tech multinational companies – the Dublin Docklands. This stunning modern architecture lives alongside historic buildings and is a sight to see while visiting the city.
SEE & DO: THE HA’PENNY BRIDGE
Arching gracefully over River Liffey, this pedestrian bridge was built in 1816 and is the best known of Dublin’s bridges. It owes its unique name to the half-penny that was charged to cross it until 1919.
SEE & DO: RIVER LIFFEY
Flowing through the center of Dublin is a winding river spanned by numerous bridges including the Ha’penny Bridge. Drift down the river on one of the available boat tours and see the city from this unique perspective.
SEE & DO: TRINITY COLLEGE
Sitting on top of a hill in the middle of Dublin is Ireland's oldest university. Walk the grounds and find your way to the Book of Kells, which is considered to be the world's most famous medieval manuscript.
SEE & DO: ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL
Designated the "National Cathedral of Ireland", this is the largest of two Dublin cathedrals. Built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, it is said that Saint Patrick himself baptized converts at the adjacent well.
SEE & DO: CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL
With origins dating back to 1030, this medieval church is the oldest building in Dublin. Renowned for its beautiful architecture and exquisite floor tiles, it houses one of the oldest and largest crypts in Britain and Ireland.
SEE & DO: SPIRE & GPO
Rising above O’Connell Street is a large, stainless steel, pin-like monument. This slender, elegant, abstract design sits across from Dublin’s GPO – General Post Office.
SEE & DO: BORD GÁIS ENERGY THEATRE
The soaring glass façade of Ireland’s largest theatre overlooks the waterfront in the Grand Canal Dock area. This theatre hosts world-class theatre, musicals, drama, opera, ballet, family shows, and classical concerts.
SEE & DO: GRAFTON STREET
This central pedestrian shopping street runs from the top of St. Stephen's Green to Trinity College. It caters to high-end clientele and is home to a variety of retail stores, designer boutiques, jewelers, and more.
SEE & DO: THE LONG ROOM, OLD LIBRARY
On the Trinity College campus is one of the world’s most impressive libraries. It is filled with 200,000 of the library’s oldest books and a collection of marble busts honoring great philosophers of the western world.
SEE & DO: GUINNESS STOREHOUSE
The long brewing heritage of Ireland’s most famous dry stout begins at the heart of the St. James's Gate Brewery. Discover the story of Guinness and learn firsthand the art of pouring the perfect pint. End the experience by relaxing in the rooftop bar which overlooks the city of Dublin.
SEE & DO: OLD JAMESON DISTILLERY
This distillery turned visitor center offers guided tours where you can see, taste, and smell the Jameson Irish whiskey experience. Guided tastings teach you how to spot the subtle differences between the whiskeys. The on-location restaurant and bars allow you to put that learning into practice.
SEE & DO: IRISH WHISKEY MUSEUM
This museum houses an exclusive collection of Irish whiskey memorabilia dating back to the 1800s. Located at the main entrance of Trinity College, this centrally located museum has an interactive tour which includes tastings of crafted Irish whiskey.
STAY: THE WESTIN
This hotel in the vibrant and historic city of Dublin boasts contemporary furnishings and chic rooms. The property is conveniently located just a few minutes away from boutiques and other popular attractions which make for an ideal location to spend your time in this city.
STAY: THE MERRION
This 5 star hotel has hosted visiting dignitaries, heads of state, and celebrities who desired luxurious and private accommodations while visiting Dublin. Located in the city center, it is close to upscale restaurants, galleries, and museums.
STAY: THE MARKER HOTEL
This urban retreat has a Presidential Suite with unobstructed views of Grand Canal Square and other architectural landmarks. This expansive suite features specially commissioned furniture to provide comfort and luxury throughout your entire stay. Photo by: William Murphy | Flickr
EAT: RESTAURANT PATRICK GUILBAUD
Renowned as one of the best restaurants in Ireland, this is also the only one that is rated 2 stars by Michelin. The cuisine is contemporary Irish with classical roots. Dishes feature truffle, potatoes, and locally caught seafood.
EAT: THE GREENHOUSE
An innovative menu is the focus in this relaxing Dublin restaurant where there is a passion to deliver the best quality cuisine using Irish produce and natural ingredients. Surprise tasting menus are available on certain days so make sure to call ahead if you’re inclined to try that.
DRINK: ELY WINE BAR
Ireland’s oldest wine bar offers a fresh selection of local food and a choice of 400 wines. It is an intimate, elegant setting to enjoy a glass of wine in the heart of Georgian Dublin.
DRINK: 37 DAWSON STREET
In the back of this quirky late night bar is a collection of Irish whiskey ready to be served – neat or on the rocks. Comfy seats at the bar presided over by knowledgeable bartenders may mean you won’t leave until the sun rises in the morning.
DRINK: THE BLIND PIG
A secret password gets you in this underground cocktail bar that evokes the mood of a 1920s speakeasy. With an expertly–crafted cocktail menu, you might want to keep the location a secret too! Photo by: Sam Howzit | Flickr
SPA: MARKER HOTEL SPA
Escape to the warm, cocoon-like ambience of this central city spa to try one of their Lava Shell Treatments. For the ultimate indulgence, the Glacial Shell Detox Treatment combines heated and chilled lava shells to massage your body and relax your mind.
SPA: THE SPA, THE SHELBOURNE
Begin your journey into relaxation with their signature treatment using warmed volcanic Basalt stones to melt away your tension. A comforting wrap and therapeutic body massage add to this sublime experience.
SPA: K SPA, THE K CLUB
Bathing rituals in this spa are unparalleled. Soak in a dark, deep relaxing bath of handpicked seaweed from Sligo combined with peat from the bogs of Ireland. Feel your muscles relax and the tension slip away as this pampering treatment nourishes your body.
SHOP: WATERFORD CRYSTAL
Some of the most stylish and intricate crystal designs come from factories in Ireland. For many people, hand-crafted Waterford crystal represents the highest standard.
SHOP: CLADDAGH RINGS
Claddagh rings are a symbol of love, loyalty and friendship. The ring consists of two hands holding up a crowned heart – the hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty.
SEE & DO: ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVAL
Once a year, Dublin’s buildings are lit up in green, in honor of Ireland’s national holiday – St. Patrick’s Day. A four-day festival takes over the city and a colorful parade featuring immense floats and elaborate costumes marches through the streets. This is the time to be in Dublin.
SEE & DO: SHOP STREET, GALWAY
Old brick buildings, bright storefronts, and numerous pubs line Galway’s main pedestrianized shopping street. Walk around the bustling market which has been in this location for centuries. (Day Trip)
SEE & DO: CLIFFS OF MOHER
This long stretch of cliffs on Ireland’s west coast is home to fantastic rock formations and hundreds of caves. Spend some time hiking the beautiful trails before watching the spectacular sunset. Photo by: Alex Ranaldi | Flickr (Day Trip)
SEE & DO: CORK CITY GAOL
Once housing 19th century prisoners, this is now a museum located in the historical city of Cork. Wander through the building and peer into cells that still have original graffiti, by former inmates, on the walls. (Day Trip)
SEE & DO: BLARNEY CASTLE & GARDENS
Built nearly six hundred years ago, the ruins of this medieval castle and its surrounding gardens attract visitors from all over the world. The legendary Blarney Stone lives here. Tradition dictates that kissing the stone will give the person the gift of eloquence and persuasiveness. Photo by: Kyle Taylor | Flickr (Day Trip)
SEE & DO: BUNRATTY CASTLE
This large 15th-century castle is famous for its medieval banquets and performances offered here since 1963. Charming farm houses and cottages are alive with re-enactments of daily life featuring rural Irish families. (Day Trip)
SEE & DO: BRÚ NA BÓINNE - UNESCO
Situated around a bend in the River Boyne, this is a complex of Neolithic mounds, chamber tombs, standing stones, and other prehistoric enclosures which predate the Egyptian pyramids. Visit Newgrange, once a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Day Trip)
SEE & DO: DINGLE PENINSULA
The remote-location of this islet has ensured the preservation of over 2,000 monuments dating back almost 6,000 years. Stone forts and beehive-shaped huts demonstrate the archaeological history seen on this dense and varied land. (Day Trip)
SEE & DO: THE ROCK OF CASHEL
A spectacular archeological site outside of Dublin, the sturdy walls house a complete round tower, a 13th-century Gothic cathedral and the finest 12th-century Romanesque chapel in Ireland, home to some of the land's oldest frescoes. (Day Trip)
Originally founded as a Viking settlement, Dublin is a wonderful blend of modern and medieval with first class restaurants, cozy pubs, and friendly people. It is a city that has inspired writers, poets, and artists with its historic landmarks dating back hundreds of years. Lively music fills the bustling streets while tranquil green parks provide a peaceful retreat from the surrounding city. Designated as a UNESCO City of Literature, its thriving art and theatre scene adds an element of cultural refinement in this country known affectionately as the ‘The Emerald Isle’.
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BEFORE YOU GO
Many commercial airlines fly into Dublin Airport as well as a number of luxury private jet companies such as Private Sky or Westair. Ireland’s flagship carrier is Aer Lingus.
Dublin itself is compact and ideal for walking. You can also phone ahead for a taxi or take a public bus, bicycle, or hop on the light rail tram system, Luas. Avoid driving in the city if possible. The streets can be congested and parking is notoriously difficult.
Outside of Dublin, the best ways to travel around the country are either by car or by DART, Dublin’s Area Rapid Transit. Ask your hotel to help arrange for a chauffeur or to rent a car at the airport. If you decide to take a taxi, make sure you call ahead. Your hotel can also help you make arrangements.
Whether you favor fairytale castles or charming country homes, prepare to choose from a selection of luxurious accommodations.
The Fitzwilliam Hotel
The Marker Hotel
The Westbury Hotel
Irish cuisine is making a comeback with first-rate restaurants creating dishes using traditional foods, with a modern twist. You can be sure to see local delicacies such as the potato-based boxty or traditional black pudding creatively incorporated into menus.
Other authentic foods to try include classic Irish stew with tender meat, potatoes, and onions; native Shellfish dishes from plump oysters to savory prawns; and the ever-present Irish soda bread.
Enjoy an exceptional meal at these Michelin-star restaurants.
Chapter One Restaurant
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
Dublin has a vibrant nightlife. The city has a good selection of sophisticated wine and cocktail bars, trendy speakeasies, and traditional cozy pubs.
Ireland is well-known for producing some of the world's finest single malt, single grain and blended whiskeys. If you’re in the mood for something a little sweeter, an Irish liqueur cream may be the drink for you. Don’t leave without trying one of the country’s popular dark, dry stouts or malt-flavored red ales.
Here is a list of our favorite locations where you can raise a glass to the Irish nightlife.
37 Dawson Street
ely Wine Bar
Fallon & Byrne
John Kavanagh (Gravediggers)
The Bernard Shaw
The Black Sheep
The Blind Pig
The Liquor Rooms
The Temple Bar
Vintage Cocktail Club
SEE & DO
There is a lot to experience - both in Dublin and outside of the city. The city itself has historic landmarks such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College, and is a designated UNESCO City of Literature.
Take time to explore these sites during your visit:
Book of Kells
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Christ Church Cathedral
Grand Canal Docks
Irish House of Parliament
Irish Whiskey Museum
National Gallery of Ireland
National Library of Ireland
National Museum of Ireland
Old Jameson Distillery
Powerscourt House and Gardens
Spire & GPO
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Day Festival
St. Patrick's Park
St. Stephen's Green
The Ha’penny Bridge
The Long Room
Outside the city, there are a number of well-preserved medieval castles and elegant gardens where you can spend the day. The dramatic Cliffs of Moher and Killarney National Park are popular natural attractions that shouldn’t be missed.
Below is a list of destinations that are easy to reach and showcase more of Ireland's beauty.
Blarney Castle & Gardens
Brú na Bóinne – UNESCO
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Cliffs of Moher
Cork City and Gaol
Killarney National Park
Muckross House & Gardens
Ring of Kerry
Shop Street, Galway
The Burren National Park
The English Market
The Rock of Cashel
Find serenity in the heart of central Dublin with unique and creative spa treatments. Seaweed handpicked from the coastal town of Sligo is incorporated into rejuvenating, hot baths. Massages using gently warmed volcanic stones create a feeling of warmth and relaxation. Heated and chilled lava shells are used to create a nurturing and healing treatment not found anywhere else in the world.
ESPA, Powerscourt Hotel
K Spa, The K Club
Spa at The Marker Hotel
Tethra, The Merrion
The Spa, The Shelbourne
Stroll down Grafton Street in Dublin for a variety of stores, café’s, bars, and restaurants catering to the high-end clientele. Explore the many options of Waterford Crystal or Belleek China. Visit a jewelry store to find the perfect Claddagh ring. Don’t forget to pick up a premiere Irish whiskey or a bottle of original Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Aran Island Sweaters
Beer – Guinness, Murphy’s
Baileys Cream Liqueur
George's Street Arcade
Whiskey – Jameson, Bushmills, Kilbeggan
Shop Street, Galway – Day Trip