When you think of the perfect vacation, you are less likely to think of a northern town, such as Dublin. Usually, our imagination runs away to cities close to the sea and sunny places. However, if you give it a shot, you find that Dublin is a special city that greets you with a lot of tourist attractions, a unique culture in the world, and a lot of things to do.
The Irish capital gives us a lot to see. It is a place where many tourists are looking for a city full of life, surrounded by beautiful natural places. It is undoubtedly a great place to see old buildings, to learn some of their history and enjoy visits to locations as popular as the Guinness factory.
Should I visit Dublin?
If you like Ireland, with its green landscapes and its culture, Dublin is certainly among those destinations you have to see. This city, founded by Vikings in the 9th century, continues to be a key location and brings together all sorts of historical references and leisure places for a more fun visit.
The capital of Ireland is a destination for which you can put aside several holiday days because it offers you so many things to do that it is hard to compress all of the activities inside a single day. A city break of 3 or 4 days, however, could satisfy your appetite to visit and enrich your culture with impressive memories from this Irish city.
How to get to the city from the airport
Dublin is a perfect city for the weekend. Before you get here, however, you must carefully plan your every move.
From the airport to the city, you have two options. Two bus companies go to the city.
The first one is Aircoach, which operates 24 hours a day and has a price of 8 euros for an adult and 1.5 euros for a child under 12 years of age if you buy the ticket online. On the spot, it will be 8.5 euros for an adult and 2.5 euros for a child. You have free internet; the buses are modern and run every 30 minutes.
The second one is AirLink, bus number 747, which runs until 23.00. The tickets cost 10 euros for an adult roundtrip or 6 euros one way, and 5 euros roundtrip or 3 euros one way for a child.
There is also a municipal bus where the ticket is 1 euro, but I don’t have the exact information about its costs or schedule so you should ask at the airport.
Dublin is a city that can be seen on foot. The tourist sights are close to each other and 15 minutes on foot are enough to go from one to the other. Three days are enough to see most of them. It’s a pretty expensive city, but very clean and well organized. The streets are washed with shampoo and have some great cars that clean them. With pub areas or interesting museums, pedestrian areas full of shops, and big parks, it offers every visitor a beautiful experience.
What should you visit in Dublin?
Although there are many such sights, I will give you a list of the most interesting monuments, activities, and places you can visit, so that you can make your vacation a dream.
We start the list with a prison just because it is one of the few museum prisons in the world. Built in 1796, it hosted a lot of criminals, but also a lot of innocent people who fought for Ireland’s Independence. It is said that many of the detainees here were children, the youngest of them being only 7 years old. In 1924, the prison was closed and was later turned into a museum. Today, it hosts a lot of paintings, sculptures, and jewelry, all of the former detainees.
The chances of finding a book you can read are poor, but the library catches your attention through much more than reading. Its main attraction is, by far, the dome reading room which has been the place where a lot of known Irish people have improved their knowledge. Those who reach this library can visit the heraldic museum, with armors and banners, as well as the genealogical office. Here, if you have such roots, you can discover your Irish ancestors. The National Library is, first of all, an impressive building from the outside, which you can admire and pose freely.
The castle from Dublin is another building that is worth all the attention. After all, it’s a castle, and the castles are impressive wherever they are. The one in Dublin was built in 1204 and originally was the fortress from which the city could be administered. Over time, this building has been completed and rebuilt, so that, all that still exists today, from all the original structure is the Norman tower, perhaps the most impressive piece of the castle. The castle is still used for various official occasions, which makes it all the more valuable in the eyes of the tourist arriving in Dublin.
Saint Patrick’s cathedral
Another impressive building, both in size and shape, is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. This is the largest church in all of Ireland and is more than 800 years old. Today’s look dates back to 1870 when the Cathedral was rebuilt due to the certainty that it was going to collapse. There are also a lot of national public ceremonies here, but when there is no ceremony, the cathedral can be visited.
Price tickets: 6 Euro for adults, 5 Euro for children/students/seniors, free for children under 12 years.
Schedule: 9.30-17.00 but it depends on the day of the week.
If you want to visit the place where Oscar Wilde or Jonathan Swift studied, then you have to get to this college. It is the oldest university in Ireland, dating back to 1592 when it was built by Queen Elizabeth I. Trinity College is a real complex in which there are impressive buildings, built a few hundred years ago, very well-kept lawns, but also a campus still in use. At the college, you can also find the Kells Book, a book from the 8th century, which is considered to be one of the oldest books in the world.
Price tickets for the library and museum Book of Kells: 10Euros for adults, 9 Euros for children over 12 years, and free for children under 12 years.
Schedule: 9.30 – 16.30
We move from cultural monuments to those that have a greater connection with worldly things. Surely everybody has heard about the Guinness beer. Although today it is produced in almost all parts of the world, this beer was born in the heart of Dublin, where Arthur Guinness started a business in 1759. Today it is the most appreciated beer in Ireland and Guinness factory presents its entire history and production process. You will find here the name of the person who drank the first pint and you will be able to taint a glass of the delicious drink.
Old Jameson Distillery
We remain in the alcoholic drinks field and talk about the old Jameson distillery, which manages to incorporate the entire essence of Ireland into a small space: Whiskey. Irish whiskey is one of the most appreciated drinks in the world, and the enthusiasts of this drink will be really delighted to discover a distillery that impresses. If you get here, you can take part in a whiskey tasting and try several variants of this liqueur, such as Irish, American, or Scottish whiskey.
Ticket prices: 15 Euros for an adult and 8 Euros for children under 18 years old.
Irish National Museum
Ireland is a country that possesses a lot of ancient treasures, all of them extremely interesting. The place where you can admire most of these treasures is obviously the national Museum. There are plenty of artifacts, jewelry older than 2000 years old, medieval antiques such as the Ardagh Goblet or a wooden, bronze, and silver relic, believed to contain a fragment of the Jesus cross. If you really want to know more about Irish history, this museum is the place you must see.
You don’t have to walk too much to get to this park, a place totally different from what you see in European cities. The Phoenix Park is only 3 km away from the center of the city, but it seems to be thousands of kilometers away. It is the largest urban park in Europe and it is impressive through the specially arranged gardens, the very large meadows and the numerous spaces for those who practice sports. What is really impressive about this park is the fact that you can see deer or other animals during a simple walk.
Template Bar District
Do you appreciate nightlife? Then this place must be your destination as soon as dawn sets in. It is the center of nightlife in the Irish capital and contains shops, theaters, cinemas, clubs, traditional pubs, and large pedestrian streets. Surely, it’s the place to taste an Irish beer, a glass of whiskey, and a little of the amazing culinary that this town offers.
Dublin Georgian House Museum
Or number twenty-nine. The national electricity Company (owner of the building) and the National History Museum of Ireland brought back a three-story house to the way it looked during the Georgian period, the early 19th century. You’ll be able to see how it was then.
Price tickets: Adults – 6 Euros, children/students/seniors – 3 Euros, free for children under 12 years.
No pictures are allowed inside the museum.
Tips for food and walks
A good way to visit the city is by using the CityScape bus. An on-hop of which goes through the city and leaves you in the most important areas. A ticket for one day costs 10 euros.
If you ask about what you can eat in Dublin, I suggest not to miss the scones, typically Irish, you can order a plate of fish and chips or you can enter Burger King to ask for an Angus beef burger.
If you want to drink a good coffee go to Bewley’s on Grafton where you will find one of the best Irish coffees.
For a more convenient menu at a price of up to 10 Euros, you can go to Simon’s place on George’s Street near the Arcade.
If you have time to go to a show in the evening, I recommend you go to club Button Factory where you can check out sensational shows or book one of the pubs that have Irish dancing every night after 20.00 and up to 21.30.
Wherever you go, you will find something specific to Ireland anyway and be impressed by the cheerful atmosphere, with the Irish being relaxed and extremely friendly if you start a conversation.
On one evening you can visit Johnnie fox’s pub, which is on top of a mountain where you will have an incredible view of the city. It is the highest and oldest pub in Ireland, open since 1798. It is about 35 minutes from downtown Dublin and you can reach it by bus 44 or by the bus sent by the pub, that costs 5 euros per person. First visit their official website and book in advance because, usually, it is full. They have a traditional show every evening with Irish music and dance.
In short, Dublin is really an expensive city, but you surely won’t regret having visited it, because it has a special charm. Once you arrive in Dublin you will be surprised by a whole atmosphere of story that cannot be told in words. It must be lived.