Looking for a getaway this Summer? Look no further than Dublin, sizzling with excitement and fun! Come experience Dublin’s explosive mixture of energy, warmth, and style. It is only 20 minutes from the buzzing coastline, where you can throw yourself into water sports, golf and enjoy stunning walks. And a little further out you are in the heart of the Dublin Mountains where hiking and biking await you!
1. Get under the skin of Dublin’s colourful history through quirky and cool museums – and prepare to be enchanted. The Little Museum of Dublin is stocked with an eccentric trove of exhibits beckoning you back to the 20th century including a signed U2 album, and a copy of James Joyce’s death mask! Even big people will adore the Dolls Hospital & Museum showcasing a collection of antique dolls and teddy bears, dating back to the 1900’s. And watch out for a crock of gold at the National Leprechaun Museum, which takes visitors deep into Celtic culture. One of Dublin’s best kept secrets is the Revenue Museum tucked in the crypt of the Chapel Royal, offering amusing insights into the long history of the collection of taxes and duties in Ireland.
2. On your bike!
Get yourself some wheels and see Dublin in style! Hop on a Dublin Bike and whizz your way around the city’s hotspots. A great way to spend a few hours. Or try a unique Glide Segway Tour of the Docklands, starting your adventure at the magnificent Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and gliding along the riverside with the sea breeze in your face. There is also a tour of the Phoenix Park, twice the size of Central Park in New York! Watch out for the magnificent home of the Irish President, Aras an Uachatarain
3. A feast of pubs!
It might come as no surprise that Dublin has more than 1,000 pubs, famous haunts of the literary set, artists, rock stars and of course, great Dublin characters! Take your pick from Victorian watering holes that have not moved with the times such as The Stags Head, Toners, or Ryans of Parkgate Street. Have your fill at mouth-watering gastro pubs including Mulligans of Stoneybatter, which also has a great selection of craft beer and whiskey on its menu, and the award winning Exchequer. If you fancy a different platter The Market Bar serves Spanish and Tuscan cuisine! O’Donoghues and The Cobblestone are great spots for traditional Irish music. If you want something more chic and sophisticated put on the glad rags and spot the beautiful people at 37 Dawson Street or The Vintage Cocktail Bar.
4. Conquer the Coast!
Dublin is only 20 minutes away from a cracking coastline, and Dublin Bay is an adventurers paradise! Get pumped up before a night on the town – or head there the morning after to help in your recovery! Have a blast on a power boat, or roll with the waves in a kayak in Dun Laoghaire! You can kitesurf in Seapoint and if you are feeling brave take a dip in the famous Forty Foot in nearby Sandycove. On the north coast you can take a hike around the Hill of Howth and soak up amazing views of Bull Island. Try a spot of fishing after. If you are lucky you will see seals swimming. There are many fantastic beaches minutes from the city including Dollymount Strand, Donabate,and Portmarnock.
5. Follow a Funky Tour!
Uncover some of Dublin’s hidden gems on foot. Ingenious Ireland present Blood and Guts, a tour will take you on a fascinating stroll to Dublin’s historic leper colony starting with the first hospital at the city walls! Or geeks will love Earthquakes & Elephants, introducing you to some of the great Irish scientists who helped to shape the world. Try a walkabout with a difference with the Le Cool Experience. No two outings are the same — you could find yourself in a tattoo parlour, dropping into Dublin’s oldest barber or being brought to a back street art exhibition. Or a history lesson and do the Literary Pub Crawl which takes you from the Duke pub through the cobbled square of Trinity College and into several pubs in a maze of narrow streets. Your guide will regale you with quotes from Joyce, Behan, Beckett, and Yeats.
6. Rock at a Gig
Dublin is a rich breeding ground for talented musicians and is buzzing with dozens of hot live music and comedy venues. Whelan’s is one of the cities best known music venues, and is full of action every night of the week. The Button Factory is a thriving live music venue at the refurbished Temple Bar Music Centre while the Workman’s Club in a Georgian building on the quays has become Dublin’s new hipster-central, so wear vintage! For a great giggle The Laughter Lounge is a must. Or if you are an avid music fan check out the Camden Crawl Dublin this May Bank Holiday for 3 days of a fantastic opportunity to discover tomorrow’s emerging talent in venues throughout the city.
7. Crave the Café Culture!
While the pub is a place dear to the heart of Dubliners cafés and tea shops come in a very close second. Unearth laid back, funky cafés serving the finest coffees and superb food. One of the most famous in Bewleys Café on Grafton Street, a veritable institution which has played an essential part in the literary, cultural, artistic, architectural and social life of Dublin since it opened in 1927. Don’t miss The Queen of Tarts, which serves great cakes! Wall and Keogh is a tea shop that sells Sushi while the Metro Café off Stephens Green is a great people watching spot!
8. Shop til you Drop!
Dublin is oozing with an eclectic mix of shops and markets nestled in bustling back streets. Discover flea markets, designer collectives, and pop-ups selling everything from high fashion and accessories to art, books, ornaments, memorabilia, stamps and coins. The Georges Street Arcade is a Victorian market and a much loved landmark with a unique shopping atmosphere with over 50 shops and stalls. Root out special books at The Gutter Bookshop in Temple Bar, while Tamp & Stitch has a unique line in clothes and jewellery – and great coffee too! The brilliantly named Ferocious Mingle Market has cute chalets selling trinkets, books and clothes. For a flavour of the High Street hop on the LUAS and in minutes you are in DundrumTown Centre, a shoppers paradise!
9. Eat like a King!
Get intoxicated on the smells of delicious food wherever you stroll in Dublin. The city is a gourmet heaven with a thriving restaurant scene offering great variety and value. You can dig deep and choose from a splendid Michelin Star eatery such as L’Ecrivan or Chapter One, or go cheap and cheerful with mouth-watering ethnic fare. Pho Viet in Parnell Street serves top class Vietnamese food at great prices. New restaurants are opening all the time and recent entrants to the food scene are Rock Lobster, serving great steaks and seafood, Hatch & Sons in the basement of the Little Museum of Dublin, and the Damsen Street Diner with delicious cocktails and a mix of vibrant American Diner and Asian food. Dublin’s floating restaurant, the MV Cill Airne will give you unrivalled views of the waterfront. And one of Dublin’s stalwarts is The Winding Stair which doubles as a book shop and restaurant serving wholesome food.
10. And for something different...!
Dublin is full of wacky and different things to do! Go underground and meet Tom and Jerry, the mummified cat and rat buried in the fascinating medieval crypt of Christ Church Cathedral! It is also home to the heart of St Laurence O’Toole, the patron saint of Dublin. Take in an art house movie, or maybe some food and drink at the Irish Film Institute based in a 17th century Quaker meeting house in Temple Bar. And did you know St Valentine’s remains lie in a casket in Whitefriar Street Church? Come and pay homage to this loveliest of saints! For a terrifying high visit the sacred seat of Irish gaelic games, Croke Park Stadium, and literally gets a bird’s eye view of the city 44 metres high on the Skyline Tour. When you come back down to earth slow it down and get up close and personal with majestic birds, (of the feathered variety!) on a Hawk Walk at Dublin Falconry in Balbriggan.
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