City breaks to DublinWhether you want history, culture or nightlife, Dublin has it all
Ireland's capital may not be the largest city in Europe, but what it may lack in size it more than makes up for in the quality of its attractions, its history and in the friendliness of its residents who are known for their hospitality. Dublin has personality oozing from every corner, and its residents can be fiercly proud of their city, yet unsentimental about it too. It makes for an interesting mix which can pack a real punch and always leaves visitors wanting more.
Dublin might have a reputation as the place to go for St. Patricks day celebrations, but there is so much more to the city than partying. Visit the old town and see some of the architecturally impressive and beautiful buildings from different times in Dublin’s history. Temple bar is a hub of the city, where you can enjoy everything from shopping in the food and craft markets by day, to partying around its centre by night.
Where to go and what to see on a city break to Dublin
Dublin is one of Europe's oldest cities and has a rich and long cultural heritage. Today, the city emanates history, from its ancient and Georgian sites to its ultra modern architecture. As a medieval city, much of Dublin was rebuilt in the Georgian period, leaving the city with landmarks such as the iconic O’Connell street. Dublin has many castles, but if you only see one then stop in at Dublin castle, built in 1204 and continuously in use since. Many of the government buildings are architecturally beautiful as well. In the heart of the city, and surrounded by College Green is Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university and modeled on the establishments of Oxford and Cambridge. Follow one of the heritage trails to explore all Dublin has to offer.
Dublin is renowned as a centre of art and culture, with large and small collections across the city curated by the National Cultural Institutions. Temple bar is known as the cultural quarter. The pedestrianised streets are home to continental style cafes and outdoor dining. The old city area is just a few minutes walk away, where you will find attractions like the Olympia Theatre, a Victorian era music hall which is still thriving today. Dublin is also home to theatres, music venues and exhibitions, and like any major city Dublin has its share of museums on subjects from natural history to the arts. A must for culture seekers is a trip to the James Joyce museum, to learn about Ireland's most noted writer.
Shopping in Dublin
Dublin is home to great shopping opportunities. Dublin’s shopping areas are split into two areas: the north and south of the River. On the Southside, stretched between Trinity college and St Stephen's Green, is Grafton Street; the city's fashionable and smart area. Here you will find upscale departments stores, but after shopping, why not stop in at Dublin’s most famous tea room, Bewley’s cafe for afternoon tea? North of the river, check out O’Connel street, the main street running through the city. Both those looking for high quality fashions and more individual brands should visit one of the outdoor markets around Temple Bar, including the Designer Mart on Cow’s lane. Visit on a Saturday for quirky and vintage crafts.
When people think of Dublin they often think of the city's nightlife. Focused in the streets of Temple Bar you will find many pubs and clubs, with the whole area taking on a party atmosphere. Through the city you can find a mix of traditional Irish food, music and dancing. As well as larger clubs, it’s always worth looking in on some of the smaller pubs for a real Dublin feel, and whilst you're out why not try some of Ireland's famous drinks such as Guiness or Irish Whiskey. One of the most spectacular bars in the city is Cafe en Seine on the stylish Dawsons Street.
Beyond the city
Dublin is perfectly situated to explore the wider area of countryside and coastline. There are several beaches dotted along the Dublin coast: those suitable for families can be found at Skerries, perfect shores for walkers are located at Balcarrick beach, and even adventure seekers will find an ideal spot when kite surfing off Dollymount Strand. Dublin is surrounded by gently rolling countryside peppered with small villages: why not travel to the south of Dublin county? You'll discover the true beauty of the Irish countryside when wandering through the Wicklow mountains and Liffey valley.
From its rich and long history to its ultra modern architecture, Dublin has it all. Further places to visit include the impressive Grand Canal theatre, opened in 2010: it is one of Dublin’s newest venues, and offers musicals, stand up comedy, music and more. Dublin is also a great base from which to explore the wider area of southern Ireland. It has good transport links with the rest of the country and easy access from its international airport a short bus ride away. Homeaway has a great selection of holiday rentals from apartments in the city to houses in the country.
Dublin Holiday Apartments