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Dublin
Culture! Dublin isn't exactly exotic. It's something else entirely. It's an atmosphere in and of itself. The people are incredible; humorous, joyful and drunk on life (and beer). The city has a tradition of craic; which means anything from having a good time or a normal story blown ridiculously, laughably out of proportion. The streets of Dublin are filled with diverse cultural identities from Irish, English, Polish, Nigerian, Middle Eastern to Asians.  Pubs! Dublin's called the City of A Thousand Pubs. The Irish take their very very seriously. It's the land of Guinness after all. The city has pubs for every type of drinker, from writers, musicians, sports fans etc. The spigots operate at full swing all year around, making the city a perfect weekend getaway. History! It's nearly ridiculous the number of authors Dublin had produced. The best way to get around the city and let it sink in is on a tour bus. It's not just the beer. Every corner of the city is rich with anecdotes and stories and the Dubliners will be only to happy to narrate them to you. Of course, the architecture is sublime.

The weather of Dublin is pleasant throughout the year. Generally the days from Easter to October bank holidays is said to be the tourist season for Dublin. Which drives lots of travellers to the city and one should make advance booking for hotels when coming during this season.

Summer in Dublin: Months are usually from May to September, being the high at 22°C and low varies between 12-15°C.If you want to see the sunny side then May & June is the best month to visit Dublin.

Winter in Dublin: is much colder especially in the month of January & February with low going to 3- 5°C. To see a snowfall is very common in the month of January.


GET IN:

Dublin is well connected. An airport ten miles north of the city is served by several airlines, including Ryanair (Europe's largest low fare airline). The airport is connected to almost every major European airport. Buses ply between the airport to pretty much all of the city; the express routes are more expensive than otherwise. If you're carrying too much baggage, some buses might turn you away for lack of space. Take a taxi in such a case. 

Heuston and Connolly are two railway stations within the city that serve much of the destinations around the country, as does the single bus station, Busaras. Passenger ferry services run between Wales and England. 

GETTING AROUND:

Dublin is divided north and south by the River Liffey. This is reflective in the city’s postcode system. All areas to the north are designated with an odd number, and to the south with an even number. City centre is both Dublin 1 and Dublin 2. As a general guideline, the larger the number on the postcode is, the further it is from city centre.

  • Walking: The streets of Dublin are crowded, both with motorists and people. For short distances, it is quicker to travel by foot than car or bus. As a benefit to foreign visitors, pedestrian crossings are well marked to indicate the direction of oncoming traffic.
  • Cycling: Cycling in the city centre of Dublin is uncommon but growing in popularity, especially as street bike hire racks have been implemented. There are few bike lanes in the city, so cyclists should prepare to pedal with traffic. The suburban areas outside the city centre are much more biking friendly.
  • Car: Driving in city centre should be avoided if possible. The infrastructure is marginally disordered, with unexpected one-way streets and complicated intersections. Compact vehicles are recommended. Numerous parking garages are available throughout the city but fill quickly.
  • Bus: 
    1. Almost every corner of Dublin can be reached by bus via local services.
    2. Dublin Bus: Dublin’s main bus line with routes throughout the city and county.
    3. Urbus: Services across North Dublin including Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Tyrrelstown, Dublin Airport, and Swords.
    4. From Dublin, visitors have direct access to destinations throughout Ireland with minimal connections required. The main bus station is Busáras on Store Street, but the departure point for many independently owned bus companies is across the river on George’s Quay and Aston Quay.
    5. Bus Éireann: National bus line. Departures from Busáras. Frequent services and connections to locations across Ireland
    6. Go Bus: Departures from Dublin Airport and George’s Quay. Direct services to Galway.
    7. J.J Kavanagh & Sons Coaches: Departures from Dublin Airport and George’s Quay. Services to Clonmel, Kilkenny, Waterford, Limerick, and Shannon Airport.
  • Train: 
    1. Dublin has two light rail systems that transport commuters to locations throughout city centre and to surrounding suburbs and towns:
    2. DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit): Services the Irish Sea coastline between Malahide and Greystones.
    3. Luas: Tramline connecting points across city centre. Also journeys to neighbouring areas such as Tallaght, Sandyford, and Brides Glen.
    4. Several train stations operate within Dublin, but a majority of local and national routes depart from Connolly Station on Amiens Street or Heuston Station on St. Johns Road West.
    5. Iarnród Éireann: National railway with services to locations throughout Ireland.


Plan to spend at least a few days in Dublin to fully appreciate the attractions on offer. Guided city bus tours are recommended.

  • Guinness Factory and Storehouse: Two hours.; St. James Gate, Dublin 8. Visual journey outlining the production of Guinness. Free pint. Moderate admission fee.
  • National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology Department: Two hours.; Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Showcase of ancient artefacts found throughout Ireland. Includes Chalice of Ardagh and the Tara Brooch. Free admission.
  • National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History: Two hours.; Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7. Assortment of decorative arts including furniture, weaponry, and jewellery. Free admission.
  • National Gallery of Ireland: Two hours.; Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Collection of influential art. Includes work by Jack B. Yeats. Free admission.
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral: 45 minutes.; Saint Patrick's Close, Dublin 8. World famous cathedral.Burial place of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels.Small admission fee.
  • Christ Church Cathedral: One and a half hours.; Christchurch Place, Dublin 8. Ancient cathedral.Houses a comprehensive Viking museum and medieval crypt.Small admission fee.
  • Shrine of St. Valentine: Ten minutes.; Whitefriar Street Church, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.Authentic relics of St. Valentine.Free admission.
  • Kilmainham Gaol: One hour.; Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.Historic prison with tragic past. Inmates include Michael Collins. Small admission fee.
  • The General Post Office (GPO): Half an hour.; O’Connell Street, Dublin 1. Headquarters of republicans during 1916 Easter Rising when Ireland’s independence was declared.Small museum inside.Free admission.
  • Temple Bar: Half an hour.; Dublin 2. Main tourist district in Dublin.Full of pubs, restaurants, cafés, street performers, and souvenir shops.Free admission.
  • Pubs and Nightlife
  • The Brazen Head Pub: Bridge Street, Dublin 8. Oldest pub in Ireland. Medieval building. Live music every night.
  • Whelan’s Pub: Wexford Street, Dublin 2. Famous pub. Used as set in several movies. Entertainment venue.
  • D Two: Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. Classy nightclub and garden. High-spirited and chic.

Shopping: 

  • Grafton Street: Dublin 2. Ireland’s leading shopping district. Pedestrianised, cobbled streets. Opulent designer labels. High street fashion. Cafés. Souvenirs.
  • Blanchardstown Shopping Centre: Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Ireland’s largest shopping complex with abundant of retailers and department stores. It has cinema, Restaurants & free parking.


Hotels

The centre of tourism and business in Ireland, Dublin has hundreds of hotels within its borders.

Trinity Capital Hotel: Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Trendy 4 star accommodation. Boutique hotel. Bold, natural décor. Convenient location. TV. Tea and coffee. +353 1 648 1000

Maldron Hotel: Parnell Square West, Dublin 1. Spacious, cheerful, and modern. Near historic O’Connell Street. TV. Tea and coffee. +353 1 871 6800

Travelodge: Locations throughout Dublin. Budget hotel. Clean, friendly, and cosy. TV. Tea and coffee. Dublin City Centre (Rathmines) +353 1 491 1402, Dublin Airport South +353 1 842 2000, Dublin Airport North +353 1 807 9400, Phoenix Park +353 1 820 2626

Bed and Breakfasts

Visitors hoping to escape the noise and bustle of city centre will find peaceful accommodation at bed and breakfasts in the suburbs. Breakfast may cost extra in some establishments.

Azalea Lodge: Drumcondra Road, Dublin 9. Edwardian period townhouse. Manicured gardens. Spacious rooms, welcoming hosts. Bus stop outside. Breakfast included. TV.  +353 1 837 0300

Botanic Villa: Botanic Road, Dublin 9. Secure, amiable, and comfortable. Tranquil surroundings. Free parking. Breakfast included. TV. Tea and coffee. +353 1 830 2180

Hostels

As with any major city, the hostel options in Dublin are vast. For quality control, read reviews meticulously. Many hostels deliver on excellence and convenience, but a select few disappoint.

Times Hostels: Two Locations: College Street and Camden Place, Dublin 2. Highly acclaimed. Lots of freebies. Breakfast included. 24 hour reception. College Street +353 1 675 3652, Camden Place +353 1 475 8588

Generator Hostel: Smithfield Square, Dublin 7. Stylish and commodious. Newly built. Free internet. 24 hour reception. +353 1 901 0222

Four Courts Hostel: Merchants Quay, Dublin 8. Quirky, contemporary, and lively. Free internet. Breakfast included. 24 hour reception. +353 1 672 5839

Dining

Gallagher's Boxty House: Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Traditional Irish fare in rustic but elegant pub setting. Vegetarian options available.

Eden Restaurant: Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Award winning contemporary Irish food.


Festival of Curiosity: Taking placein the last week of July is the festival of curiosity which is an annual festival of Dublin for science and culture. In this event one can take part in various activities such as treasure hunting, curiosity carnival, robot building and other science games.

Temple Bar TradFest: Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Notable wintertime festival celebrating traditional Irish music and culture.

St. Patrick’s Festival: Every St. Patrick’s Day. Parade and citywide revelries honouring Ireland’s patron saint. Witnessed worldwide.

Bloomsday: Occurs annually on June 16th. Commemorates the lifetime accomplishments of James Joyce, author of Ulysses and The Dubliners.

Other

Phoenix Park: One of the largest parks in Europe, Phoenix Park is a captivating way to spend the afternoon. Within its grounds are the Dublin Zoo, People’s Garden, Papal Cross, and Áras an Uachtaráin – the home of the President of Ireland. Admission into the park is free, but some attractions cost extra.

Dalkey: A half hour drive from Dublin’s city centre and on the DART line, Dalkey is a seaside heritage town branded for its castle and medieval theatre performances.

Malahide Village: A short drive from Dublin is Malahide, an exquisite coastal village. A favourite day trip for Dubliners on the weekend, Malahide Castle and Gardens is situated on hundreds of acres of forested parkland.

Itineraries for Dublin
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11th May 2014
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