All the World is Dublin
For as long as it's been around, Dublin has looked beyond Irish shores for inspiration. Once the second city of the (British) Empire, Dublin has always maintained a pretty cosmopolitan outlook and in the last three decades has conspicuously embraced diversity and multiculturalism. You'll hear languages and eat foods from all four corners of the globe, and while it used to be said that ‘real’ Dubs had to be born within the canals like their parents and grandparents before them, these days you’re just as likely to meet a Dub whose parents were born in Warsaw, Lagos, Cairo or Beijing.
BEST TIME TO VISIT DUBLIN
The best time to visit Dublin is June through August when temperatures are warm (for Ireland anyway) and festivals fill the streets. This also constitutes the most expensive time to visit, with high hotel rates and airfare prices. It's also the most crowded time of year. If you're looking for a deal and fewer tourists, come in the winter with your heaviest coat. Spring and fall offer a happy medium – moderate temperatures (again, for Ireland), crowds and prices.
Travel in the summer for the best weather – but be prepared to also encounter the highest prices and biggest crowds. Average highs hover in the mid-60s with lows in the upper 40s and low 50s, so it's a good idea to pack layers and a light jacket.
Temperatures in the fall are mild – highs ranging from the upper 40s to low 60s – so bring jackets, sweaters and scarves. Fall also ushers in multiple art and theater festivals. Another plus: hotel prices will be falling as well.
Dublin winters are chilly, with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, so make sure to pack a warm winter coat. It's also the time of year that sees the most rainfall and possibly some snow. Travelers who visit this time of year can usually score pretty significant deals on their hotels and airfare. And remember that pints in pubs are a great antidote to chattering teeth and goosebumps.
The spring season brings more sunshine and warmer temperatures, but with highs in the 50s, you'll still want to pack some sweaters along with your T-shirts. Visitors this time of year are few with one exception: St. Patrick's Day. If you plan to travel over the holiday, make sure to book well in advance.
GETTING TO DUBLIN
Dublin is not only a charming capital worth visiting, but one of its perks is that it is extremely well connected to the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe, the United States and Canada.
The city of Dublin has one international airport that serves it called Dublin Airport (DUB). In 2016, nearly 30 million passengers landed or departed from it.
Dublin Airport has two terminals. Terminal 1 is the arrival and departure point for airlines including Rynair. Air France, Flybe.com, Germanwings, Iberia, Lufthansa, Norweigian and SAS. Terminal 2 is the hub for Emirates, Eithad and transatlantic flights by American Airlines, US Airways, United Airlines, Delta, Air Canada and Aer Lingus (Ireland’s national airline, whose UK and continental flights are also based in T2).
Dublin Airport is 10km from the city. It’s located close to the M50 and M1 motorways, and a range of transport options connect directly with the city centre and suburbs. Aircoach, Airlink and Dublin Bus provide bus services from both terminals, and metered taxis are also readily available. There is currently no direct rail link between airport and city.
In order to find out if you require a visa for entry to Ireland, whether by air, sea or land, please liaise with your local Irish Embassy or other diplomatic representative before you travel. An Irish visa is a certificate placed on your passport or travel document to indicate that you are authorised to land in the State subject to any other conditions of landing being fulfilled. This means that you will still be subject to immigration control at the point of entry to the State even if you have a visa.
GETTING AROUND DUBLIN
Walking - Dublin's city centre is compact, flat and eminently walkable – it's less than 2km from one end of the city centre to the other.
Bicycle - The city's rent-and-ride Dublinbikes scheme is the ideal way to cover ground quickly.
Bus - Useful for getting to the west side of the city and the suburbs.
Luas - A two-line light-rail transport system that links the city centre with the southern suburbs.
Taxi - Easily recognised by light-green-and-blue 'Taxi' signs on the doors, they can be hailed or picked up at ranks in the city centre.
DART - Suburban rail network that runs along the eastern edge of the city along Dublin Bay.
WHERE TO STAY IN DUBLIN
- Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin
Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin has a restaurant, fitness centre, a bar and shared lounge in Dublin. Featuring a garden, the 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests. At the hotel, the rooms include a wardrobe. At Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin all rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Buffet and Full English/Irish breakfast options are available every morning at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin include St Patrick's Cathedral, Teeling Whiskey Distillery and The City Hall. The nearest airport is Dublin Airport, 13 km from the hotel.
- The Marker Hotel - The Leading Hotels of the World
Situated on Grand Canal Square in the heart of Dublin’s business and cultural quarter, The Marker features a ground-floor cocktail bar & brasserie, free WiFi and a spa with 5 treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art gym. The property also boasts a 23 m infinity pool, sauna, steam room and fitness centre. An en-suite bathroom,40-inch LED TV and air conditioning are featured in each room at The Marker, as well as a Philip Stark Lamp which comes with iPod charging facilities. The Rooftop Lounge features views of the cityscape, which guests can enjoy with a drink. Please note that the rooftop bar and terrace opening hours are subject to weather conditions and availability, and arranged on a weekly basis. Traditional Irish cooking is on offer in The Brasserie, with a strong emphasis on locally sourced produce. Dublin city centre can be reached in a 20-minute walk and features a wide variety of shops, nightlife and theatres. Many pubs offering traditional Irish music and dance can also be found.
- The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection
The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin is a historic, landmark hotel located in the heart of Dublin on St. Stephen's Green. The five-star hotel is a 5 minutes' walk from Dublin's famous attractions, such as Trinity College, Grafton Street and the National Gallery, National Museum and National Library. All rooms feature pillow-top mattresses and duvets, ensuring guests receive a restful night's sleep. Sleek marble bathrooms offer robes, slippers, lighted makeup mirrors, and luxury bath products are also available. Guests can unwind with free WiFi and an LED fully digital flat-screen TV. Dining options at The Shelbourne include The Saddle Room, an elegant Irish restaurant serving steak and seafood with classic touches, No.27 The Shelbourne Bar and The Lord Mayor’s Lounge, an iconic drawing room that reflects Dublin life where afternoon tea is served daily. The hotel features an exclusive Health Club and Spa offering 7 treatment rooms, a 19 m swimming pool, thermal facilities, dance studio and a state-of-the-art gymnasium. Completing the beauty facilities, The Salon at The Shelbourne offers a range of premium hairdressing and beauty services including luxury manicures, pedicures, express facials and hairstyling.
- Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House
With views over the River Liffey, Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House sits next to 3Arena, EPIC Ireland museum and Bord Gais Theatre. In the newly developed Dockland area, all rooms feature power showers and flat-screen TVs. Hilton Garden Inn Dublin has a contemporary, spacious and comfortable guestroom. There is a workspace area and tea and coffee-making facilities. Hilton Garden Inn Dublin House also offers several wheelchair friendly rooms. Busaras and Connolly Station are both just a 2-minute walk from the hotel. There is also a tram stop to the rear of the hotel with a sightseeing tour stop right outside the door. Dublin city centre is just a 15-minute walk offering a lot of shopping, dining and social experiences. The Hilton’s restaurant has a wide selection of snacks and meals on offer. Specialty coffees are served at Costa Coffee, which also serves snacks and fresh pastries. The stylish bar serves excellent cuisine in light and airy surroundings. It also has a fine selection of spirits and wines to choose from.
Located in the heart of Drumcondra village, the Dublin Skylon Hotel is a family run hotel situated next to many famous Dublin landmarks. National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin Cemetery & Croke Park Stadium can be reached in 15 minutes on foot, while Dublin City University (DCU) is located just 10minute walk. Dublin Skylon Hotel secure on-site car park is favoured for guests with Dublin Airport & M50 located just a 10minute drive. An express taxi/bus lane is located directly outside the hotel giving guests even more accessibility to the Dublin city centre. The elegantly designed bedrooms are finished to the highest of standard that includes stylish Respa beds, Laptop Safe, free Wi-Fi, and a private bathroom with Rituals Toiletries. Guests can enjoy an extensive cooked Irish breakfast or Continental options that will be served to your table. The Skylon Bar & Grill offers classic bar favourites using locally sourced ingredients. All the menus come with a suggestion of wines from around the world, an extensive cocktail menu and gin gallery.
- Jurys Inn Dublin Parnell Street
Located on Dublin’s Parnell Street, this Jurys Inn is just around the corner from O’Connell Street. Jurys offers en suite bedrooms, a restaurant and an Il Barista Coffee Bar. Jurys Inn Parnell Street offers contemporary rooms with Dream beds, TVs with Freeview, spa toiletries and private bathrooms. There is a workspace area and tea and coffee making facilities. Jurys has a 24-hour reception and is just a 5-minute walk from the Temple Bar district. Dublin Castle, Grafton Street, and Trinity College are all under a 10-minute walk away. Breakfast is available daily as a pre-packed balanced option delivered to your room. Breakfast baps are also available for collection from the lobby and bar. The bar and restaurant will not be open for breakfast dining. The restaurant offers an evening menu with Irish and international cuisine. The Inntro Bar serves light lunches whilst specialty coffees are available at Il Barista. Guests can make use of the on-site fitness room. The bus stop on O’Connell Street services Dublin Airport, which is just 9.7 km way. Heuston Train Station is 2.4 km from Jurys, and Connolly Station is a 15-minute walk away.
- Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin
Situated in the heart of Dublin city centre in a historic building, The Gresham Hotel benefits from its own restaurant 'Toddy's', and a bar. The hotel offers free WiFi and spacious rooms overlooking O’Connell Street. Dublin 3Arena is 1.6 km away. Each bedroom features an LCD TV, a safe, iron and ironing board and tea and coffee making facilities. The majority of bedrooms overlook the rear of The Gresham Hotel, at neighbouring buildings. The Gallery Restaurant serves breakfast each morning. Toddys Bar and Brasserie and Writers Lounge serve a wide variety of food and beverages throughout the day. The hotel has its own gym with 24 hour access located on the first floor. Extensive car parking is available next to the hotel, at a surcharge. The River Liffey, Temple Bar, and the shopping districts are a few minutes’ walk away. Dublin Airport is 10 km away and the port is 2.5 km from the hotel. Connolly train station is a 5-minute walk away.
- Maldron Hotel Parnell Square
Maldron Hotel Parnell Square is located in central Dublin and a 2-minute walk from the popular O'Connell Street and just 7 minutes' walk from the lively Temple Bar district. Dublin Castle, Grafton Street, and Trinity College are all under a 10-minute walk away. Guests can enjoy air conditioned rooms which feature a private bathroom, Free WiFi, iron/trouser press, TV, along with a work desk and tea/coffee facilities. Stir Café & Bar offers a buffet breakfast, a full a la carte menu with an array of European and Irish dishes plus a selection of freshly brewed coffees and fine wines. Pizzas are also made to order and they can be taken back to guest’s rooms.
- Belvedere Hotel Parnell Square
In Central Dublin, the Belvedere Hotel is a 15-minute walk from Connolly Station, a 5-minute walk from Dublin's famous O'Connell Street and the Spire of Dublin which also has access to fantastic shopping on Henry Street. It offers spacious bedrooms with free WiFi in all areas of the hotel and traditional Irish food. Rooms at the hotel feature marble bathrooms with baths, showers and hairdryers. The rooms include a TV, safe and tea/coffee-making facilities. With beautiful Georgian windows offering views towards Parnell Square, the Belvedere Lounge has a bar menu, large-screen TVs showing live sport, and live music at weekends. The lounge also hosts an Irish night which features traditional Irish music, dancing and food. Each morning a cooked and continental breakfast buffet is served in the Belvedere Restaurant, which also has an evening dinner menu. There is an Aircoach stop less than a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Dublin has a wealth of attractions for guests to explore, and Trinity College, Croke Park and the Temple Bar district are all within a 10-minute walk.
In the bustling Temple Bar district of Dublin, the newly refurbished Fleet Street Hotel is just 100 m from the River Liffey. Opposite Trinity College, it features rooms with flat-screen satellite TVs and free Wi-Fi in all areas. Central O’Connell Street and the shops of Grafton Street are both only 5 minutes away on foot. Dublin Castle is 15 minutes’ walk from the hotel, while the Olympia Theatre is also a 5-minute walk away. With private bathrooms, each room at Fleet Street Hotel includes free tea and coffee in the room, along with a hairdryer and telephone. Guests can relax with a drink in Cafe Bar 1920, the hotels newly refurbished stylish Cafe Bar. Hearty and freshly prepared food is also available. Guests can make use of luggage storage facilities at the hotel.
PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN DUBLIN
If the ‘luck of the Irish’ is on your side and you find yourself in the infamous city of Dublin, there will be countless things for you to do and see while you’re there. Not only is Dublin deeply rooted in their incredible history, culture and – well, booze – the people of Dublin are all such characters, as well. Whether they are sharing long-winded stories, singing local songs or telling the odd joke here and there to make you laugh, the locals never fail to put a smile on your face. And, because the city is located right on the east coast, day trips and excursions to the mountains or cliff sides are just a bus ride away, where you can witness some of the most vast and beautiful sceneries in all of Ireland.
- Go Back in Time to Dublin Castle
Take a trip back to prehistoric Dublin by visiting the famous Dublin Castle. With over 800 years of Irish memories encapsulated within its walls, this incredible structure has borne witness to some of the most pivotal events in all of the country’s history. Spanning an area of over 11 acres, the Castle stands proudly on the highest ridge in the locality and offers self-guided and guided tours of the grounds, including the Castle’s many rooms, gardens and museums such as the Chapel Royal, the Chester Beatty Library, the Garda Museum and the Revenue Museum.
- Take a Walk over Ha’penny Bridge
A strikingly unique white-picketed beauty, the Ha’penny Bridge is famously known as the first pedestrian bridge to span over the river Liffey. Its name was derived from the price pedestrians had to pay (a “halfpenny”) to cross the bridge back when it was built in 1816. Today, it has become one of the main “monuments” or structures that identify Dublin – appearing on postcards, tourism brochures, books and memorabilia.
- Visit the Guinness Storehouse Factory
Located in the heart of St. James’ Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Ireland. In fact, the interior is designed to look exactly like a pint of Guinness itself and is known to be the largest pint in the world. A ticket to the Guinness factory (roughly €18) will take you on a tour through seven floors of Irish brewing history, where you will learn all about the Guinness family, as well as how the beloved stout beer is meticulously crafted to perfection. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at the Gravity Bar on the 7th floor, where you can enjoy a refreshing pint of Guinness with a 360 degree view of the Dublin skyline.
- Take a Tour of the Old Jameson Distillery
Another historical gem is the Old Jameson Distillery, located just off Smithfield Square. This location previously used to be the original site where Jameson whiskey was manufactured and distilled until it stopped production in the early 1970s. A tour of the old distillery will take you through the history and process of creating the refined whiskey, along with the unique opportunity to take part in a comparative whiskey-tasting experience. At the end of the tour, you will be given an exclusive Whiskey Taster Certificate to officially certify your knowledge in traditional Irish whiskey that you will be able to show off to your family and friends back home.
- Take a photo with The Spire of Dublin
One of the easiest monuments to spot from afar, The Spire stands proudly in the center of O’Connell street towering approximately 120 meters above ground. This completely stainless-steel structure is about 3 meters in diameter at the base and 15 centimeters at its apex. On sunny days, you can notice its exterior being gently illuminated by the sun – lighting up the monument for all to see. The tip of the structure is also lit up by an external light source at nighttime in order to act as a beacon in the night sky.
- Marvel at the Beauty of St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Known as the largest church in all of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is actually one of two cathedrals that were built on Dublin soil. However, St. Patcrick’s Cathedral still remains the most popular of the two when it comes to tourists. The cathedral was originally founded in 1191 and is rife with over 800 years of Irish history and culture. A brilliant architectural wonder, its beauty can be noticed both inside and out. It is also the final resting place of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s travels and Dean of the Cathedral.
- Visit Christ Church Cathedral
The second of Dublin’s medieval cathedrals, Christ Church Cathedral, is yet another of Dublin’s architectural wonders. More formally known as The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, this fully-operational church is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough. Although it is open to tourists who wish to marvel at its Romanesque interiors, the staff of the cathedral do charge admission and ticketing fees, as the building receives no support from the state. However, the fee is definitely worth the visit and will help contribute to maintaining this beautiful piece of Irish history.
- Have a Picnic in Phoenix Park
A humongous walled park (about 1,700 acres) that lies just about 2 miles from downtown Dublin, Phoenix Park is more than just your ordinary park. In fact, aside from the long stretches of green and multitude of incredible trees and plants, it is also home to the Dublin Zoo, a sports field, the Wellington Monument, and both the Presidential and US Ambassador’s Residences. With so much to do and see, you can easily spend the entire day relaxing, sightseeing or simply roaming the grounds.
- Read a Book at Trinity College Library
An incredible architectural wonder, and a room most bibliophiles would only dream of finding themselves in, the Trinity College Library is the largest library in all of Ireland. It is also home to the famous Book of Kells – an ornate, beautifully-illuminated manuscript containing all of the four Gospels of the New Testament that’s over 1000 years old. Its most famous section, known as The Long Room, has been known to resemble the Jedi Archives in Star Wars. Unfortunately, the main library is only open to staff, graduates and students of the university, but that doesn’t stop tourists from taking a gander at the Old Library that’s open to visitors and located within its quarters.
- Go for Lunch at Avoca Wool Shop & Café
Aside from the stout beer and whiskey, one of the finest (and most famous) goods that come out of Ireland is their wool and mohair products made from the local sheep scattered around the hills and valleys of Ireland. Although the actual wool mill is located just outside of Dublin in the small town of Avoca, the company also sells their wool at various Avoca shops around Dublin. For those who can’t get out of the city, stop by the shop near the Dublin City Center to purchase some original handwoven luxurious scarves, sweaters or blankets made out of local Irish mohair. Make sure you go upstairs to visit their café, where you can enjoy a light lunch, tea or dessert of local Irish cuisine.
- Learn about the Abandoned Prison of Kilmainham Gaol
An absolute must-see destination for all history lovers, Kilmainham Gaol is an abandoned prison that offers guided tours of its restored quarters. With a cheap ticket fee of €4 per person, each tour includes a 45-50 minute tour of the facilities where your knowledgeable guide will take you through the history of the jail, detailing the extremely poor treatment of inmates during that time, along with countless other interesting facts about the politics and restoration of the prison. You will leave this tour with a much broader understanding of this devastating time in Irish history.
- Go on a Trip to Wicklow Mountains
One of the best day trips out of the city – and a must-see during your trip to Dublin – is a tour of Wicklow Mountains. Famously known for the filming location of the popular romance film, P.S. I Love You, this unbelievably beautiful landscape looks even more magnificent in person than it does on-screen. A basic tour costs around €22 which covers transportation to and from Dublin, along with a brief history of the region, a traditional Irish lunch and free time to roam and explore the land’s natural beauty. Make sure to bring your camera.
Located within Phoenix Park, the Dublin Zoo is an excellent addition to your day. With a huge variety of animals to see and a very well laid-out map, this excursion is great for individuals or groups of all ages. Not only are the animals at the zoo incredibly cared-for, but they all have spacious habitats for them to roam and play, making each encounter as close to the real thing as possible. Be sure to visit the Meerkat Café, where you can look at the meerkats up close while you are enjoying a drink or bite to eat!
- Take a Day Trip to The Cliffs of Moher
Another spectacular trip that awaits you just beyond the city is a tour of the marvelous Cliffs of Moher. These natural wonders have also been used for various film shoots, such as Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Princess Bride, and are an absolute breathtaking experience to view in person. You can visit any tourism center in Dublin to arrange a day tour to the Cliffs of Moher, which will cost anywhere between €15 to €40. A must-see.
- Peruse the Dublin Flea Market
Although you can probably find a flea market happening on almost any corner and sidestreet in Dublin (especially on the weekends), the Dublin Flea Market is a huge indoor flea market that happens on the last Sunday of every month and has become one of the most beloved in Dublin. With over 60+ stalls selling everything from reusable household items to baby supplies to furniture to old clothes, there’s a chance you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here.
- Discover the Unique Doors of Dublin
Since most of the housing complexes are built to look the same (and each individual house has little room in between each other), most home owners will paint their door an original color in order to set them apart from their neighbor’s house. Although it was previously used to identify the home, it has now become a significant characteristic of Dublin itself. Photos of these colorful, unique-looking doors can be found on postcards and calendars in souvenir shops around the city.
- Wander through the Graveyards at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
Rated #1 on TripAdvisor’s list for Top Things to Do in Dublin, the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum is an atypical, but thoroughly interesting way to take in some Irish history. During your tour, you’ll get to wander through some of the various graveyards of famous Irish political figures, poets, writers and other people of interest, along with hearing some very informative commentary about each person, and the political history of Ireland. Tickets range from €6 to €25, depending on the type of package.
- Learn to Play the Irish Way at Experience Gaelic Games
Another incredibly unique and fun way to experience the true Irish culture and heritage is to take part in Experience Gaelic Games’ traditional Irish recreational sports lessons. Located just 10 minutes away from Dublin City Center, Experience Gaelic Games gives you the opportunity to learn some of Ireland’s most famous sporting games – such as the world-famous stick and ball field sport, “hurling” or Gaelic Football (a combination of soccer, rugby, basketball all rolled into one), and many more! Great for groups, this experience is incredibly team-building and is a skill you can take home with you for life.
- Relax at St. Stephen’s Green
Another popular Dublin park to relax in is St. Stephen’s Green, filled with lush green grass, a variety of plants and flowers and some marvelous bodies of water. If that’s not enough, there are even some monuments scattered around for you to see and many paths for you to walk, bike or jog. Bring a book, a packed lunch, or stop at a café before heading to St. Stephen’s Green to enjoy a brisk, beautiful day at the park.
- Stop to Smell the Roses at Dublin’s National Botanic Gardens
The National Botanic Gardens is such great place to visit – both with families or as a solo traveler. With so many plants, flowers and other special things to see, you can easily spend an entire day getting lost roaming throughout these lush gardens. Make sure to bring your camera, as some of the most beautiful parts of your visit includes a sculpture garden, a vegetable garden designed to look like an old castle or the glass houses. Entry is completely free to visitors, but a guided tour is €5.
- Visit the Little Museum of Dublin
The Little Museum of Dublin is the perfect way to get a little bit of all types of history mashed up into one excellent and informative tour. As most of the artifacts and ephemera are donated by people in Dublin, every object in the museum has its own unique story. Admission to the museum costs €7, with exhibitions ranging from films to music to politics, history and culture. Although the museum may be ‘little’, it is definitely packed with enough knowledge and history to stand up to one of the bigger museums in the city.
- Have a History Lesson at the National Museum of Ireland
One of the best free museums in all of Dublin is definitely the National Museum of Ireland. Some of the most notable exhibits in the museum include the Viking exhibit, the exquisite gold artifact display or the remarkable collection of “bog men” – bodies found and recovered from bogs all over Ireland. Each body comes with a story that will give you spectacular insight into the lives of these men who once lived in the country and have now become a permanent part of Irish history.
- Drink in the Knowledge at the Irish Whiskey Museum
A great combination of Ireland’s best traits – history and booze – the Irish Whiskey Museum has everything you could possibly want in one great place. Located in the popular Grafton street area, the museum tour gives you a detailed history of all types of whiskey (not just Jameson). At the end of the tour, you get to taste three unique types of whiskey as celebration. Plus, if you purchase the VIP package, you get an exclusive 4th whiskey and a unique shot class to take home with you.
- Party like the Irish at The Temple Bar
The Temple Bar is quite possibly one of the most iconic bars in all of Dublin, with tourists flocking from all over the world to have a drink inside its famous walls. Although the history of the bar dates back to the early 1300s, it still remains popular to this day due to its famous red exterior, its great location in the heart of the city, as well as being a huge part of Dublin’s central nightlife scene. At present, The Temple Bar is the most popular bar frequented by young tourists – and even some locals alike – looking to have a glass (or two, or three) of strong Irish whiskey and enjoy a hell of a night.
- Drink Inside a Restored Cathedral at The Church
One of the most unique and beautiful bars in the city, The Church is not what its name may make it seem. In fact, The Church used to originally be called St. Mary’s church; however, it closed in 1964 and was eventually restored and converted into a popular bar and nightclub in 2007. On the main floor, you can find a magnificent island bar that almost spans the length of the church, complete with booths, tables and bar stools for guests and a small stage that plays live traditional Irish music from 7pm – 9pm on Sunday – Wednesday. Downstairs, you can find the nightclub – open every Friday & Saturday night from 10pm until 3am – with a resident DJ that plays all the latest popular music and Rn’B tracks.
WHERE TO EAT IN DUBLIN
Dublin’s restaurant scene is a veritable smorgasbord of culinary delights. With gastropubs, burger joints, fine dining, fast-casual establishments and more, there’s never been a wider variety of tempting places to eat. Turisti-info has seach up the best restaurants in Dublin to give you a true taste of what the city has to offer.
While Dublin was once renowned solely for its lively music and pub scene, in recent years, the Irish capital has become something of a foodie destination. The next generation of talented young chefs has taken up residence in the city’s dining establishments, transforming the culinary landscape and shining a spotlight on Irish produce – whether it’s excellent meat, fresh dairy or seasonal vegetables. Today, visitors to Dublin will find an array of dining options. Whether you’re hankering for haute cuisine or café fare, there’s somewhere to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
Discreetly tucked away on a side street just beside Trinity College Dublin is The Vintage Kitchen – a small restaurant tightly packed with tables and chairs that are rarely seen unoccupied as the venue is usually brimming with keen diners. It serves a set evening menu best described as hearty modern Irish, with dishes such as wicklow duck liver crème with lime jelly, and tender lamb shank and vegetables. Portions here are huge, so be sure to arrive with an appetite. As well as a BYOB policy, which is relatively unusual for Dublin, The Vintage Kitchen will also let you play your favourite LP on its 1970s record player.
Located on Dublin’s Thomas Street, between the towering Christ Church Cathedral and Guinness Storehouse, is Variety Jones – a restaurant so small and unassuming that you might miss it if you blink. You are likely to smell it, though, thanks to the open hearth fire that crackles merrily in the small open kitchen. On this goes all manner of fresh vegetables, local meat and whole fish, delivering smoky, chargrilled dishes packed full of flavour. The small menu features shareable plates and changes often, with an ever-rotating catalogue of dishes accompanied by a clever wine list overseen by the restaurant’s passionate sommelier.
There is almost always a queue for a table at Sano Pizza, but as past diners can attest, the wait is well worth it. This buzzy, brightly lit pizzeria on the edge of the busy Temple Bar area is something of a rabbit warren, with tables set across two curving floors. Sano Pizza is also one of the city’s best cheap eats, turning out perfectly charred, puffed-up pizzas topped with authentic Italian ingredients. Pizzas start at €6 (£5.50), and you can add a glass of wine or beer for less than a fiver. There’s a high turnover of patrons, and while it’s not necessarily somewhere to linger, service is always charming.
Despite being one of Dublin’s grandest landmarks, Parnell Square is often overlooked by visitors, which is a shame given it’s home to the impressive Dublin Writers Museum and the excellent Mr Fox. This basement restaurant is known for its fantastic high-end cuisine, served in a refreshingly informal atmosphere. There’s a great set lunch menu, but it’s the chateaubriand for two on the dinner menu that really stands out. Utilising excellent local produce, Mr Fox is contemporary Irish Cuisine at its finest. The restaurant is simply decorated with bare floor tiles and quirky fox motifs; enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif in the tiny bar that adjoins the dining room.
The vibrant, colour-saturated interior of this lively restaurant is the perfect indicator as to the nature of its food. Pickle specialises in Indian cuisine – vividly spiced and a riot of texture and colour – with a modern twist. Along with traditional curries, you’ll find the likes of locally sourced tandoori scallops, spicy fauzi chicken wings and venison samosas. The restaurant is famed for its kid goat mince curry, a moreish dish studded with black cardamom, and there are plenty of delicious veggie options, too. Pickle is slightly more expensive than your average curry house but well worth it for something a little different. The lunch menu, however, is keenly priced.
Situated in the historic neighbourhood of Harold’s Cross, Craft is a small restaurant that makes modern bistro dishes with fine-dining flair. Having retained a Michelin Bib Gourmand since 2017, this busy restaurant is well worth visiting. Craft is popular for weekend brunch, serving a traditional full Irish breakfast alongside more adventurous dishes such as charred cabbage with hazelnut pesto. Come dinner time, and the succinct menu is a vibrant, seasonal affair that boasts plenty of regional produce.
The humble burger has been elevated to a cult gastronomic item at the incredibly popular Bunsen. This mini-empire has dedicated itself to the art of the burger, coming up with a winning formula – a soft amish dinner roll, pure Irish beef patty, pickles, cheese and its signature sauce. These are proper roll-up-your-sleeves burgers that have garnered a loyal following, which has seen the independently owned restaurant expand with various locations around Dublin and beyond. Bunsen does one thing here and does it well, which also means there aren’t any vegetarian options – although it makes delicious fries.
Located in the well-heeled neighbourhood of Ranelagh – a short tram ride from the city centre – is Nightmarket. This authentic Thai restaurant specialises in the comforting home cooking of Chiang Mai and spicy seafood dishes from Hua Hin. Among favourites, you’ll find the likes of khao soi gai (a Chiang Mai-style noodle soup) and pla neung manao (steamed whole fish with chilli, garlic and lime). The cocktail menu has also been given a Thai twist, with the classic sidecar receiving a zingy lemon ginger kick and the whiskey sour featuring tamarind, lime and anise. Nightmarket serves brunch that delivers the punchy, tangy flavours of Thai cuisine with nary a poached egg in sight.
You’ll find no uninspired bowls of olives at Uno Mas – it does modern Spanish cuisine that elevates your usual tapas experience. The small yet stylish eatery, which features bare white walls and deep-green leather seating, does a dazzling range of pintxo and sharing plates, as well as more substantial starters and mains. The menu changes regularly but always offers a variety of authentic Spanish bites such as salt cod croquetas, squid a la plancha, chorizo and jamón ibérico. The wine list is lengthy and detailed, with plenty of options for all palates and price ranges, as well as some interesting ports and sherries for those craving a sweet ending to their meal.
Provenance might be something of a foodie buzzword, but it’s not one that this sophisticated restaurant on Dublin’s busy Camden Street takes lightly. Delahunt produces everything in-house, from its bread to smoked salmon. It’s been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for its contemporary fine dining and offers an often-changing set dinner menu that has featured the likes of Irish beef with grelot onions and potato and beef cheek dumplings. Housed in a listed Victorian building, Delahunt has a romantic vibe with dim lighting, stained-glass windows, lace curtains, dark-wood floors and inky-blue walls. The restaurant operates as a café during the day, and at night-time, you can pop upstairs to The Sitting Room, its classy Mid-Century Modern bar that serves bespoke cocktails using seasonal spirits and ingredients.
L Mulligan Grocer may look like your average Dublin boozer from the outside, but don’t be fooled because this is among the best gastropubs in the city. Inside the bar, you’ll find elegant renditions of classic pub favourites such as a free-range scotch egg with beer-pickled silverskins and home-made relish. It’s a little pricier than your usual pub meal, but the local ingredients and superb cooking are worth every penny. L Mulligan Grocer has an extensive beer list, including craft beers, IPAs, sharing bottles, gluten-free beers and cider, as well as a wine list featuring bottles from small, independent importers.
Rich tapestry wall hangings, shimmying belly dancers, live acoustic music – Damascus Gate is a feast for all the senses. Most importantly, the traditional Lebanese and Syrian dishes are exceptional and include chargrilled meats, meze and sweet desserts like knafeh (a Syrian cheesecake). Damascus Gate makes some of the best Middle Eastern food in Dublin. Both the suburban location in and the more central Camden Street venue are BYOB but also have an extensive wine list, with some interesting Lebanese varietals available.
For a taste of Korean comfort food, head to Chimac in Dublin’s city centre. The restaurant’s name combines the Korean words chikin (chicken) and maekju (beer), two things it does very well. Using only the best Irish free-range birds, Chimac fills decadent sandwiches with classic Korean fried chicken – try the KimCheese, which is livened up with dripping cheddar, kimchi and gochujang mayo. The chicken is also served as crispy nuggets with a side of pickled daikon, while a panko-breadcrumbed tofu option pleases the vegetarians. Wash it all down with a craft beer or a frosé.
You don’t have to decide what to order at Forest Avenue, a chic restaurant in Dublin’s leafy Ballsbridge neighbourhood. Offering just a six-course tasting menu takes confidence, but this kitchen more than delivers with a contemporary, inventive menu that looks as good as it tastes. The elegant plating lets the seasonal and local ingredients shine, and the menu changes frequently, though there’s always an option for vegetarians. The decor is pared back, with bare white walls and pendant lighting, while the service from the husband-wife team behind this stylish restaurant is impeccable.
WHERE TO SHOP IN DUBLIN
Whether you’re looking for antiques, artisanal jams or handmade crafts, or even if you aren’t quite sure just what you’re searching for yet, Dublin’s markets are filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Set against seaside backdrops or under the roof of historic Victorian buildings, the venues of Dublin’s markets are as varied as the wares on offer. If you have a hankering for artisanal cheeses, organic produce bought straight from the farmers or Irish-made trinkets and jewellery, these are the city’s best markets to dive into.
Temple Bar Food Market has a colourful array of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Browse the stalls heaving with locally sourced produce, with traders on hand to provide expert knowledge on how best to cook, prepare and enjoy a wide range of dishes. Artisanal cheeses, olives, freshly made hummus and pesto are all on the menu, in addition to a selection of fresh oysters – in a city known for its seafoods, these restaurants are must - visit. Many of the vendors will happily give you a few samples to try before purchase. The food market goes ahead come rain or shine, with the Meeting House Square providing shelter when needed.
Located in the colourful neighbourhood of Rathmines, Eatyard brings a vibrant new casual dining experience to Dublin. A variety of vendors serve up takeaway-style food in a relaxed environment at this permanent food marketplace, with benches to facilitate group gatherings. Choose from delectable dishes such as vegan fish and chips, cauliflower wings and stuffed Venezuelan arepas, with sweet churros to finish. One of the perks is that this stays open a little later than most markets, which means you can enjoy a range of craft beers from the Brewtonic Bar. Also keep an eye out for events from the associated Bakeyard and music festival.
- Farmleigh Food and Craft Market
Situated in the beautiful surroundings of Farmleigh Farmyard (behind Farmleigh House), right beside Phoenix Park, the atmosphere at the Food and Craft Market is one of a traditional marketplace. Take in the serenity of one of the largest parks in Europe before wandering through the stalls displaying award-winning cheeses, organic vegetables and freshly made treats. Couple your visit with one of the many interesting events going on at Farmleigh House, which range from discussions on beekeeping to photography exhibitions. The market takes place on individual dates throughout the summer, so be sure to check the schedule in advance to avoid missing the next event. There’s no ATM, so remember to bring cash.
With five front units open seven days a week and over 25 stalls springing to life at the weekends, Howth Market is one of the focal points of this quaint seaside town and attracts locals just as much as those from further afield. Conveniently located beside the DART station, this market is perfect for browsing on a sunny day before heading along the cliff walk or onto the pier. Though the market sells a great mix of wares, from woodwork to antique jewellery, the food is the highlight. Buy a loaf of the enticing freshly baked bread from the village’s artisan bakers and try some of Howth’s only genuine home-made gelato from Amore.
Serving Dublin since 1881, this enclosed Victorian market has a charming red-bricked interior housing over 50 stalls. Ranging in size and scale, the vendors here sell everything from authentic falafel to art, memorabilia and coin collections. They even offer tarot readings to help marketgoers divine what lies in their future – perhaps a freshly made cold-pressed juice from The Juicery, or a caffeine fix from Simon’s Place Coffee Shop? Striking a balance between market and shopping centre, you’re always sure to find something unique among George’s Street Arcade’s eclectic range of stalls and shopfronts.
This market is located within the historic People’s Park, which opened in 1890 and is home to stunning Victorian architecture, including a gate lodge and original tearooms. Though the market is a much newer addition, it has proven a firm favourite with Dubliners, offering a vast range of seasonal fruit and veg in addition to hot baked goods. McNally Family Farm can often be found here, selling organic vegetables and salad ingredients grown just north of Dublin. The park also hosts a number of outdoor concerts and events that coincide with the market throughout the year.
Originally a coaching inn, today Blackrock Market hosts over 50 traders and since its inception in 1996 has built up a reputation as one of the most popular markets in Dublin. Visitors can browse fine art, antique furnishings and handmade crafts; Hubert’s Bric-a-Brac in particular has a wide range of vintage finds of both Irish and European descent, including ceramics and pottery and vintage cameras from around the world. People come for the antiques and stay for the food; don’t miss the authentic Indian street food at 3 Leaves, an award-winning restaurant that dishes up pav bhaji (thick vegetable curry served with a roll) and pani puri (fried balls of hollow dough packed with savoury fillings such as chickpeas) to eager guests.
Founded in 2014 by two couples, Deirdre O’Sullivan and Norman Kenny and Christy and Mary Stapleton, The Green Door Market is one of the largest and best farmer’s markets in Ireland. It relocated from its original home in Newmarket Square to Bluebell in 2018. This change brought Bluebell, once a thriving market and farming community up until the 1950s, back to its roots, and the market’s change of venue didn’t diminish its charm. Here, stalls selling eco-friendly dry goods such as home-made granola stand alongside those selling flowers, organic produce, olive oils and preserves, and local meats, including ethically produced free-range Irish salami from The Wooded Pig.
- Designer Mart at Cow’s Lane
The largest designer market in Dublin, the Designer Mart at Cow’s Lane sells a range of handmade rarities. For those looking for truly original pieces, the market has everything from prints, paintings and handcrafted hats to designer children’s toys, and there are often new stalls to discover, even if you’ve been before. If you’re seeking one-off dynamic finds, this is the place to discover bespoke pieces from independent Irish and Ireland - based designers. The stalls are usually staffed by the designers and makers themselves, so you can discuss the history and techniques that go into their craft.