Dublin may be a small capital city, but it’s certainly not short on charm. With its rich history and strong personality, Dublin draws you in. Appreciate the clean lines of Georgian buildings, the bustle of its vibrant pubs, and the abundance of green space - not to mention the character of the locals, whose charisma is legendary.
Dublin is a bustling commercial city, but you don’t have to go far to find a peaceful retreat. Right bang in the middle of the city you’ll find the graceful oasis of Trinity College
. Stroll through the cobbled squares and perfectly maintained green areas in a university that was established in 1592. Go back even further in time for the university’s main attraction. The Book of Kells is a unique 9th-century illuminated gospel manuscript that should be top of your list of things to see on your visit to Dublin.
As if it was not famous enough, Guinness stout secured its place in history when U.S. president Barack Obama took time to down a pint of it on his lightning visit to Ireland in 2011. See what the fuss is about and visit its spiritual home. The Guinness Storehouse
, in the city centre, has everything a stout lover could want. A state-of-the art multimedia experience celebrating Ireland’s most famous export, it offers tours that culminate with a Guinness tasting.
Chester Beatty Library
If the Chester Beatty Library
was situated anywhere else, it would be celebrated as a wonder among literary and artistic collections. Discreetly hidden in the grounds of Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty is easily one of Europe’s best libraries. It houses superb collections of rare books, manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, and drawings from countries across the globe, from Asia to the Middle East and North Africa to Europe.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
One of Dublin's three cathedrals, St. Patrick's
is where St. Patrick is reputed to have baptised the first local converts, at the adjacent Holy Well. The cathedral - Ireland’s biggest church - is in the heart of the historic Viking quarter of Dublin, on the north side of the city. If you are a fan of Gulliver’s Travels, you really should make the effort to visit: Gulliver’s author, Jonathan Swift, was a dean of the cathedral and his tomb lies within it.
Dublin's bohemian quarter, Temple Bar
is the heart of the city’s entertainment culture. Once a shabby area earmarked for a never-to-be-built railway terminus, its cobbled streets have developed to include a multitude of quirky shops, tacky souvenir stores, shops, restaurants, and - above all - bars. The home of the Irish Film Centre, the Project Arts Centre and DESIGNyard, Temple Bar has a personality that is split between cultural initiatives and, well, pub culture. On weekend nights, it is a hub for stag and hen parties, so although well worth a visit, choose your time to suit your tolerance of such merriment.
Bru na Boinne
If you hire a car at Dublin Airport, you’re only about 20 minutes from Donore and Bru na Boinne
, one of the world’s most significant neolithic sites. Here you will find a complex of awe-inspiring ancient monuments that have baffled and fascinated archaeologists for years. To preserve the sites intact, visitors must join a guided tour to access the neolithic monuments at Newgrange and Knowth. These guided tours begin from the Bru na Boinne Visitors Centre on the south side of the river Boyne.