Dublin is one of the finest cities in Europe and I strongly recommend that you take any opportunity to visit which comes your way.
I visited Dublin recently and thought I would share some of the places that I went to and would recommend.
Firstly, any visit to Dublin should include a visit to the General Post Office on O’Connell Street. This was the headquarters of the rebels during the Easter Rising and the museum under the post office is certainly well worth a visit. You are provided with headphones and an iPod so that you can move around the exhibits at your own pace listening to some very helpful and informative details about the Easter Rising from 1916. Although the rising itself was unsuccessful, there is no doubt the rebellion that day laid the ground work for Irish independence just six years later. In the museum bookshop, I bought “16 Dead Men” by Anne-Marie Ryan which provides a profile of the leaders of the rising and it is a well written and helpful book.
We also visited Trinity College. This is a beautiful site for a civic university and is just five minutes walk south of O’Connell Street. We had hoped to visit the Book of Kells, but on the day of our visit it was not available because of refurbishment. However, this is something that you should try and take in if you do visit Dublin. The university grounds are excellent and the Science Gallery is well worth a visit because it has some excellent exhibitions. On the day we visited, the exhibition was about plastic recycling and we learned a lot. In particular, work has been done to turn milk into plastic which would produce a way of creating easily recyclable plastic and a lot of enthusiasm surrounds this project.
Dublin Open Top Bus Tour
A great way for a tourist to discover Dublin is to go on one of the many open top bus tours. There are a variety of companies providing these tours and you should expect to pay about €20 per adult. Most of the tours give you a ticket which lasts for a couple of days and takes you around most of the main tourist sites. We picked our bus up outside the University and travelled all over the city on it. The map below shows a typical open top bus tour in Dublin.
At night, there is really only one place to go if you are a visitor – Temple Bar. It is full of some magnificent restaurants, bars and places to enjoy the craic! Started off with a Guinness in the Temple Bar pub itself and you could certainly do worse than this. There are so many different restaurants and eateries that you do not need my advice – just wander the streets for five minutes and you will certainly find somewhere tempting to eat. If you get really stuck, have a look at the lovely Elephant & Castle.
There are several cathedrals to visit in Dublin, but for family reasons we went to St Mary’s pro Cathedral. It is a very pretty building and we were lucky enough to hear some wonderful music from the choir during a Sunday mass.
Dublin is full of hotels at many different prices. We stayed at the Juries Inn Dublin on Parnell Street. It was warm, comfortable, well equipped and well located. A family room for one Saturday night in January was about €100. This seems reasonable when compared with other hotels.
Flight to Dublin
The flight was from Bristol to Dublin with Ryanair. They are a well-known cheap, no frills airline who took us to Dublin with out any complaints. However, the travel was very basic and the extra charges for food, seat booking and even extra hand luggage does grate with passengers. However, even with all of those extras, they were still the cheapest way of getting from the south-west to Dublin so you just have to grin and bear it.
There are so many things you can do in Dublin and I appreciate that I have only touched the surface on this post. I strongly recommend that you find a way to visit Dublin yourself so that you can experience this wonderful city. We used the Lonely Planet Guide to Dublin to find our way about.