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10 things to do and see in Dublin

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10 things to do and see in Dublin
10 things to do and see in Dublin

The images and the stories about  Ireland suggest very often  a reality out of time:  green field, Catholic churches, Celtic cemeteries and secular traditions that still influence the island.  A kid of “poor sister” of England. Once arrived in the Irish capital you’ll immediately realize that this doesn’t correspond to reality; Dublin is, in fact, a modern city, headquarters of many multinational and “promised land” of young workers.

Crossed by the River Liffey, Dublin had many changes during the past years, especially in its central areas: modern buildings, offices, the most famous fast food chains and the inevitable shopping street, Grafton Street.

In down town you’ll admire some statues of its most illustrious personalities, such as Molly Malone, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce.  There are also many  monuments and museums which tell us about the ancient history of the Irish capital, founded by the Vikings as slaves trade center .

Dublin offers different types of attraction: for lovers of nature and green are available many parks, including the central St Stephen’s Green and the huge Phoenix Park; Temple Bar is the suitable area for those looking for entertainment, with pub, street performers especially on weekends and in mid-March, during the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day , the patron saint of Ireland; for lovers of history and literature is possible to visit monuments and museums, but above all you can walk  through the many urban routes narrated in the novels of its greatest authors.

On this page we suggest you 10 things to do and see during your visit in Dublin

If you are looking for a hotel in Dublin, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 400 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com

Trinity College in Dublin

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You can’t miss Trinity College. It’s one of the most prestigious and oldest university complexes in the world, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I of England and that can boast among its illustrious students Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett.

Trinity College in Dublin
Trinity College in Dublin

The university is located in the center and two things stand out immediately : the majesty of the Georgian-style buildings, and the tranquility and sense of peace of  large green open spaces .

Walking on campus you can come across some typical Trinity student life scenes. On the green fields you can watch  cricket matches and badminton among students during the breaks between lessons. Going under the theologian George Salmon Statue during periods of degrees, it’s possible to see some recent graduate student at the foot of the statue. It’s a small and ironic revenge against this theologian, who worked for many years at Trinity College and who strongly opposed the entry of women at this university.

Don’t miss the library with no equal in the world; massive wooden columns with ancient volumes. The most famous of all is the “Book of Kells”, manuscript in miniature of rare beauty, which contains, among other things, the text of the four Gospels in Latin.

Where: College Green
How to get there: All bus lines that run through the city center
When – Hours: Visit to the Old Library and Book of Kells: Monday to Saturday: from 9.30 am  to 5.00 pm ; Sunday (May-September): from 09.30 am to 4.30 pm; Sunday (October to April): from 12.00 to 4.30 pm
Tickets:
Entrance to Trinity College: Free entrance
Visit to the Old Library and Book of Kells: Adults: € 9; Reduced (students and seniors): € 8; Families: € 12 (2 adults and 4 children); Groups: 6.50 € per person (for groups of more than 10 people); Children under 12 years free entrance

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin

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Located in central Dublin, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the only two Protestant churches in Ireland.

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin

The cathedral, in Gothic style, was built in the twelfth century, and the legend tells that it was built right on the well from which St. Patrick took the holy water to baptize the first Irish Christians. It’s said that the well was bottomless and a gateway to the Purgatory.

Its solid structure, the light filtered through the windows, the enormous organ with 4000 pipes give to visitors a kind of solemnity and impose a natural silence. Inside the cathedral there are the tombs of more than 500 Irish illustrious personages, including the writer Jonathan Swift.

There’s a wooden door inside the cathedral, source of inspiration for a famous motto in Ireland: “Changing one’s arm” , which define people who risk a lot just to get a big benefit. The legend tells that during the war between two Irish noble families, one of the two contenders, the Count  Ormod, to protect from his enemy took refuge behind this door. The  Count Kildare, his opponent, seeing the opponent in extreme difficulty, promised to save his life and the end of hostilities. So he did with the sword two holes in the wooden door to shake his hand from there and establish the  peace.

Where: St Patrick’s Close
How to get there: by feet
When – Hours: From March to October: Monday-Friday 09: 00 am -5: 00 pm ; Saturday 09: 00 am -6: 00 pm ; Sunday 09: 00-10: 30 am /12: 30-2: 30/4: 30-6: 00 pm
From November to February: Monday-Saturday 09: 00-5: 00 pm ; Sunday 09: 00-10: 30 am /12: 30-2: 30 pm
Never: 24, 25 and 26 December
Tickets: Adults: 5,50 € – Reduced: € 4.50

Temple Bar in Dublin

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Welcome to the heart of Dublin life. The Temple Bar district is undoubtedly the liveliest of the whole city; many pubs, bars, clubs, exhibition spaces, restaurants and theaters. According to the legend about the name, it seems that this area is named after Sir William Temple, Master of Trinity College and who settled there with his family.

Temple Bar in Dublin
Temple Bar in Dublin

Located on the River Liffey and not far from the city center, Temple Bar is a place to live during the day and at night. During the day streets are crowded by so many markets and historic workshops, where you can buy products of all kinds; during the  night the streets are  crowded by young Dubliners looking for fun.

Nowadays Temple Bar is just the latest of the many transformation. Attended initially by the upper middle-class of Dublin, over the centuries it became a slum and degraded district; so bad as to convince the city council to knock it down and turn it into an area of remittance for buses.

At 150 meters from Temple Bar there’s  Half Penny Bridge an iron pedestrian bridge, which crosses the Liffey River and connects the north side of Dublin to the south. It’s named after the price that was paid to use it (half a penny, in fact). It’s one of the most evocative places of the Irish capital, ideal to go at dawn and sunset to enjoy a landscape from the very special view.

Guinness Store House in Dublin

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7 floors to discover the Guinness universe, the most loved beer  by the Irish and famous throughout the world for its dark color and bitter taste.

Guinness Store House in Dublin
Guinness Store House in Dublin

The Guinness Storehouse is the first manufacturing building of this beer and was built in 1759 in the St James’s Gate Brewery, thanks to the intuition of Sir Arthur Guinness, founder of the beer . Located in the west of the city, 10 minutes from the old town, in this huge factory and museum are produced thousands of liters of beer, exported all over the world.

The visit to the Guinness Storehouse is not just a journey into the universe Guinness, but it’s also a trip into the Irish spirit; tenacity, creativity, practicality, precision and attention to detail are indeed characteristics that emerge from  proceedings to create the  Guinness. Each of the 7 floors tells a story about the production of beer; from old photographs of the brewery to the exhibition on processing methods, from machinery to the working techniques.

The tour ends with a free taste  of a fresh pint of Guinness, to be enjoyed in the Gravity Bar, panoramic point of the building, from which you can admire the entire city of Dublin.

ith other 113 Danish kings, the manufacture of 40 tapestries that are currently exposed  in one of the castle halls. Children will not get bored with the brochure Kronborg, made for smaller, with puzzles and quizzes about the castle. The beauty and magnificence of the ballroom is for all ages instead, and we suggest you also to visit  the dark underground where is placed the statue of the national hero Holger Danske: the legend says that in case of danger, the statue  of the hero will be transformed into flesh and blood to help the country.

Where: St James’s Gate
How to get there:
Bus: 51 B and 78A from Aston Quay, 123 from O ‘Connell Street and 123 from Dame Street
When – Hours: Every day from 09:30 am  to 5:00 pm
July and August: 09:30 am -7: 00 pm
Never: 24, 25 and 26 December and Good Friday
Tickets:
Adults: € 14.40; Students with more than 18 years old : € 10.60; Students aged between 12 and 18 years old : € 8.50; seniors (over 65 years old): 10,50 €; Children (6-12 years old): 4,80 €

The prison of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin

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You can’t visit Ireland and Dublin without visit it. Enter into the prison of Kilmainham Gaol means a closer look at the history of this country. It’s indeed here, within these cold and gray cells, who was fought the most important political battle for the independence of Ireland.

The prison of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin
The prison of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin

Many common criminals and political rebels have crossed the threshold of this prison, never to leave again alive. These people were in fact executed in the courtyard of the prison, a place used for executions.

Today the prison is a museum. It was also chosen as the location from U2 to record one of their music videos; it was used by the cinema as a location in many films, including “The father’s name”, an insight into the strength and the abuses suffered by the Irish during the British occupation.

Located in the west area of the city, a visit to Kilmainham Gaol prison is the most emotional stage of the entire trip to Dublin. During the visit you can be locked up in one of the many prison cells, to understand the feeling of prisoners.

Where: Inchicore Rd
How to get there: Bus: 51, 51 B, 78A, 79 from Aston Quay
When – Hours:
From April to September: 09: 30 am -6: 0 pm  (last admission at 5 pm)
From October to March: 09: 30 am -5: 30 pm  (last entry at 4.30 pm ); Sunday 10: 00 am -6: 00 pm  (last admission at 17).
Never: 24, 25 and 26 December
Tickets:
Adults: 6 €
Students and children: € 2
Free admission for the Dublin Pass holders

The Irish National Gallery in Dublin

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In the National Gallery of Ireland there are real masterpieces: the dark Taking of Christ by Caravaggio, the delicate watercolors by J. M. W. Turner, The Annunciation by Rubens, several works of Flemish, English and French Impressionists, and numerous portraits and landscapes by Irish artists that trace the history of the country Anglo – Irish.

The Irish National Gallery in Dublin
The Irish National Gallery in Dublin

Among fascinating and wonderful  paintings, there’s a room entirely dedicated to opera of Jack Yeats, Irish illustrator and cartoonist who in 1894 built the first Sherlock Holmes comic.

 

 

 

Where: Pearse Station area
How to get there: Train station Pearse Station. Bus: 4 / A, 5, 7, 7A, 10, 13 / A, 44 / C, 48A
When – Hours: Mon – Sat 9:30 am to 5:30 pm , Thursday 9:30 am to 8:30 pm , Sunday 12:00 to 5:30 pm
Never: 10 April, 24 to 26 December
Tickets: free entrance

The Dublin Castle in Dublin

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Dublin Castle is the center of administrative power in Dublin and is located exactly halfway between the two most important religious places of the city, the Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The Dublin Castle in Dublin
The Dublin Castle in Dublin

This ancient Norman castle was built in 1204 thanks to King John I of England, also known as Giovanni “landless”. Inhabited for many centuries by various ambassadors of His Majesty, the Dublin Castle has been a symbol of the English oppression and was took by the Irish government just in 1922.

Today Dublin Castle is the seat of government representation and is used in officials ceremonies . You can visit for free the outdoor spaces of the castle and admire the majesty of the walls. You can also visit the interior apartments, halls, long halls, the huge chandeliers and St Patrick’s Hall. Don’t miss the Throne Room, which houses the throne of William of Orange III, king of England and Ireland from 1689 to 1702.

Where: Dame St
How to get there: Train station Pearse Station. Bus: 4 / A, 5, 7, 7A, 10, 13 / A, 44 / C, 48A
When – Hours: Mon – Sat 9:30 am to 5:30 pm , Thursday 9:30 am to 8:30 pm , Sunday 12:00 to 5:30 pm
Never: 10 April, 24 to 26 December
Tickets: free entrance

The Spire in Dublin

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The Spire is a huge steel tower 120m high which is located in the center of O ‘Connell Street, one of the most important avenues of Dublin

The Spire in Dublin
The Spire in Dublin

It’s  in the north of the city and nowadays there are no longer beggars and criminals as in the past.  O’Connell Street is a street of a very elegant area, full of pubs, fast food, high fashion shops and services of all kinds.

The story of The Spire has no official versions; some say, maliciously, that is the  symbol of rebellion against the long English domination; others claim it’s a symbol of the fight against heroin use, widespread in Dublin of the ‘90s. Some say it is simply a monument to light or that the tower it’s just an embellishment of the city skyline.

Things to eat in Dublin

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In Dublin there are two times of the day dedicated to food: breakfast and dinner. The breakfast is a varied savory menu, made of sausages, eggs, bacon and tea; while dinner is composed by various meat and fish menus.

Things to eat in Dublin
Things to eat in Dublin

Lunch remains a very marginal time of the day.

We suggest you to stop in one of the city’s many bars and cafes where you can taste the famous scones, biscuits made with raisins, chocolate chips, dried fruit, blueberries or berries, maybe accompanied by a tea.

For dinner, we recommend you to visit one of the pubs of Temple Bar and taste the many traditional meat and Irish dishes, including the Beef Guinness Pie, meat cooked beef in Guinness and covered with a layer of puff pastry.

Where to sleep in Dublin

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Like any big capital, Dublin offers to its visitors any kind of solution for the night. The Irish capital has many hotels, B&Bs, camps and hostels, in every corner of the city. The richest area of accommodation, as well as the most expensive one, is next to Trinity College and close to Temple Bar.

Where to sleep in Dublin
Where to sleep in Dublin

You can find excellent solutions in O ‘Connell Street area, near The Spire, which has more reasonable prices and is also very close to Temple Bar, the central place of the nightlife.

Dublin is very rich in the guesthouse and B&Bs, furnished in such a way that guests breathe the typical Irish atmosphere. The advice is to book accommodation in Dublin in advance, especially during most important events of the year, such as the t “6 Nations” Rugby or the famous St Patrick’s Day.

If you are looking for a hotel in Dublin, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 400 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com