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Dublin

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Dublin

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O'Connell Street; Spire and GPO
For other places with the same name, see Dublin (disambiguation).

Dublin[1] is the thriving capital city of the Republic of Ireland. It is noteworthy in terms of its vibrancy, its nightlife and its tourist attractions, and is the most popular entry point for international visitors to Ireland. As a city it is disproportionately large for the size of the country (2006 pop. 1.6m); well over a quarter of the Republic's population lives in the greater Dublin area. The centre is however relatively small and can be navigated by foot, with most of the population living in sprawling suburbs.

Get in

By plane

Dublin is served by a single terminal airport approximately 10km north of the city; an extension to this terminal is expected to open in the winter of 2007. The existing terminal can be very crowded and passengers can expect crowds and queues, especially for security control when departing. A new terminal has been long-debated but not yet constructed.

A full list of airlines flying to Dublin, along with timetables, can be found on the Dublin airport website.

Ireland's flag carrier Aer Lingus flies to Dublin from a large number of British and European cities, from the USA, and Dubai. Aer Lingus fares are often lower than other flag carriers, but in part this has been achieved by matching the standards of the low-fares competition, so they now charge for checked-in bags and seat reservation at time of booking (note that this does not apply to United States and Dubai flights).

Europe's largest low fares carrier, Ryanair flies to Dublin from many regional airports in the UK as well as from some non-central European airports. While famous for its low fares, Ryanair can be more expensive than other airlines especially for last minute bookings. Irelands third airline, Aer Arann links Dublin to many regional Irish airports and some smaller UK cities.

If you are flying long-haul, you might also consider changing in London as the London-Dublin route is particularly well served with regular flights with 4 airlines.

There are three types of bus transport back to the city:

  • Aircoach express service (large blue bus) connects to the city centre and many of Dublin's major hotels, most of which are on the south side of the city. Buses leave every 15 minutes and the journey time to the centre is approximately 30 minutes. The cost is €7 single or €12 return. They also offer services to other destinations within Ireland including Cork and Belfast.
  • Dublin Bus offer an express AirLink service (routes 747 and 748) every 10 minutes at peak times to the city centre and bus station for €6 or €10 return. Some of these services now use the Dublin Port Tunnel to avoid the city traffic and can reach the city center in minutes. A one-day rambler ticket can also be purchased from the ticket machine or inside the airport (but not on the bus) that gives unlimited all day bus travel, also for €6. A pack of five one-day ramblers can be purchased for €17.30 inside the airport.
  • Dublin Bus also offer substantially cheaper standard services to the centre and further afield in the southern suburbs, but these are non-express and take a rather circuitous route to and from the airport. Cost is €1.90 and buses run every 10-25 minutes depending on time of day. The 16A goes right through the city stopping off at O'Connell St. and Continuing up George's St. The 41 takes a slightly more direct route, and finishes on Lower Abbey Street, between O'Connell St. and Busáras (Bus Station). On a good day you can get into town in about 30 mins but during rush hour this journey can be over an hour. These may be worth getting if you are on a tight budget and they happen to be leaving shortly after you arrive. Note that these busses (as do all in Dublin) require exact change in coins to board.

A taxi to the city centre should cost around €25-30 - as such it can be comparable/cheaper than the bus options if you are in a group of three or more (as well as a lot less hassle).

A metro system connecting Dublin Airport to the city centre is planned for the future, but no work has started on this yet.

By train

Dublin has two main train stations: Heuston, in the west of the city centre, serves much of the west of the country and Cork while Connolly in the north-east centre of the city serves the east coast, Belfast, suburban commuter services "DART", and Sligo in the west. The 2 main stations are connected by bus and Luas tram routes. Visit the website for all train services local and intercity.

The Luas (as the trams are known locally) runs frequently and reliably and journey time between the stations is around 15 minutes

There are major plans for an underground interconnector line to join between the Heuston and Connolly, which would enable direct services between major urban areas throughout Ireland. Eg. Cork to Belfast, Galway to Wexford.

By bus

The single bus station, Busáras, serves the entire country and is next to Connolly train station a 5 minute walk from O'Connell Street. There is an extensive bus service run by Bus Eireann which covers destinations country wide, as well as Britain and Eurolines services to Continental Europe. There are luggage lockers in the basement.

There are however a number of private bus companies operating out of the city centre. Kavanaghs has a good service to Limerick and Waterford. Citylink coaches has the best value price to Galway and the West.

The following buses go from the airport to the city centre: 16A, 41, 746, 747, 748 and the Airlink (faster but costs €5.50).

You can get private direct buses from the Airpot to some cities. Aircoach goes to Belfast driving very good quality buses, and the price is very cheap. If you are coming from Belfast, you are entitled to get a new Aircoach bus at Dublin airport whit the same ticket, which is much handier.

By boat

Dublin Port has several passenger ferry services to Wales and England, but more popular is the suburban port of Dún Laoghaire 10km south of Dublin city. The port of Dún Laoghaire is serviced by the "DART".


Park & Ride

If you are only visiting Dublin for a daytrip and have a car, you can beat the traffic by leaving your car at a Park & Ride station. If you are coming from the south, two ideal places to leave your car are at Sandyford Luas stop, located just off junction 15 of the M50 on the Blackthorn Road or Bray D.A.R.T stop, on the Bray road. If you are coming from the west, your best option is the Red Cow luas stop, off junction 10 of the M50. Coming from the south your best bet is the park & ride station at Howth D.A.R.T stop.

Tariffs at Park & Ride stations range from 2 to 4 euro.

Vehicle Rental

Orientation

Customs House on the Liffey

Dublin is split into two halves by the River Liffey. On the North side of the Liffey is O' Connell Street - the main thoroughfare which is intersected by numerous shopping streets, including Henry Street and Talbot Street. On the south side is St. Stephen's Green, Grafton Street (shopping), Trinity College, Christchurch and many other attractions.

Dublin has the unique distinction of being the only place in Ireland with postcodes, although these only reach double digits. They range from Dublin 1 to Dublin 24; odd numbers are given north of the river Liffey, while even numbers are given to areas south of the river, As a general rule the lower the postcode the closer you are to the city centre. This may become slightly distorted as you head into the suburbs but generally follow the north south divide.

A good online map and journey planner is available from the Dublin Transportation Office. If you zoom in on the map you can get aerial photography of the city.

The Tourist Board web site is also worth visiting. They have a good mapping section (powered by Google Maps) which shows the locations of the main city attractions, hotels, etc.

If you're already in the city, the main tourist office, located in St Andrews Church just off Grafton St in the city centre, is a good place to start for information. You can book accommodation and tours there as well as find general information on where to go and what to do.

Get around

Public transportation has improved massively over the last few years but is still worse than in other European cities. This is more of a problem for the commuter than the visitor to Dublin, however, as the centre of the city is easy to get around on foot.

By bus

An extensive bus service operated by the state controlled Dublin Bus serves the city and its suburbs, right out to the very outer suburbs. There are around 200 bus routes in Dublin. However, the route numbering system is highly confusing, with numbers having been issued non-sequentially, suffix letters and alternate destinations, so obtaining a route map from Dublin Bus is essential. Here are some pointers about using the bus services:

- Most city buses leave from the O’Connell street area (including Eden quay and fleet street) or from the west wall of Trinity Collage.

- Daytime buses run from around 5:00am to 11:30pm and there is also 24 late night routes, known as the Nightlink service, which are suffixed by an N , and run from 12:00am to 3:00am. The night fare is standard and costs €4.

- The Xpresso is a special service designed to allow for faster and more efficient bus travel for daily commuters, during both morning and evening rush hour traffic. Xpresso routes are more direct than many other bus routes, offering passengers a quicker service. These routes also have fewer stops and therefore, reduce journey times between destinations. Xpresso buses are suffixed by an X. There are 22 Xpresso routes.

- Railink is an express bus that links Eden Quay, Custom House Quay, Jury's North Wall, Docklands Station, Connelly station, Heuston Station and the International Financial Services Centre.

- There is a ferry port link operated by Dublin Bus from Dublin Port and Dun Laoighre ferry port to Busaras (Central Bus Station).

- It should be noted that, while there is effectively no queuing system at bus stops, those paying with cash generally enter to the left of the doors, and those using card tickets to the right. Your position in a perceived "queue" for a bus is effectively irrelevant once it arrives. If you have a prepaid ticket don't bother queueing, get onto the bus on the right hand side of the front door.

- When paying with cash, try to ensure that you have the correct amount of change, as the bus drivers cannot change larger amounts. If you only have larger coins (€1/2), you will receive a "receipt", which can be exchanged for cash at the Dublin Bus headquarters on O'Connell Street.

- There is also a local Bus service that dose not come through the city suffixed by an E. If you see “an lár” written as the destination, it means that it is going to the city. It should be known that it is courtesy to say thank you to the bus driver.

By train/tram

A suburban rail service called the DART runs along the coast between Greystones in the south and Howth and Malahide in the north. Tickets can be bought in the stations, from a window or a machine.

Another light rail service is called the Luas. The first, 'green' line of the new tram system was opened at the end of June 2004 and runs between St. Stephen's Green and Sandyford (city centre to south-east). The second, 'red' line, from Connolly Station to Tallaght, opened on the 4th October 2004 (city centre to south-west) (route map). The Luas is frequent and reliable. Tickets can be bought on the platforms, at the machines and do not need to be validated.

By car

Taxis were recently (2001) deregulated and are relatively easy to come by, although not as easily as in some other European cities. They may be ordered by telephone, at ranks, or just hailed on the street. Point to point trips in the city centre should cost between €4 and €8. There is a national standardised rate for all taxis.

Driving in Dublin is not to be recommended, particularly in the city centre. Traffic is heavy and there is an extensive one-way system explicitly designed to make it very difficult for cars to enter the city centre. There are a large number of bus lanes (buses, taxis and pedal cycles are permitted to use them) the use of which by cars is liable to strict fines. It is usually possible to drive in bus lanes at certain off-peak times, with signs displaying these periods.

It can be difficult to find parking other than in multi-storey car parks. Onstreet parking for short periods is allowed at parking meters, but beware of over-staying your time or you will be "clamped" by the clamping companies who patrol frequently.

A system of two ring roads around the city has been introduced in recent years, with colour coded signage in purple and blue (see the orbital route map. The M50 is Dublins ring-motorway.

By bicycle/motorbike

Dublin has a large student population and is relatively cycle-friendly. Hiring a bicycle would be a handy way to get around if you want to get outside the very centre of the city and are comfortable cycling in traffic. Be aware that cycle lanes, where they exist, are generally shared with buses and cyclists should pay particular attention when approaching bus stops where a bus is pulling out.

Motorbikes are not allowed to use the cycle lanes but many do so. Passing on the left is also not allowed but very common.

See

A carving in the crypt at Christ Church Cathedral

The National Museum, National Library and National Gallery are located very close to one another, near Government buildings in Dublin 2. All three are worth a visit, not least because they are free of charge!

  • National Museum of Ireland, [2]. Archaeology and History.
  • The National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2, [3].
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, [4].
  • Trinity College, College Green, Dublin 2, [5]. The book of Kells is a highlight.
  • Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, 01 677 7129, [6]. Guided Tour Prices 4.50 Euro. Alternative Tour of Chapel Royal & Undercroft 3.50 Euro.
  • Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, 01 407 0750, [7]. Contains a wide selection of early books and manuscripts, including sacred texts and manuscripts. European Museum of the Year 2002. Free entry.
  • The Bram Stoker Museum, A frightening tour through the life of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. Very good indeed. Take the DART to Clontarf station, this will leave you beside the museum.
  • Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 2, Christ Church Place, 01 677 8099 ('[email protected]'), [8]. dating back to the 11th century, is the oldest building in Dublin, though it underwent a massive restoration in the 19th century. Particularly interesting is the crypt, which predates the cathedral. Connected to the cathedral is the exhibition "Dublinia", which contains a great deal of information about Dublin during the middle ages.
  • Kilmainham Gaol The prison where the 1916 rebels were executed. It is located slightly outside the city center and can be reached by local bus. Guided tours leave every 30 minutes and are very interesting. It is well worth a visit if you are in any way interested in history. Admission is quite cheap, about EUR 2.50 for a student. It is open until 6 pm in the summer.
  • Phoenix Park - the largest enclosed urban park in Europe. Includes a polo field and Dublin Zoo. The residences of the President of Ireland and the US Ambassador are situated in the park, but are not open to the public. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the herd of wild fallow deer that inhabit the park!
  • Dublin Zoo, [9].
  • National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, [10].
  • Leopardstown racecourse, [11]. Located in the southern suburb of Leopardstown/Foxrock, there are regular meetings throughout the year (see website for more information). Tickets cost between EUR 12-55, with reductions for students and OAPs. There is a "Pay as you Play" golf course within the racecourse grounds, as well as bars, restaurants and a nightclub (Club 92).

Do

Ha'penny Bridge Over the River Liffey
  • Viking Splash Tours, tel: 01 7076000 / 4539185, [12]. run tours on the city and river in World War II amphibious craft - a bit different from your regular tour bus.
  • Dublin Sightseeing, [13]. Hop on and off the open top bus tour around the city. Stops at all of the major tourist spots, and you can hop off and on as often as you like. The bus drivers are very funny too - a great way to get a feel for the layout of Dublin, and reasonable (especially if booked in advance with your hotel or ferry crossing).
  • Dublin Ghostbus, [14]. A special theme tour provided by Dublin Bus. This tour takes you around Dublin's haunted sites on a gothic style-decorated theatre bus guided by live storytellers. Dublin Bus claims this tour is the only one of its kind in the world. In any case, a must for lovers of gothic tales, but not for the timid.
  • The Zozimus Experience, 01 661 8646 ('[email protected]'), [15]. A theatrical ghost tour of Dublin, guided by none other than the blind, early 20th century storyteller Zozimus. It departs nightly from Dublin Castle, at sun-down. Advance booking is required, and an exact meeting time will be given when you book.
  • Historical Walking Tour of Dublin. Meet at the west gate to Trinity College. The tours are led by knowledgeable graduate students from the College who tell the story of Ireland's history during a ramble through the south side of the Liffey.
  • The Guinness Storehouse, St James's Gate, Dublin 8, [16]. Retells the story of Dublin's most famous drink. The exhibition is interesting and is self guided. The bar at the top of the Storehouse, the Gravity Bar, offers fantastic views of the city. The entry includes a pint of Guinness, which you receive at the bar. If the taste is a bit too bitter for you, ask for blackcurrant in your pint - but beware, this will upset the purists!
  • Jameson Distillery - after the video, make sure you raise your hand because they pick four people to volunteer for taste testing later in the tour!
  • Catch a hurling or gaelic football[17] game at the sports headquarters, the 82,500 seater, state-of-the-art stadium, Croke Park. These sports are uniquely Irish. Hurling is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest field sport, with the ball (called a sliotar) reaching speeds above 130 kph. Gaelic football can best be described as a combination of soccer and rugby. To keep the sports "pure," it maintains an amateur status, with each parish in Ireland having a team - the inter-county games are generally extremely well-supported, so you may have difficulty getting tickets for the bigger matches. Tours of the GAA museum and the stadium are also available, including a chance to try your hand at the sports themselves [18].
  • Trinity College[19] Founded in 1592, the oldest university in Ireland. Lots to see, including the Book of Kells.
  • The local tourist board, Dublin Tourism, has an excellent series of free audio guides called "iWalks" which are available as a podcast or you can download them individually from their site. They also feature the voice of local historian Pat Liddy. Some of them have PDF maps of the city that you can also download. If you're equipped with an MP3 player they are a great way to discover the city on foot.

Buy

Dublin's main shopping street is the (mostly) pedestrianised Grafton Street, which runs between St. Stephen's Green and Trinity College. On this street can be found Dublin's most famous (and expensive) department store, Brown Thomas, along with a wide range of clothing shops, jewellers, photo shops, etc.

Alongside the historic Trinity College you will find Nassau Street where there are many shops selling tourist related items such as Waterford Crystal, Belleek Pottery, Aran sweaters and other Irish craft items. Shops to look out for selling these items include House of Ireland, Blarney Woollen Mills and Kilkenny Design.

The Powerscourt Centre[20], just off Grafton Street, is one of Dublin's most attractive shopping centres, set in a beautifully restored 18th century town house. Here you will find clothes, cafes, galleries and Irish designer jewellers. Beware the overpriced antique dealers, some of whom will drop a price by 50% after only the merest suggestion that you are willing to haggle (and it still may not be a bargain!). For gifts, there is an engraving business based in the centre next to the Bonsai tree shop.

Leaving Powerscourt via the ornate steps on to South William Street, you will find yourself facing a small pedestrianised street called Castle Market, which leads to a covered red-brick shopping arcade known alternatively as the Market Arcade or the George's Street Arcade. This area is worth a visit for vintage clothing, fabrics, unusual accessories, vinyl and clubwear, and also features some small cafes.

There is also an extensive shopping area on the Northside of the river, centred on O'Connell Street and Henry Street. Clery's (O'Connell Street) and Arnotts (Henry Street) are large department stores each with a long history. Two large shopping centres, The Jervis Centre, and the ILAC, are also on Henry Street. The latter also houses Dublin's Central Public Library.

Just off Henry Street is Moore Street, which has a fruit, vegatable and fish market, worth a stroll if you want to get a slice of life from the less gentile side of Dublin. At the top of Henry Street on Parnell Street is Chapters Bookshop, which has a massive selection of books at generally cheaper prices than other highstreet stores, as well as a large second hand section. Especially great for 'coffee table' style art books.

For those for whom it just wouldn't be a holiday without hanging out at the mall, there are various shopping centres located around Dublin, including Blanchardstown (39 and 70 bus routes), Liffey Valley, and The Square in Tallaght (red luas to the end of the line). The largest shopping centre in Europe is the recently opened Dundrum Town Centre, which is served by the green Luas tramline from St. Stephen's Green. It was awarded the title of best Shopping Mall in the World 2006.

Dublin is not cheap for general shopping, although visitors from outside the European Union can obtain a refund of VAT (sales tax - 21%) on their purchases. Just look for the refund sign and ask in the shop for details. Keep in mind that most stores will only issue VAT refund vouchers on the same day of purchase.

There is fairly extensive duty-free shopping at Dublin Airport, at prices which are sometimes cheaper than the rest of the city.

Eat

Dublin has a wide range of good quality restaurants, most of which are, however, horribly overpriced by European standards. Main course prices range from €10 at the lower end up to around €40 at the higher end. Wine in restaurants is generally marked up from its already expensive retail price by a factor of at least two, and three times retail price would not be uncommon.

There are many excellent-value Indian restaurants around the South William Street area, parallel to Grafton Street; these often have particularly good value lunch and 'early bird' deals, offering 3 course meals for around €10. Quality is high - particularly to be recommended are the Khyber Tandoori on South William Street and Shalimar on South Great Georges Street. Also excellent is Surma on Camden Street and "Govindas" on Georges street for very cheap Hari-Krishna vegan food.

A similar multi-cultural hotspot is Parnell Street (O'Connell St- Gardiner St) which has a dense concentration of Chinese and Asian restaurants extensively frequented by the ex-pat communities.

Snack

  • Bewleys, Grafton Street, Dublin 2, [21]. Dublin's most famous Coffee Shop. Hang-out over the years of U2, Bob Geldof, and James Joyce.
  • Bar Italia, 4 branches - Wood Quay, Powerscourt Townhouse, Ormond Quay and the Epicurean Foodhall. Best coffee in town. Real Italian coffee with mostly Italian staff. Excellent panini and antipasto. Good value place with great atmosphere.
  • Butlers Chocolate Cafés, South William Street (2 branches) & Dublin Airport; Takeaway on Grafton Street and Nassau Street, [22]. Good coffee with a free chocolate of your choice (except at Dublin Airport, where you still get a chocolate, but don't get a choice.) The airport branch is well stocked and generally runs special offers on boxes of chocolates which are not available in the city branches.
  • Zaytoon 14/15 Parliament Street, Temple Bar (opposite The Porterhouse); Also Camden Street, opposite Bleeding Horse Pub. This is a great Kebab shop (eat-in or take out), in a different class to your run-of-the-mill Kebabs. Highly recommended whether you are sober or drunk!

Lunch

  • Cafe Bar Deli, South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2 and Grafton Street, Dublin 2, [23]. Excellent value. Always busy. Pastas, pizzas and salads.
  • Elephant and Castle, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Nationally-famous chicken wings, extremely busy lunchtime on Saturdays (you could be waiting for up to 2 hours), only order a basket of chicken wings to yourself if you're very hungry!
  • Lemon Crèpe Company, South William Street, Dublin 2. Good value filled crèpes for around €4 (American style rather than French) and some of the best coffee in Dublin.
  • Dunne & Crescenzi, South Frederick Street, Dublin 2. Delightful Italian lunch spot, open until around 8pm, but arrive early if you want to get a seat - or be prepared for a long wait. Antipasto Misto €6.50, Paninis from €4. Glass of house wine €3.50.
  • Unicorn Food Company, Merrion Row, Dublin 2. Take-away deli with eat-in cafe next door. Sandwiches €4-5 or a range of Italian delights - pasta, lasagna, pizza, salads. Sometimes good cakes €2.50-€2.85. The deli is attached to the well-respected Unicorn Italian restaurant down the lane beside the deli (open for lunch and dinner).
  • M J O'Neills, Suffolk St, D-2. Great Pub Food. Carvery served 12 till 4 most days and till late weekends. Also has a good salad and sandwich bar. Price around Eur10 for carvery.
  • T.P. Smiths, Jervis Street, Dublin 1. very good pub food, also handy to stop in if you're shopping around the Henry street area. Food served until 9pm.
  • Govinda's, 4 Aungier Street & Middle Abbey Street just off O'Connell St., 01 475 0309. Krishna run vegetarian restaurant. The Govindas special (only order large if you're very hungry) is a taste of nearly everything from the hot counter.
  • Café Fresh, Top floor, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 01 6719669, [24]. One of the best known vegetarian cafes in the city and offers a great range at reasonable prices. As the name suggests the food is all "fresh" and is made on the presmises that morning, and much of it is organic. If you're after a healthy meat-free meal it's well worth a look.

Dinner

  • Bella Cuba, 11 Ballsbridge Terrace, Ballsbridge, Dublin 2. Ireland's only Cuban restaurant where the lack of competition hasn't affected the quality. Excellent food served in a fabulous Cuban atmosphere with great music. Don't forget to try the extensive cocktail list. This restuarant is very small so book in advance.
  • Siam Thai, Andrew Street, Dublin 2. This city centre restaurant is part of a group of three, the others being in Malahide and Ballsbridge. Gorgeous Thai cuisine served by staff in traditional Thai costume, nice surroundings, if maybe a little on the tacky side. Nonetheless a great Thai gastro experience.
  • Bang Cafe, 11 Merrion Row, Dublin 2. A great cosmopolitan menu in a well established setting. Although a little on the expensive side, the food and presentation is excellent.
  • Kites, 15-17 Ballsbridge Terrace Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. great combination of Cantonese (predominant dish), Szechuan, Peking and Thai with an extensive wine list. Excellent choice for the more discerning diner with great attention paid by the friendly, professional waiters in very rich surroundings and decor. Well worth a visit.
  • Il Baccaro, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Good value and atmospheric Italian restaurant set in a vaulted cellar under the Irish Film Institute. Mains around €10-15 - particularly to be recommended is the sausages and beans.
  • Salamanca, St. Andrews Street, Dublin 2. good value, tasty and substantial tapas (sized more like raciones), priced around €4-8. The steak is a particular bargain at €7.50; also good are the chorizo dishes.
  • Gallagher's Boxty House, 20 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, [25]. Good traditional Irish fare, and not too expensive (mains €10-15). (A boxty is a traditional Irish a potato pancake filled and rolled up - try it!)
  • The Bistro, 4/5 Castlemarket, 6776016, [26]. Excellent continental cuisine, good atmosphere. Main courses €15-25.
  • Johnnie Fox's Pub, Glencullen, Dublin Mountains. Dating from the 18th century, the highest pub in Ireland is also one of the best for seafood. Great atmospere with traditional live Irish bands and friendly staff. Food is excellent, so is the craic. Main courses €15-20. Its a bit far (15 km) from the city, but you can get a good view of the city by night on your drive up to the restaurant. Unfortunately, this place is a notorious tourist trap.
  • Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, 21 Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2, [27]. Two Mitchelin stars, outrageously expensive, probably very good. Lunch menus are a bit more affordable.
  • Roly's Bistro, 7 Ballsbridge Terrace, Dublin 4, [28]. One block from Jurys Hotel. Impeccable food and service, reasonable prices. Good atmosphere.
  • L'Gueuleton, Fade St, Dublin 2 (behind Hogan's Bar). At time of writing (Sept 2006) there is no name above the door of this restuarant which has rapidly achieved cult status. It is consistently rated by food critics as one of the top 5 restaurants in Dublin but its no reservations policy and low prices makes it hugely popular for lunch and dinner. Three course lunch with wine yesterday was €40 per head. Don't worry about the no reservations - put your name on the list and have a pint in the Market Bar or Hogan's.
  • Cornucopia, 19 Wicklow Street Dublin 2, [29]. Just off Grafton Street you find this vegetarian heaven. Breakfast, dinner and lunch.

Drink

No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to one (or ten) of its many pubs. Drink is relatively expensive: a pint of stout costs around €4 and up, while lager costs around €4.50 and up. However, the government gave a tax break to microbrewed beer in the December 2004 budget, this had a slight effect on prices in brewpubs. Pubs are open until 11.30pm during the week (although many bars have late licenses up to 3am), and as late as around 3am on weekends, depending on the pub. Smoking has been illegal in Irish pubs (as well as all indoor workplaces) since March 2004; this has had the positive side effect of increasing al fresco facilities. Beer tends to be more expensive around the Temple Bar area, due to the increased tourist flow, and will be cheaper in more traditional styled pubs.

The Temple Bar that people often speak of is an area that used to be a sand bar. There is also a street named 'Temple Bar ' with a pub named "The Temple Bar" in the "Temple Bar area" of Dublin. The Temple Bar district has a mixture of food, drink, shopping and music. It appeals to all ages, but is a hot spot for tourists. The narrow, cobble stoned streets gives it an original feeling within the heart of the city. Its central location also makes it easy to walk to from Dublins Centre. However, late night revellers tend to make it an unpleasant place to be after dark. It can be taken over by drunken stag and boisterous hen parties, many who travel cheaply from the United Kingdom to avail of Temple Bar's delights!

Traditional

  • O'Donoghue's, Baggot Street, Dublin 2. famous for impromptu live music.
  • Grogan's, South William Street, Dublin 2. Great bar which advertises artist's work (all for sale) on its walls.
  • The Brazen Head, Bridge Street, Dublin 2.
  • O'Shea's, Bridge Street, Dublin 2. - live traditional music and dancing.
  • Fallon's, The Coombe, Dublin 8 (near St. Patrick's Cathedral). small friendly local pub.
  • The Oval, Abbey Street, Dublin 1. Good for drink and food, said to have the best Irish stew in Dublin. Attracts a mixed age group. Lots of pictures of old Irish celebs with a tribute to the Quiet Man.
  • Kavanagh's, Glasnevin, Dublin 9 (near Glasnevin cemetery). This pub (popularly known as The Gravediggers because of its close proximity to the cemetery) has remained untouched for over 100 years with the only things altered being the beer taps and toilets. If you're looking for a real trad Irish pub without the b*shit, this is the place, really worth a visit. (about 10-15 mins on bus from city centre, get the no 19/19A/13 from O'Connell Street)
  • Bachelors Inn, Bachelors Walk, Dublin 1 (near O'Connell Bridge). Good pints of Guinness and a choice of batch or regular white bread on your toasted sandwich. Popular post GAA match pub with the Dublin crowd.
  • Bowe's Lounge, Fleet Street, Dublin 2, [30]. Old victorian pub, around for over 140 years.
  • Mulligans, Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2, [31]. Busy pub with great Guinness with plenty of history having been frequented by James Joyce among others.
  • Ryan's, Parkgate St, Dublin 8 (near Heuston Station). Beautiful Victorian pub. A good place to have a pint before getting a train out of Dublin.
  • The Palace Bar, Fleet St, Dublin 2. Located at the edge of Temple Bar, this traditional bar has interesting decor complete with "snug" (small private booth).
  • The Long Hall, South Great Georges St, Dublin 2. Atmospheric bar with interesting wooden decor, nice window to sit at to people watch.
  • Kehoe's, South Anne St. Located just off Grafton St, this is an excellent spot for a pint after a hectic days shopping. Several snugs downstairs.
  • Kennedy's, 30/32 Westland Row, Dublin 2, [32]. Located to the rear of Trinity college, this traditional style pub serves good quality food and drink with plenty of friendly atmosphere. Also home to The Underground [33] one of Dublin’s newest and most intimate venues.

Modern

  • Cocoon, Duke Lane, Dublin 2. This bar (owned by F1's Eddie Irvine) oozes class and style with its fabulous minimist interior, popular for cocktails and a relaxing drink.
  • The Bailey, Duke Street, Dublin 2. Located just off Grafton Street, this swish bar tends to attract the sophisticated side of Dublin's society, popular amongst celebs as well. Very busy during the summer afternoons and evenings with a nice outdoor seating area.
  • Lotts, 60-62 The Lotts, 9 Liffey Street, Dublin 1. Recent addition to Dublins burgeoning pub scene, fantastic new bar and lounge. Very well decorated interior with chandeliers, a marble bar and comfortable leather seating. Live music many nights. Small outside seating area as well.
  • The Market Bar, Fade Street, Dublin 2, [34]. Opened in 2005, large spacious bar, with murmur of conversation in the background, nice tapas restaurant.
  • The Odeon, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. This attractive bar at the top of Harcourt Street is housed in a converted railway station; the new tram system has a stop directly outside.
  • Ba Mizu, South William Street. Exactly opposite Grogan's, in the Powerscourt Townhouse shopping centre; quite a contrast.
  • Café en Seine, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Typical, and not entirely unpleasant, example of a Dublin 'megapub'; recently extended to include tropical trees at the back.
  • The Globe, George St., Dublin 2. One of the original trendy bars to hit Dublin in the mid 90's. Still as cool as ever with one of Dublins longest running clubs Ri-Ra in the basement.
  • Spy Bar, South William Street, Dublin 2. Just next to the Powerscourt shopping centre, this uber trendy venue is cool and sophisticated. Has a nightclub downstairs which boasts some of Dublin's best club nights.

Micro-Breweries

  • The Porterhouse, Parliament Street, Dublin 2. As well as good indigenous brews including a non-vegetarian oyster stout, there is an extensive Belgian and international beer list. Also does good reasonably priced food. Has sister pubs in Bray and Phibsboro and on Graffton Street.
  • Messrs. Maguire, Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. Very near to O'Connell Bridge, they produce a very good stout quite different to Guinness; fresher and more complex.

Bars

  • Front Lounge, Parliment Street, Dublin 2. This gay friendly bar draws a mixed 50/50 crowd of gay/straight. Popular among the hip and trendy 20 somethings, can come across as a little pretentious at times. Still, it is a nice spot worth a visit and popular for lunch. Nicely decorated and comfortable. Open late at weekends and took the famous Wednesday night cabaret, Bustys G-Spot from Gubu which is a huge crowd puller, well worth a visit. Live djs and open late at weekends, popular with pre-clubbers.
  • Centre-Stage Cafe Bar, Parliment Street, Dublin 2. Bustling cafe during the day which turns into a fabulous and intimate night spot, good cocktails, wines and champagne.
  • The Dragon , Georges Street, Dublin 2. Dublins newest gay bar is a welcome addition to the scene. A superpub set over two large floors, the upper being a balcony to watch the goings on below. Very camply decorated with a large statue of Hercules, velvet curtains throughout, large comfy sofas, and snugs decorated with velvet curtains opposite the bar. Has a relatively large dance floor with music every night. Opens late weekends.
  • The George, Georges Street, Dublin 2. Traditional bar entrance to the right which attracts an older crowd. The main area attracts a much younger crowd for drinks during the day and at night the main area transforms itself into a club (after 10pm and a cover charge applies if not already there) set over two floors. Plays a mix of pop, cheese and dance. Sunday nights are packed for tvs Shirley Templebar's famous bingo.

Clubs

  • The George, Sth Gt Georges Street, Dublin 2. Wed-Sun nights, mixture of cheese, pop and dance.
  • Exaltation, Spirit, Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1. Every Sunday, dance, funky house. Set in two rooms with chill out zone, cinema and holistic treatment.
  • Earlyhouse, The White Horse, Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 (close to Tara Street Dart station) Every Saturday morning from 7am playing funky house / electro.
  • Glitz, Break For The Border, Lower Stephen's Street, Dublin 2. Every Tuesday, playing commercial pop and dance with regular live acts.
  • Hanky Panti, Rogue, 64 Dame Street, Dublin 2. Every Tuesday with free admission from 11pm.
  • Kiss, Temple Bar Music Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Once a month Saturday club recently moved to new venue for girls and their male friends.
  • Shift, Rogue, 64 Dame Street, Dublin 2. Every Monday, mixed crowd.
  • VIQ, SIN, Sycamore Street, Dublin 2. Every Monday, mix of chart and funky.

Sleep

There are a huge number of youth hostels (mostly around €20 per night in dorm accommodation), bed&breakfasts (around €50 per person), and hotels (€80+).

Budget

  • Almara Bed and Breakfast, 226 Collins Avenue West. Whitehall, Dublin 9, Tel: 01 8510512, e-mail:[email protected], [35]. I.T.B. approved 3 star Bed and Breakfast accommodation with ensuite and standard rooms, guest lounge and complimentary tea and coffee. Will also be able to assist with related travel enquiries in the Dublin area.


  • Ashfield House, 19/20 D'Olier Street, (a half block southeast of the O'Connell Street Bridge) 01 6797734 (fax 01 6790852, email [email protected]), [36]. Has basic accommodation starting at €13, close to O'Connell Street, Trinity College and Temple Bar. Private rooms are also available. The dorms are clean, but unusually large, as the cheapest have 14 beds. The cost includes a croissant and orange juice for breakfast.

Mid-range

  • Grand Canal Hotel, Grand Canal Street, Dublin 4, Tel. +353 1 646 1000, Email: [email protected], [37]. Excellent location in Georgian Dublin. Only a few minutes walk from the city centre, DART station 'Grand Canal Dock' across the street (perfect for day trips to the seaside). Hotel very new and modern, prices reasonable.
  • Grafton House, 26 - 27 South Great George's Street, (one block from Dame Street) 01 6792041 (fax 01 6779715, email: [email protected]), [38]. Has comfortable accommodation. The house has all the characteristics of an 112 year old building. A Victorian Gothic style exterior and a contemporary, simple interior - a mixture of old and new.
  • Best Western Royal Dublin, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1, +353-1-8733666 is right by the Millenium spire. Prices are normal - it's in the middle of everything.
  • Green Isle Hotel & Spa, [40].
  • Nua Haven, 41 Priory Road, +353 [0]87 686 7062, [41]. A 4-star quality gay B&B, with private baths, cable TV, wireless internet, in a nice setting in Harold's Cross. €100 per room.

Splurge

  • Aberdeen Lodge [42]. Aberdeen Lodge shares its neighbourhood with the world's embassies who have chosen Ballsbridge, the most exclusive area of Dublin, for its convenience to the city centre. Only minutes by DART to the centre of Dublin city, this is the perfect base in the Irish capital, for exploring the sights of the city and touring the Wicklow mountains to the South.
  • Blakes Town House [43]. Next door to the embassies in the exclusive Ballsbridge district is a grand three storey Edwardian house, within a short stroll of Dublin City Centre.
  • Merrion Hall [44]. The hotel is located in Dublin's South city centre.
  • Radisson Hotel, [45]. Five star hotel, a few km out from the city centre. Double rooms about €145.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Dublin, [46].
  • Morrison Hotel, [47]. Located on the Liffey across the river from The Clarence and near the Ha'penny Bridge. Ormond Quay, Dublin 1, Ireland
  • The Morgan, 10 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 (off Westmoreland St), [48]. Dublin's premier boutique hotel located in Temple Bar offers stylish accommodation in the most vibrant district of Europe's most vibrant city. Choose from standard rooms, suites and penthouse apartments, all characterised by clean, modern design consistent with a lifestyle focused hotel experience.

Airport Hotels

There are a number of hotels located around the airport, for ease of flight transfer.

  • Carlton Hotel is a 4-star hotel that offers free bus transfer to the airport. Stand-by rates per room are €99 and rates of €85 per person sharing can be available also. It has a bar-food menu and a restaurant located on the top floor.
  • Bewley's Hotel, Baskin Lane, Swords, +353 (0)1 871 1000, (fax: +353 (0)1 871 1001, e-mail: [email protected]), [49]. An excellent 3-star hotel with a fixed rate of €89. Operates a free and frequent shuttle bus service to and from Dublin Airport.

Short Term Apartments

  • Dublin City Centre Apartments, [50]. Selection of 1 and 2 bed apartments from €400-€600 per week in centrally located Marlborough Street.

Get out

Dublin Area

Howth cliff walk
  • Howth -To the north, just outside town, the peninsula of Howth is very nice for a walk. Just take the bus or DART (€3.60 return from Connolly Station) out to Howth and walk around the cliffs! The whole tour around takes about 2-3 hours. It is most beautiful in August/September when the heather bathes the cliffs in red. There is also a boat that departs from Howth harbor that goes out to the island off the coast called Ireland's Eye. You can visit it and the monolithic ruins on it for a very reasonable price and if you're lucky you might be able to get the island to yourself. The King Sitric fish restaurant at the harbour serves freshly caught fish, as do many other local restaurants.

Surrounding Counties

  • Brú na Bóinne megalithic tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth are the most important archaeological sites in Ireland and are listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The site is located 50km north of Dublin on the banks of the Boyne. Admission to the tombs are paid for at the visitors centre, guided bus tours that include admission to Newgrange are available, those run by Mary Gibbons are highly recommended, Bus Eireann and others also run tours. Bus Eireann's tours are booked at the central bus station, Busàras.
Powerscourt Gardens
  • Wicklow, within easy reach to the south of Dublin, is known as 'the garden of Ireland' and has good hill walking and some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. The gardens and waterfall of Powerscourt are a popular visit, located near the town of Enniskerry 20km south of Dublin, while the town of Glendalough contains an important monastic settlement. Easily accessible by Dart is the rapidly expanding commuter town of Bray. Although the town centre is of little interest to most people, there are numerous spectacular walks including climbing to the top of Bray Head or walking to Greystones via the Cliff Walk.
  • The Curragh racecourse is in County Kildare, south west of Dublin, about 50Km from the city. In Kildare Town itself are the Japanese Gardens, home to many varieties of exotic flora and fauna.
  • Carlow has rapidly become one of Ireland's fastest growing counties. Carlow town boasts some of the best architecture in the country - with its courthouse from the mid 1800s and its Cathedral which was completed in 1833. Other items of historical importance include Browneshill Dolmen, with the largest capstone in Europe, and the ruins of Carlow Castle.
Carlow Cathedral

Further Afield

  • Belfast There are 'political' day trips to Belfast. On the way, the bus driver talks about Ireland's history and with emphasis on Belfast. A black cab tour of Belfast is included in the package. Booking can be done at the Dublin Tourist Centre and costs around €30 to €40. The bus leaves Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • As Dublin Airport is the home of Ireland's budget Airline Ryanair, with a bit of planning, some Western European Cities can make viable daytrips, sometimes cheaper and easier to access than cities in Ireland. London, Leeds, and Edinburgh are served by several flights a day so an early morning flight out and a late flight back can make them viable. Frankfurt-Hahn in Germany is also regularly served however its remote location can limit choices. This may not be the most environmentaly sensible option but if your time is limited then much of Western Europe is accessable for reasonable prices if booked in advance.

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