Welcome to Dublin, a city that’s as intimate as a village and as friendly as an Irish pub. Framed by mountains, centred on a river and edged by a beautiful bay, the city’s streets and alleys are filled with vibrant art and historic buildings, hip cafés and traditional “old man” pubs, as Dubliners call them. Walk the streets and you’ll feel the energy of over 1,000 years of history, as echoes of the Vikings mix with buzzing boutiques, cobbled streets reverberate with the sounds of buskers, and 18th century parks play host to festivals, film and food markets.
Dublin is a resoundingly social place, packed with culture, creativity and craic (fun). You’ll see it in the busy pubs, in the rolling nightlife scene, in the music and in the chat. But this ancient gem basks in natural beauty, too. Head out beyond the city, and the UNESCO Biosphere of Dublin Bay opens up with coastal walks, little villages, wide sea views and rugged mountain backdrops. Take to the Dublin mountains for a hike, go rock-climbing in Dalkey Quarry, walk the cliff path at Howth or join the Dublin hardcore who sea-swim whatever the weather. There’s an adventure around every corner.
In Dublin, the summers are comfortable; the winters are long, cold and wet; and it is often windy. Summer temperatures normally peak at around 21 degrees.
The top three things to do/see in Dublin:
Party like the Irish at The Temple Bar
The Temple Bar is located in the heart of Dublin and close to all the main attractions. If it’s a traditional Irish Pub you are after, look no further than the Temple Bar. Hard to believe that in the middle of this hectic area, there is a peaceful outdoor haven, where you can enjoy the atmosphere of the bar, in the sunshine or rain, out in the fresh air of Dublin. A genuinely warm welcome, backed by first-rate modern service, is the hallmark of this friendly spot in Dublin.
Whether you are alone or with a group of friends, the craic is fantastic and you will feel thoroughly at home at the Temple Bar. Overseas and out of town visitors will find the staff to be a valuable mine of information on Dublin’s history and haunts. Boasting Traditional Irish Music Pub of the Year from 2002 to 2012, The Temple Bar prides itself with fine Live Music Sessions every day and bring together a fine sample of talented musicians from around the country.
Visit the Guinness Storehouse Factory and Pour Yourself a Pint
Guinness Storehouse is arguably one of Dublin’s most iconic attractions and is hugely popular with visitors to the capital. Guinness is synonymous with Ireland so when you’re in Dublin, you can’t leave without a trip to Guinness Storehouse®. Learn through the seven-story experience how the world-famous drink is made and then sample it for yourself at the end in the panoramic Gravity Bar.
Visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art
Visit a wide range of exhibitions featuring the work of leading Irish and international artists with IMMA’s own collection of art, including the Freud Project, a major exhibition by one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century, Lucian Freud. During your visit explore the IMMA shop, take a stroll through the 17th century formal gardens and relax in the IMMA Café.
Dublin’s food scene is remarkably vibrant, boasting a plentiful selection of fine dining restaurants and a myriad of cuisines from all over the globe. When it comes to traditional Irish fare, the best place to find authentic flavours is in the kitchen of any busy local pub serving lunch and dinner. The pubs in Dublin are world renowned for serving hearty Irish food at reasonably affordable prices. All best served with a pint of Guiness of course!
One of the best-loved dishes in the country is Irish stew, traditionally made using ingredients like potatoes, onions, carrots, diced mutton (from older sheep) and bacon. These days, restaurants and pubs cook modernised version of the classic stew with different kinds of meat and Guinness stout as an added ingredient.
This traditional Irish potato pancake is made by mixing grated raw potato, cooked mashed potato and flour with fresh milk to form a batter, then slow cooking the concoction like a pancake until golden brown. Boxty can be eaten with just butter or sugar but is also often served alongside a full Irish breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, toast, and tomato slices.
The Irish barmbrack is a plain, yet richly fruited bread that’s divine when topped with generous lashings of butter and accompanied by a pot of tea. Traditionally, barmbracks were baked with items such as a ring, coin or cloth inside. Whoever received the slice with the ring inside would marry and whoever got the cloth would be a nun. Today, it is a quintessential Halloween treat in Ireland.
Researcher and Writer