Ireland’s vibrant capital is an age-old city with a youthful soul, its home to one of the youngest populations in Europe and it's fun-loving locals love having a good time. The city is a diverse mix of traditionalIrish pubsand newly opened establishments, both offering late nights and live music. Despite its large and lively personality, Dublin is a compact city located on the banks of the River Liffey - perfect for exploring on foot, even better forpub crawls.
Dublin is an all year round destination, although it's especially popular during the summer months when temperatures reach around 20 degrees. But, Dublin’s changeable weather means you should never be surprised to see rain, even in the summer it rains here a lot. The city also remains popular in the colder winter months, as you can easily warm up in one of the city’s infamous Irish pubs. So, head to Dublin for a really good ‘craic’!
Explore The City
The Birthplace of Guinness
The Irish capital is home to the infamous Guinness Storehouse, recently named as Europe's top tourist attraction, it’s definitely worth a visit. The seven-story storehouse is modelled like a giant pint glass and filled with various visitor attractions. Including The Guinness Academy, where you can learn to pour the perfect Guinness pint (pour it slowly, it will be well worth the wait).
The Best View of The City
The highlight of the Guinness Storehouse visitor experience is the Gravity bar located at the “head” of the pint shaped building - it's an experience in itself. Enjoy incredible 360-degree views of Dublin’s skyline with a free glass of the world-famous stout in hand.
Watch Gaelic Sports at Croke Park
Enjoy a uniquely Irish experience and watch Gaelic sports at Ireland's home venue, Croke Park. You can enjoy Gaelic football, Ireland’s national sport or hurling, the fastest team sport in the world!
Rolling Bar Pub Tour
When travelling as a group, it can be hard to see everything a city has to offer, so get your mates on to a Rolling Bar Pub Tour and enjoy the city sights as you pedal around Dublin. You'll get to visit four pubs during the boozy guided tour and enjoy the onboard sound system along the way.
Rafting On The Liffey
You and your mates will get to take in some great views of Dublin as you paddle your way along the famous River Liffey. As you make your way downriver, your group will negotiate four fast-flowing weirs, get very wet and most likely capsize!
Dublin's nightlife is all about the pubs - its renowned for its excellent pub-to-person ratio. There's also a ton of bars in the city; most stay open late and nearly all have live music and nightly entertainment. Nightspots are concentrated around the compact city centre, so it’s the perfect destination for an Irish Bar Crawl.
Experience Temple Bar
Located In the heart of the city, the Temple Bar area is filled with rooftop bars, traditional Irish pubs and cobblestone streets. It's the best-known area for going out in Dublin, with the highest number of pubs. But, It's also a major tourist hotspot so the prices aren't cheap and it can get a bit hectic on weekends.
St Patrick's Festival
St Patrick's day is Ireland's biggest event; it attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year for a country-wide party. Dublin city goes a bit nuts, with parades, merrymaking and a buzzing Irish atmosphere. So, paint your face, get your green stuff on and have a drink with the famously friendly locals.
If you and your mates want a top club experience, head to Club M, Dublin’s well-loved and longest running club. Situated in Temple Bar, at the centre of Dublin's nightlife, it's a great dancing destination after a day of drinking in the pubs. It’s been running for over 20 years now, so they must be doing things right.
Eat Like a Local
The Irish capital is famous for its traditional Irish pub grub. On nearly every Irish pub menu in Dublin, you’ll find a hearty lamb-and-Guinness pie or a warming Irish stew. But, Dublin’s dining goes far beyond the traditional Irish fare, offering excellent international eateries across the city.
Fresh Seafood From Dublin Bay
Dublin Bay is famous for producing delicious, fresh seafood, particularly prawns, mussels and Irish fish and chips. Locals also love to eat Dublin Bay oysters, famously combined with a proper pint of Guinness - it’s a Dublin delicacy.
Temple Bar Food Market
To try some Irish food head to the food market held every Saturday on the cobbled streets of Temple Bar. Talk to the friendly locals and try some locally made Irish soda bread or Irish beef.
Places to Stay
As Dublin is an all year round destination, accommodation is always busy. Hotels near to Temple Bar or O’Connell Street (the main thoroughfare of Dublin city) are the most expensive and usually book first. Hotel prices can double during peak times and festivals like St Patrick's day. So, it’s always worth checking for busy dates and booking accommodation well in advance. Your best bet is to stay a little bit out of the city centre; you’ll most likely still be able to walk to the main attractions but without paying such a high price.
Dublin at a Glance:
- Birthplace of Guinness and home to over 1,000 pubs
- On the border of beautiful County Wicklow with its stunning beaches and mountains and edged by romantic - Kildare, Ireland’s natural beauty is never far away
- Home to so many literary, musical and artistic legends past and present – it can almost be forgiven for producing Riverdance and Jedward
- The city’s ‘beach’ at Dun Laoghaire is famous for the traditional Christmas morning leap off the rocks into the freezing Irish Sea
Things Not To Miss:
Croke Park- Time your trip right and book tickets for Gaelic Football at Dublin’s famous Croke Park. Gaelic Football is the fastest field game in the world and the Irish are mad for it.www.crokepark.ie
Guinness Storehouse- Does Guinness taste better in Dublin? If you want to find out take a tour of the Storehouse and sample a free pint of the ‘black stuff’ in the Gravity bar.www.guinness-storehouse.com
The Dublin City Pub Crawl- There are plenty of guided walks round Dublin’s historic streets, but this is the one with the stout, traditional pub food, live Irish music and a late-night club to round it all off.
The Creative Quarter – Cool And a Great Hang Out
Cross Dame Street from Temple Bar and you’re in The Creative Quarter. And when Dublin says ‘creative’ nobody argues. This is where you’ll find some of Europe’s best new designers, piled to the rafters vintage shops, specialist shops selling everything from stationery to ribbons, gorgeous galleries, rising-star restaurants and fantastic bars. The Creative Quarter is where locals look effortless and amazing and it’s all achingly cool. But don’t worry, this is Dublin and even ‘attitude’ is friendly
Grafton Street – Dublin Does Shopping
Dublin gave the world Primark, so it’s fair to say the city likes a bit of shopping. But not just any shopping, as a Saturday afternoon on Grafton Street proves. Dublin’s most famous street has more than its share of brand names stretched along its length between Trinity and St Stephen’s Green. But it’s also completely pedestrianised so street theatre is almost as big as spending here – carry change in your pocket.
Best Places For a Pint of The Black Stuff:
Gravity Bar- Step behind the big, black gates on Market Street and head to the top of the Guinness Storehouse. The Gravity Bar serves the world famous stout like nowhere else and also gives you an unrivalled 360° view of the city.www.guinness-storehouse.com
Stag’s Head, Dame Court- Traditional Irish pub loved by locals for longer than anyone can remember – it was the first Dublin pub to get electricity. A must on a pub crawl or a stout-based night out.
Doyles- Live music, great stout, an off-licence and live music seven nights a week, Doyles is a family run Dublin institution and as Irish as a drop of the black stuff itself.www.doylesintown.com
Jack Nealons Pub- A real Irish pub with log fires and a lovely, traditional interior. Perfect for a quiet afternoon drink and some ‘craic’.www.jacknealonspub.com
McDaids, Harry Street- This is Ireland’s literary legend and one of the best loved Dublin pubs.
Best bars in Dublin:
Vintage Cocktail Club- Temple Bar isn’t all excess. The more secretive and discerning can ring the Vintage Cocktail Club’s doorbell and gain entry straight into the louche and languid world of the 1920s. The art of the cocktail is so refined here they even tailor your ice to your drink. Perfect for adding some quirk to your night out.www.vintagecocktailclub.com
Gilbert & Wright, Dun Laoghaire- Head out to Dublin’s best known bit of coast (or stop in on your way from the ferry) for a laid back 70s style. Lots of plush sofas, candles, chilling out and excellent sounds. Great fun for a night out with a twist.www.gilbertandwright.ie
Buskers- Buskers don’t just mix some of the city’s finest concoctions, they give lessons too. This is Temple Bar at its finest: live music seven nights a week, loud and up for any old nonsense.www.buskersbar.com
House- As the name suggests: lots of different rooms – and even a huge garden. Pick your mood and House will serve you cocktails wherever you choose. Loves to hold parties and takes reservations.www.housedublin.ie
Front Lounge- A classic Dublin cocktail favourite. The style is comfortable and chic, famous for hosting alternative local events and has an insanely good karaoke night.www.thefrontlounge.ie
Best clubs in Dublin:
Club M- Temple Bar’s Club M takes everything about clubbing seriously – it’s Dublin’s longest running club, so it’s had a bit of practice. Two floors, top DJs, vast dance floor, and lots and lots of lights and lasers.www.clubm.ie
The Academy- Club nights and great gigs make The Academy a Dublin Institution. Famous for showcasing new indie talent.www.theacademydublin.com
Club Nassau- Dublin’s ‘party’ club. This is the anything goes, wild old time.www.kildarestreethoteldublin.com/Blarney-Inn-Dublin/Club-Nassau/
Andrews Lane Theatre- Ireland’s best sound system, guest DJs and two floors to go with the ALT command ‘have a crazy night’.www.andrewslanetheatre.wordpress.com
4 Dame Lane- If you want to launch an edgy product or an indie album you choose 4 Dame Lane. But if it’s Friday or Saturday night you come here to club – not huge in size, but big on ultra-cool attitude.www.4damelane.ie
Best Time To Visit:
Every year from March 13-17, Dublin goes green and a little bit mad. And who can blame it? This is the city that owns St Patrick. Parades are plentiful, Dubliners are friendlier than ever and you can’t move for merrymaking. Paint your face, give in and go for it, it’s the Dublin way on St Patrick’s Day.
The city doesn’t scrimp at New Year either. One of the biggest Hogmanay parties in Europe is held every year on St Stephen’s Green – it’s popular so book early. And even if you don’t get tickets for the gigs and partying on the Green, Dubliners celebrate all over the rest of the city too.
Luas (Irish for ‘speed’) is Dublin’s tram service. The red line runs along the north bank of the Liffey and the green line comes into the city centre. Taxis are best at night, there are ranks all over the city centre. And if you want to get out of Dublin for a bit, the DART network is reasonable, easy to use, goes everywhere and has free WiFi.