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Exploring Dublin

The Republic of Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, is a popular tourism destination for its collection of Georgian architecture, its buzzing nightlife and traditional Irish music pubs, its laid-back ambience and its ultra-friendly peoples. It’s the perfect base for visitors planning to explore the dramatic coastlines, rolling emerald-green hills and quaint small towns and villages set along the coastline and in the interior. In spite of the rumours, it truly doesn’t rain all the time in Ireland, although an umbrella could well be considered an essential travel accessory here.

The city centre with its charming old streets and meandering River Liffey is small enough to be explored on foot and holds landmarks including St Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green. On the northern banks of the river is famous O’Connell Street, scene during the ‘troubles’ of the attack on the historic General Post Office during the 1916 Easter Uprising. Ireland is justly famous for its writers, with the Dublin Writers’ Museum, set close by the Castle Hotel and paying homage to greats such as James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Yeats and Pearse.

Sights nearby

Dublin is best known for its amazing choice of traditional Irish pubs set in heritage buildings, but there’s a great deal more to see, including its imposing castle and massive cathedral.

Jeanie Johnson Famine Ship Museum
The famine Ship Museum moored at Customs Quay is an exact replica of replica of the sailing ships which took Irish emigrants fleeing the Great Famine across the ocean to the New World of America. The displays detail the hardships undergone by the passengers on the dangerous journey and tells of their hopes and dreams for a new life away from oppression and starvation.

Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle was for several hundred years the stronghold of British power in Ireland and is now home to the Chester Beatty Library’s magnificent collection of illustrated sacred texts.

Christ Church Cathedral
This imposing cathedral dates back over 1,000 years and, although it was extensively restored in the 19th century, is Dublin’s oldest building. The crypt underneath the cathedral predates the edifice itself and holds early medieval carvings.

Dubliana and the Viking World
Located in the heart of medieval Dublin, this fascinating heritage centre tells tales of life in the medieval city at the time of the Viking invasions. It’s a great place for families as well as for those interested in the city’s impressive history.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

The pub culture around Temple Bar features quaint pubs with traditional music, pub grub, Guinness and Irish whiskey. Eating out in upscale venues can be pricey, but is far less so in the centre’s Indian and Asian eateries. For eating in, mid-range hotels such as Blooms Hotel and luxury resort-style haunts in country mansions all offer decent resturants. Pedestrianised Grafton Street is Dublin’s shopping hub, featuring many jewellery and fashion boutiques. Adjacent to ancient Trinity College and the Temple Bar Hotel is Nassau Street, great for craft-style souvenirs such as Waterford crystal, Belleek porcelains, Aran Island knitwear and other traditional crafts items.

Public transport

Dublin International Airport is located just 10kms from the city centre, with its main carrier Aer Lingus. Irish budget airline Ryanair serves London and other UK regional airports from Dublin International Airport and may be a good connecting choice for Aussie travellers. Onward transportation to the city centre and its hotels is by express Aircoach, local express buses, taxis or self-drive via car hire. Taxis are the most expensive means of travel. Getting around the city centre is by the Luas light rail/tram system, and for nearby coastal trips the Dart suburban rail is convenient. Bus services are comprehensive but somewhat confusing, and drivers face heavy traffic and extensive one-way road systems.

Dublin travel guides

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