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Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Guide: Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to Dublin

Dublin-Four-Courts-On-Liffey-RiverThe capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin is one of the friendliest cities in the world, and newcomers fit right in. Dublin is a compact city with most of the attractions within walking distance. The relaxed atmosphere is just one of the unique qualities of Dublin. As the capital of a country in which half the population is aged under 28 and a city in which there are more than 1000 pubs, Dublin is a good town for a good time. Dublin also invites visitors to dip into the literary past of distinguished Irish sons, W. B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and more on the Poets Walk. To keep following in the footsteps of the city's famous sons, try one of the more elegant Dublin hotels, the Clarence. Owned by regulars Bono and The Edge of pop band U2, it houses the hip Kitchen nightclub in the basement.

Dublin's chequered past is evident in its architectural style, English Georgian style townhouses and retro Victorian restaurants and bars. There are also still some remnants from the 11th Century Viking invasion of Ireland. Dublin has its share of modern edifices too with the Millennium Spire - commonly known by Dubliners as the 'Stiletto in the Ghetto' - and the ultra-sleek glass Docklands apartments.

Top Things to do in Dublin

Dublin-Malahide-CastleVisit Dublin Castle grounds and beautiful, 18th Century furnished interior. The grounds of Dublin Castle can be accessed free of charge, but there is an admission fee for going inside. Commonly missed by visitors are the Dubh Linn Gardens behind the castle. Dublin got its name from this place, and its original Dubh linn (dark pool). This area is also used as a helicopter landing site for visiting dignitaries.

See the Temple Bar area at weekends for the variety of Dublin markets filling up the old cobbled streets. Markets include traditional Irish farmers markets that sell meats, cheeses and local produce, and retro craft markets where budding designers sell revamped clothing and jewellery items.

Take a shopping trip to the famous 160-year-old Thomas Brown department store where the doorman in full regalia lifts his top hat to welcome you inside.

Visit the Guinness Brewery. To set out on the right foot, visit the Guinness Storehouse at St James' Gate, where a brewing tour ends at the scenic Gravity Bar with a complimentary glass of Guinness. That may whet your appetite for a literary pub tour that takes in the favourite haunts of James Joyce, Brendan Behan, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett.

Once you have seen where Ireland's greatest writers drank, the place where most of them studied, Trinity College, offers literary reflections of a soberer kind. There you will find the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the gospels dating back to 800AD. If possible, make your visit on Sunday morning when the tolling of the bells that call the faithful to churches all over the city will be heard.

Eating

The eclectic mix of Dublin extends naturally to its restaurants and cafes, and visitors will find an extremely wide range of places to eat that suit all ages, culinary preferences and budgets. Dublin does enjoy an international mix of guests, so restaurants range from traditional Irish cooking to curries, Middle Eastern dishes, Oriental and European fare. Whether the visitor prefers meat, poultry, fish, vegetarian or vegan food, Dublin offers a high quality of choice. Dublin also has plenty of takeaway shops and fast food outlets, as well as some fun, family-friendly eateries with great children's menus on offer. Many Dublin hotels have fine dining restaurants and brassieres that are also open to non-residents.

Dublin restaurants tend to attract a mixed bunch of customers and people of all ages happily mix together. Although the percentage of young people in Dublin is particularly high, there are no 'young' restaurants as such - there are just restaurants.

Nightlife

Dubliners enjoy traditional Irish pubs and there are a great many of them dotted throughout the city. Offering food, drinks, live music, in-bar competitions and quizzes in addition to the traditional bar games of darts and dominos, authentic Dublin pubs offer a full fun filled evening to both locals and visitors.

The Temple Bar area houses most of the trendy clubs and pubs, and many travellers have voted Temple Bar as the liveliest district in the known world. The city supports live music and local artists, so whether your taste runs to folk, jazz, rock, R & B or pop music, you will find what you are looking for in diverse Dublin. Most clubs and bars in Dublin do have a dress code in the evenings but are more relaxed during the daytime.

Dubliners enjoy a good laugh and the city's comedy clubs are always well attended. Visitors are warmly welcomed and a great evening is to be had by all. For a bit of mediaeval atmosphere spend an evening at the Brazen Head, Dublin's oldest bar, dating from the 12th Century.

Sport

Dubliners are justly proud of their traditional sports of Hurling and Gaelic Football. Hurling is played in Parnell Park and visitors are welcome to watch league and championship games. Similarly, Gaelic Football is also played in Parnell Park.

For golfers, there are an incredible eight 18-hole golf courses in the Dublin area alone, and there are other courses in nearby County Wicklow. Dublin courses are suitable for both experienced and beginner golfers.

Horse racing and breeding has always been a popular Irish pastime, and there are a total of five excellent courses in and around the Dublin area. Meetings are held throughout the year, so the visitor will have ample opportunity to enjoy a day at the races.

Rugby is enjoyed throughout the country and the city often comes to a standstill when Ireland is playing in an international match. The Ireland Rugby Team plays at Lansdowne Road, the oldest rugby stadium in the world.

Greyhound breeding and racing is popular in Ireland, and the city supports two greyhound racecourses, both of which have regular race meets. The venues are comfortable and modern, and include restaurants and bars on-site to give an all round enjoyable night at the dogs.

Arts and Entertainment

From small art galleries showcasing local talent exhibits, to the grand National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin values arts and culture. Guests are invited to visit and support the galleries, where there is always someone on hand to pass on local information and to answer any questions a visitor may have.

The National Museum of Ireland houses the best public Irish heritage collections in the country. A visit to the National Museum is a great way for visitors to Dublin to familiarise themselves with Irish history and culture.

The National Gallery of Ireland is custodian to a fine collection of Irish and European fine arts. Admission to the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Ireland is free of charge.

Dublin has a thriving live theatre scene, and venues range from the 100-year-old Abbey Theatre to the ultra-modern Grand Canal Theatre, the latter of which also plays host to world-famous musicians, circuses, musical shows and performances by international ballet companies. There is literally never a dull moment in Dublin.

Dublin Hotels

Visitors to Dublin enjoy a wide and varied selection of accommodation, with options ranging from five-star luxury to cosy guesthouses. Dublin attracts a large number of young travellers who are on a budget, so it is easy to find a good range of well-equipped single rooms and hostel accommodation dotted throughout the city. These are particularly concentrated in the city centre in the areas immediately surrounding O'Connell Street. Accommodation options are spread right throughout Dublin, and there are venues to cater for every visitor, no matter what their budget.

Getting around by car

Dublin Airport to Dublin: 20 min (11.4 km) via Swords Rd/R132 and N1

Cork to Dublin: 2 h 42 min (266.7 km) via M7 and M8

Belfast to Dublin: 1 h 43 min (165.6 km) via M1 and A1

Accommodation, driving and car rental

At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team

 

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