A little salty, a little witty and undeniably welcoming, Dublin’s personality is hard to miss as you walk along the streets. Those jovial “hellos” from friendly locals and the roar of laughter from boisterous pubs are just a couple of unique experiences that breathe life into this vibrant city. Ireland’s capital offers an incredible array of activities for all ages, from the iconic zoo to the infamous Guinness Brewery and Storehouse. After a few days, you’ll quickly see why so many tourists fall for its charm.
Cruise for Culinary Delights
Start your Irish forage with tea and breakfast at Queen of Tarts, a casual replica of an English tea house famous for its selection of savory and sweet tarts. Find the perfect blend of local charm and tourist kitsch at the celebrated Mulligans Pub, where you can grab a pint of Guinness and soak up the authentic atmosphere that hasn’t changed in 40 years.
Afterward, stop into Gallagher’s Boxty House for a hearty shepherd’s pie and corned beef. Looking for ideas for a romantic night out? Visit Mulberry Garden, located in a restored 1911 cottage, where chefs have revolutionized traditional Irish fare, offering dishes like succulent duck breast paired with prune puree or fresh scallops on a bed of truffled cabbage. Or go upscale at Chapter One for haute cuisine like chestnut soup and hen pheasant with Jerusalem artichokes.
Go Ahead Be a Curious Traveler
Begin your Dublin exploration at Trinity College, roaming the grounds of Ireland’s most prestigious university. Established in 1592, the campus is an artistic masterpiece filled with cathedral ceilings – the best of which you’ll find in the library’s famous Long Room. A few steps from Trinity is Dublin Castle, a fortress rebuilt time and time again around the original 13th-century Record Tower. In the beautifully landscaped area behind the castle, you can walk over the exact spot where a black pool, or “dub linn,” once existed, which is how the city got its name.
From here, take a bus or the metro (a three-day Freedom pass will get you on these with ease) and head to the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship, a splendid replica that now serves as a living history museum. Have your camera ready for the bus ride there. The route will take you along the River Liffey and past iconic sites like Temple Bar and the Irish Houses of Parliament. Afterward, you can head across the river to Phoenix Park to stroll its tree-lined avenues and visit the third oldest zoo in the world.
Floss a Little Bit, Stay Here
For authentic Irish accommodations, stay at Clontarf Castle Hotel, a historic 18th-century hotel that’s just a stone’s throw from the breathtaking Dublin Bay. A boat tour around the bay will reward you with stunning views of the mountains, Ireland’s Eye, Lambay Island, Joyce’s Martello Tower and more.
Stay closer to the action at the five-star Merrion Hotel, a boutique property encompassing four restored Georgian townhomes. The hotel is decorated with breathtaking works of art and gilded antiques, and it features family-friendly guest rooms and an array of restaurants, ranging from a gastro-pub to elegant cocktail bars. You can’t beat the location, which is just a five-minute walk to St. Stephen’s Green, a gorgeous city park surrounded by shopping venues. So, get ready to shop ‘til you drop!