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Dublin city guide

Introducing, Dublin…with a multitude of traditional bars, iconic bands and architectural elegance, this typically Irish city has long-lured party lovers and culture seekers.
 
There are plenty of things for tourists to do in Dublin. There’s no shortage of historic sights and amazing architecture, not to mention a lively café and nightlife scene. By day you can explore the winding streets, and by night the pubs are filled with tourists enjoying a pint of Guinness and some traditional Irish music.

With so much available in this vibrant city, it can be difficult to decide what to do first. That’s why we’ve put together this handy pocket-guide to some of the capital’s must-see attractions:
 

Why Dublin?

The Irish capital is riddled with traces of its tempestuous past, and yet its modern culture is apparent with locals. If you’ve come here looking for stunning architectural elegance, a robust pub-culture and various museums surrounding an attractive seaside location, well… you’ve hit to jackpot! Don’t forget the food: Ireland may not be known for its culinary delights, but in recent years it’s possible to sample excellent local produce, all washed down with a pint of Guinness - what else?
 

When to go?

There’s not really an off-peak time when it comes to Ireland – at least not if you’re relying on the weather. Yes,
the weather is famously unpredictable here and without a brolly you’ll find yourself fighting for cover. We’d recommended travelling in May, June or September as these are generally the sunniest months, while July and August can be a washout. If you prefer a winter wonderland - not to worry! Winter is magical in Dublin, with its contrast between frosty fingertips and cosy indoor log-fire pubs and restaurants. Looking for a quick retreat? The St. Patrick's Festival is a great excuse to visit Dublin this March. This national celebration of arts, culture and identity will showcase what Ireland is all about: local/international talent, entertainment and a whole host of fun festivities from 14th-17th March.
 

Shopping

OK, hands up who’s visited London or Paris purely to shop? Shopping there is legendary and we can’t blame you for visiting, but the practicalities get in the way: trawling the streets, falling into cafes to escape the crowds - only to collapse back into your hotel, exhausted! There’s no such problems in Dublin. Trendy markets, boutiques, designer stores a twee tea-rooms are hidden gems. The best shopping complex outside the city centre is Dundrum Shopping Centre. There’s no need for frustrating map guides and underground travel. All of your high-street favourites are nestled into this unique shopping experience – shopping times are usually between 10am-6pm, with late night shopping on Thursday nights until 8pm and 9pm during the Christmas period.
 

Taste of Ireland?

If your idea of Irish cuisine starts and stops with a hearty sausage and mash, essentially pub grub, Dublin will surprise you. Our beloved capital has endless choices to fulfil the needs of even the most lavish foodie, from: international dishes, Irish cuisine and even updated version of it! There’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for an Italian, head to the Quartier Bloom with its excellent selection of wine, platters of cured meats and cheeses. If you’re a big eater, not a problem. Their chiefs serve up a treat with specialties, including a seafood risotto and traditional spaghetti bolognese. For an Italian meets Irish twist, visit Town Bar and Grill on Kildare Street. The terracotta floors in the dining area offer a truly rustic feel to this classic diner, while the basement room is cleverly designed making the most of the space to create an airy feel.
 
Ask any local for the names of their favourite restaurant and you’re likely to hear the select few mentioned in this guide. Disclaimer: For those on a budget, restaurants in Dublin are surprisingly affordable (especially when compared to popular tourist destinations; London, New York and Paris).
 

Arriving at your destination

With the bustling city streets and hellish traffic in the mornings, Dublin can be a chore to get around. However most of the sites, shops and tourist attractions are located in the city centre and can be explored on foot. Whether you’re visiting Dublin on business or pleasure, be sure to book a hotel close to the centre. Postal codes 1 and 2 are within walking distance of the centre, so if your hotel reads "postal 1” then you know you’re not going to miss out on the action.
 
Avoid renting a car at costs while in Dublin; complex one-way systems, heavy traffic and unforgiving drivers can make driving a nightmare for tourists. But, if you plan on visiting the more remote corners of the Irish countryside, a car is essential. Since parking in the city centre is so tricky and expensive, you might want to consider staying in accommodation outside of the city – preferably somewhere with free and secure parking!
 
Use the "Hop on, hop off” tour busses to see the main sights of Dublin. Several companies provide this service, such as Dublin Bus and Duel Way. Prices are fixed at 19 euros for a day pass. While on the bus, you’ll find points of interest courtesy of the coach driver and be provided with a map so you can mark your favourites.
 

What to do in Dublin?

The perfect pint - If you came to Dublin in search of a pint (or two) of Guinness, then Kehoe’s is a must! The bar’s friendly staff keep the glasses full and never, never let you go without a pint in your hand. The elegant wooden fitting gives this traditional pub a homey feel and the snugs are just perfection, which makes drinking here a rich experience.
 
Seasonal events? For a good old fashioned knees up, with more drink than you can shake an at – what better excuse for a pint? St Paricks Day parade (see when to go) offers some of the best street performers and there’s a four day slog of world-class entertainment. If your’e a film buff, then July and August is the time to visit with free Saturday night films at the Jameson Movies on the square. Finally, Dublin Writer’s Festival offers readings and friendly public debate.

Itching to explore Dublin? Why not start your journey in style? Visit www.executivelounges.com and book your place in a comfortable airport lounge.
 
 

Images via:

Ha'penny Bridge - Giuseppe Milo
St Patrick's Day - LenDog64
Guinness - LenDog64

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