With students wanting to travel further and further afield nowadays, it would be easy for most to overlook visiting Dublin. However there’s every reason to explore the Republic of Ireland’s lively capital, especially if you’re a fan of Guinness. With this in mind Impact travel lists its top attractions in Dublin:
Whether a fan of the Irish stout or not, the Guinness Storehouse is Dublin’s most loved tourist attraction. Located on seven floors at St. James’s Gate Brewery, highlights include a step by step guide of the brewing process, an insight into the company’s advertising and sponsorship campaigns, and an opportunity to pour the perfect pint. Make sure you finish your visit relaxing over a glass of the black stuff in the Gravity Bar where you can admire panoramic views of the city.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND
For art lovers, a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland is essential. The museum’s collection includes 2,500 paintings and 10,000 other works of some of the world’s most famous names, such as Caravaggio, van Gogh and Monet. There’s also major works from Irish artists Jack B. Yeats and Louis le Brocquy, and to top that off, it’s free to visit too.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVAL
Remarkably, people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all over the world, and whilst there is much fun to be had in drinking an overpriced, warm pint of Guinness in a wannabe Irish pub halfway across the world, why not celebrate it in Ireland’s capital? They don’t just celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin either; they make a whole weekend of it, with the highlight being the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Next year’s celebration takes place on the 14th-17th of March.
BOOK OF KELLS AND TRINITY COLLEGE
For those of you who love exploring the history of a city, make sure you see the Book of Kells. The manuscript can be found in the Old Library at Trinity College and contains the four Gospels of the New Testament, all written in Latin. Afterwards take a walk around the grounds of Trinity College – Dublin’s equivalent to Oxford and Cambridge universities.
Chosen by Trip Advisor as the top attraction in Ireland for 2014, a trip to Dublin won’t be complete until you visit Kilmainham Gaol. Formerly a prison, it is now a museum where visitors can take a tour of the spooky location and learn about how it played a crucial role in Ireland gaining independence.
Part of the joy of visiting other cities has to be trying all the local delicacies on offer. One traditional hearty Dublin dish is the Coddle: a sausage, bacon, onion and potato hot pot. Expect to also find a wealth of Guinness based stews, pies and cakes, and make sure you warm up with an Irish coffee on cold days.
Take a walk around the beautiful deer-filled Phoenix Park, home to Dublin Zoo and Áras an Uachtaráin; the official residence of the president of Ireland. Entrance to the park is free, however there is a charge to visit the zoo. If you want to go to a more central park, head to St Stephen’s Green, and visit the Shopping Centre while you’re there if you’re in need of some retail therapy.
Dublinia is an interactive museum based upon Dublin’s Viking and Medieval history. The museum is a fun way to learn about the city’s past and includes special Halloween exhibits, as well as various living history events and themed exhibitions throughout the year.
Dublin is a great sporting city and the perfect place to watch a game. The Aviva Stadium, which opened in 2010, is the home of Ireland’s national football and rugby teams. It will also host four matches in Euro 2020, so there’s every opportunity to watch some of the best sports stars in the world. If you’re up for an unusual experience, head to Croke Park for some Gaelic football, or if sport isn’t your thing, take the Skyline Tour where you can enjoy fantastic views of the city from five viewing platforms.
If you’re unsure about where to spend your evenings in Dublin, head to the Temple Bar district. Here the pubs and clubs are focused around tourists, so expect slightly inflated drinks prices. Try the area in the day and you’ll find a wealth of cultural attractions, from stunning architecture to one of Ireland’s smallest theatres; The New Theatre, and a wealth of galleries and arts centres.