Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, boasts a rich and varied history. The people of Ireland are famed for their love of life and many visitors are drawn here by the thought of fun and frivolity.
If you’re planning a short break in Dublin, then there are a number of key locations that you simply must visit:
The Guinness Storehouse
Reputed to be the most visited tourist location in the entire country, the Guinness Storehouse tells the story of one of Ireland’s most famous exports. From relatively humble beginnings on the banks of the River Liffey, the Guinness brewery has expanded over the years.
Much of the brewing does, however, still take place on this original brewery site. The Storehouse experience allows visitors to learn about the history of the drink and the way in which the company has developed. Features include a guide to the main ingredients and an examination of the television advertisements that have helped to drive the success of the company.
It was once the case that Irish doctors would prescribe Guinness to their patients. No visit to Dublin would be complete without finding out more about the drink that can be found all over the world. The Storehouse has a number of floors of attractions, with the real highlight being at the very top of the building. Here, you can sample a glass of Guinness for yourself and enjoy one of the finest views of Dublin. The Gravity Bar allows you to gain a panoramic view of the city and surrounding hills.
Founded in 1592, Trinity College was the first university to be established in Ireland. It boasts grand buildings and a definite air of tranquillity. Tours are conducted by current students, enabling you to get a real understanding of what it is like to study in this historic academic establishment.
The library includes a number of important manuscripts, most notably including the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is believed to be at least 1,200 years old and was created by Celtic monks. The book is illustrated throughout and is viewed as one of the most important pieces of work ever created in the country.
It was once housed at the Abbey of Kells, but was transferred to Dublin in 1654. The manuscript was never completed and has been rebound on a number of occasions.
Ireland is a country that has experienced an enormous amount of conflict over the years, with Dublin often being at the centre of violence and debate. Kilmainham Gaol, located in the suburbs of the city, is a place where that history comes to life. You’ll be given a guided tour of the buildings, allowing you to get an insight into what it must have been like to be a prisoner here. You’ll also learn about those who were never able to leave Kilmainham Gaol, for a variety of reasons.
Visiting the small chapel here is a particularly moving experience, while movie fans will recognise the interior of the Victorian prison from its starring role in numerous films, including The Italian Job and Michael Collins.
Temple Bar is a thriving area in the heart of the city, with many pubs, clubs and street entertainers. Many of the pubs provide entertainment that is specifically aimed at tourists, including live music performances.
The area had gained a reputation for hosting large stag and hen weekend parties. In more recent years, a concerted attempt has been made to improve the situation, creating a much more pleasant visitor experience.
If you’re going to be spending time in the city, then you’ll find that it’s very easy to drive around Dublin. There are numerous options for car hire from Dublin Airport and you can make a booking before leaving home. Access to a car will also allow you to explore the surrounding countryside, with the Wicklow Mountains being particularly enchanting.