The jewel of the Emerald Isle, Dublin Ireland is a capital city that is proud of its heritage and identity, warts, and all. Ireland will greet you with the warmest of welcomes (accompanied by a pint of Guinness), and the city is filled with cobbled streets, friendly pubs, and world-class museums and art galleries. Bookworms will appreciate Dublin’s position as a UNESCO city of literature, and those interested in Ireland’s history will find plenty of historical spots and museums. Dublin also has exceptional nightlife, with traditional music filling the streets at dusk, and bars and pubs throughout the city providing plenty of entertainment for revelers.
Arguably Ireland’s most famous export is Guinness beer. Every single pint of the rich stout draught is brewed in the St. James Brewery in Dublin. The popularity of the beer has turned the brewery and storehouse into a world-class attraction, with tours happening every day. The atrium is set inside the world’s largest pint glass, and the Storehouse contains a brilliant Guinness museum, pint pulling classes, a shop packed with Guinness merchandise, and the “Gravity Bar” with views over the city. The charm and authenticity of the tour will give you a very warm welcome to the Dublin way of life!
National Museum of Ireland
Ireland is fiercely proud of its unique and often troubled history. Those interested in the Emerald Isle’s past should visit the National Museum of Ireland, which has three branches across Dublin. The Archeology and History branches on Kildare street look at prehistoric, ancient, and medieval Ireland. The decorative arts section of the museum in Collins Barracks has a beautiful collection of folk costumes, jewelry, and weapons from across Irish history, alongside artifacts from other corners of the earth.
Things To Do
Discover Leopold Bloom’s Dublin
James Joyce’s Ulysses is considered to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, and follows one man, Leopold Bloom, as he wanders around Dublin. The book’s descriptions of the landmarks and people of Dublin are world-famous and written with passion and knowledge by Joyce. Literary fans, or those who want to explore Dublin on foot, can retrace Bloom’s footsteps across the city. Walking guides with prompts specific to the book, and guided walking tours with Joyce experts are available. Huge fans should visit the city on June 16th aka Bloomsday, the day when the book is set, to witness and citywide celebration of Joyce’s masterpiece.
Visit Kilmainham Gaol
One of the most important symbols of recent Irish history, Kilmainham Gaol is most famous for being the prison of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, a huge moment in Dublin’s history. The revolutionaries were executed in the prison, which has now been preserved and restored for visitors to explore. The prison is now the largest unoccupied jail in Europe, instead of housing a museum on the long history of Irish Nationalism and an interesting gallery showcasing works by Irish prisoners. This may be an unusual tourist attraction, but is a great location to explore the darker side of Irish history.
Where to Stay
If you are visiting in the summer, a great budget choice is to take a residential room at Trinity College. One of the oldest universities in Europe, a stay in the no-frills rooms means a great location and backstage access to one of the most visited spots in the city!