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Ireland’s capital is alive with a rich literary tradition, friendly residents and a respect for all things rebellious.
Greater Dublin has a population of just under two million, yet the bustling city center is compact enough to explore on foot or a rented bicycle. Its rebellious and joyous Celtic traditions are alive in the music spilling out from the pubs, while the historic buildings and monuments tell the stories of the country’s rich religious and cultural heritage. Take part in Bloomsday festivities on June 16 each year when locals celebrate the life of author James Joyce, one of Dublin’s most famous residents.Along the city’s grand thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, you can’t miss the Spire of Dublin. It’s visible for miles around, so use it as a landmark to regain your bearings in Dublin’s winding medieval streets.
Just across the River Liffey stands Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College, which offers highly educational two-hour tours conducted by the school’s history graduates. Or explore on your own, and be sure to visit the Old Library to see the Book of Kells, a priceless illustrated manuscript created by monks in the year 800. Nearby is the National Gallery of Ireland. Wander down stately Dame Street and past the City Hall to Dublin’s religious heart, Christ Church Cathedral. From the awe-inspiring medieval crypt to the mummified cat and rat, there is plenty here to enthrall even non-believers.
A 15-minute walk away is the spiritual home for the world’s stout drinkers, the Guinness Storehouse. Take the interactive tour, which finishes at the Perfect Pint Bar where you can pour your own pint of “black gold.” If you prefer whiskey, head to the Old Jameson Distillery to learn the secrets of turning grain into the water of life.
A little further to the west stands one of the most important and sobering monuments in Ireland, the museum at Kilmainham Gaol. The grim walls and stone-breakers’ yard in this former prison built in 1796 now keep history alive. Expert and passionate tour guides bring the story of Irish independence to life.
After the somber confines of the gaol, unwind with locals in Dublin’s largest park, St. Stephen’s Green. Once the site of public floggings and hangings, this peaceful 22-acre (nine-hectare) collection of gardens, playgrounds, fountains and walking paths is now filled with memorials to Ireland’s patriots and writers.
When evening falls, follow the merry bands of locals and visitors to the popular Temple Bar district. It’s known as the arts quarter of Dublin. By night, however, the area’s nightlife fires up, turning the narrow, cobbled streets into one big party.
July and August are popular months with visitors. This is the most pleasant time to visit the country, but you'll find higher flight and hotel rates. Early autumn and late spring offer reasonable hotel and flight rates throughout Ireland. The cities are a bit less crowded, but accommodations in the country can be limited.
We can arrange a variety of transportation options throughout Europe to make your Europe vacation truly spectacular. Whether you simply need transportation between the airport and hotel, or you want to charter a private yacht or jet, we offer you choice and will manage the important details.
While traveling in Ireland we recommend :
- Private transfers at time of booking - All transfers include a meet-and-greet by English-speaking drivers, luggage assistance, and bottled water in modern vehicles to and from all points of entry as well as between cities.
- The Euro is the official currency of the European union and its member countries. Other European Currencies include the Swiss Franc and the British pound. Exchange rates vary by currency and economic seasonality.
- Restaurants: In general, 10-15%
- Porters: $1
- Taxi's: Round up
- Ireland is GMT + 1 hour
Europe spans three time zones:
- Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) which is 5 hours ahead of Eastern standard Time.
- Central Standard Time which is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
- Eastern European Time which is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Follow @HelenORahilly TV maven. Former BBC One exec; Creative Director & Editor; Director of RT'E TV. Matters cultural, political, trivial, nonsensica...
- A passport is required when traveling outside of your country. If any passenger carries anything other than a Passport supplied by your home country, please contact the Consulate of the country(s) you are visiting to verify document requirements. If you do not have appropriate documentation, you will be denied entry. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your return trip for international travel.