Dublin has a huge personality and a ton of culture and history packed into a relatively small area. Dublin has Georgian architecture, landscaped parks and of course plays host to the biggest party in the world; St Patrick’s Day!
Dublin has a wonderful cultural heritage with the bands U2, The Script and Boyzone formed here. Actors Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are also from Dublin, as are many other famous poets, comedians and athletes.
Enjoy a traditional pint at the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is possibly the number one tourist attraction in Dublin thanks to the legendary ‘black gold’ produced here! The building is seven stories high and in the shape of a huge pint glass. You will learn how the traditional Guinness is made, stored and, even more importantly, how it tastes! If you are of legal age, you will have an opportunity to sample the brew and enjoy a pint of the rich ‘black stuff’. Located just outside the center of Dublin in St James’ Gate, this is one definite must-see!
Explore Trinity College, Ireland’s Internationally Recognised University
Along with Dublin Castle and the Christchurch Cathedral, travellers should also make time to explore the Trinity College. This historic university, founded in 1592, offers all major disciplines, including the arts, science and humanities. Scholars in their subjects teach classes which are unique in the world for having acclaimed experts on the teaching faculty. Trinity is ranked in the top 1% of research institutions throughout the English speaking world. It covers 17 fields of science, including molecular biology, life science and computer science. Trinity College also houses the famous Book of Kells.
As one of the older universities in Western Europe, Trinity attracts research funding for their extensive programs, such as Culture and Creative Arts and Energy and Environment. Nestled in the middle of the city, Trinity features cobbled squares as well as modern facilities and green playing fields. Its library boasts 5 million volumes, some of them quite rare, and serves nearly 17,000 students, almost 100,000 alumni and close to 3,000 staff members from all over the world.
Take a walking tour of the Glasnevin Cemetery
If you wonder why anyone would want to visit a cemetery while on vacation, you haven’t seen Glasnevin. Opened in 1832 and regarded as Dublin’s necropolis, Glasnevin is he final resting place of more than 1.5 million souls. The gravesites of many notable local figures include Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins and Frank Duff. Glasnevin has monuments and gardens and a delightful restaurant, The Tower Café, serving breakfast and afternoon tea for the foot-weary. The on-site museum has a wonderful gift shop where you can purchase Irish crafts.
Tour the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
Dubliners are very proud of this museum with its collection of over 3,500 works of art by Irish artists and other internationally known artists. It particularly features the 1940’s onwards, and new works are added each year by purchase or donation. The current exhibition stars Francis Bacon and his studio – catch one of the leading artists of modern times whilst you can.
Learn the gruesome history of Kilmainham Gaol
Join a guided tour and soak up the colourful history of Kilmainham Jail. First built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol staged many public hangings. It was here that the leaders of the groups that staged uprisings against English rule were confined. Things turned gruesome however in 1916 when 15 leaders from the Easter Rising were executed. Thankfully the jail ceased to operate 1924. The jail was supposed to be torn down, but it was deemed to be too expensive to do so and today remains a reminder of its brutal history.
Soak up the local passion for sports at Croke Park Stadium
Croke Park, aka Croker, is one of the most historic as well as modern sporting arenas ever. The Gaelic Athletic Association, football and rugby teams all play here. On a tour of the stadium you will visit the dressing rooms, walk through the player’s tunnel pitchside, and sit in the area reserved for VIPs. You will also see the players’ lounge. Finally you will come to the top of the stadium with its panoramic view of Croke Park, home of hurling and Gaelic football. Croke is also the fourth largest stadium within Europe with a maximum capacity of 82,000.
Admire the world famous Chester Beatty Library
The Chester Beatty Library is known throughout the world. This is not only a library but a museum, with remarkable collections of rare manuscripts and paintings. It also has illuminated copies of the Koran and the Bible from 2700 BC up to the present day. Located in the grounds of Dublin Castle, the library houses collections from Sir Alfred Chester Beatty who dies in 1968 and who was a mining engineer. Here are 20,000 manuscripts, costumes and rare books. Browse rare memorabilia from Beatty’s life in the Artistic Traditions Gallery. View the exhibits in the Sacred Traditions Gallery for views on the major religions. And view the intricately lacquered ceiling in the Reference Library.
And if we’ve inspired you to visit Dublin, the easiest way to get there from the UK is to take a ferry to Ireland, which is quick and easy.