My first trip to Ireland took me straight to the capital Dublin. To help you plan your trip to Dublin, I would like to give you some tips and must-sees today. We spent four days in Dublin, but I would recommend fewer days unless you want to visit other cities, the mountains or the coast. As the weather in December was not exactly conducive to a day at the beach – despite quite mild temperatures and almost no rain – we refrained from doing so. We will certainly come back one day to drive along the coasts.
Dublin lies in a bay at the mouth of the River Liffey and is bordered to the south by the Dublin Mountains, part of the Wicklow Mountains. The city is also the largest in Ireland. As part of the EU, the national currency is the euro. Irish and English are spoken. To get from the airport to the city, you can take a bus or – like us – the Aircoach bus. It’s best to ask at your hotel or check Google Maps. Irish and English are spoken. To explore the city, I recommend a hotel in a central location, then you can easily explore Dublin on foot. We only used the bus to go to the zoo, which is a bit outside the centre.
But now to my first spot, which you should not miss. Dublin Castle, which was first mentioned in 1204 as an important place of defence. The castle was built on the Dark Pond (“Dubh Linn”), which gave the city of Dublin its name. The complex consists of several buildings and towers. The base of Bermingham Tower is one of the remaining parts of the original castle. It is located in the south-western part of the castle and features a modern upper section. The Record Tower at the south-east end of the castle is also an original part of the old castle and is also known as the Wardrobe Tower. This tower was built around 1220.
Museums in Dublin
Many museums in Ireland and in Dublin can be visited for free. Don’t miss the National Gallery with works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet as well as contemporary and local artists. The Museum of Natural History is also very interesting to see which animals are or were native to Ireland.
Churches in Dublin
There are also many beautiful churches to discover in Dublin, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral or Christ Church Cathedral. The latter is the oldest of the capital’s two medieval cathedrals, dating back to around 1100. Both churches are located in the former medieval Dublin, so it is a good idea to visit them together.
Trinity College Dublin
Another must-see in Dublin is Trinity College. Unfortunately, the famous library with the Book of Kells was closed over the holidays. The college, or University of Dublin, was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. Among many other poets and authors of the country, Oscar Wilde studied here.
Some of the architecturally impressive buildings date back to the 17th century. DA Trinity College Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland and one of the most prestigious colleges in the country. The college houses some of the most important national treasures, including the famous Book of Kells and the Long Room library.
Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo
With or without children, Dublin Zoo is an attraction to visit all year round. Dublin Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Europe and is home to a variety of animals from around the world, including elephants, giraffes, lions and gorillas. The zoo is located in Phoenix Park, which has also been home to a herd of wild fallow deer since the 17th century.
Dublin Festival of Lights
In the month of December 2022 to 1 January 2023, the Dublin Festival of Lights took place. Numerous light installations could be spotted throughout the city. The Dublin Light Festival is an annual event and makes the city of Dublin shine with colourful light installations and projections. The festival attracts thousands of visitors each year to explore the city and admire the artistic works of national and international artists. The Dublin Light Festival also offers a range of events and activities including tours, workshops and performances to enhance the festival experience.
Shopping in Dublin
Dublin is wonderful for shopping. Grafton Street is well known, but there are also many smaller shopping centres to explore. In the Thomas Brown department stores’ you will find boutiques from Chanel to Louis Vuitton. Probably the most beautiful shopping centre in Dublin is St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. After shopping, it’s worth taking a walk in St. Stephen’s Green Park.
Food & Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
Of course, you can’t miss the many pubs in Dublin. Take the opportunity to order fish & chips and Irish stew to experience the local delicacies. The ultimate bar is the famous Temple Bar. If you’re feeling more relaxed, head to Temple Bar for lunch/afternoon food. Rollin Donut has been serving delicious donuts since 1978 – don’t miss it! For a fine dinner or even dinner in an upmarket atmosphere at reasonable prices, go to Bar 1920, where we spent New Year’s Eve.
The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is the home museum of the famous Irish beer brand and offers an interactive experience for visitors, a must-visit when in Dublin. Located on the seventh floor of the building, the Gravity Bar offers stunning views of the city and a free sample of the famous Guinness beer.At the Storehouse, visitors can learn more about the history and production of Guinness, as well as the company’s role in Irish culture. There are also a number of interactive exhibitions and activities that guide visitors through the history and processes of beer making.