Ireland's capital city and one of Europe's most popular city break destinations, Dublin is home to enough attractions and boasts such a broad programme of regular events that visitors are never short of entertainment and activities.
Travellers planning a visit over the coming months will be able to experience events ranging from a production of the popular show Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre (June 23rd to August 30th) to the Docklands Maritime Festival (May 29th to June 1st).
The city's location on the east coast of Ireland means it is easily accessible for people travelling from mainland Britain, with regular ferries from Liverpool and Holyhead.
Getting thereFerries from Liverpool to Dublin
provide a popular and easy method of travelling to the Irish capital. Both Norfolkline Irish Sea and P&O Ferries offer daily crossings along this route.
Travellers who would prefer a slightly shorter crossing can catch ferries from Holyhead to Dublin
with Irish Ferries or Stena Line, while the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company provides ferries from Douglas to Dublin.
The port of Dun Laoghaire in Ireland, just south of the capital city, can also be reached by catching ferries from Holyhead with Stena Line.Ferry to Dublin timetable information
Things to do
Many visitors to Dublin will start their trip by exploring the trendy Temple Bar area - an ideal location for a relaxing evening drink or a bite to eat - or heading to city institutions such as the National Museum of Ireland. The museum boasts a broad collection covering everything from Ireland's archaeology and natural history to decorative arts and design. Visitors interested in absorbing the culture of the Irish capital can also head to the Dublin Writers Museum, which explores the city's prestigious literary heritage, or the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Another popular way of introducing oneself to Dublin is by taking a tour - either a self-guided walk taking in the city's many sights and attractions or a hop-on hop-off bus journey. During these trips, travellers can stop for a meal at Bruno's seafood restaurant in Temple Bar, the Hard Rock Cafe on Fleet Street or one of the many other eateries found in the city centre.
Keen golfers hoping to get in a round or two during their visit to Dublin will find several clubs in the surrounding area, including Beech Park in Rathcoole, Balcarrick in Donabate and Edmondstown in Rathfarnham. People more interested in a walk down the high street than a stroll along the fairway can explore a diverse selection of shops in Dublin, which sell everything from traditional Irish souvenirs to contemporary fashion and jewellery.
Things to see
With a history stretching back more than 1,000 years, Dublin and its surrounding region boast several castles, cathedrals, churches and other ancient buildings that represent various chapters from its past. Located in 250 acres of parkland in the seaside town of Malahide, just north of Dublin, is Malahide Castle, which has served as both a fortress and a private residence and is home to plenty of ghostly traditions that visitors can learn about. Dublin Castle occupies a more central location in the heart of the city and is often used as the grand setting for presidential inaugurations and state functions. At St Patrick's Cathedral, visitors can discover a long and eventful history that has encompassed events including the first performance of Handel's Messiah in 1742.
There are more impressive sights to take in at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, which occupies 19.5 hectares of land on the south bank of the Tolka river. The attraction comprises an arboretum, a sensory garden, a rock garden, an area that hosts an annual display of decorative plants and more. Visitors will be able to see an impressive range of trees, plants and flowers including a weeping Atlantic cedar, native and hybrid strawberry trees and a Zelkova from the Caucasus.
For a slightly less peaceful but more exciting day out, Dublin visitors can head to the Bram Stoker Dracula Experience, an interactive walk-through attraction that takes guests on a tour of a spooky castle complete with talking gargoyles, a torture chamber, bats and creepy-crawlies. The experience is also an educational one, telling the story of Count Dracula and providing information on the life of Bram Stoker, the Irish writer who created the iconic character.
Places to stay
Travellers looking to combine comfort with affordability can choose from a variety of three-star establishments in Dublin, such as the lively Regency in the Whitehall area, the Best Western Sheldon Park and the George Frederic Handel hotel on Fishamble Street, which offers excellent access to the city's bar district.
Two-star options include Mercer Court in the centre of the city, Harding in the popular Temple Bar district and Bridge House on Parliament Street. At the other end of the scale are four-star properties such as the Clarion Liffey Valley and Clarion airport hotels.
Citywest, which is located within easy reach of the city centre, also boasts a four-star rating and provides facilities including a swimming pool, a gymnasium and an international standard golf course.
Written by Mark Robinson