Dublin has every type of accommodation you could ask for from quality 3, 4-star hotels, and luxury 5-star resort hotels to thrifty hostels, boutiques, and serene bed and breakfasts. When choosing where to stay, select locations with easy access to highways, train stations, and car rental venues as well as accommodations in areas where walking tours are available. Some Dublin hotels offer concierge service to book sightseeing tours for groups or a rental car for those who want to "go it alone." You may also have access to rental bicycles from your hotel for taking a tour around town.
Walking and Hiking Tours
Get a feel for the city and its inhabitants with a self-guided stroll through the city in the early morning, at lunchtime, and at night when the pubs are serving a pint of Guinness or the latest microbrew. With a scheduled, private, or group walking tour of Dublin, professional guides bring the city alive as you visit popular highlights as well as hidden gems. If hiking is your preferred style of seeing the sights, book a hiking tour and enjoy the countryside with fellow travelers over multiple days hiking the highways and the byways along scenic paths and forest trails.
A comfortable and convenient way to weave into the tapestry of Dublin is with a bus tour. As an old advertisement once touted, "leave the driving to us," that's exactly the way it is whether you book a day tour or multiple overnight stays. With an in-town bus tour, knowledgeable guides offer plenty of information about the main attractions plus, you can hop off the bus to enjoy a particular place, then hop back on again and continue the tour. With a multi-day Dublin tour, select from a list of escorted coach tours that include sightseeing, dining, entertainment, and accommodations.
Trains were once the ultimate way to travel. From the opulent Orient Express to the luxurious Blue Train in South Africa, traveling via the rails is a combination of romance and adventure. With Ireland's scenic coastal landscapes, iconic companies like Waterford Crystal, stunning mountain ranges, and classic castles, what better way to experience Dublin and the surrounding area than by train? Whether it's a full day excursion, or a multi-day tour, everything needed is onboard including a professional tour guide. A sampling of what you'll see include Blarney Castle, Ring of Kerry, Galway Bay, and the Cliffs of Moher.
Sampling the flavor of a city at places where the locals hang out is the perfect way to immerse and blend into the fabric of life in Dublin. Begin early in the day with visually tantalizing displays of fresh fruit and flowers at the markets in Smithfield and on Moore Street. On Parnell Street, visit the cozy Hugh Lane Gallery then head south to the Old Jameson Distillery and on to historic O'Connell Street. South of Ha'penny Bridge, you're just minutes away from the guided or self-guided tour of historic St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Founded in 1204, Dublin Castle is rich in history. Explore its 11 acres including museums, library, staterooms, and gardens. Observe the architecture and botanic gardens of Malahide Castle and Gardens which served as a fortress and ancestral home of the Talbot family from 1185 to 1973. A visit to 17th century Loftus Hall has all the makings of a spine-chilling encounter. Its colorful history includes an exorcism to remove the ghostly presence of a young woman who died there in 1775. Take the day tour or the "adults only" night tour and find out if ghostly apparitions walk the staircase.
World Heritage Sites
UNESCO World Heritage Sites address the cultures and historical places in countries around the world including Ireland. Less than an hour from Dublin, Bru na Boinne is a 5000-year-old burial tomb on the WHS list because of its size and artistic value. Book a bus tour from Dublin to Boyne Valley to visit this archaeological site. For an overnight adventure, rent a car and head to the opposite coast and the city of Portmagee. From there, a boat trip takes you to Skellig Islands where the ancient 6th century monastery resides a mere 618 steps atop Skellig Michael (Sceilg Mhichil.)
Food and Beverage
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do" is an ages old phrase that basically means, when you're in a country other than your own, follow the lead of the locals. When traveling to Dublin, be open to tantalizing your taste buds with traditional Irish fare. This includes cuisine as well as favored beverages. From traditional fried breakfasts to tasty potato crisps, trying new things adds spice to your life and this includes sampling the menu of delectable Irish delights by dining at local bistros, pubs, and cafes in Dublin.
You're in Dublin, Ireland, one of the oldest cities in the world with a long-running history recognized as being first settled in 988 AD. Take advantage of every moment of your travel adventure to explore, discover, and experience all that the Emerald Isle has to offer.
(Photo by giuseppemilo via Flickr)
Vickie Ferguson is a seasoned freelance travel writer living in Florida who works with such clients as Hipmunk.