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Dublin is a city known for its epic craic (pronounced crack), a term used by the Irish to describe something that has great buzz or just generally having a fantastic and fun time. Craic may not be a drug, but in Dublin it’s certainly addicting.
Dublin is also a city with extensive history. Dublin first made an appearance in the historical record as Dubh Linn or Black Pool at the time of Viking raids over a millennium ago. Dublin is a thriving city and there is always something going on. The heart of Dublin City is compact which lends a small town feel while providing capital city amenities including a fabulous music and theatre scene. Dublin is ideal for exploring in bite-sized chunks after work if you are visiting for business.
When visiting Dublin, you simply must check out the colorful Georgian Doors. Head to Merrion Square Park. Walk the perimeter and ogle the Georgian buildings and doors to your heart’s content. If you visit in Spring, Summer, or Fall, you’ll find Merrion Square open to the public after five (opening hours are timed with sunrise and sunset year round). Pop inside and admire the carefully tended flower beds and seek out the marble statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde in a jaunty reclining pose.
How to Get to Dublin
Dublin Airport is conveniently located about a 15-30 minute drive from Dublin City Centre although drive times can vary considerably with rush hour traffic. Dublin Airport is extremely well-served by Ryanair and Aer Lingus for regional flights around Europe. All the major U.S. airlines also fly to Dublin. Dublin Airport has an added feature if you are traveling to the U.S. You’ll actually clear U.S. immigration in Dublin which makes things much simpler when you land stateside. Get to and from the Dublin Airport from Dublin City centre via taxi, Aircoach, or Airlink buses.
Do not rent a car if you are only visiting Dublin. Dublin is a compact city with narrow, sometimes confusing streets and walking is the number one way to get around. Taxis are plentiful and can be hailed on the street (metered fares payable by cash only) for the times when your legs are tired. Dublin Bus, the LUAS tram, and DART trains are also convenient for getting around on public transportation. Buy a visitor LEAP card upon arrival in Dublin to avail of public transportation easily.
Where to Eat in Dublin
Cornucopia // Dublin has a reputation for being a difficult place for vegetarians but those perpetuating that stereotype must not know about Cornucopia. Cornucopia is a casual vegetarian restaurant serving homemade comfort food in Dublin City Centre.
The Schoolhouse Pub // Grab some pub grub for dinner in a historic schoolhouse that has been converted into a pub and hotel. The Schoolhouse serves favorite Irish dishes like beef and Guinness pie. Sit in front of the crackling fire and you may even get to hear some live music if you time your visit right in the evening.
Rustic Stone // Steak on the stone that you cook yourself is the signature dish of this upscale restaurant by Irish restaurateur and Masterchef Dylan McGrath.
The Church // A pub situated in a deconsecrated place of worship, head to The Church for some comforting Irish dishes like fish and chips or Irish stew served up with live trad music and Irish dancing.
Neon // Grab a quick Thai or Singaporean dish served up spicy in a bento box at communal tables. Neon is great for a fast meal (with a free soft-serve ice cream for dessert) before heading out to the pub and bars on Camden Street or to catch a gig at Whelan’s.
Ranelagh, Rathmines, and Grand Canal Dock are fun Dublin neighborhoods to explore featuring great restaurants and bars and far fewer tourists than Dublin City Centre and Temple Bar.
What to Do in Dublin
Drink a Pint of Guinness (or three) // The Guinness Storehouse closes at five but you can still try a pint of Ireland’s signature stout at any of the pubs around Temple Bar and Dame Lane. Dublin has an amazing pub culture. Take advantage of this and spend an evening out on the town.
See a play // Dublin is a city of theatres each with its own personality. Catch a show at Bord Gais Energy Theatre if you’re into musicals. For Irish drama, stop by the Abbey Theatre or The Gate. For shows that feel a bit more fringe, check out Project Arts Centre. Smock Alley Theatre in Temple Bar is the oldest theatre in Dublin.
Catch a music gig // Ireland is a musical country and there are tons of music venues to explore. Head to Whelan’s on Camden Street for free and paid music gigs across a variety of genres every evening.
Literary Pub Crawl // Dublin is a literary city so book yourself in for the Literary Pub Crawl. You’ll stop at various pub in Dublin CIty Centre and learn about some of Dublin’s most colorful writers like Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh, James Joyce, and more.
Shop til you drop // Shops stay open late on Thursdays in Dublin. Stroll down Grafton Street. Stop to watch the buskers and do a bit window shopping in an atmospheric setting. Shops are typically open until 8 pm on Thursdays.
Dublin is situated on the Irish Sea and there are some amazing seaside towns to visit. The DART train runs from Howth to Bray. Hop aboard and explore one of these towns after work.
Also check out:
- Lisbon, Portugal After 5:00 pm
- Gdańsk, Poland After 5:00 pm
- Frankfurt, Germany After 5:00 pm
- Marseille, France After 5:00 pm
- Liverpool, UK After 5:00 pm
- Budapest, Hungary After 5:00 pm