Visiting Dublin

Visiting Dublin by Ferry from UK

Dublin is probably the easiest place to get to by ferry from UK. Ferries to Dublin depart from both Liverpool and Holyhead. Plus there's also the choice of the ferry to Dublin ferry port, or Dun Laoghaire ferry port, just 7 miles south of the city. Both are obviously very convenient for visitors to Dublin, but both are close to the motorway network for onward travel to other parts of Ireland.

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Ferries to Dublin

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Ferries to Dublin

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Ferries to South of Ireland

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Ferries to South Ireland

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About Visiting Dublin

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, sits on the east coast of the Emerald Isle - it's not nearly as rainy as they would have you believe. Both summers and winters are mild. The hottest it's ever been in Dublin is 29 C (87 F), but usually the average summer high is around 19C (66F). Think of Dublin as comparable to coastal western Europe.

Dublin Layout and Finding Your Way Around

Now that you know what clothes to wear, let's orient ourselves to the city. The River Liffey cuts the city into north and south. The north bank has downtown O'Connell Street and many shopping areas on Talbot Street and Henry Street; the south bank has many of the historical sights, including Trinity College, the churches and the cathedrals. The other detail you should know is the postal code. Every area of Dublin can be found easily by its postal code, a number from 1 to 24. The odd numbers are north, the even numbers are south. And, the lower a number is, the closer the area is to the centre of Dublin.

Visiting Dublin - River Liffey

Dublin History

Dublin was founded in 988 AD by both colonial Vikings and native Celtic tribes. By 1600 AD, Dublin was second in size only to London. Many of the magnificent buildings built in the Georgian style still stand. Walk anywhere in the city to find them. If you want directions a bit more detailed, head to the main tourist office in St, Andrew's Church in the city centre off Grafton Street (Dublin 2). Quick quiz: what does "(Dublin 2)" mean?

Dublin Pubs

No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to one of its many pubs. They're a traditional part of the city, all six hundred of them. The only modern touch are the much-appreciated NO SMOKING signs. Most pubs stop serving at 11:30 PM, but don't close until everyone's had a chance to finish their last pint. Some pubs do have late licenses that lets them serve until 2:30 AM, but the prices are higher after 11:30 PM. Stay away from the high-priced touristy pubs in the Temple Bar section of town, and go to the more traditional pubs for lower prices and better atmosphere.

Dublin is a city of great music, and you will find plenty of live music going on. There's a great culture and history of folk music, and one of the city's most famous landmarks, Molly Malone's statue, was inspired by the famous song "Molly Malone" also known as "Cockles and Mussels" or "In Dublin's Fair City".

Molly Malone Dublin

Places to See and Visit

Let's pick out some interesting places to go in Dublin.

Guinness Storehouse

We'll start at the Guinness Storehouse at St. James's Gate (Dublin 8). Guinness is, of course, the most famous drink of Dublin. Walk yourself through the exhibition, and have your pint (included as part of the ticket price) in the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor. There's a great view, and, when you go outside, look back -- the bar is the head of the enormous Guinness pint formed by the walls of the atrium.

Kilmainham Gaol

For a look at 20th century history, stay in the Dublin 8 area for a guided tour of the Kilmainham Gaol on Inchicore Road in Kilmainham. The rebels of the 1916 Easter Rising were executed there.

Viking World

If the Gaol is too serious a stop for you, head for Dublinia and the Viking World at St. Michael's Hill in Christchurch (Dublin 2) in central Dublin. The heritage exhibitions show life the way it was in medieval Dublin and in the Viking world of the time.

Book of Kells

The illustrated Book of Kells is the best reason to visit Dublin. This ancient manuscript is at the Old Library at Trinity College in College Green (Dublin 2). Wander the Old Library afterward, and marvel at the huge Long Hall.

Christ Church Cathedral

Finally, go see the oldest building still standing in Dublin, the Christ Church Cathedral (Dublin 2). Head down to the crypt, an artefact even older than the cathedral, built in the 11th century AD around the crypt.

Further Information and Travel Books

For further information about visiting Dublin and Ireland generally, there are plenty of travel and tourist books available. For a great selection you should check out one of the top local booksellers in Dublin, at Read Ireland or better still, why not make a visit while you are there and get some great advice on all sorts of books about Ireland.

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