Dublin, Ireland - Stein Travel
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Cosmopolitan, colourful and over a thousand years old, Dublin presents a fine starting point for visitors to Ireland. This capital city is split in two by the River Liffey, which gives form to the city and has no less than nine bridges spanning it. Easily explored on foot, central Dublin presents a wealth of historic landmarks, from ancient cathedrals to gracious Georgian buildings that pay testimony to days gone by. There are several attractions on both sides of the Liffey, ranging from gaols and castles to the birthplaces of famous poets and writers and guided literary trails.

Not far from the city in County Wicklow are the Wicklow Mountains, where hills and glens, forests and waterfalls attract weekend walkers and nature-lovers. Dublin Bay, which lies between the mouth of the River Liffey and the Dalkey headland, is the site of several small coastal towns and the ferry port of Dun Laoghaire. County Kildare is a region of rich farmland and fine reputation for the breeding of thoroughbred horses, while the similar counties of Louth and Meath have evidence of early civilisations and a wealth of castles and monasteries.

Information & Facts


Dublin has a maritime temperate climate, and less rainfall than the rest of the 'emerald isle', although winters are still very soggy and damp and showers are common all year round. The wettest month, December, averages 76mm of rainfall. Summers in Dublin are cool and pleasant, temperatures in July peaking at around 68°F (20°C), the most sunshine being experienced in May and June. Winters, apart from being wet, are mild with the mercury rarely dropping to freezing point. Snow is unlikely, the main precipitation being rain, but a few flurries can occur.

Eating Out

The dining scene in Dublin is booming and has improved considerably over the past few years and much like other international cuisine hot-spots, good food can be pricey. For less formal dining, there are plenty of charming eateries for visitors to sample not only international dishes but also good old home-cooked Irish fare.

Irish cuisine consists of simple meat dishes, usually paired with boiled root vegetables such as turnip, carrot, parsnip and an Irish favourite, potatoes. Other popular dishes include mutton and beef stews, often cooked with Guinness, as well as tripe, meat and blood puddings, and sausages.

A new trend in Celtic cuisine, known as 'modern Irish' has become increasingly popular and can be described as French cuisine infused with the natural flavours of the Irish countryside and coastal waters. The cobblestone streets of Temple Bar district, as well as the Trinity College area, offer a wonderful and eclectic selection of eateries where visitors can whet their appetites.

Getting Around

Dublin has appalling street congestion in the city centre, but the new light rail service known as LUAS (the Gaelic word for 'speed') now offers two lines with numerous stations, many of them giving easy access to the main sights and places of interest. The city also has an extensive bus network with a limited Nitelink service operating from 1.30am, but this is most useful for commuters to and from the city centre. There is also a rapid transit train (DART) that links the city centre with the suburbs and seaside communities. Various passes for bus or train or a combination are available. Because public transport stops before midnight, taxis can be hard to find in the city centre after 11pm, particularly over the weekend. Taxis can be hailed in the street, but it is often easier to find them at taxi ranks or better still to book ahead by telephone. If it can be avoided don't rent a car while in the city, as it is impractical and expensive, although they can be essential if wanting to explore off the beaten track on excursions from Dublin.

Kids Attractions

This beautiful, historic and very green city offers plenty of outdoor activities and attractions for children on holiday in Dublin. With breathtaking scenery, a Viking history and a number of interesting old buildings, castles and cathedrals to explore, Dublin is a sightseeing paradise for children and visitors of all ages.

On a sunny day, why not pack a picnic basket and the Frisbee and head down to Phoenix Park for a relaxing day in Europe's largest urban park. St. Stephen's Green is also a great spot to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and features playgrounds, gardens and even some resident ducks that love to be fed. For very sunny days, you can take the DART to the pebble beach at Killiney, or the National Sea Life Centre in Bray a bit further on.

Enjoy farm animals and the smell of hay at one of the petting zoos or children's farms, or for something a bit more diverse and exciting, why not jump on board one of Dublin's hop on hop off big, red, double-decker sightseeing buses and take in all that this magical city has to offer.

When the sun hides behind the clouds and kids activities out doors are no longer an option, consider taking your kids to one of the many indoor playgrounds or museums, or even to watch a puppet show at Ireland's only puppet theatre.


English, Irish (Gaelic) is spoken in some Western areas.


The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR). Currency can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change and ATMs are widely available. Credit and debit cards, as well as travellers cheques, are widely accepted.

Night Life

One of the most vibrant and youthful cities in Europe, Dublin has a bustling nightlife that has survived the ages. Known for their love of all things drinking, the Irish take their pubs and pints very seriously and it's little wonder traditional old pubs and bars dominate the nightlife scene.

The Temple Bar district is the by far the most popular place to start and the hub of Dublin's nightlife scene with around 24 bars and 73 cafes and restaurants to choose from. Most evenings finds Temple Bar buzzing with trendy restaurants, pubs, musicians, hotels and shops creating a stir. Many of the trendier clubs have a cover charge.

The Grafton Street side of things provides a much quieter and relaxed alternative to the chaos of Temple Bar, attracting a different type of crowd. Wine bars are also becoming a popular addition to the entertainment scene, providing patrons with a wine list and reasonably priced meals. The gay scene in Dublin is taking off too and there are many gay clubs and bars springing up everywhere. Most pubs and bars close early, around 11pm, but some have official permission to stay open late, including the Capitol on Aungier Street, and Major Tom's in South King Street.

On just about every night there is something happening and rock, jazz, blues and traditional Irish folk concerts can be found at theatres, sports stadiums, churches, clubs and castles. If you're in the mood for a show, head down to Dublin's Northside and see what's on.


Dublin may be small, with its two main shopping districts located no more than a 20 minute walk away from each other, but it has some wonderful opportunities for shopping sprees in some of the world's top shops and brand names.

The largest of Dublin's shopping centres, the Jervis Shopping Centre, is located on the north side of the River Liffey and offers 2 floors of shopping decadence while the top floor is a food hall where shoppers can stop to refuel. The Blanchardstown Centre is the largest shopping centre in Ireland, spanning two floors, four wings and a plethora of shops and boutiques selling just about everything.

On the south side of the river is Grafton Street, where some of Dublin's most expensive shops can be found, such as Weirs, an up-market jewellery shop offering wonderful Celtic souvenirs in silver and white gold. Popular with tourists is the Blackrock Market, touting locally produced arts, crafts and food; the Temple Bar district also has several markets for books and locally-produced foodstuffs. The House of Ireland on Nassau Street is the place to go to buy some of the finest quality souvenirs Ireland has to offer, from crystal to knitwear and Irish linen, which is still regarded as some of the best in the world. Other popular Dublin souvenirs are the cheap tinwhistles found in many shops.

Most shops in Dublin are open from 9am to 6pm or 7pm from Monday to Saturday, while they're only open from 12pm to 6pm on Sundays. Value added tax (VAT) of 21% is levied on most goods and services but non-European visitors can apply for a tax refund on any goods bought that are being exported. Not all Dublin shops participate in Tax-Free Shopping programme, so tourists are advised to look out for the logo displayed in shops windows.


With such attractions as the Guinness Storehouse, the Old Jameson Distillery and St Patrick's Cathedral, lovers of all things Irish may have problems finding time to see all the world-class sights in this magnificent city. Enjoy a voyage of discovery from the Arctic to the Plains of Africa via Indian Rainforest in the city's most popular attraction, the Dublin Zoo or take a walk down to Phoenix Park, the largest urban park in Europe, to take time out from the buzz of the city.

Visitors to Dublin who are interested in spending a day exploring the sights should buy a Dublin Pass, available from any of Dublin's tourist offices, the arrivals hall at Dublin Airport and at www.europeancitycards.com, which entitles visitors to free entry into 27 of Dublin's favourite attractions. The pass allows bearers to be VIPs and skip queues, as well as gain access to many special offers and discounts at some of Dublin's best shops, restaurants, cafés, theatres, entertainment venues and tours. The pass is available for a duration of either 1, 2, 3 or 6 days for both adults and children.


GMT (GMT +1 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).

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