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Greater Dublin has a population of just under two million, yet the bustling city center is compact enough to explore on foot or a rented bicycle. Its rebellious and joyous Celtic traditions are alive in the music spilling out from the pubs, while the historic buildings and monuments tell the stories of the country’s rich religious and cultural heritage. Take part in Bloomsday festivities on June 16 each year when locals celebrate the life of author James Joyce, one of Dublin’s most famous residents.
Along the city’s grand thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, you can’t miss the Spire of Dublin. It’s visible for miles around, so use it as a landmark to regain your bearings in Dublin’s winding medieval streets.
Just across the River Liffey stands Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College, which offers highly educational two-hour tours conducted by the school’s history graduates. Or explore on your own, and be sure to visit the Old Library to see the Book of Kells, a priceless illustrated manuscript created by monks in the year 800. Nearby is the National Gallery of Ireland.
Wander down stately Dame Street and past the City Hall to Dublin’s religious heart, Christ Church Cathedral. From the awe-inspiring medieval crypt to the mummified cat and rat, there is plenty here to enthrall even non-believers.
A 15-minute walk away is the spiritual home for the world’s stout drinkers, the Guinness Storehouse. Take the interactive tour, which finishes at the Perfect Pint Bar where you can pour your own pint of “black gold.” If you prefer whiskey, head to the Old Jameson Distillery to learn the secrets of turning grain into the water of life.
A little further to the west stands one of the most important and sobering monuments in Ireland, the museum at Kilmainham Gaol. The grim walls and stone-breakers’ yard in this former prison built in 1796 now keep history alive. Expert and passionate tour guides bring the story of Irish independence to life.
After the somber confines of the gaol, unwind with locals in Dublin’s largest park, St. Stephen’s Green. Once the site of public floggings and hangings, this peaceful 22-acre (nine-hectare) collection of gardens, playgrounds, fountains and walking paths is now filled with memorials to Ireland’s patriots and writers.
When evening falls, follow the merry bands of locals and visitors to the popular Temple Bar district. It’s known as the arts quarter of Dublin. By night, however, the area’s nightlife fires up, turning the narrow, cobbled streets into one big party.
Accommodation in Dublin
To make the most of your stay in the capital, think about booking a room at one of the 301 Dublin lodgings that feature on Expedia's extensive hotels guide.
Those with a taste for the finer things in life will feel right at home at the Shelbourne Dublin, A Renaissance Hotel, at 27 St. Stephen's Green North, and the InterContinental Dublin, at Simmonscourt Road. The Dylan Hotel and the Westbury Hotel are two more Expedia-listed accommodation options worth considering.
No journey to Dublin is truly complete without stopping by Trinity College. If you'd like to stay in the vicinity, the Shelbourne Dublin, A Renaissance Hotel and the InterContinental Dublin are both within walking distance.
Situated in Rathcoole, this bed & breakfast is 5.6 mi (9 km) from Tallaght Stadium and within 12 mi (20 km) of Guinness Storehouse and Christ Church Cathedral. Dublin Castle and St. Patrick's Cathedral are also within 12 mi (20 km).
This family-friendly Dublin hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Rainbow and Primrose Hill. National Aquatic Centre and War Memorial Gardens are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Ballsbridge Hotel is located in a business district just an 8-minute walk from Aviva Stadium, and 15 minutes from RDS Arena. Guests can stroll 20 minutes to the National Gallery of Ireland and Trinity College. Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery are both within a 20-minute cab ride of the hotel.
Located in City Centre Dublin, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Peacock Theatre, Abbey Theatre, and Custom House. General Post Office and O'Connell Bridge are also within 10 minutes.
Citywest Hotel is 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) from Citywest Business Campus, 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Grange Castle Business Park, and 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) from Dublin. Dublin Airport is 19 miles (30 kilometers) away.
Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport places guests a 7-minute drive or shuttle ride from the terminals. It's a 20 minute cab journey to visit the delights of Dublin's city center or famous coastal villages of Howth and Malahide.