Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is well known for being the best place to party, not just because of its visitors but because of the locals too. The friendly welcome is evident from the moment you set foot on its soil; home to possibly the most gregarious nation in the world; the charm of Dublin is entirely natural and never contrived.
A city filled with culture, home to great literature, great architecture and a world renowned university Dublin inspires it’s people whilst giving them the love and warmth to foster the confidence to follow their dreams; the locals love to wax lyrical about their city and just one short city break is long enough for you to understand exactly why that is.
Dublin has many places to stay ranging from luxury hotels to basic bed and breakfast establishments but the one thing that they all have in common is the desire to give you the best experience possible. At the very top end of the scale is the five star Merrion hotel, designed to reflect the interior of a 18<sup>th</sup> century townhouse with marble, antiques and opulent Irish fabrics, this hotel also provides one of the best dining experiences in Dublin with it’s two Michelin starred restaurant; for total but understated luxury this is the hotel to beat.
The Parkway Guesthouse in Gardiner Place might not offer the same level of luxury but it does offer fantastic clean rooms, a good breakfast and a convenient location close to the city centre – for those on a budget this is the place to stay.
The food in Dublin makes the most of the cities rich cultural heritage, traditional menus are complimented by contemporary fusion and lesser known cuisines, the taste of the sea almost as wonderful as the rich pickings from Ireland’s beautiful green land and all around you a sense of pride in the freshest and the best of the multitude of locally sourced ingredients.
Nothing says hearty Irish fare more than a traditional Irish breakfast, local sausages, bacon and perfectly cooked eggs all served with potato cakes is the signature dish and nowhere serves a better breakfast than Queen of Tarts on Cow’s Lane in the old city – only the finest ingredients are used and it really shows.
There is a great choice of seafood restaurants in Dublin and not least is ‘Matt The Thresher’ close to St Stephens Green and voted best seafood restaurant 2012 this may not be a cheap establishment but it is a real treat, the best seafood sourced from the Irish coast is served in bright contemporary surroundings and comes highly recommended by all that dine there.
The National Museum of Ireland is not only free to visit but has artefacts dating back 6000 years, filled with a treasure trove that showcases the rich history of Ireland, this museum set across four sites gives you all the knowledge you need to truly appreciate the diverse culture of the island.
The nightlife in Dublin is spectacular particularly in the summer months when locals and tourist alike flood to the Temples Bar district on the south of the river for its vibrant and lively feel; the more authentic Irish bars and music venues can be found around Leeson and Harcourt Street which although not sharing the title of ‘cultural quarter’ with Temples Bar promise a welcome that is just as warm.
Dublin has a damp climate and although the winters are mild and the summers are pleasantly warm the chance of rain is generally quite high, the summer days are long and with highs of 68F are the most ambient time of year to sightsee around this glorious city with it’s many pedestrianised areas.
Prices remain fairly consistent throughout the year but there are notable peaks during the summer months and the Christmas period; visiting during the spring and autumn months gives less predictable weather but during mild periods can be just as rewarding as the summer months.