On the east coast of the Republic of Ireland is the bustling, historic and fun-loving city of Dublin. Most people will never forget their first trip to Dublin, the largest city in Ireland. It’s a friendly, warm city filled with culture and history.
There are plenty of things to do, experience, eat and drink in this unique city, that you’ll be hard pushed to find elsewhere.
We’re here to show you what’s the craic (the “crack” being Irish slang for news, fun, entertainment and jovial). So here’s a roundup of six things to do in Dublin that you cannot experience anywhere else in the world.
Visit the oldest pub in Ireland
Ireland is home to some of the most beautifully ornate, historic pubs in the world. And with more than 666 in total, dotted about Dublin, you’ll be sure to find a watering hole to tickle your fancy. Most of the iconic pubs in the area can be found in the Temple Bar area of Dublin, located in the centre of Dublin City.
The oldest of them all, and perhaps the most notorious, is the Brazen Head, established as far back as 1168. Self-described as “the meeting place for historic rebels,” a pilgrimage to Dublin is not complete without the purchase of a Guinness in this extraordinary Irish pub.
Sample local Irish oysters at Temple Bar Food Market
Situated in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar Food Market is a local, artisanal market which takes place every Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Here you can try some of the finest produce Ireland has to offer from soda bread, black and white pudding and hearty Irish stew.
Perhaps the finest delicacies of the area are the freshly-caught oysters, which are shucked and prepared in front of you. (Best served with either a crisp white wine or a smooth black stout.)
Stand on the historic ‘square’ O’Connell bridge
O’Connell Bridge is an 18th Century Portland stone bridge which carries cars and pedestrians over the Liffey, the river which divides Dublin. Buildings works initially started in 1791 but less than 20 years after completion, the foundations were becoming uneven and it was known to be one of the most dangerous bridges in the empire.
In its time the bridge has witnessed rebels hang from its gallows and shots ring across it during the Irish Civil War. You’ll also find the bridge referenced in local literary hero James Joyce’s Ulysses.
What makes this bridge so unusual (aside from its history) is its aspect ratio. Between 1877 and 1880, the bridge was rebuilt and widened to be almost the same width as the carriageways lengthwise. It was renamed after Irish liberator Daniel O’Connell during this time.
Head to the Guinness storehouse for a brewing tour
Did you know? The Irish recipe for Guinness is older than the United States of America, and it has been brewed in the same place, St James’s Gate brewery, ever since. Learn how Ireland’s most famous liquid export was developed and created in a three-hour walking tour across this seven-storey, immersive visitor experience.
Visit the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship
Whilst the city of Dublin exudes jovial conviviality, it holds a deep history which has not always been as such. Learn more about the Great Famine, which afflicted Ireland from 1845 to 1849 and killed more than a million people in Ireland. Dotted throughout the city you can find memorials and references to the country’s troubled past.
The Jeanie Johnston is one of them. This magnificent tall ship is permanently docked on the River Liffey, and tells the tales of desperation, bravery and hope. The Jeanie Johnston is a replica of the exact ship used to carry thousands of Irish emigrants to North America during the Great Famine. A tour guide can take you on a 50-minute journey from the upper deck to the galleys as you walk in the footsteps of Irish emigrants.
Great for families and children to learn about this period of Irish history in a completely novel way. History buffs, head to the EPIC Irish emigration museum if you’re appetite for Irish heritage isn’t quite quenched.
Meander through the Irish National War Memorial Gardens
The Irish National War Memorial Gardens are unlike most. Dedicated to the 49,400 Irish soldiers who died during the First World War, a beautiful vista of manicured hedges and verdant foliage frame the labyrinthine stone structure. Sunken rose beds, water features and brightly coloured flower beds punctuate the landscape.
Granite book rooms within the gardens contain immaculately illustrated manuscripts containing all the names of the Irish soldiers who served and died in the war.
The gardens were created by famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, which make it an attraction not only for remembrance but one for aesthetic appreciation. Word of advice when visiting? Make sure you take a camera to capture it all.
Fancy a trip to Ireland but don’t know where to start? Get in touch with Camel Collection today for tips and recommendations.
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