Lisa Mackinnon, City Break Specialist

"Ireland’s capital city is full of historic gems, green spaces, and a spirited culture that is contagious. Visit the National Gallery which houses a compelling collection of works by famous Irish authors, see how whiskey is made at the Old Jameson Distillery, or take a stroll through the beautiful landscaped grounds of Dublin’s most revered university, Trinity College."

Dublin at a glance

Dublin has it all: a charming mix of medieval, Georgian and modern architecture; a wealth of history and culture; a legendary literary tradition; wonderful shopping, dining and nightlife; and of course fantastic characters! There's so much on offer that it's impossible to discover it all in just one visit.

Founded by the Vikings in the 9th century, a glorious history is still evident in much of the city’s architecture today. Surviving structures such as the medieval Dublin Castle, Trinity University -  established under the reign of Elizabeth I and the elegant Georgian squares seen throughout the city give Dublin a historic character.

Dublin is a booming city with many cultural sights of interest ranging from the ninth century Book of Kells housed in the magnificent library at Trinity College, to the Kilmainham Gaol with its fascinating tour and exhibit about the history of Irish independence. Over a third of Ireland’s population live in or near Dublin, making it a cultural centre that is bursting at the seams with the very best of Irish dining, entertainment and attractions.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Historic attractions
  • Art and culture

Getting around

Dublin has a network of trams, trains and buses that operate around the city centre. A pre-paid ticket called a Leap Card can be used for single journeys on one system. Smart cards and tickets can be purchased for separate journeys if more than one transportation method is used.

Literary Tradition

Home to world-renowned writers such as Jonathan Swift, James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, Dublin has a long held tradition of storytelling. Four Nobel Prizes for literature have been connected to authors from this city, and the legacy can still be seen in the atmospheric pubs, university collections and statues immortalising the city’s literary greats.

The literary culture of Dublin continues today with a thriving publishing industry and a number of up-and-coming authors who call the city home. A UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin offers a number of literary based attractions including a wealth of libraries, a National Gallery, a National Print Museum and the Trinity College Library, home to a number of iconic manuscripts.

Shopping

Dublin’s shops vary from souvenir laden shamrock storefronts to chic designer fashion goods. In the city centre you will find the notable department stores Brown Thomas, Arnotts and Clerys as well as small independent shops selling hand crafted goods, antiques, jewellery and gifts.

Open air markets are also popular in some of Dublin’s oldest trading areas. Art, books and vintage clothing can be found in many of the markets alongside local organic produce and gourmet food products.

Dining in Dublin

In the evening you will not need to venture far to find satisfaction in a cosy pub, enjoying the traditional music and Irish hospitality. The Irish capital has come a long way from Irish stew and soda bread to produce a number of up-and–coming restaurants that have reinvented the city’s dining appeal. Whilst some restaurants do still serve traditional dishes, a majority of menus will often offer alternative twists on time tested classics.

Must-try local dishes:

  • Dublin Coddle – a slow cooked dish containing sausage, bacon, onion and potatoes
  • Colcannon – mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage, often served with ham or bacon

Osprey Holidays top tips

The Dublin Literary Pub Crawl - great fun and great 'craic', celebrate Ireland's literary giants - Joyce's Ulysses even begins to make sense!

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Dublin designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Dublin hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 527,612
Languages English, Irish
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

If you are in Dublin on the last Sunday of the month, visit the buzzing indoor flea market at Newmarket Square.

Distance from airports
Dublin 10 km
Railway stations
Dublin Connolly

Things to do in Dublin

  • Trinity College: Visit the Old Library home to the world famous Book of Kells.
  • Dublin Castle: Dating back to the 13th century, at Dublin Castle you can see the Old Walls of Dublin, State Apartments and the Treasury.
  • Grafton Street: The centre of Dublin’s shopping district, with numerous fashionable stores including the department store Brown Thomas.
  • Christ Church Cathderal: Founded around 1028, the cathedral is the spiritual heart of the city, and one of the top visitor attractions in Dublin, with a beautiful interior and fascinating medieval crypt.
  • Guinness Storehouse: Explore the history of this iconic stout and visit the rooftop Gravity Bar.
  • National Museum of Ireland: Situated at Collins Barracks, this museum traces the history of Ireland up to the struggle for independence.
  • Dublin Zoo: Located in Phoenix Park in the heart of the city, the zoo houses many rare and exotic animals in a wide variety of carefully recreatedhabitats.
  • Chester Beatty Library: This former ‘European Museum of the Year' displays a wonderful cllection of historic manuscripts, paintings from across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

Tours and Excursions

Guinness Storehouse

Skip the line at the Guinness Storehouse and explore the seven-floor pint glass at your own pace. Learn about the brewing process and key moments in the brand’s history, and sample a variety of Guinness products. There are a number of bars and brasseries where you can grab a bite to eat, then head to the glass-walled Gravity Bar and enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness while admiring the 360-degree views over Dublin.

Teeling Whiskey Tour

Teeling Whiskey Distillery offers three different tour and tasting packages, each with a fully guided tour of the distillery. The Teeling Tasting package includes a sample of small batch whiskey and a whiskey cocktail, while the Trinity Tasting includes samples of the Small Batch, Single Grain and Single Malt whiskeys. The Single Malt Tasting focuses on their premium range with samples of a Single Malt, Vintage Single Malt and Limited Edition Single Cask.

Book of Kells and Walking Tour

This early access tour offers the chance to explore the Book of Kells without the crowds in Trinity College Library. Written in 800AD, this masterpiece is considered the greatest example of medieval illumination for over 1,200 years. Your guide will ensure an up-close visit of the book and Old Library, followed by a walking tour of the exterior of Dublin Castle, including the garden, State Yards, original Record Tower and Octagonal Towers. 

Glendalough and Powerscourt

Spend a day immersed in the spectacular scenery of the Wicklow mountains with visits to the stunning Powerscourt Estate & Gardens at Enniskerry, voted one of the top 10 gardens in the world, and the monastic settlement of Glendalough. Founded by St Kevin in the 6th century, Glendalough is an area of great natural beauty and historical significance. The tour takes place on a double decker bus to take full advantage of the views!

North Coast and Malahide Castle

Departing from Dublin city centre, this tour takes in the north coastal area of Clontarf, passing by Bull Island. First stop is the magnificent 12th century Malahide Castle where you will discover the history and legacy of the Talbot family. There will also be time to explore the picturesque fishing village of Howth before returning to Dublin.

Giant's Causeway, Belfast and Dunluce

This full-day tour takes in the best of Northern Ireland, starting with the spectacular Giant’s Causeway. Admire the panoramic views to the Mull of Kintyre and Rathlin Island then explore the iconic ‘stepping stones’. Visit the windswept Dunluce Castle, considered by many to be the most romantic castle in Ireland, and see Dark Hedges and Ballintoy en route. End the day with a tour of Belfast including City Hall, Victoria Square and the Titanic Dry Dock.

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.