The birthplace of popular rock bands like U2 and The Script, and renowned for its traditional Irish folk music, Dublin has earned itself a solid reputation among music lovers over the years, and the city hosts live music gigs and jam sessions every night of the week. While mega-venues like The O2 and the National Stadium are the top choice for international bands and pop acts, the real pulse of the capital’s music scene is its pubs and small music venues, where you just might find yourself listening to the next Bono. To get you started, here are some of Dublin’s best live music venues.
Dublin and Guinness seem to go hand-in-hand and with a history dating back to 1759 and a beer-brewing empire that spans more than 60 countries worldwide, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Ireland’s National Brew is the only beverage served in the capital’s pubs. Guinness’ fame may be well deserved, but beer lovers in Dublin can also find a growing range of independent breweries and brewpubs springing up around the city. For a real taste of the city’s beer scene, add some of Dublin’s best craft beer pubs to your pub-crawl itinerary too – here are a few of the top choices.
Christmas shopping in Dublin isn’t just about gift buying and browsing Ireland’s Christmas markets – the capital is also the best place to bag a bargain in the post-Christmas sales. Shopping at the January Sales in Dublin is a long-standing tradition and if you’re in the capital until the New Year, be sure to save some money for the famous sales, which see reductions of up to 80% on a myriad of goods.
While huge crowds descend on England’s Stonehenge to celebrate the longest night of the year, across the Irish Sea, only a lucky few will be gathering to watch the annual Winter Solstice sunrise at the mysterious Neolithic tomb of Newgrange and tickets are so sought-after that you’ll have to enter a lottery to be in with a chance.
Thanks to its lively Christmas markets and legendary New Year celebrations, Dublin is a fun place to spend the winter months, but with temperatures plummeting and more than a few rainy days, a warm coat and umbrella are essential. Don’t let the weather put you off sightseeing though – many of the city’s attractions are indoors and there are plenty of ways to escape the cold in Dublin.
With iconic writers like Bram Stoker, James Joyce and Oscar Wilde hailing from the city, Dublin’s literary heritage is world-renowned and the Irish capital has no shortage of literary-themed events. There’s the Dublin Writer’s Festival in Spring, the Ulysses-inspired Bloomsday celebrations on June 16th, the Bram Stoker Festival held to coincide with Halloween, and for those visiting during the winter months, the annual Dublin Book Festival.
Tired of playing second-fiddle to its southern neighbor, Northern Ireland has finally stepped out of the shadows in recent years, rising to fame as the principal filming location for HBO hit Game of Thrones. Don’t be put off by its small size – diminutive Northern Ireland still packs in an impressive number of unique attractions and with the sights so close to together, it’s easy to take in the highlights on a day or multi-day trip. For those short on time, visiting Northern Ireland from Dublin makes a popular choice, with the border just over an hour from the Irish capital and the 2-hour train journey from Dublin to Belfast among the country’s most scenic.
Endless sightseeing and nights out might have to be put on hold if you’re traveling with kids in tow, but thankfully there are plenty of fun things to do in Dublin as a family. Whether you’re entertaining hard-to-impress teenagers or looking for something to keep under-10s amused, here are 40 amazing things to do in Dublin with kids.
Irish folklore is full of tall tales, myths and legends, but few local customs are as famous as ‘kissing the Blarney Stone’ – a bold feat said to bestow the benefactor with the fabled ‘gift of the gab’ (a natural flair for public speech and storytelling). There might be little proof to the rumors, but that hasn’t stopped the castle from drawing up to 300,000 annual visitors, each hoping that the Irish way with words will rub off on them. Just 2.5 hours from the capital, visiting Blarney Castle from Dublin makes a popular day or multi-day trip and is often combined with a visit to nearby Cork or a tour of the scenic Ring of Kerry.
Ireland’s reputation for gloomy weather and endless rain prevents many travelers from venturing there outside of the summer months, but with numerous festivals and favorable prices, there are plenty of good reasons to visit Dublin in fall. Here are a few ideas.
September 11, 2014 by Zoe Smith