There is something totally unique yet comfortably familiar about Dublin. You may not be a local and it might be your first visit, but arriving in Dublin you can’t help but feel at home. The city of James Joyce, Guinness and The Script, Ireland’s capital has something to offer for everyone. And being just a stone’s throw away, a flying visit is more than possible – though perhaps not currently on RyanAir. Here are HISKIND’s top tips on making the most of 24 hours in one of the finest cities in the world.
After touching down at Dublin airport, you won’t have to wait long before seeing the famous sights. One of the city’s buses will take you direct to College Green. Right in the heart of Dublin, College Green plays host to much of the city’s inimitable architecture and is a stone’s throw from Dublin Castle and the world-famous Trinity College.
Hiding behind an unassuming old wooden door in a corner of College Green lies the majestic grounds of Trinity College. Founded by Elizabeth I in an attempt to keep royal control of Ireland, Trinity College has lost none of its original majestic grandeur. Take a stroll round the grounds, have a picnic on the vast lawn or check out The Book of Kells.
At the heart of most European capitals you’ll find a river, and Dublin is no exception. The Liffey is a must-see for any visiting tourist. Lined with charming shops and cafes, the Liffey can be enjoyed by foot, but one of the many boat trips available will prove unforgettable. And when you’re done, why not learn all about the mythology and folklore of Ireland at the National Leprechaun Museum, a charming little gem found just north of the river.
For a bit of culture…
Also lying north of the Liffey is one of Dublin’s busiest and most historic thoroughfares: O’Connell Street. Now lined with shops and tramlines, this famous road has played host to some of Dublin’s most historic moments, such as 1913 Dublin Lockout gatherings, the 1916 Easter Rising and the Irish Civil War of 1922.
For those keen to find out more about Dublin’s history, the Luas Line (the city’s tram) will take you all the way from O’Connell Street to Suir Road, where you’ll find Kilmainham Gaol. Throughout Ireland’s rich history, Kilmainham has housed both convicts and political prisoners, most notably during the Easter Rising and Republican movement of 1916. Today Kilmainham is no longer a prison, but serves as a ghostly reminder of the country’s fraught and harrowing history.
After the Gaol, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which is just across the road. Set in a beautiful building within stunning grounds, the Museum houses both an impressive permanent collection and some truly avant-garde temporary exhibitions.
At night, Dublin’s modern culture really comes into its own. Getting a pint of Guinness is a must, as is having a jig to some foot-stampingly fun live music. If you can handle the crowds, there’s nowhere better for this than Temple Bar. Head down to the buzzing district, and just follow the sound of the fiddles!
Following the Rainbow
Now legend has it that if you follow a rainbow, you’ll discover a Leprechaun’s pot of gold. Follow a rainbow in Dublin and you’re probably more likely to discover the city’s gay scene. Which we don’t think is a bad substitute for a pot of gold.
One of Dublin’s most famous residents was also one of the most prominent figures in Queer history: Oscar Wilde. Born, raised and educated in Dublin, Wilde can still be found in the city – a memorial statue cam be found in Merrion Square Park – and there are organised tours dedicated to the man himself.
For a great night out – and let’s be honest, in Dublin that’ll be a priority – there are plenty of gay venues to visit. Check out PantiBar (founded by and named after activist, Drag Queen and all round superstar Panti Bliss), grab a cocktail at trendy Street 66 and finish your night off at The George, where locals go to party go any night of the week.
If you fancy a healthy and rejuvenating meal to balance the booze, be sure to visit Fumbally, a wonderfully welcoming Queer restaurant/café, found nestling just behind the impressive St Patrick’s Cathedral. Good food, great atmosphere and beautiful waiters abound.
Getting out of town
If you’re somehow not satisfied in Dublin city centre (though we predict that to be practically impossible!) then an unforgettable experience awaits just outside the city centre.
The DART train departs from Dublin’s central Connolly station, and will take you on a spectacular journey along the Emerald Isle’s dramatic coastline. From the bustling cityscape, the train passes through a tunnel before emerging onto breathtaking views of the ocean.
Take the train all the way to its final stop, Greystones, where you can walk back along to coastline to Bray. In the peace and tranquility of this hidden gem, you’ll hardly believe you’re less than an hour from the busy Dublin centre. Grab a bite to eat and a pint at one of Bray’s many seaside cafes, before jumping back on the DART. A great way to escape the city, the whole adventure takes no more than half a day.
However you decide to spend your time in Dublin, we’re certain you’ll have a truly unforgettable experience. May the luck of the Irish be with you, and be prepared to make great new friends, and even better memories. Cheers!