Destination of the Week: Dublin
Also known as Baile Átha Cliath in Irish, Dublin is one of the most welcoming European capitals you’ll find. Artsy, friendly, beautiful and lively are just some of the most common adjectives used to describe this magnificent city. Mixing strong local traditions with a forward thinking cosmopolitan life, Dublin is home to the most varied restaurants, nightlife venues, and tourist attractions.
Contrary to popular belief, Dublin is not a particularly rainy city. It gets less rainfall than London annually, and the effects of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream create a mild climate. Winters are relatively mild with lowest daytime temperatures averaging at 5ºC, and summers also enjoy moderate weather with maximum temperatures reaching 19ºC in July.
What to do
Although Dublin is home to roughly 2 million inhabitants, its centre is quite compact making the city feel more like a welcoming village, quite easy to explore on foot.
Dublin is essentially divided into two parts by the River Liffey. On the north side of the river you will find one of the city’s main streets, O’Connell Street, which is intersected by a number of shopping streets such as Henry Street and Talbot Street. Besides excellent shopping venues, it is on the north side that you will also find the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland, and many other museums. On the south side, you will find many attractions including St. Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church, Grafton Street and many others.
Where to stay
Once one of Europe’s priciest cities, the recent European crisis has actually made Dublin hotels dial down their prices a notch to provide better value-for-money. This means that you will have plenty of options when choosing your Irish accommodation in this beautiful city, and we’ve provided you with a few options below.
The Shelbourne Dublin (£££)
Located near the beautiful St. Stephen’s Green, this historic hotel is one of Dublin’s most luxurious places to spend the night. Overlooking the beautiful park and located in the heart of the city, you will have easy access to all the major local attractions including Trinity College, the National Gallery, and the shops at Grafton Street. On site, the hotel offers exquisite facilities and amenities including luxury rooms with bathrobes and slippers, a stylish bar and lounge, an exclusive health club, and a delicious restaurant.
The Dean (££)
This modern 4 star hotel set in the heart of Dublin is an excellent midrange option if you are looking for a bit of luxury with more budget-friendly prices. For an average of £85 per night, you can enjoy spacious air conditioned rooms with views of the city, a rooftop bar and restaurant, and a tour desk.
Barnacles Temple Bar House (£)
Awarded Ireland’s Best Hostel and the most popular hostel in Dublin, Barnacles Temple Bar House is conveniently located in the heart of the city, right in Temple Bar. You will be near all major local attractions plus in the centre of the city’s cultural quarter. The hostel also offers excellent facilities and amenities including free breakfast, free Wi-Fi in your room, and a free walking tour of Dublin! You can choose to split a room with up to 10 other people, stay in a family room or book a twin room with private bathroom.
Where to eat
As any other cosmopolitan capital, Dublin offers a wide range of eateries catering to almost every taste and budget. With a host of international cuisine chefs serving everything from Moroccan tagines, to Chinese noodles and Italian pastas, it will be easy for you to enjoy varied meals during your stay in this vibrant city. But if you’re looking to try some of the local food, give these restaurants below a try.
Chapter One (£££)
This Michelin-starred restaurant located near the Dublin City Gallery on North Parnell Street is where you will find one of Dublin’s finest dining experiences. Serving a French-inspired contemporary Irish cuisine, you will be able to taste delicious traditional dishes with a twist. With a four-course dinner starting at €65, the service is exceptional.
The Pig’s Ear (££)
Serving innovative Irish cuisine, this laid-back restaurant overlooking the fields of Trinity College offers a truly unforgettable experience. Serving traditional dishes with a world cuisine twist, The Pig’s Ear is where you will find classic local foods such as salmon, pork and oat bread serving in a way you would have never imagined them.
Jo’Burger Town (£)
If you just want to grab a quick bite but still enjoy some of the local atmosphere, Jo’Burger Town is the place to go. Conveniently located on Castle Market, it is here that you will find excellent live music, an inviting drinks menu and delicious burgers featuring interesting flavour combinations. It’s the best place to go in town if you’re looking for an offbeat and quirky meal.
Image source: beauty-places.com
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