Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, dates back to the 7th century. After the division of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State. The city has been ranked among the top 30 cities in the world in terms of history, education, the arts and economy. Dublin is an incredibly diverse architectural city with structures from the Neolithic period, such as Brú na Bóinne, Turoe stone, Poulnabrone dolmen, Castlestrange stone, and Drombeg stone circle, as well as, 12th century Anglo-Roman castles, such as Dublin Castle and Kilkenny Castle, neoclassical buildings, such as Dublin Custom House, Gothic cathedrals, such as St Patrick, Franciscan abbeys, and Gaelic and Norman tower homes, such as Bunratty Castle. Dublin offers an active social scene, with more than 600 pubs, and modern dance clubs.
The Long Hall
This lavish pub, which dates back to 1766, is a favorite watering hole among locals. Located in a Victorian building, this bar, which was originally the home of a local magistrate, stays true to its style inside. With mirrored walls, an oak ceiling, intricate cornicing, red walls and globe lamps, The Long Hall is ideal for an afternoon pint. Though the pub only serves beer, including a varied selection of brown, pale, red, white, and distinct local ales, it's the perfect spot to grab a drink before or after dinner. A favorite of Bruce Springsteen, the pub sits impeccably suspended in time, allowing visitors to imagine themselves in the Dublin of yore. As Marcus Houlihan, the current owner, says, "I actually don't see myself as the bar owner, more a custodian of it for future generations. I am just passing through."
Dublin Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
For those with limited time, the Dublin Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour allows travelers to explore the key sites of the city. With 28 stops and panoramic views from the open-top deck, the bus takes visitors to local landmarks, such as Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse, St Patrick's Cathedral and the National Museum of Ireland, among others. The double-decker sightseeing buses, which continuously circle the city, allow travelers to get on and off at their leisure, and offer discounts at food and drink spots, as well as extras, like the 1916 Walking Tour. Whether you’re sampling whiskey at the Jameson Distillery, visiting the museum at Kilmainham Gao, a former prison, or stopping at the Dublin Zoo, the sightseeing bus takes the guesswork out of finding the sites you most want to visit.
Chapter One, a modern take on Irish cuisine in North of the Liffey, is a Michelin-starred restaurant just below the Dublin Writers Museum. With an affordable three-course pre-theater dinner menu, Chapter One, headed by award-winning chef Ross Lewis, is an elegant eatery. Featuring predominantly Irish artwork, the interior design by architect Maria MacVeigh features serene colors and textured fabrics that add to the ambiance, but don’t take the attention away from the outstanding food. Having trained with celebrated Spanish chef Ferran Adrià at El Bulli, Lewis has introduced innovation and creativity to Irish cooking with items such as rabbit loin, leek and potato dumplings with wild garlic and parmesan, and grilled scallop and langoustine lasagne with pickled seaweed butter and red dulse. To experience the full range of Lewis’ talents, order a tasting menu or a group menu, with a sampling of wines from renowned sommelier Juba Paridi.
Aside from seeing the sites and grabbing a beer, Dublin also offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in world-class art, music and theater. Notable cultural stops include the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle with a wealth of early books and manuscripts, the Dublin Writers Museum, dedicated to Irish writers such as Shaw, Joyce, Yeats and Pearse, the Green on Red Gallery, featuring the best in contemporary artwork, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery of Ireland with a superb collection of Irish and European Art. In addition to the numerous pubs featuring live music, visitors can catch a world-class concert at The Helix, National Concert Hall or the Olympia Theatre. For theater, visitors may want to visit the Abbey Theatre, which presents Irish plays, as well as international classic and contemporary theatre productions, and the Gaiety Theatre, showcasing popular musicals, opera, ballet, dance, and drama. Sports fans can take in a hurling or Gaelic football game at the Croke Park Stadium, a League of Ireland soccer match at Richmond Park or Tallaght Stadium, or a Leinster Rugby game at the RDS Arena.