CrystalTravel

CrystalTravel

CrystalTravel

Crystal Travel & Tours Blog

Beginners Guide to Dublin

Dublin is known throughout the world for its lively atmosphere and countless attractions. Here you'll find all you need to know to get the most out of your visit to this wonderful and welcoming city.

Pubs and Distilleries

Ireland has a reputation for being a country of alcohol connoisseurs and Dublin has lots to do when it comes to drink. Whether
you’re looking for an insight into the process behind the production of some of Ireland's most notable ales and whiskeys or just a few beers, Dublin has got you covered. Temple Bar is known around the world for it's unique atmosphere and bustling nightlife. Located on the south bank of the River Liffey, the nightlife here is one of a kind. While many tourists favor the unique atmosphere and general Irish welcome, it can be a little more expensive than other areas. If you'd like to enjoy a few drinks without breaking the bank, we recommend sticking to some of the city center pubs. Places like McDaid's and O'Donoghue's are popular amongst visitors to the city.

One of the top tourist attractions in the country, The Guinness Storehouse is located at St James’s Gate west of the city center. By starting on the ground floor and working your way up, you are shown both the history of the company and the process involved in making the famous stout. The icing on the cake is the complimentary pint of Guinness which is enjoyed with a rooftop view overlooking the entire city. Some say it's the best pint of Guinness you'll find and we'd be inclined to agree with them. The Jameson Distillery on Bow Street run tours every 15 minutes during business hours and offer an experience which has been described as a “pilgrimage for whiskey aficionados”. There’s lots of new distilleries popping up in Dublin all the time so there’s no shortage of attractions for whiskey lovers. Pearse Lyons is Dublin’s only boutique distillery and celebrates the Irish tradition of storytelling on each guided tour. Go to their website and enter the promo code “CRYSTAL” to avail of a discount 10% on admission , exclusive to Crystal Travel customers.

 

Sports

Croke Park is not only an impressive physical structure and one of the largest stadiums in Europe, but it also has an incredibly rich history dating back to the 1920's. The infamous Bloody Sunday is just one of the things you'll learn about if you opt for a stadium tour which we highly recommend, especially if you have an interest in Irish sport and history. The Aviva Stadium is a more recent addition to the DublinCroke Park Stadium skyline but it's just as impressive a physical structure as "Croker". Host to all of Ireland’s international home matches in both rugby and soccer, the Aviva was opened in May of 2012. Standing on the old Lansdowne Road site and with a capacity of over 51,000, it’s a great way to spend a day in the capital. Tours are offered giving you an inside look at the operations of this magnificent stadium. Experiences the pre-match nerves in the players dressing rooms and the roar of the crowd when taking the field all while getting in depth knowledge about the stadium and the history of the famous site. For visitors with an interest in trying their hand at some of Ireland’s national sports, Clash Gaelic Games provide an unrivaled, authentic experience of Irish sport. Learn about the history of the games through stories of mythical Irish warriors and their tribes, then get hands on training from high-level athletes on the essential skills required to play Gaelic football and hurling.

 

Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park is one of Europe's largest enclosed recreational spaces. With so much to do you could easily spend a day wandering around this nearly 2000 acre site. Áras an Uachtaráin is Ireland’s version of the White House and is situated on the east side of the park. Not far from the dwelling of the Irish president you can find Dublin Zoo. It’s home to over 700 animals and opened its gates in 1831, making it the third oldest zoo in the world! The papal cross is a large Latin cross erected in 1979 in the weeks preceding the visit of Pope John Paul II and is located on the edge of the area known as Fifteen Acres, near St Mary’s Hospital. Several other monuments and attractions are scattered throughout the park making for a jam packed day of exploration.

 

General Post Office & Kilmainham Gaol

It may seem strange to see a post office mentioned as a tourist destination but there’s a rich history surrounding the GPO in Dublin. In 1916 during the Easter Rising, the Irish fight for independence from the British, the GPO served as headquarters for the leaders of the uprising. The rebels eventually surrendered and the building was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt by the Irish Free State government in 1929. The one part of the building that survived is the original facade on which bullet holes still remain from the British assault on Easter weekend of 1916. Today the GPO still functions as a post office but inside the building you will also find the GPO Witness History Visitor Center. This award winning center is an immersive, interactive and engaging experience detailing the incredible story surrounding modern Irish history and the bravery of the men and women who fought for freedom from British rule.

GPOMany of the men who defended the GPO were brought to Kilmainham Gaol to be held and eventually executed. Patrick Pearse who was a rebel leader and famously read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic outside the GPO on April 24th 1916 was amongst the 15 who were sentenced to death. Their stories and the stories of many other Irish rebels held in the Gaol are explored in the guided tours offered there today. Tours are available all year round and booking in advance is recommended.

 

Notable Attractions

Book of Kells: Located in the library of Trinity College, this book is a gospel book written in Latin containing the four books of the New Testament.The complexity of the art and the meaning behind it are what draw such massive crowds to this important piece of Insular art. Book of KellsIt was created by Celtic monks sometime around 800 AD. This is a very busy attraction so be sure to book tickets in advance. Many famous writers including Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett attended the famous College and Authenticity tours offers a great walking tour exploring the more than 400 year history of this impressive grounds.

EPIC Ireland: EPIC Ireland is one of our favorite places to visit in Dublin. Detailing the history of Irish emigration through immersive tours and interactive experiences, EPIC shows you the effect the Irish have had on the world. With recordings and letters from over 100 years ago, you are transported into the world of the 10 million Irish people who decided to leave.

Glasnevin Cemetery: Glasnevin is a large cemetery located on the Finglas road and is known for housing several important figures in Irish history. Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, Daniel O’Connell and Luke Kelly are just a few of the names you’ll see scattered around the beautiful grounds of this important site. A modern visitors center and informative walking tours make this one of the most visited burial sites in the country. Whether you’re a history buff or someone looking for a more light-hearted look at the stories, Glasnevin’s varied selection of tours has got something for everyone.

Statues: Scattered throughout the city are several artistic renditions of culturally important Irish figures. On Earl Street you’ll find James Joyce, Irish poet and novelist known worldwide for his work “Ulysses”. In Merrion Square, a tribute to Oscar Wilde was erected in 1997 consisting of 3 major pieces. Poets Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan can both be found sitting on park benches overlooking the water. Kavanagh is located along the Grand Canal at Wilton Terrace while Behan can be found along the Royal Canal on Dorset Lane. Several others including Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy and the fictional Molly Malone made famous by the Dubliners can be found scattered around the city.

 

Dublin’s rich history and diverse range of attractions are at the center of the allure making it one of the most visited cities in Europe. Offering experiences and sites varied enough to cater for any touristic pallet , it’s no wonder that visitors fall in love with the Irish capital. We offer several tours covering all the main attractions in Dublin along with numerous other destinations around the country. Whether you want a chauffeur guided tour or a self-driving exploration experience , we’ve definitely got something for you. Our Unwind in Ireland 10 Day tour spends 3 days in the capital and covers all the main attractions around the country. Click below for more details.

Galway Day Tours