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Ireland Travel Guide

  Best Places to Visit in  Dublin, Ireland

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  North of the Liffey  Near Dublin    Detailed Dublin Map   Near Dublin Map   South of the Liffey

Best Places to Visit in Dublin, Ireland  Click for a chart of Dublin's annual precipitation and temperature ranges.  

   

Dublin North of the River Liffey and Daytrips

  Read our recommendations on the best places to visit in Dublin, Ireland.

As we noted previously, the best of tourist Dublin can be found south of the Liffey River.  In fact, most of the interesting architecture mentioned below while on the north bank of the Liffey can be best appreciated when viewed from the south side of the river.

Dublin is experiencing both the blessings and the curse of modern urbanization.  While the city has benefited from Ireland's economic renaissance, it is also experiencing the downside of growth.  The city can become "seedy" going north from the river and we suggest you do not wander this area at random.

North of the Liffey River

As noted at the start of our article on Dublin, you will find fine examples of Georgian architecture scattered throughout the city.  Below is the Customs House, which is considered, from an architectural point of view, the most important building in Dublin.  Dating from the late 18th century, the Customs House, which stored many legal records, was seriously damaged during the Irish Civil War, but later restored.  If you have chance, take a walk-by at night and snap a photo from the south bank of the Liffey. 

The Customs House is one of the architectural highpoints of Dublin.

The Four Courts building in Dublin is a Georgian ClassicThe Four Courts building in Dublin is another of Dublin's attractive and historic public buildings.  It was erected on the banks of the Liffey over 200 years ago.   Although its dome and other sections were seriously damaged during the Irish Civil War in 1922, the building was later restored to near its original grandeur.   The Four Courts building continues to function as the seat of judicial power in Ireland.    See this site for more detail.

Dublin is known as a literary center and birthplace of many literary greats. In fact, all of Ireland has benefited from Dublin's notable influence on the country's literary and artistic heritage.   Dublin counts three Nobel Laureates in literature (William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett) among its native sons.  In addition, the city was "home" to James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and host of literary superstars. During your visit to Dublin, you can tour the Oscar Wilde House, George Bernard Shaw's birthplace and James Joyce's "House of the Dead".  Perhaps the best way to see the gain a deeper appreciation of Dublin's great writers is to take a literary pub-crawl. These outings are fun, informative and a good way to spend an evening. See this web site for details.  As an alternative, consider visiting the Dublin Writers Museum    In addition, nearby is the James Joyce Centre  located at 35 North Great George's Street, whose mission is to popularize the life and meaning of the literary heritage of James Joyce. 

Those of you who are interested in "Irish Whiskey" might want to take the tour of the Old Jameson Distillery on Bow Street in the Smithfield area of Dublin.   Jameson's Whiskey is now distilled in Midleton, Ireland, where the owners offer a similar tour. See the official Jameson site for more details.  If you are a whiskey aficionado, you might be interested in taking the tour, but it is largely marketing materials, photographs and staged scenes.

O'Connell Street is a wide boulevard  named in honor of Daniel O'Connell - you can find the ornate statue dedicated to him near the O'Connell Bridge.  O'Connell was an important Irish political leader involved in the fight for Catholic Emancipation, as well as the separation of Ireland from England.  Known as the “Liberator” he attempted to alter the plight of his fellow citizens through reform, but not revolution.  He was briefly jailed by the English for his activities and many felt he died early as the result of his incarceration.

If you have not shopped yourself out while touring south of the Liffey, there is some shopping along O'Connell, but you can find better shopping along Henry Street west of O'Connell.

               

 

 

 

 

 

 
Dublin and Vicinity

The Southwest
Cork, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Blarney Castle and more.

The West
Galway, Connemara, Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Aran islands and more.

The Southeast
Waterford, Rock of Cashel, Jerpoint Abbey and more.

The North and Northern Ireland
Donegal, Sligo, Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Belfast and more.

Introduction to Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Wicklow Mountains, Avoca and Glendalough Rail Tour from Dublin

From Viator Tours

Malahide Castle in the Dublin suburbs has several noted worthy attractions.

Malahide Castle

If you have a little extra time while in Dublin, you might be interested in heading to Malahide Castle, about 10 miles north of Dublin in the affluent Dublin suburb of Malahide.  The castle was once a fortress and home to the Talbot family for approximately 8 centuries.  Its architecture is a blend of styles.  Its current battlements are attractive and stately, but were not defensive additions to the building.  

Known for its elegant furnishing and portrait collection, the castle also hosts Tara's Palace and Childhood Museum, which is billed as "...one of the world's most significant dollhouses".   In addition, if you like model trains (O gauge), the Fry Model Railway on the grounds of the Malahide Castle covers over 2500 square feet and is a must see.  For more information on the Castle and the Railway, see the official Malahide Castle website.                          

Near Dublin

If you have even more time, the best daytrip from Dublin is to Glendalough (the Glen (valley) of the Two Lakes) located in the Wicklow National Park in County Wicklow.  Glendalough is one of Ireland's oldest and most interesting monastic settlements.

In the 6th century, St. Kevin, a religious man seeking to escape from crowds and society established a personal hermitage in the Glendalough Valley, near the upper of two scenic lakes that occupy the glen.  It appears that St. Kevin's choice of location and personal dedication to religion attracted followers.  St. Kevin's hermit-like aspirations must have been tried by this fame. Anecdotal stories have him pursued by women who admired his virtue.  In turn, these same stories have him tossing them into the lake or into bramble bushes in an attempt to retain his virtue.

Over a period of time, a significant religious site developed and attracted the attention of the Vikings who attacked it on several occasions and the English who destroyed the settlement in the 14th century, after which it was abandoned.

The Round Tower at Glendalough is strking and mysterious.

Today a number of interesting monastic ruins attract tourists to Glendalough.  The 100-foot tall round tower and the cathedral are the most impressive structures, followed by the ruins of several churches (especially St. Kevin's Church), the ruins of a monastery and a number of decorated stone crosses. The Round Tower at Glendalough is one of a number of these mysterious towers that exist primarily in Ireland. Clocking in at a little over 100' , the tower is thought to have served as beacon to pilgrims, a storehouse, a bell tower and a refuge from marauders.  The door to this tower (and most others) is about 10ft above ground level, which has been taken by some scholars to indicate the defensive nature of the tower.  Perhaps the tower was simply an attempt to be closer to Heaven or for purposes of astronomy.  Whatever the reason for their construction, these tall, narrow towers capture the imagination of all who visit them.

Be sure to stop in the Visitor's Centre for its exhibition, as it will help you interpret what you will see during your exploration of the site.  In addition, the Visitor's Centre provides guided tours that are available in several languages.  See Heritage Ireland for more information on visiting Glendalough. 

If you are looking for the best of the ruins, those surrounding the Lower Lake are the most impressive (and most numerous).   We think the real beauty of the area is revealed when you walk the shores of the Upper Lake.  In addition, the twenty-minute walk between the lakes is quite pleasant. If you are interested in more rigorous hiking, the National Park Information Office, located close the Upper Lake along the Green Road, can provide trail information.  For details about the Wicklow Mountains National Park, visit its official website.

                       

 

Threecastles Castle in County Wicklow is intersting but modest.

Although there are a number of minor attractions scattered through County Wicklow, such as the House and Gardens at Powerscourt /gardens/ in Eniskerry  and Threecastles Castle  near Blessington Lakes, they are eclipsed for many travelers by the attractions in the Southeast, Southwest and West of Ireland, not to mention the treasures of Northern Ireland.  However, if you like country walking, this is a popular region for it.

Athy or White's Castle (private) on the Barrow River in Athy, County Kildare.

Similarly, the towns of Kildare and Athy in County Kildare sit amidst scenic countryside and you will undoubtedly find something that you will like in each area.  Kildare is a pretty little town and the National Stud Farm is on its outskirts.

Athy is another village in a pleasant setting, with the 15th century White's Castle (private - no tours) scenically positioned on the River Athy.    Explore the official County Kildare tourism website for more information on the other towns and attractions of Kildare.

Finally, a little over an hour to the west of Dublin you will find Tullamore Town and the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre where Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey was first distilled in the Midlands of Ireland.  Considered by many to be the best whiskey distillery tour in Ireland, visiting the Centre,of course, includes a tasting.  Self-guided tours are available all day and guided tours are offered twice a day.  See the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre website for more details on visiting.

More Places To Visit In Ireland

Click the link menu on the right-edge of this page to explore another of Ireland's scenic regions.

If you need information about another travel destination, try our Destination Guide Index or Googling ThereArePlaces.


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Dublin and Vicinity

The Southwest
Cork, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Blarney Castle and more.

The West
Galway, Connemara, Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Aran islands and more.

The Southeast
Waterford, Rock of Cashel, Jerpoint Abbey and more.

The North and Northern Ireland
Donegal, Sligo, Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Belfast and more.

Introduction to Ireland

   
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