An insider's guide to Dublin
The city of Dublin covers a land area of 44.5 square miles and is home to 1.5 million permanent residents. It’s a large and busy place with miles of interesting buildings, parks, shops, museums (and of course pubs!) to discover.
The cheapest way to get around is by foot and this is the best way to really take in the most special parts of the city, such as the O’Connell Bridge, which covers the River Liffey and is the only bridge in Europe to be as wide as it is long, and The Ha’penny Bridge (now officially named the Liffey Bridge) which was constructed in 1816 and cost a ha’penny to cross until the toll was removed in 1919. Today, this bridge crosses 27,000 residents and tourists daily, all of whom can marvel at the hundreds of padlocks located around the structure - a romantic gesture, locking one heart to another that seems to really annoy the council who have now erected a sign, amongst the padlocks, asking people to no longer do this.
Getting around by foot offers the chance to see things that may be missed on the road, such as the bullet holes still visible in the columns of the General Post Office building from the Easter Rising of 1916, and it also provides some great photographic opportunities. But, as stated, there’s a whole lot of ground to cover and it can’t all be done by foot. The most financially saving and convenient way to see the entirety of the City is to use the ‘hop on hop off’ tour buses which have two different routes and run from 9am with 23 different hop off stops, including the best tourist attractions of the city, such as the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and Dublin Zoo. The buses have a live commentary from native Dublin drivers who are guaranteed to educate as well as charm and entertain (pre-recorded multilingual tours operate every half hour). There’s lots of offers included in your bus fare such as free entry to prime locations such as St. Stephens Green and free walking tours, children also travel for free and one ticket will allow for 2 days unlimited travel.
The 'must sees'
No trip to Dublin would be complete without an authentic jar of Guinness in a traditional Irish pub, and the places in where you can do this are unlimited! Pull your own pint in the Guinness Storehouse, drink in Ireland's oldest pub, The Brazen Head, or hit the cobbled streets of Temple Bar and take in the unprecedented nightlife. The majority of pubs also have live music acts or cabaret shows most evenings with something for everyone. The Arlington Hotel, facing the River Liffey, has a different entertainment show each night which includes traditional Irish dancing, uilleann pipes and more. A visit to St John Gogarty's, located in Temple Bar, combines fine dining with great live music each night and a convenient taxi rank near by.
You can find a wide range of tours in Dublin and all of them are led by friendly locals, who will endeavour to answer your questions and provide fun facts and legends not found in the brochures. A tour that you’re guaranteed not to forget is the Dublin Ghost Tour, which is by bus (with scary stop offs!) and shows you the spooky parts of the city, such as Dublin's oldest graveyard, and the childhood home of Dracula creator, Bram Stoker.