DUBLIN: THE FAIR CITY

Immerse yourself in a capital with character

Dublin is literature, Dublin is history and Dublin is friendly, but this city isn’t just for visiting, it’s for experiencing. Immerse yourself in the fair city by joining the locals on a bridge with two centuries of stories behind it, or lose yourself antique hunting within the walls of a Georgian townhouse. Keen on castles? Dublin has a black pool, a secret garden and crown jewels – let your imagination run wild among nooks and crannies of this historic pile.

Dublin is ancient, Dublin is unique, Dublin is special. Savour it, and be inspired.

THE HA'PENNY BRIDGE

Take a walk on Dublin's most elegant bridge

Looking for an icon of Dublin city? We give you the Ha’penny Bridge. This pretty arched walkway, connecting north and south Dublin, is a prime location to pause and drink in the runway of sights that flank and frame the River Liffey. West takes you past St James’ Gate, the home of Guinness, all the way to the Victorian-era Heuston Station while to the east, the river winds into the vibrant docklands passing the Jeanie Johnston, a replica of the tall ship that carried 2,500 Irish emigrants to new lives in America. Hop on board for a history lesson with a difference.

“An elegant and historical cast iron bridge… beautifully illuminated at night."
TRIPADVISOR

Behind the bridge: Ha’Penny facts and figures

Built in 1816 by William Walsh to replace the ferry that once crossed the Liffey, Walsh was allowed to charge a toll of a halfpenny for 100 years in return. Thought to be the first metal bridge built in Ireland, this city-spanning arch now carries around 30,000 people a day across the river. Its official name is the Liffey Bridge, but in Dublin, it is, and will always be, known as the Ha’penny.

The Powerscourt Centre

The beating heart of Dublin's shopping experience

The Powerscourt Shopping Centre is a unique Dublin shopping experience. Sitting in the heart of the city centre, this historic building once served as Lord Powerscourt’s townhouse and courtyard in the 18th Century. Today, it’s packed with boutiques, restaurants and antiques.

Shopping in Dublin

It’s not every day you go shopping in a Georgian Townhouse like Powerscourt, so our advice is make the most of it. Anchoring Dublin's charming and lively Creative Quarter, The Powerscourt Townhouse represents the best of Dublin's Georgian architecture.

A hub of cutting-edge design and creativity, some major Irish designers ply their sartorial trade here, but Powerscourt isn't just about fashion. A collection of antique dealers and boutique jewelers ply their trade under this building's broad and beautiful roof. In fact, so special are Powerscourt's curves and angles, it's used as a test for architecture students. Shopping in style? You bet.

SHOP

  • Delphi Antiques: Like antiques? You’ll love this. Jewellery, 18th-century objets d’art AND one of the largest selections of antique Fermanagh-made Belleek porcelain available, dating between 1858-1930..
  • The Design Centre: go-to spot for Ireland’s finest fashion, boasting designs from the like of John Rocha and Philip Treacy among others.
  • The People's Art Hall: find a quirky cross-section of Ireland’s finest contemporary art, to suit all tastes and pockets.

EAT

  • The Pepper Pot: this cute café’s menus are packed with organic food, seasonal stock and yummy gluten free options.
  • Berlin: on the corner of Coppinger Row, Powerscourt’s latest foodie addition, specialises in breakfast and lunchtime treats with music to keep you entertained while you eat.
  • Pygmalion Café: with an onus on homemade and vegetarian food, the artisan pastries here are delightful indulgences.
Dublin Castle

The site at Dublin Castle has born witness to some of Ireland’s historic milestones from the founding of the first Celtic settlement in the 1st century AD, to every Presidential inauguration since the foundation of the State. In fact, the city owes its name to it: Dublin derives from the Irish ‘Dubh Linn’ or the ‘black pool’, which ran under the city where the castle now stands.


Originally built in the 13th century on a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle has worn many faces including military fortress, prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of British power in Ireland for 700 years. Gain extra insight into the castle’s art, architecture and history on a specialised tour. Meanwhile, the Irish Crown Jewels Tour tells all sorts of secret stories spiced up with tales of sex and scandal in Court. Book your tour in advance here. Dublin Castle is also one of the stops on The Dubline, a trail guiding you from College Green to Kilmainham Gaol (tip: don’t expect to finish Dubline in one day. It’s several kilometres long with centuries of history on every street).

"I would recommend this to anyone visiting Dublin... this was rich in history."
TRIPADVISOR on Dublin Castle

On your bike

One of the easiest ways to explore Dublin is on two wheels. There are 40 public bike stations around the city with 450 bikes available for public use. Alternatively, add some local insight to your Dublin cycle and take off with Dublin City Bike Tours for an easy paced, eco-friendly guided tour of Dublin’s iconic sights such as Temple Bar, Merrion Square, St George Bernard Shaw’s birthplace. For more information on cycling in the city, visit the Dublin City Cycling website.

You must try

  • 3FE – This is a coffee haven, and there are some exotic blends on offer (limoncillo, anyone?) That and the fresh, tasty food make a perfect pairing.
  • The Winding Stair – this landmark restaurant overlooks the River Liffey and has its own bookshop so you can read while you eat!.
  • Hatch & Sons – a rustic Irish kitchen beside St Stephens Green that serves up traditional food.
  • Dax Restaurant – Irish-French cuisine in a loving Georgian setting with open fires, original flag-stone floors and fine table linens.

You have to see

  • Guinness Storehouse – one of Dublin’s most iconic attractions, visitors can sample the historic black stout and learn about the traditional brewing process
  • Chester Beatty Library – situated on the grounds of Dublin Castle, this award-winning museum boasts rich collections of rare international treasures.
  • Hugh Lane Gallery – with its modern art ethos and renowned paintings, this public gallery is a celebration in visual arts.
  • National Museum of Ireland – learn about Irish heritage, natural history and more in this museum, spread over three central locations in Dublin city.
DUBLIN NIGHTS

Rediscover the city when the skies fade into night

“No matter the age or culture, life pulses in Temple Bar”
VIRTUAL TOURIST

Temple of culture

Packed with attractions and entertainment, the cobbled streets of Temple Bar have a mixture of great venues. From traditional pubs like the Brazen Head to theatres and restaurants, this area has earned its reputation as the cultural quarter of Dublin.

For traditional Irish music, visit O’Donoghue’s on Merrion Row. A renowned pub that has attracted some rather famous musicians over the years, including The Dubliners and Bruce Springsteen, it’s adorned with historical photographs and hosts live music seven nights a week.

Dublin boasts several historic theatres that showcase the best in Irish and international theatre. The Gate has been a landmark building for more than 250 years, and over at St Stephen’s Green crammed with Victorian charm is The Gaiety, open 142 years. But it might be The Abbey that is best known. Founded in 1904 by writer WB Yeats and Lady Gregory, it was the first state-supported theatre in the English-speaking world.

“There are no strangers here, only friends we have not met”
WB YEATS

Honored traditions

  • Live music – the plush Sugar club hosts intimate jazz and blues events; the Olympia Theatre is a restored Victorian venue opposite Dublin Castle that hosts international music, drama and comedy acts, and the National Concert Hall has the best in classical concerts – all three are near St Stephen’s Green.
  • Traditional Irish pubs – retreat into a warm Irish pub guaranteed to charm with timeworn relics, such as stoneware jugs, old tin signs and oil lamps lining the walls. For the genuine experience drop by the Stag’s Head, Neary's, or the Brazen Head, dating back to 1198.

Top tastes

  • The Pig’s Ear Restaurant – this Michelin Bib Gourmand award-winning restaurant overlooks the historic Trinity College’s cricket pavilion and is known for its warm atmosphere and seasonal menus.
  • Etto – a restaurant and wine bar with an ever-changing menu and relaxed environment located on Merrion Row.
  • Chapter One – this elegant Michelin Star restaurant serves rich modern Irish cooking in a snug setting.
UP NEXT...

...perfect day trips right outside the city

Offers

Choose from countless offers, discounts & deals to save on your visit to the island of Ireland.

Itineraries

Like what you see in Dublin Days? Keep exploring Ireland with these itineraries.

Getting to Ireland

Flying or sailing, we have all the information you'll need on getting to the island of Ireland.

Offers

See all Offers See all Tour Operators