Temple Bar, Dublin city
Arguably one of the most famous places in the city, Temple Bar is renowned for its wonderful music, buzzing atmosphere and a palpable sense of energy. With a history dating back to Viking times, this vibrant neighbourhood lets you embrace the past in a modern setting.
Cobbled streets bustle with activity, live music seeps from the many bars, street performers entertain passers-by and the Saturday food market serves up everything from artisan cheese to fresh oysters. Refuel in one of the many little cafés or traditional pubs and then browse to your heart's content in the numerous boutiques and vintage clothing shops dotted around the streets.
The Powerscourt Centre, Dublin city
A centre of innovation and ingenuity in the heart of the city, the Creative Quarter stretches from South William Street to George's Street and from Stephen Street Lower to Exchequer Street. The chilled atmosphere spilling out from the cafés and bars reflects the free-flowing creative culture of this area, which was once home to Dublin's clothing trade.
Now, a whole host of creative designers and artists have made it their own and their finely decorated boutique stores and galleries are filled with treasures for curious shoppers. Feeling the need to relax and unwind? You'll find plenty of hairdressers, nail bars and spas here too. Food, shopping, art and pampering – this is the perfect place to let your creative juices flow!
Dublin's official Antique Quarter boasts a history of skilled craftsmanship that dates back to the 18th century. Hidden away from the bustle of the city's shopping streets, this area is bursting with character and colour.
Francis Street's relaxed atmosphere invites you to lose track of time as you explore the eclectic mixture of fine furniture shops, high-end art galleries, craft shops and cafés. Rummage through displays of decorative souvenirs and trinkets, take a break with coffee and a brownie, then dive right in again!
Dublin Castle, Dublin city
After a morning browsing the Antique Quarter, you can move seamlessly into the oldest part of the city – the Medieval Quarter. This is where the original Dubh Linn settlement was located and it become a centre of Viking power. Head to Dublinia where exciting interactive exhibitions bring the stories of Viking and medieval Dublin to life.
Then visit some of the city's most historic buildings: beautiful St Patrick’s Cathedral, where author Jonathan Swift is buried; Christ Church Cathedral, a place of worship for almost 1,000 years; and of course Dublin Castle, the medieval fortress built on a Viking settlement that has been the centre point for many of Ireland's most momentous events.
Merrion Square, Dublin city
Dublin is rightly famous for its gracious Georgian streetscapes – uniform terraces of tall narrow redbrick houses with colourful doors and intricate wrought-iron railings. And lovers of fine architecture will find particular delight in Dublin’s Georgian Quarter. Running from St Stephen's Green and Trinity College to the Grand Canal, you'll find some of the finest Georgian buildings in the world here.
The perimeter of St Stephen's Green is lined by elegant townhouses, while a walk around Merrion Square (once home to writer Oscar Wilde) and Fitzwilliam Square will transport you back to a bygone age. A jewel in Dublin's Georgian crown is Leinster House on Kildare Street – the seat of the Irish parliament. Originally built in 1745 by the Earl of Kildare, it is said to have inspired the design of the White House.
Grand Canal Dock, Dublin city © Failte Ireland
Pay a visit to Dublin’s very own Silicon Docks and embrace the "work hard – play harder" ethos of this vibrant district. Centred around Grand Canal Dock, this lively, stylish quarter has recently emerged from the shadows of its industrial past to host prestigious international companies such as Facebook and Google.
Take advantage of its waterside location and indulge in a spot of stand-up paddleboarding. Or make a night of it and check out the wonderful Bord Gáis Energy Theatre for a live show followed by rooftop drinks at the luxurious The Marker Hotel.
The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin city
The Liberties is authentic "Old Dublin" – an area just to the southwest of the inner city that was once renowned for its thriving textiles industry, busy markets traders and whiskey distilleries. Now it's buzzing with a new energy as a hub for digital and technology companies. It's blessed with wonderful attractions, such as the tallest steeple in the city at John’s Lane Church and The Fumbally, a quirky café serving delicious food and freshly brewed coffee.
Of course no discussion of the Liberties would be complete without a mention of Guinness. Ireland's iconic stout is brewed right here at St James's Gate. Visit the Guinness Storehouse where you can pull your own pint of Guinness, discover the history of the famous "black stuff" and relax in the fabulous Gravity Bar where you'll enjoy panoramic views of the city.
The Olympia Theatre, Dublin city
Connecting the city's Georgian, Cultural and Medieval quarters, Dame District is the perfect way to finish your visit to Dublin. By day, it's a busy warren of streets filled with cafés and boutiques. By night, it transforms into a haven for clubbers and theatre-goers.
The perfect Dame District day? Treat yourself to some mouth-watering cakes at the Queen of Tarts Café, shop til you drop in funky little emporiums, relax over a candlelit meal at the award-winning Pichet Cocktail Bar and Restaurant then sit back and relax in the grandeur of the Olympia Theatre where you can experience everything from stand-up comedy to traditional Irish dance shows.