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Ireland-cliffs of moher-storm-travel-tourism-explore
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Visiting Dublin is like taking a great big breath of fresh air. Always invigorating, this Viking city is at once modern and historic, exciting and relaxing. But how will your Dublin adventure begin? Aboard the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship on the River Liffey? Alongside the wild deer in the Phoenix Park? Or walking through 1,000 years of story-filled history? Maybe you’ll find yourself charmed by picture-postcard villages along the coast . Or you could simply ignite your passion in a good old Dublin pub, frequented by the wordsmiths who called and call this UNESCO City of Literature home. Really, though, we can’t tell you how your Dublin adventure should unfold. But we can suggest this: take a deep breath and let Dublin do its thing.
Dublin’s streets are a busy jostle of past and present – a 1,000-year-old mix that has inspired writers, visitors and political firebrands alike. Walk these streets and you'll be taking a journey through history, from the city’s Viking roots by the banks of the river Liffey, to its atmospheric medieval churches with their mummified remains and holy relics, along gracious Georgian streets and past grand buildings, where illustrious and sometimes scandalous deeds took place.
"..from its centuries-old pubs to its Georgian architecture to the stately Trinity College at its centre, the city has retained its glorious sense of history."
-The New York Times on Dublin

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You'll marvel at the ancient illuminated manuscripts on show at Trinity College, get lost in the city's numerous museums, explore the lush expanses of the Phoenix Park, and enjoy the peace of a quiet stroll through St Stephen’s Green. Better still, follow Dublin’s Discovery Trails – a story-filled series of routes that make the city come to life. The cradle of some of literature, music and design’s greatest figures, Dublin has inspired generations of artists. The city still attracts authors, actors, painters, musicians and craftspeople – here, they can perform, sell their work, mingle with their audience and bask in the creativity that characterises the city.
"The most interesting conversation I’ve had about Beckett was with a Dublin taxi driver." 
-Barry Humphries
A love of words is in the air; it’s in grand theatres and casual conversations. Simply sharing the same streets as wordsmiths Swift, Wilde, Joyce, Synge, Behan and Beckett is a treat, but dig deeper and there is far more to see. Illuminated manuscripts and old libraries show how the city has been a haven of learning for centuries. When you’re ready to explore beyond the city, Dublin’s got plenty more treasures in store for you. Follow the horseshoe curve of Dublin Bay from Howth to Dalkey or step back from the coastline and head for the mountains. You’ll uncover a wonderland of activities, lively villages and exciting trails – all steeped in that inimitable Dublin character.
"Blue seas, the smell of seaweed, lovely promenade walks, and lots of birds – sunny weather is best but even on grey, wintry days Dublin Bay has a beauty of its own."
-Andrew, TripAdvisor
Our advice? Take your time. Hop on the Dart (the commuter train that curves around the bay and gives the best views!) – and discover picture-postcard streets, superb cafés and restaurants, grand piers and wonderful food markets.
Visiting Dublin's coastal villages is like a stroll through history. Howth is famous for its Viking past; Dun Laoghaire is all gracious early 19th century; Malahide gives a glimpse of habitation going as far back as 6000BC around a place called Paddy’s Hill; while Dalkey’s Coliemore Harbour was once an important port for exports – now the stillness is only broken by the bobbing of small fishing boats. You may have left the buzz of the city centre behind, but there’s still plenty to keep your adrenaline levels up. Go for a bracing dip at the 40 Foot in Sandycove, take an island boat trip from Howth or Malahide, go sailing in Dun Laoghaire or maybe kayak your way up the River Liffey. You could even go hiking in the Dublin Mountains. Besides the spectacular views, these heather-topped hills are packed with legendary tales!
Invaders and bloodshed, empire and rebels, scandal, beauty and culture – if it’s colourful history you’re after, Dublin has the lot. Handel’s Messiah, rebel gunfire, the harsh lives of the poor and the swish of silk-clad aristocrats, and all within an incredibly small area. Follow the story-filled Dublin Discovery Trails – each will take about two hours on foot – around the city, from Kilmainham Gaol and Trinity College up to Parnell Square. You'll almost hear the whispers of the past on your journey. The Vikings had good taste – they certainly liked the look of Dublin in 841AD and it’s been a popular spot ever since. Over the centuries, the city has been a magnet for saints, scholars, poets, playwrights and dreamers – and, of course, a sprinkling of dissolute aristocrats. Explore these ancient streets and find out where holy relics pulled in the pious, where speculators gambled, where scandals were hushed up, and where culture flourished. Amid gracious Georgian architecture, Handel premiered his Messiah and rival gangs of apprentices and butcher boys fought in the streets; and as some of the finest literature in the world was being written in fashionable salons, Dubliners rioted against oppressive laws. Follow the Stories of Dublin Discovery Trail where you can revel in the city’s glories – and uncover its occasionally disreputable past.

    1.  Dublinia
    2.  Smock Alley
    3.  Tailors' Hall
    4.  Dublin Castle
    5.  Christ Church Cathedral
“Where I go, fashion will follow,” declared the haughty, super-rich Duke of Kildare, and the result – Leinster House – was so grand it’s now home to Ireland’s government. Back in the 1740s, it changed the shape of the city, as the Protestant aristocracy hurried to build houses nearby to show off their wealth, in stark contrast with the terrible conditions of the city’s poor. Take the Empire Discovery Trail and stroll around the colonnades of the Bank of Ireland or past City Hall to find where high society met to gossip, gamble and flirt. Dublin Castle was the heart of British rule, while further up Dame Street young bluebloods studied at Trinity College. By 1800, Dublin was bustling and fashionable, the second largest city in the British Empire. That changed, though, with the Act of Union, as the aristocrats departed and the city fell on hard times. Not everyone left Dublin to starve however: the Guinness family used their vast wealth to help those less fortunate, arranging for St Stephen’s Green to become a public park, building houses and providing work for the poor.

    1.  Dublin Castle
    2.  Leinster House
    3.  St Patrick’s Cathedral
    4.  Bank Of Ireland on College Green
    5.  Trinity College
The Republic of Ireland’s capital city was a cauldron of discontent for 200 years before the Easter Rising of 1916: those six days that shook Dublin and heralded the birth of a nation. Imagine the heady days when the city echoed with the speeches of political firebrands and the rattle of machine guns. Pass along streets that became battlegrounds, and imagine a Dublin where St Stephen’s Green was dug into trenches, the Shelbourne Hotel became a sniper’s post and the General Post Office (GPO) was the rebel headquarters. The Rebellion Discovery Trail takes in the spot where the Rising ended, in Conway’s pub on Parnell Street, scene of revolutionary Padraig Pearse’s surrender to the British. And finally, take a while to remember the generations of freedom fighters commemorated in the Garden of Remembrance, which is dedicated “to all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.”
1.  The GPO 
2.  Dublin City Hall
3.  Trinity College
4.  St Stephen’s Green
5.  The Garden of Remembrance
Take the Echoes of War Discovery Trail and you can almost hear the sound of marching feet. In an almost forgotten chapter of history, thousands of Dublin’s men and women enlisted to help the British Army in the trenches and medical centres of World War I. In hidden corners, you can find testament to their sacrifice: monuments and cemeteries and hospitals where shattered soldiers were slowly nursed back to life. Even the dead were left unremembered for decades, their graveyard at Bully’s Acre ignored as if it held a secret shame. The National War Memorial Gardens near the Phoenix Park were built in the 1930s to honour all those who fought and died during World War I. It helped to heal still-fresh wounds – the workforce was roughly half ex-British Army and half ex-Irish Army, working together to remember fallen friends. For decades afterwards, facing the past was still too painful, but now, at last, the stories are being told again.


Beara Peninsula and Garinish Island

The Ring of Beara on the Beara Peninsula is a route less travelled, which means all the more time and space for you! So you’ve heard of the Ring of Kerry. But what about the Ring of Beara – one peninsula to the south? In a nutshell, the Ring of Beara is the scenic route from Kenmare to Glengariff (or vice versa), a 138km loop taking in some of the wildest nooks and crannies in the southwest.

Garinish Island, Bantry Bay, County CorkGarinish Island, Bantry Bay, County Cork

You can circuit the Caha Mountains entirely, or take corkscrew roads through the breathtaking Healy Pass. Time-permitting, you could even divert to Bere Island (by boat) or Dursey Island (by Ireland’s only cable car). In other words, it can be as long or short as you make it. Highlights? No shortage here. They include seaside towns such as Castletownbere and Allihies, where a Copper Mine Museum tells the unlikely story of an industry that once dominated the area. Artefacts like old drills, boots and the remains of abandoned towers and engine houses lie in stark contrast to the surrounding fields, beaches and fuchsia-strewn country roads.

A tale of two towns

Kenmare is more of an understated proposition than nearby Killarney, but this classy town has a knack for winning visitors’ hearts. Nestled at the mouth of Kenmare Bay, its collection of colourful shopfronts, sizzling seafood restaurants and luxury hotels is remarkable for a town of its size. Our tip? Stay over. Kenmare is the kind of place where you can kayak on the estuary, sup afternoon tea, lose track of time in a gallery and crack open a lobster – all in the same day.


Glengarriff is the Beara Peninsula’s other gateway town. Translated from the Irish for “rugged glen”, it’s ensconced in ancient woodlands, and has been a tourist stop since Victorian times. The summertime buzz is infectious, there’s a tempting clutch of pubs, and Glengariff also makes a great base for hiking in the Caha Mountains. If hiking isn’t your thing, try a gentler stroll like the ascent to Lady Bantry’s Lookout – leading to a mouth-watering panorama of West Cork.

Treasure island

Garinish Island (also known as Garnish and Ilnacullin island) is Ireland’s Garden of Eden. Squirreled away in Glengariff Harbour, the island is home to a series of ornamental gardens first planted by former-owner John Annan Bryce and the Edwardian garden designer Howard Peto. Thanks to its sheltered position and almost subtropical climate, a rich variety of plants can still be seen today – along with a colony of basking seals on its southern rocks. Oh, and plenty of quiet solitude. Just like the rest of the Beara.


Anyone who loves good food knows that it’s all about the ingredients. Thanks to our pristine waters, rich green pastures and creative producers, Ireland has a flavour that’s truly unique. Head to any town in Ireland and you’re guaranteed food that’s simple, delicious and expertly prepared. Fresh-off-the-boat seafood; sea vegetables harvested on local beaches; milk and dairy products from the local farmers’ fields. Our honest approach to food has made us famous.

The food scene in Ireland is enjoying a renaissance: taking a tradition rooted in history and pairing it with a contemporary twist. Chefs and eateries all over the island are getting creative with our culinary heritage, using the world-class ingredients on our doorstep. Think boxty served with pan-fried hake and organic vegetables, seafood chowder made with sustainable fish and of course, the potato, ubiquitous in Irish cuisine: champ, fadge (potato cakes), boxty, colcannon… pop into most Irish restaurants and you’ll find variations on these tasty dishes, made with a creative flair.

Good food is just the beginning. From micro-breweries to farmers’ markets, and city bistros to Michelin-starred restaurants – in Ireland, you can get behind the food, meet the producers and see how it all comes together. Have a wander around our farmers’ markets, the heart of many local communities, and you’ll find authentic street food with an artisan twist. The locals are passionate about their produce, and they’re more than happy to tell you all about their fresh, tasty offerings. If you want to connect with your food, this is one of the best the places to do it. Try a food trail and follow your food from farm to fork. You can meet the farmers and fishermen, producers and chefs, while getting to grips with the places that have helped shape the food. If you’re really in the mood to celebrate Irish food, get yourself to a festival. Fun, tasty and colourful, there are different food festivals on all year, celebrating Irish foods and those that produce them. Like the Burren Slow Food Festival, advocating sustainable food production and traditions. Or the Waterford Harvest Festival, a foodie extravaganza in a city with its very own bread, the blaa (a fluffy bread roll). The people, the produce, the taste: Irish food is an experience not to be missed. 

5 to try: Food Festivals

Galway International Seafood and Oyster Festival: shucking since 1954, this is one of the biggest seafood events on the food calendar.

Burren Slow Food Festival: this is all about celebrating local food and producers and taking time to enjoy your food

Só Sligo Festival: expect wild food, workshops and a celebration of WB Yeats

Taste of Dublin: four days, the city’s hottest restaurants and the ultimate testing menus

LegenDerry Food Festival: three days of entertainment, excitement, and fantastic local food
Continent Europe
Nightlife Bars, Irish / European Pubs, Landmarks, Astronomy, Ritual, Night Scenery, Live Theaters
Climate Tropical Wet, Mediterranean, Marine West Coast, Highland
Wildlife Large Mammals, Amphibians, Aquatic Wildlife, Birds, Urban Myth
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