It’s St Paddy’s Day! Are you off for a weekend of good old Irish craic in the capital? Read our insider tips on what to see, do (and drink!), in the city beyond the usual tourist hotspots.
Drink… In Dublin’s historic pubs
If there’s one thing Dublin has a lot of – it’s pubs (there are over 1,000!). However, there’s far more to explore beyond the seductions of Temple Bar. If you’re looking for the true Irish pub experience then The Brazen Head should be your first port of call – Ireland’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198. With old-time regulars including literary icons James Joyce and Jonathan Swift, the sense of history within its crumbling walls is palpable. The Stag’s Head, a stone throw from Grafton Street, is also well worth a visit for a pint of the black stuff; it’s considered Dublin’s best preserved Victorian pub, with its dark, mahogany wood and stained glass windows.
Escape… To Killiney
If you need to escape the crowds (and your burgeoning hangover) in favour of fresh air and sea views then hop on a train to the exclusive area of Killiney – home to the likes of Enya and Bono. The coastal areas of Dublin are stunning on a sunny day and no more so than Killiney Bay, where – if you’re lucky – you may even see the local pod of dolphins. To get the best views, climb up Killiney Hill where you’ll be able to see the emerald green landscape for miles and miles. You’ll forget you’re on a city break!
Shop… Local designers
Grafton Street and St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre may be the most well known shopping streets in Dublin, but if you meander done one of the side streets you’ll come to pretty Powerscourt – a beautiful Georgian townhouse. The perfect spot for brunch, the court is also lined with independent shops and designer boutiques. George’s Street Arcade and Kilkenny Shop on Nassau St are also musts – the latter is packed to the rafters with local Irish design, from Stephen Pearce pottery to Orla Kiely stationery.
You’ll be spoilt for choice in Dublin, but if we had to offer a few recommendations it would have to be Avoka for brunch and 777 for dinner. If you’re in central Dublin, head to its Suffolk Street branch, where you can stop for a break in their award-winning cafe on the top floor after exploring their Aladdin’s cave-like store. If you fancy heading a bit further out, head to the Avoka Salt Cafe in Monkstown for delicious, fresh fare, before walking along the seafront. 777 is an absolute must if you’re a fan of Mexican food. A discreet black exterior may fool you, but inside it’s pulsing with activity. The margaritas and delicious tapas are unrivalled in Dublin.
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