These two tours gave me some good knowledge and clue about the city.Not only History but clear picture of Dublin.So it's a must do when you're a first traveller to Dublin to familiarise yourself with the Historic Dublin City.
Even if you have no relations buried here, the Glasnevin Trust have set up a very informative and pleasant tourist centre to learn about the history and the people of Dublin who are buried or cremated there(1.5 million),
The most honoured citizen is Daniel O'Connel with his family crypt and tower been especially restored for the visitor. He also set up the cemetery for those of all religions. It is a fascinating place with revolutionary heroes like Michael Collins and Constance Marquiez graves there and still visited with respect.
My Gaelic kin are buried there too, although their graves are un-marked. I have written a poem about the visit at my blog:
If you are doing your family tree, there is an accessible index to the buriel registers online and at the tourist centre. Staff are very helpful.
To know Dublin, is to know what happened there at Easter 1916. The best way is to go to the International Bar in Wicklow St by 11.30am Mon-Sat, Sun 1pm, give your official guide 12 euro and for the next 2 hours, you will have a decent walk to visit historic places where the facts are a bloody good story.
Dublin is a small city, and our guide, Lorcan Collins co-wrote a book on this intense period that led up to the formation of an Irish republic.
We went to Dublin for the St. Patrick's Day weekend and stayed in the Temple Bar area at Eliza Lodge. Great location to stay for nightlife and central place for touring Dublin. We walked to Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grafton Street, etc. Felt very safe and comfortable. We also did a quick trip up the coast to Howth --- about 25 minutes by DART. Howth was a nice change from the bustle of Dublin --- a quiet few hours on the Irish Sea was wonderful!
Here’s a route that will take you slightly off the beaten track but will take you along Dublin’s southern coastline all the way into Co.Wicklow.
From the airport head towards the city centre and then the south quays to Pearse St, Ringsend and Sandymount. (I can give you more specific details about this route if you need them – email me or check route planning on www.theaa.com).
If the tide is out, Sandymount Strand is a magnificent beach so it’s worth stopping at one of the carparks and going for a walk. If the tide is in there is still a good walk along the promenade. Continue southwards, heading for Dun Laoghaire (via Blackrock which is bypassed so no need to actually go in to the village) following signs for ‘coast road’ or ‘car ferry.’ Following the car ferry signs will take you near the terminal/harbour in Dun Laoghaire so you could park there and take a walk down the pier or you could continue along by the coast to Sandycove where there is a small beach, a famous rocky bathing place called the ‘Forty Foot’ (used to be all male and usually nude but times have changed…) and the ‘James Joyce’ tower which houses a small museum dedicated to Irish author James Joyce.
After that head for the village of Dalkey, possibly calling in for a look at Bullock Harbour along the way if you spot the sign for the turnoff to the left in time. In Dalkey there is a castle/heritage centre on the main street and the ‘Queens’ pub next door might be a good place to stop for lunch although there is a good selection of pubs and cafes in the village to choose from. Next take the road past Coliemore Harbour and Dalkey Island and head in the direction of Killiney, ideally by a route that will take you up the ‘Vico Road’, from where you will enjoy spectacular views of Killiney Bay. When you come down the other side you should pass through Ballybrack, on to Shankill and then to Bray.
Bray is a sizeable town but turn left over the bridge and head for the seafront. There is a small mountain at the end of the beach called Bray Head and if you are feeling energetic you could climb to the top or walk around the cliff walk at its base which will take you to Greystones (from where you could get the bus or DART back to Bray to pick up your car). Also there is a selection of hotels along the seafront should you decide to stay in Bray overnight, such as The Heather House Hotel or the Esplanade Hotel and some pubs such as the Porterhouse or Jim Doyle’s which might detain you for a while!
Depending on how long you spend on the drive form the airport to Bray there are other possibilities from this point. You could turn inland from Bray and drive about 4 miles out to the village of Enniskerry where you could visit the house and gardens at Powerscourt. Or you could head deeper into the Wicklow Hills and visit the area around Glendalough. If you skipped the above coastal route you could of course drive directly to Glendalough where you spend the afternoon exploring and then stay overnight in the nearby village of Laragh.
This whole route is actually quite short in terms of area (about 35 miles) but its duration depends on where you stop and for how long.
When returning to Dublin airport you could either take the N11 to the city and then follow signs for the airport or you could take the M50, a ring road which will have an exit for the airport (but although this might seem the sensible route it is often clogged up with roadworks, heavy traffic, etc.) Whatever route you take, give yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport.
Hope this gives you some ideas,
The Customs House is often considered architecturally the most important building in Dublin. This European neo-classical masterpiece that sits majestically on the river front was completed in 1791 by renowed architect James Gandon. This is actually the second Custom House built in Dublin, the previous one built in 1707 only lasted 70 years.
The visitor Center contains exhibitions on the history of the Custom House including the 1921 fire and its restoration as well as a museum featuring the architect Gandon.
It's open daily and admission is free.
There are many statues of heros lined along the boulevard of O'Connell Street in Dublin, the most famous being that of Daniel O'Connell "the Liberator". There is also one of Parnell, a great patriot and Jim Larkin, the great labor leader.
Monday, October 3 - DUBLIN
The sky was a blue that has never been seen in Los Angeles. But with the clear sky and fluffy clouds came wind and a wind chill factor that chilled you to the bone. We put on all the clothes we had brought and jumped the Dart for the 11 miles ride to Tara Station. We hoofed the few blocks to Trinity College. Our objective was to see the famous "Book of Kells". We were met at the entrance with a pack of yelling and screaming students who insisted we join their club. We relented and joined the Phil Society that is the oldest, 300 years old to be exact. We were treated like all the other students, even ate in their cafeteria where we had the great fortune of talking to the students about Trinity College. They informed us anyone rich or poor as long as he was Irish could be educated at Trinity. An educated youth with no chance for employment in their country.
In April of 2008, much of this has changed. Dublin shows its prosperity with tower cranes and suburb expansion, with busy overcrowded streets like cities in the rest of the world. However, there is still the Irish flavor in the pubs and the charm of the Irish culture that can only be experienced when you visit Dublin.
I agree with Leics that it would not be feasible to do both the Giant's Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher on this trip. Better to see as much of Dublin as possible and do one big trip. The best thing to do on Wednesday when you arrive is to head to O'Connell St and go on a sightseeing bus tour of the city. This will give you an overview of the best sights and as the the tours are hop-on/ hop-off you can visit any of the sights that appeal to you and then continue when it suits. The most worthwhile visits would be to the Guinness Storehouse (which is the most popular), the Irish Whiskey Distillery in Smithfield (which many people find is better than the Guinness Storehouse) Both St Patrick's Cathedral and Christchurch Cathedral are worth a look. I like Number Twenty-nine, a Georgian house in Fitzwilliam Street, where you can see how a family lived in in the Georgian period (18th century)also Kilmainham Gaol is interesting if you want to understand Irish history/poitics. The buses also pass by the National Art Gallery and the National Museums at Kildare St and Collins Barracks, so whatever your preferences are you should find something to suit.
There are two companies running these tours, I'd recommend 'City Sightseeing' which leaves form near the Gresham Hotel in O'Connell St, try to get on the yellow bus which has live guide. Dublin Bus sightseeing tours are probably just as good, I haven't tried them.
For your trip to the Cliffs of Moher check out www.paddywagontours.com, they do a daytrip which includes a visit to Limerick, it's a long day!
They also do a trip to the Giant's Causeway and Derry should you decide to take that route instead.
If you have enough energy on Wednesday evening you could try one of the specialist tours like the 'Dublin Literary Pub Crawl' or the 'Ghostbus Tour'(Google them)
If you need any more info about Dublin get back to me and I'll try to help.
Hope you have a great visit!
This is my favorite part of Dublin: Merrion Square, dating back to the 18th century with plenty of houses in the so-called Georgian style, and while all of the buildings looked exactely the same - beeing built of simple red bricks, without any decorations - someone had the great idea to have at least the doors painted in different colours.
In fact nobody cares today about the rather boring fassades anymore, but everyone is looking for the fancy doors and you can see them on plenty of postcards and you may even buy a large poster with almost 100 different such Georgian doors of Dublin !!
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