Exploring the Highlights of Dublin on a City Break
Dublin is one of the most popular destinations for South Africans to visit for a unique European or UK city break. Let’s find out why.
This is mostly due to the fact that Ireland doesn’t require visitors’ visas, but also because this vibrant city is rich in history and culture, with some fascinating places to visit. From the historic Trinity College to the trendy Temple Bar district, Dublin makes for a fantastic city break holiday, and is well worth visiting for a few days of adventure and exploration. Here are some of our top spots.
Top Places to Visit in Dublin on a City Tour
1. Trinity College and The Book of Kells
Trinity College is one of the oldest universities in the world and is rich in both history and architecture. Admire the impressive collection of buildings as you stroll through the campus on a guided or unguided tour. One of the main attractions of Trinity College is The Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated manuscript Gospel book that dates back to 800 AD. The intricate artwork is a wonder to behold, so it’s not difficult to see why it's one of the must-see attractions in Dublin.
2. Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is a seven-story multimedia visitor experience, taking you through the brewing process of one of Ireland's most famous beers. You will also learn about the history of Guinness, starting with its founder, Arthur Guinness while enjoying tastings on each floor. The highlight of the tour is the Gravity Bar, offering a panoramic view of the city while you sip on a pint of the iconic brew.
3. St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral is one of the most visited landmarks in Dublin. The cathedral's history dates back over 800 years and is the largest church in Ireland. The architecture and stained glass windows inside the cathedral are breathtaking. The cathedral is also the final resting place of Jonathan Swift, the author of "Gulliver's Travels."
4. Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle is a must-see attraction for visitors wanting to learn about the rich history of Ireland. The castle has served as a fortress, royal residence, and government building since it was built in the 13th century. The castle is also home to the Chester Beatty Library, featuring a collection of manuscripts, prints, and rare books.
5. Temple Bar
Temple Bar is the heart of Dublin's nightlife and cultural scene. The trendy district is known for its pubs, restaurants, and live music – especially the use of traditional instruments like the Irish fiddle! The cobbled streets of this vibrant district come alive at night with a bustling atmosphere that is uniquely Irish. Whether you want to enjoy a traditional Irish meal or take in a live music session, the Temple Bar is not to be missed!
6. Kilmainhaim Gaol
Visiting Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin is a truly captivating and thought-provoking experience. This historic prison, now turned museum, offers a window into Ireland's tumultuous past. As you walk through the austere corridors and communal cells, you can't help but feel a sense of the trials and tribulations endured by those who fought for Irish independence. The knowledgeable guides provide gripping accounts of the prisoners' lives, their daring escape attempts, and the harsh conditions they faced. The stone walls echo with history, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Ireland's rich heritage.
Travel Tips on Visiting Dublin
If we’ve convinced you that Dublin should be on your list for your next international city break, then here are a few extra tips to help you with your planning. Remember, many of these top sights can be visited on a guided tour, or via the Hop-on Hop-off red bus that we see so commonly around Cape Town.
Stay for at least four days:
In terms of the number of days needed to explore Dublin, it depends on your preferences and interests. While two days can give you a taste of the city's highlights, it is recommended to spend at least three to four days to fully experience Dublin's attractions, culture, and vibrant atmosphere. Soaking up the local ambiance – like visiting a pub, listening to music and simply enjoying the beautiful parks and sea views along the promenade – are worth adding that extra time for.
Take your time to walk around Dublin:
Dublin is generally considered a walkable city, with many of its main attractions located within a reasonable distance from each other. You can easily explore the city centre on foot and enjoy its charming streets, historic landmarks, and lively neighbourhoods.
Costs can vary:
In terms of cost, Dublin can be relatively expensive compared to some other European cities. Accommodation, dining, and attractions can be pricey, especially in popular areas. However, there are also budget-friendly options available, such as affordable eateries, free attractions, and public transportation.
Book Your Dublin Adventure Today
Dublin has a lot to offer, and it's impossible to see everything in just a few days. However, if you are on a tight schedule, you can still enjoy the top highlights of the city in as little as two days. But for a truly immersive Dublin experience, be sure to browse our Taste of Ireland package that offers you the chance to explore the city and all its wonders – leaving you with memories to last a lifetime!