Steeped in literary history and with an infamous drinking culture, the timeless charms of Dublin are legendary. Dig deeper though, and you’ll a vibrant city full of fresh ideas and great food and drink
Where to stay
Our base for the weekend was the perfectly situated Conrad Dublin hotel, just a stone’s throw away from St Stephen’s Green. If you’re on a tight schedule like we were, you can treat yourselves to a chauffeur driven trip from the airport to the hotel with the lovely Declan who will give you the lowdown on the city as you drive into town.
Expertly run, the Conrad provides spacious rooms with gloriously comfy beds, as well as a busy restaurant, the Coburg Brasserie, and friendly bar where the staff will knock up your favourite tipple or even better, suggest a new cocktail that’s bound to spark a conversation with your fellow drinkers.
It would be easy to spend the whole weekend at the Conrad, but the city beckons and we were keen to see the sights. If you’re feeling energetic, Dublin, unlike London, is easy to navigate on foot. But if you’re pressed for time and it’s raining, a tour bus is well worth the ticket price.
things to do see and do
Travelling with my mum, we tailored our trip to our two shared passions – history and drinking! Our first stop was the quirky Little Museum of Dublin on St Stephen’s Green which I can’t recommend enough. Here, in a beautiful Georgian house, you’ll get the lowdown on the incredible history of the city told from its inhabitants’ point of view.
Nearby is the unmissable Trinity College where you’ll find the Book of Kells and the jaw-dropping Old Library, with its towering bookcases full of ancient tomes. Think Harry Potter on steroids.
guinness & whiskey tours
Next stop was Dublin’s number one tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse, housed in the Liberties area on the edge of the city where the paved streets and warehouses speak silently of Dublin’s industrial past.
Here you’ll get to learn the 250 year history of the famous black stuff, try pouring your own pint and finish the day with a free pint (included in the price of your ticket) in the Gravity Bar while you gaze over the city. You can even make a day of it and stop off for lunch at their 1837 restaurant, where, you guessed it, many of the dishes come laced with Guinness.
We completed our drink-led day with a visit to one of Dublin’s newest whiskey tours at the Teeling Whiskey Distillery. In a funky warehouse, visitors get to see how the hard stuff is made (look out for the beautiful copper vats named after the three daughters of one of the co- founders) and also get to try a selection of the amber brew.
Despite its hard-drinking reputation, Dublin is also home to some fantastic modern stores selling great clothes and interior buys from Irish designers you’ve probably never heard of – but will be boasting about when you get home. We loved Avoca and the Irish Design Shop.
Like all city breaks, a weekend here makes you feel like you’ve only scratched the surface, but as it’s so near to London, there’s no excuse for you not to return.
- Rates at Conrad Dublin start from £442 for a two night stay, based on two people sharing a room on a B&B basis
- Adult tickets for the Guinness Storehouse start a €17.50
- See ireland.com for the latest information on Dublin and the surrounding area