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Dublin is well known for its nightlife, but this major city has so much to offer its visitors and is a great place to enjoy a winter break, with cheaper hotel rates, short flight times, friendly locals, delicious food and drinks, and loads to do.
Plus, the island of Ireland is part of the Common Travel Area, which is an open borders area with the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. If you are a citizen of one of those countries you are able to travel freely between them, (and even live, work and study there).
There are numerous direct flights from many airports in the UK to Dublin Airport - a whopping 24 routes this winter alone, and they are all under 90 minutes. You can get return flights to Dublin for super cheap too.
Several bus lines and shuttle services will take you to the city centre from the airport, all links can be found on Dublin airport’s website. The city is really accessible, so you can easily explore on foot, or by public transport such as buses, bikes, and trams.
🏴☠️ Pirate Tip: One of the fastest and easiest ways of getting from the airport to your hotel is to take an Air coach, which runs every 15 mins from outside Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. A single adult ticket costs €7.00, but recommend buying a return ticket for €8.00 to the city centre. Buy your tickets.
🏴☠️ Pirate Tip: Leap Card – the best value for Dublin sightseeing combined with visiting other parts of Ireland, you’ll get discounted unlimited travel for 1, 3, or 7 days on Irish Rail, DART, Luas, Dublin Bus, Airlink airport bus services.
Whether it's a hostel, a hotel or a bed and breakfast, the possibilities here are almost endless. Accommodation can range in price depending on what you want to book, and it is always best to book in advance.
For hotels, you have loads of choices from low-budget hotels right through to luxurious 5* hotels, you will also find many chain hotels that you might know in Dublin, and you can choose to stay right in the city centre or on the outskirts of the city if you are looking for a coastal or quaint element to your trip. If you want to visit on public holidays, such as St. Patrick's Day, prices often go up quickly, so be quick to book the one you want in plenty of time.
Hostels in Dublin are hugely popular, many offer a great central location at a great price. Many hostels in Dublin give you the choice of staying in a dorm or a private room.
You also have the option of renting an Airbnb in Dublin during your stay.
Dublin has a great offering of events happening this winter that you may not have heard about yet, from Christmas Markets, live music and light events on top of the already great tourist attractions, you won’t have a second to be bored on a trip to this city.
Ring in 2024 with New Year’s Festival Dublin which will feature exciting countdown events, a brand new Festival Village, and some of Ireland’s greatest talents such as Westlife, Gavin James, and Lyra. You'll be able to rock out across six stages along the North Wall Quay, and a fireworks display will light up the midnight sky. Tickets are on sale from the 17th of November, cost €34.90 and are available for purchase at NYF Dublin.
What is winter without a visit to a Christmas market, and you will find a few of them in Dublin, you will even have a choice of outdoor and indoor offerings.
Christmas at the Castle is a Christmas market with a stunning location at Dublin Castle. Here you will find over 30 traditional alpine market stalls, an illuminated woodland trail, fire pits, fairground rides, and performers, and you can even visit Santa at Santa's Grotto.
If you are heading to Dublin in the last week of January, you can catch TradFest in Temple Bar - a celebration of Irish music and culture, with lots of live music from over 100 of the best musicians from the island of Ireland. Events will take place in many pubs and cool venues such as St Patrick’s Cathedral, the GPO and the Abbey Theatre.
If you have decided on a city trip to Dublin, it’s a must to visit some of the historical sights. Many of the museums have free entry including the National Museum of Ireland, the National Gallery of Ireland, Hugh Lane Gallery and Chester Beatty Library.
Originally a small wooden chapel, St. Patrick's Cathedral is now a well-known Dublin attraction. Ireland's patron saint, St. Patrick, is said to have baptized Christian converts on the site of the church. Built in 1191, the church lay dormant for some time. It is probably thanks to the Guinness family that St Patrick's Cathedral stands today - they donated the money when it needed a major refurbishment in the 1860s.
You can do a tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and visit where Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels and dean of the cathedral, is buried, see the Door of Reconciliation, stunning Gothic architecture and stained-glass windows.
Trinity College is the oldest and arguably the most famous university on the island of Ireland. Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker - who wrote Dracula - graduated here, among others. The library of the university is located in the centre and contains around 4.5 million books and a huge collection of manuscripts. The Library also owns the Book of Kells.
You will find Dublin Castle in the heart of Dublin's Old Town. In the past, it has served as a court, fortress and place of execution. Today, the castle is the scene of important state ceremonies, such as the inauguration of new presidents. You can take part in guided tours on-site.
The former brewery, which Arthur Guinness leased in 1759 for a period of 9,000 years and an annual rent of £45, can be found on the edge of Dublin city centre. On-site, you will learn everything about the history of Guinness and its production. Finally, you can enjoy your Guinness, which is included with admission, in the Sky Bar with a 360 view over Dublin’s skyline. The Guinness Storehouse will also host some brilliant events over the Winter months.
🏴☠️ Pirate tip: head to Merrion Sq Open Air Art Gallery on Sundays between 10 and 2 you will find some gorgeous local art dotted around the gates of Merrion Sq Park. It’s a great chance to chat to locals and learn how the island of Ireland has inspired their work.
🏴☠️Pirate tip: Join guided city walks to learn about Dublin's history, and literary walks to find out about great Irish writers from James Joyce to Bram Stoker.
There are said to be around 750 pubs in the city, where friends, neighbours and colleagues meet after work and in the evenings, live music can often be enjoyed in Dublin's pubs, particularly in the city centre. Food in Dublin goes beyond the traditional meals in the pubs and the foodie scene is now diverse, innovative, and caters to all.
🏴☠️ Pirate tip: Pop into O’Donoghue’s pub, just off St. Stephen’s Green, for a traditional Irish music session.
Temple Bar is the pub and party district on the south bank of Liffey. The cobbled streets are lined with pubs and there is great live music everywhere. Here you'll hear young up-and-coming musicians playing rock music as well as bands playing traditional Irish music. On Saturdays, you can visit Temple Bar Food Market. In our opinion, a visit to Temple Bar is definitely worth it.
Of course, Dublin's pubs often have fantastic food too, along with the many cafés and restaurants in the city. Hearty dishes such as fish & chips and classics such as Irish stew and coddle are served. Pubs that are open in the morning are also good for Irish breakfasts. Along with the traditional cuisine, you will find new venues have popped up where you can find traditional dishes but with an added modern twist, with many dishes made using local ingredients.
A trip to Dublin wouldn’t be the same without trying some of the cuisines, here are 5 restaurants we recommend you try:
Ryan’s of Parkgate Street - you will find a bit of everything on the menu including pub grub, tapas, steaks, oysters and a delicious beef and Guinness pie
Woollen Mills - the menu has lots to offer including many great vegetarian options and a wide range of sandwiches, pizzas and even brunch at the weekends plus cocktails
L. Mulligan Grocer - here you will find fish, meat and veggie dishes, as well as sharing boards such as charcuterie Board and a cheese board
Griolladh - could this be the best cheese toastie you have ever tasted? They are made with ingredients from 100% Irish suppliers, there is a vegan option, and they also sell some yummy treat boxes
Glas - an excellent vegetarian and vegan restaurant with loads of choice, from starters, mains, desserts and sides.