4 Things to Do in Dublin at No Cost

Dublin is a fascinating city, also from a tourism point of view. Unlike many other cities in Ireland, and also UK, which usually get a very specific visitors, Dublin tends to get a mix of them all. If you go to Liverpool, you will see a lot of people traveling there to party. Manchester is technology and history, and it is often visited by families, whereas Dublin gets a total mix of everyone.

I believe that part of this is because of such a multitude of various things to do in the city. From Temple Bar, a cultural district, where you can immerse yourself in a famous Dublin’s nightlife to great museums as well as landmarks, often standing as a commemoration of important historic facts that shaped the city and Ireland as a whole.

Dublin is also a great place to visit on a budget. Even though it is usually considered a fairly expensive city, there are plenty of things you can do there at absolutely no cost. In this post I want to highlight some of them to you.

1. Trinity College Grounds

One of the finest landmarks in the city centre is this Ireland’s oldest university, operating from 1592, when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I. Without a dount, Trinity is one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in the city.

The grounds of the college are opened to the public and offer plenty to those interested in architecture. Once there, you must see the Chapel and the Examination Hall. The Museum Building is another one not to miss. You can also visit the Trinity College Library, which is also the largest research library in the country. One of the highlights of its collection is the Book of Kells, the oldest printed book in Ireland.

Trinity College is fairly easy to fine. It’s located at the start of the famous O’Connell Bridge and another well known street, Dame street.

2. Grafton Street and St. Stephens Green Park

Right off Trinity starts another important landmark in the city, Grafton Street. This is one of the two top shopping streets in Dublin. Major brands like Brown Thomas have their retail outlets there. The street is bustling with life, and if you are tired of browsing through the shops, you can relax in one of the many cafes or restaurants there.

On top of Grafton street sits a gem of Dublin’s city centre, St. Stephens Green park. This large green area is a perfect escape from the busy Grafton street. You can enjoy walking in the part alleys or, in the summer stumble upon a jazz concert in the parks alcove.

3. Phoenix Park

And, if you want to escape the city for longer, then Phoenix Park, one of the largest city parks in Europe is certainly the best place to do so. The park spans over 1750 acres, incorporating walking paths, bicycle tracks, monumements you can visit as well as Dublin Zoo.

One of the highlights of the Park is the residence of the President of Ireland, which you can actually visit, the Papal Cross, erected to commemorate the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979 as well as the Deerfield Residence, the home to US Ambassador in Ireland.

4. National Gallery Of Ireland and Modern Art Museum

For those of you who are interested in art, not only from Ireland, there are two amazing places to visit. National Gallery of Ireland, located on Merrion Square, which houses a large collection of Irish and European Art.

The Museum of Modern Art, which is not far from Phoenix Park is, as the name suggests, dedicated to the contemporary art and offers exhibitions that stimulate and intrigue.

Thomas writes about interesting things to do in various European cities and by day, works for a leading Dublin Apartments provider in Ireland.

Exploring the Emerald Isle

With a history steeped in mysticism, Ireland has long been a favourite of tourists across the globe. The legend of Finn MacCool has captivated many a traveller who wanted to walk in a giant’s footsteps. However, these days Ireland is known as much for the buzzing nightlife in cities such as Dublin and Cork as it’s stunning coastlines and landscapes such as the breath-taking Burren.

For those who want to experience the rich history of a country dating back to 6000BC there could be no better starting point than Ireland’s Heritage Capital – County Meath. Dubbed the ‘Royal County’ Meath is perhaps best known for the Brú na Bóinne (Bend of the Boyne) World Heritage site – a renowned Neolithic monument which predates both Stonehenge and the pyramids of Gaza.

And then there’s Giant’s Causeway – home of the aforementioned, mythical Finn MacCool. Legend has it, MacCool – depicted as a mythical giant – built the Causeway as a stepping stone to Scotland. Whether you believe the story or not, it’s still a beautiful area to visit, and one of the most picturesque sights in all of Europe.

However, many younger visitors to Ireland may prefer the idea of exploring the bustling nightlife on offer in some of the bigger cities within the country. Ireland’s two biggest cities of Dublin and Cork are both home to a plethora of pubs and clubs that are sure to keep clubbers from all over Europe entertained on a night out – whether you fancy a pint of Guinness in a traditional Irish pub or you’d prefer to hit the town in style at one of the numerous fashionable hotspots the cities are home to, you’ll be well catered for.

Of course, many visitors will want to take in the sights on offer in these bigger cities, while avoiding the nightlife altogether. It will be of great relief for travellers of that mindset to know that there are plenty of activities on offer within Dublin and Cork that are suitable for the whole family. In particular, Imaginosity – a children’s museum –and Dublin Zoo are popular attractions within the capital city, whereas Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral and Fota Wildlife Park are popular with tourists visiting Cork.

All in all, tourists from a variety of backgrounds can enjoy everything Ireland has to offer. UK residents may be able to take advantage of cheap flights leaving from the British mainland when travelling there, whilst visitors from mainland Europe may be able to enjoy relatively inexpensive travel to Ireland as well. Tourists who have never experienced the Emerald Isle’s charms are truly missing out on some of the most beautiful scenery and captivating attractions in all of Europe.

Fiona Roy writes for a digital marketing agency. This article about exploring Dublin via cheap flights has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

What Makes Ireland Irresistible Among Tourists?

Ireland is a popular tourist destination. This country offers unrivalled tourist attractions. This is what makes people comeIreland back time and again to Ireland. What makes Ireland as popular as it is now among tourists? What is its charisma that makes people want to go back?

Ireland is an 84,412 km land area with a total coastline distance of 3,172. It is considered as the “emerald isle” because of its prominent greens. Its capital city is Dublin, known for its cosmopolitan and chic mood.

Ireland’s Tourist Attractions

Ireland is the home of the Irish race. The Irish contributes to the appeal of this country. They are the people who will welcome anyone with a smile. Hospitality and amiability are traits common to the Irish. These people are nurtured by culture and strengthened by history. Their ways are guided by Irish principles that have guided their ancestors.

Ireland offers an exquisite view and experience of nature at its best. There are several gardens to explore. The St. Stephen’s Green is one of the most visited garden attractions in Ireland. There are several more nature attractions in Ireland. It is in Ireland where you can take a walk surrounded by the unspoiled beauty of nature. Continue reading What Makes Ireland Irresistible Among Tourists?

Getting a taste of Dublin, Ireland

Ireland has become a popular destination for many people over the years, and for a number of reasons. The country offers several different elements that attract holiday makers and tourists alike, and the nation’s capital of Dublin is just the same.

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Irelandwili_hybrid / People Photos / CC BY-NC

Dublin benefits from a historic past mixed with a contemporary present that makes for a versatile destination, and as a result, attracts tourists with myriad interests and expectations from a weekend away or longer in the Irish capital.

As a cultural hub, Dublin can offer many points of interest that include museums, galleries and fantastic places to eat and drink. Those looking to take in the majority of the city should look to make their trip at least three days long; even then, they may find that with a massive array of potential locations to discover that they require a couple more days on top. This will obviously require a bit of a boosted budget, but with someone such as ICE-Ireland.ie Foreign Exchange, you should find this easy to organise.

For those looking for a diluted list of Dublin’s points of interests, here is a bit of guide to some of the city’s best attractions:

Museums

Those looking to discover the historical background to Dublin will find interest in the National Museum of Archaeology & History. Its prized collection of Ór, an assortment of Bronze Age Irish gold, along with intricate examples of stunning metalwork that dates from the Iron Age through to the Middle Ages.

The National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts & History is breathtakingly accommodated within the barracks formerly containing the British Army and contains many significant collections of art and also pieces that highlight Ireland’s social, political and military histories. One part of the building is dedicated to geological collections that include fossils and the occasional dinosaur.

Main attractions

Dublin Castle is an obvious choice for those looking for a big chunk of Irish history; although the monument isn’t technically a castle, more of a collection of 18th-century buildings. The area was formerly the seat of British rule in Ireland and is a reference to a past power in the country, not just general history.

Some visitors will want to have a change from the historic elements at some point and take a look at something with a bit more life to it. For those people, the Dublin zoo would be highly recommended. The zoo is one of the oldest in the world having been founded in 1830 and is currently home to 700 species that include endangered snow leopards, tigers and elephants. The attraction is perhaps one for those traveling with children, as the zoo’s Pets’ Corner would suite the young ones down the ground, as well as the Zoo Train and play areas.

About the author: Sam writes for ICE-Ireland.ie, the place to go for foreign exchange in Ireland.

Dublinia, Dublin

Dublinia
Dublinia

One of the greatest tourist attractions for those staying in Dublin hotels in the heart of the city is Dublinia, which charts the medieval history of the city. Located on St Michael’s Hill, Dublinia is open all year round and provides a fascinating afternoon for kids and grown-ups alike. Those staying in hotels in London with easy access to The London Dungeon would surely be jealous if they were able to see the historical sights and experiences on offer to tourists here in Dublin!

The exhibition charts the history of Dublin, specifically from the period of the Vikings through to the closure of the monasteries in the 1540s. The highlight is the large-scale model of the city circa 1500, which has been painstakingly recreated with a high level of attention to detail. The exhibit is so evocative that you can imagine what it would have been like to have lived during these times as it provides such a fascinating insight.

The attraction is split into three sections. The first details the Viking period, where you can experience what life would have been like on a traditional longboat. You can also take a trip down a Viking street and enjoy the cramped claustrophobia of a Viking house as you become fully immersed in this intriguing period of European history. You will also get to discover bizarre burial customs and other fascinating facets of Viking life, such as what it took to be a Viking warrior. You will be able to try on clothes of the period, become a slave, and learn all about the myths and legends which formed such an integral part of Viking life.

The second section deals with Medieval Dublin. Here, you can experience the bustle of a contemporary market, the fervent excitement of a busy street, and the frenetic activity in a merchant’s quarters. You will also find out about death and disease during this period, particularly the fears associated with the plague, whilst former cures for toothache can also be discovered! War, crime, punishment, and begging are all part of the rich tapestry of this era, whilst you will also get to learn to play medieval games.

The final exhibition is the History Hunters project, which details how we know so much about Dublin’s past. Many artefacts are on display in this section, particularly those which were discovered during the famous Wood Quay excavation. The highlight is undoubtedly the skeleton of a medieval man, which will have children in particular staring in wonder. This interactive area is a great hit with the kids as they can experience what it is like to be an archaeologist whilst also testing their historical knowledge with the Time Detectives.

Dublinia is a fantastic way to spend a rainy afternoon in the city, particularly as it is so easy to reach. You can get there on bus numbers 49, 50, 54A and 123, whilst you can also get a Red Line Tram to Four Courts station.

The Irishman’s guide to Dublin

Dublin has been one of Europe’s most welcoming and intriguing cities for decades. However, since Ireland was crowned the Celtic Tiger in the early 21st century thanks to the rapid economic growth it experienced, the Irish capital has become one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. This reputation has continued, despite the decline in economic fortunes seen by the country as the global recession took hold. However, while most visitors to the city flock to tourist-friendly hotspots like Temple Bar, the Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle, it pays to do as the Irish do when you visit Dublin. So while you’re there, make sure you seek out a few handy hints and tips from local Irishmen and women.

Dublin
Image by Jaime Vera Durán

Unlike some large European cities, such as London and Paris, asking locals for detailed help and directions in Dublin is perfectly normal and most people will be happy to stop and chat. One element of Dublin life on which you should seek advice is how to get around. The tram and bus network is fairly extensive but can be confusing, so local help will not go amiss. If you’re a keen cyclist, you may also want to ask about the best places from which to rent a bicycle or speak to other cyclists about cycling etiquette. And if you’re planning to stay out at a bar or a club until early in the morning, it’s a good idea to have a reliable taxi number to hand.

When it comes to things to see and do, most Irishmen and women will suggest you visit the main attractions in every tourist guidebook. However, they may also point you towards sights that have a strong association with Dublin’s history, which was often violent during the colonial era. Glasnevin Cemetary on Finglas Road, for example, runs walking tours that take visitors past the graves of illustrious figures in Irish history. Kilmainham Gaol on Inchicore Road, where rebels from the 1916 Easter Uprising were executed, also operates guided tours. If you’re more interested in Dublin’s cultural history, don’t miss a trip to the Dublin Writer’s Museum, dedicated to local literary heroes like James Joyce and WB Yeats, or Merrion Square, which is home to a statue of Oscar Wilde.

For those who want to sample the best of Ireland’s food and drink, a chat with locals can be particularly rewarding. The first thing most Irishmen will tell you is to avoid Temple Bar, the primary location for touristy – and very expensive – bars and clubs. Instead, they should be able to point you towards bars that are traditional but not kitsch – like Kavanagh’s near Glasnevin Cemetery or Frank Ryan’s on Queen Street. Food, on the other hand, is a varied mix of hearty Irish stews and multicultural grub but can also be very pricey. To try a bit of everything at reasonable prices, head to the Epicurean Food Hall on Lower Liffey Street, which is very popular with locals at lunch time.

Although city breaks in the Irish capital may require a substantial budget, the frequent availability of cheap flights to Dublin means that actually getting there can be surprisingly affordable. Looking out for these deals means you’ll have more money to spend during your holiday. And with tough economic times persisting, you may even find some great deals on accommodation, food and drink while you’re in town, and the friendly local population may be able to point you towards these offers.

Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland

Headed to the Emerald Isle? The best way to explore all that Ireland has to offer is by renting a car and heading out on the roads. Before you book your rental though, following some of these helpful tips.

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Renting a Car in IrelandMartin Gommel / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

General Tips

  1. Check the rental company’s policies before you book your reservation, as some companies will not rent to anyone under 25. Also, confirm whether you need an International Driving Permit –if your driver’s license is written in English, you don’t need one,
  2. Reserve your car before leaving home–you don’t want to arrive in Ireland to find that the only cars available can barely accommodate you and your luggage.
  3. Pick the car up at the airport, particularly if you’re arriving in Dublin. Some rental car agencies have locations outside of the airport, but getting there takes time and it can be tricky to navigate around the city if you’re unfamiliar with the area. There’s usually an extra fee for airport pickups, but the reduced hassle is worth it.
  4. Read the agency fuel – known as petrol in Ireland –policy before driving off. In most cases, the gas tank will be full when you pick up the car, and you pay for it up front. When you return the car, you generally have the option of re-filling the tank and getting that money back, or just leaving it empty. Double-check before you return the car though, to avoid an unpleasant surprise or extra charge.
  5. Ask about paying the M50 toll before you head out. The M50 is a section of highway near Dublin – and chances are you’ll travel on the toll portion at some point if you fly in or out of Dublin. There is no toll gate, so you might not even know you are on a toll road! Some agencies will cover the charge for you, but you might have to pay it yourself – if you don’t, you’ll get hit with a fine when you return the car. Stop at a shop that displays a “PayZone” logo to pay the charge.
  6. Driving in Ireland is not like driving in the U.S. or in major cities around the world. First, you have to drive on the left—pay extra for an automatic transmission vehicle if you’re not comfortable shifting with your left hand. Many of the side and back roads are narrow, twisty, unpaved, and your chances of running into a flock of sheep are pretty good. Pay attention to the conditions, take your time, and let the sheep have the right of way. Invest in a road map book of Ireland – the Ordnance Survey Ireland is a good choice—since many places are not listed on GPS, and it’s easy to get turned around.

Booking Your Car

Most of the familiar car rental agencies operate within Ireland, including Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, and Enterprise. The best rates can usually be found online—shop around and compare all before booking your car. Read the fine print, and get the car you want!

Be prepared to pay taxes and fees in addition to daily rates. Ireland charges a fee for an extra driver, road and VAT taxes (some companies include the VAT in the daily rate) and in some cases, a fee if you plan to travel into Northern Ireland. If you are under 25, and the agency will rent to you, expect to pay an extra fee and higher insurance rates.

Insurance

When you rent a car in Ireland, get the extra car insurance. Driving along twisting rural roads can be hazardous, and an unfortunate encounter with an untrimmed hedge or wayward sheep can cost you a chunk of change.

When you rent your car, you’ll probably be given choice between Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) that pays a deductible of up to 1000 Euros,  and Super (or Super CDW). With the Super CDW coverage, which usually runs between $10-14 U.S. per day, you’re fully covered with no deductible.  Keep in mind again, with the rural nature of Ireland’s roads, it’s easy to get a dent, scrape or ding on the rental car – and you will have to pay for it.

All rental car agencies will charge you for third-party liability coverage, meaning that you’re covered for damage to property or injuries to people outside the car. It’s mandatory coverage.

If you’re thinking that your credit card will cover you in the event something happens to the rental car, read the terms of your credit card coverage carefully – some plans specifically exclude car rentals in Ireland, among other countries.

Once you arrive in Ireland, the process of renting a car is the same as anywhere else. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!