The Dublin of the new millennium is a shiny, pulsating city with an increasingly multicultural and cosmopolitan population. New cafes and bars are opening in its cobbled streets, joining antique jewelry shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. The river has also been given a facelift, with the new Docklands development boasting riverfront bars, restaurants, and smart apartments. While Temple Bar has lost a little of its cool factor, Cow's Lane is filled with fashionable boutiques and furniture shops. The Cow's Lane Market especially is the destination for every hipster. Then this being the city of Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Roddy Doyle, there are fine literary museums and libraries located amidst gorgeous Georgian architecture.
- A visit to Trinity College.
- The outstanding collections of the National Museum of Ireland.
- The best of Irish art in the National Gallery.
- A tour of Dublin Castle.
- The medieval Christ Church Cathedral.
- St. Patrick's Cathedral, the country's largest church.
- Touring the Guinness Storehouse.
- The contemporary and modern art of the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
- Walking and stopping for a drink around Temple Bar.
- Relaxing in PHOENIX PARK.
Look for the hotel or hostel that best matches your budget, type of trip or personality. Here you can guarantee a room but you do NOT pay anything at the time of booking. Payments are only made at the hotel and there are no booking fees. Most hotels allow cancellations with no penalty if done up to 24 or 48 hours in advance. You'll see that information at the time of booking and again in the confirmation email.
Restaurants in Dublin are surprisingly expensive, often even more so than in London or Paris. One cause may be the high taxes, but another is also the increased quality and sophistication in the city's restaurant scene over the past few years. That means you get what you pay for, but if you like to spend your money elsewhere, there are plenty of cheaper options at cafés and pubs. Irish cuisine doesn't really have the best fine dining reputation, but modern chefs have started a gastronomic revolution. That's another plus when dining in Dublin, as you'll savor some pleasant surprises and likely have your expectations exceeded.
You first must stroll through Grafton Street, the most famous pedestrian street in Dublin. Its upmarket shops may lure you in, but so will Brown Thomas, the city's smartest department store. It's a Dublin institution, home to collections of Irish designers and products, but also to the stores of international labels such as Prada and Chanel. On the streets radiating from Grafton are the smaller specialist shops if you're looking for books, handicrafts, or gifts. More gift options are found in George's Street Arcade, a charming Victorian building for you to browse through old books, bohemian jewelry, and vintage clothes. Another street you should place in your shopping list is Francis Street, lined with antique shops. You'll find more of them in its surroundings, which together make Dublin one of Europe's best for antiques shopping. Be warned that what you'll find is not exactly cheap. For other cool designs (if you're in town on a Saturday) move on to the Cow's Lane Market, a designer market found at the western edge of Temple Bar. You'll have all the alternative and innovative youth fashion there, including many handmade originals. Browse the funky clothing and accessories both outdoors on Cows Lane and indoors in the Viking Centre.