Visitors to Dublin more often than not go to the city to experience the Two C’s – culture and craic.
The famous streets of the Irish capital have plenty of both, with the culture coming from a plethora of museums and art galleries to browse during the day and hundreds of pubs and bars to relax in during the night.
Surprisingly, despite a boozy reputation, Dublin is not open 24/7.
The official closing times are 23.30 pm Monday to Thursday; an hour extra to 00.30 am on Friday and Saturday, and 23.00 pm on Sunday.
Don’t cry into your Guinness too much, though, because clubs have later hours.
Lots of guide books list Dublin’s best 10 or 20 bars, but most drinkers are unlikely to have the stamina to visit so many.
A night out at Temple Bar
Arguably the most famous pub is Temple Bar on a street of the same name.
The bright red painted pub was founded in 1840 and claims to have the largest collection of rare whiskeys in the country.
The name comes from a nautical term for a sandbank – a ‘bar’.
A sea wall was built along the street to hold back the Liffey, followed by a customs house that triggered a host of bars, brothels and theatres.
The neighbourhood fell into disrepair when the customs house was moved to the other side of the river a century later.
Now, the smart set have moved in with chic bars, galleries, shops and restaurants.
By the way – the 450 whiskeys at Temple Bar are not all Irish. They originate from all over the world.
Culture starts with the Book of Kells
If you are looking for a culture top-up, the leading attraction in Dublin is the Book of Kells, at Trinity College.
The book is a stunning illuminated manuscript of the four gospels lovingly created by monks on the Scottish island Iona around 800 AD.
The Book of Kells is a must-see on any trip to Dublin.
But don’t forget the thousands of other rare volumes in the college library. Around 200,000 are sitting on shelves in the library’s 65 metre Long Room.
Another bit of history in the library is the Proclamation of the Irish Republic read out at the start of Easter Rising in 1916.