Recently Dublin has trumpeted that it has a world-class convention centre so that it can increase its share of business tourism. For the ordinary tourist though, you might be interested in another new feature, The Art Park, which has opened in Spencer Dock. It’s a space for public art which normally means sculpture but here there is also a huge visual arts screen that can be used for digital media.
If you have time to go further afield, or are staying in Ireland for a week or so, you might want to consider a See Ireland 4 day rail pass for €100. Or for just a quick trip to see outside Dublin catch the Dart train to Dun Laoghaire and back. It won’t take too long but the railway runs alongside the bay and gives you some great scenery.
If you happen to be staying over then a performance at the world renowned Abbey Theatre is almost worth a visit just to say you’ve been here. (www.abbeytheatre.ie) Spare a night from the delights of socialising in Temple Bar and see the best of Irish drama. But don’t forget to take a walk to the Guinness Storehouse at some stage during your stay. What would Dublin be without a pint or two of the black stuff?
To get around, the Dublin rambler ticket or on foot is probably the best way. Phoenix Park where there is Dublin Zoo and the Wellington Monument (yes he was born here too) is probably as far west as most people might want to go and that is just opposite the last stop on the 748 bus from the airport. The Irish Museum of Modern Art is also just near there. (www.imma.ie) To the south you’re probably not going to go past the Grand Canal (not quite like the one in Venice) but walking around St Stephens Green and the street off it will give you a good view of the many Georgian terraced frontages that Dublin has been at pains to preserve.
Finally a word about prices. To many Dublin (and Ireland) is seen as an expensive place to visit. And some things are. Books seem pricey and some restaurants are up with top London prices. But I get the impression that prices have dropped a bit over the last year and it seems a bit more reasonable for the things the average tourist would buy.
Having written so much, I realise how much more I could write. And for a day trip there is far too much to see. Although Dublin is fairly compact, a lot is packed into a small area. Maybe two days is what is really needed. Or 3.
For more information on Dublin, the official online tourist office is www.visitdublin.com, Images are courtesy of Visit Dublin