Dublin Travel Tips

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What is Malahide Castle?

Malahide Castle

One of the fantastic Dublin tours and attractions to complete any trip to the city is a visit to Malahide Castle. The castle was used as a fortress and private home for the Talbot family for nearly 800 years from 1185 to 1973. Originally granted to Richard Talbot by Henry II, the castle is unique in Ireland because the same family was able to keep control of it for so long,

Guided tours of Malahide Castle run about thirty-five minutes and depart every fifteen minutes from the Dublin Bus Office. If you prefer to tour on your own rather than with a guide, the castle offers audio tours in a variety of different languages as well as written translations, all of which are included with your admission fee. The castle also has a tearoom and restaurant which offers a variety of menu options from a 3-course lunch to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Malahide Castle is open year round with discounted tickets available for children and families. If you plan on visiting other Dublin tours and attractions you can save money by purchasing a combined ticket. Such a ticket will gain you admittance into the castle as well as the Dublin Writers Museum, James Joyce Museum, Shaw Birthplace, and Fry Model Railway.

   
What is the James Joyce Centre?

James Joyce Centre

The James Joyce Centre was opened in 1996 and is a popular destination for people on a Dublin vacation. James Joyce never actually lived in the Joyce house, but has a connection to it through Professor Denis J. Maginni who lived in the house and was a character in Joyce's Ulysses.

Joyce fans can go on a walking tour of Joycean Dublin starting from the house. The walking tour takes visitors through Dublin and points out some of the sights and sounds of the city that Joyce used to detail in some of his works. The Guinness Library is also a part of the Joyce house. The library is a collection of Joyce's works as well as books about Joyce and his life. Guests at the house are welcome to browse through the library shelves and sit and read from any of the volumes found there. Celebrating Joyce's time in Paris, Café Ulysses in the Joyce House serves visitors authentic French meals as well as coffee, tea and pastries. The James Joyce Centre is open year round.

   
Where should I stay in Dublin?

Dubin Hotels and Hostels

Finding a hotel in Dublin can be difficult when traveling during peak times. Dublin hotels tend to fill up during the summer and weekends to such a point, that finding a decent place to stay can be extremely difficult. Try to book your hotel as far in advance as you can to ensure accomodations.

In general the further you move away from downtown the cheaper a hotel will be. There are a few hostels located in downtown, though most are located further away from the town center. Hostels in many cases can be just as expensive as hotels in the Dublin area so it is wise to research your options before booking a room.

You may also be able to save money on your hotel stay by purchase a Dublin travel package that includes your airfare as well as your hotel stay. Dublin vacation packages can be purchased from travel agents and online travel sites.

   
What is the Guinness Storehouse?

The Guinness Storehouse

Beer lovers will enjoy visiting the Guinness Storehouse, the “Home of Guinness.” Originally built in 1904, the Storehouse is one of Ireland's most popular tourist attractions and a must-see when visiting Dublin.

The ground floor of the Guinness Storehouse introduces you to the four main ingredients in beer: water, yeast, barley, and hops. Once you are acquainted with what goes into the beer, you are taken to the first floor of the building which goes through the brewing process step-by-step. Special selected guests are invited to start the Guinness brewing process using Guinness's brewing computer. The remaining floors of the building teach visitors about the history of Guinness and how to pour their own pint.

The core of the Guinness Storehouse is modeled after a giant pint glass and stretches from the ground floor to The Gravity Bar at the top of the building, where visitors are given a complementary pint of Guinness. The giant pint glass if filled would hold 14.3 million pints of Guinness. The Gravity bar offers a wonderful panoramic view of Dublin that can make the trip well worth your while even if you're not a beer lover.

   
How should I travel to Dublin?

Traveling to Dublin

When you're planning a Dublin vacation it's best to visit either in the Spring or Fall months. Dublin hotels can get very expensive during the summer months and many of Dublin's tours and attractions are closed down during the winter making the summer and winter not the most ideal for travel.

The easiest way to get to Dublin is by plane. The train system is poorly maintained and doesn't work very well going directly into Dublin. The city is home to Ireland's major international airport, making it easy to get to and from most places; in many cases, you should be able to get a direct flight to Dublin.

London to Dublin is one of the busiest international air routes in the world, even surpassing London to NYC and London to Paris in recent years. Once you arrive in Dublin there are several bus routes that can easily take you to your destination. Taxis are available for travelers outside of the airport as well. Taxis in Dublin work much like taxis in the rest of the world charging travelers by the amount of miles they wish to travel. Taxis in Dublin will also charge users an additional fee for extra passengers, baggage, and traveling during unconventional hours.

   
What is the Dublin Zoo?

The Dublin Zoo

The Dublin Zoo is one of the city's most popular attractions. The zoo has been around since 1830 and was originally supplied with animals from the London Zoo. Today the Dublin Zoo includes thirty acres of African plains featuring lions, rhinos, hipos, chimpanzees, zebras and giraffes.

The Dublin Zoo has a variety of different scheduled events you can go to. Some of the most popular scheduled events at the zoo include the Sea Lion Splash, Tiger Talk and Chimpanzee Chat, all of which take place once daily during the early afternoon hours. There are still a variety of exhibitions set up at the zoo that date back to its beginnings in the 1800's. The Dublin Zoo is also home to number of endangered species that can't be seen in many other places.

The Dublin zoo is open seven days a week with limited hours on Sunday. The zoo offers discounted tickets for children and families.

Note: The Zoo's box office closes one hour before the Zoo itself, so get there early to make sure you get in.

   
What is the Dublin Writers Museum?

The Dublin Writers Museum

Dublin was home to many famous writers. The Dublin Writers Museum is a must-see attraction for those visiting the city. The museum features the work of writers who have made an important contribution to Irish and international literature. Those who visit will experience two “Museum Rooms” that cover the history of literature in Ireland. The first covers Irish literature from its beginnings to the end of the 19th century. The second room in the museum covers the great writers of the twentieth century.

The Dublin Writers Museum has an excellent collection of books, all of which are kept in the Gorman Library. It houses several rare and first editions of books that have made a notable contribution to Irish literature. Some of the most important books of note in the museum include Gulliver's Travels, Dracula, Ulysses, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Waiting for Godot.

In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the Dublin Writers Museum also has a variety of temporary exhibitions, a lunchtime theater and a specialty bookshop where you can purchase a bit of Ireland's literary history to take home with you.

The museum has hours that vary throughout the year and offers special discounts for children, large groups, and families.

   
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Susan Sayour