The Smallest Pub in Dublin (officially known as the Dawson Lounge) can be found on Dawson Street, just past Grafton Street in the City Centre.
Go there at around 8 o'clock so you can guarantee yourself a place and avoid the herds of late-night workers coming for happy hour afterwards (they even have backrests on the walls to accommodate those without seats). Though really small (the area of the whole pub must be around ten metres squared), the pub is very cozy and serves the best Guinness I ever tasted, for a reasonable bargain of €3.80.
Definitely a good option, especially if you're with a big group of friends and feel like starting the night out with some drinks and good laughter.
Dawson Lounge, Dawson Street
Telephone: (+ 353) 1 671 0311
Mon - Thurs 12.30 to 11.30
Fri-Sat 12.30-12.30 Sunday 4-11.00
FOOD Mon-sat 12-4.30
The Chester Beatty Library.
Tel: (+353 1) 407 0750
Fax: (+353 1) 407 0760
Forget Dublin and head to the west. I stayed at Ivory Lodge in 2005 and again in 2006. It was a great base for my stay. Very close to Bunratty Castle, Drumoland Castle, Quin abbey and some of the other historical delights Clare has to offer. Not to mention some great local pubs. Ivory Lodge is half an hour for Limerick, an hour and a half from Galway, and an hour from the Cliffs of Mohr by car. And to top it off the owners are very friendly, serving good breakfasts and clearly taking pride in their home. I'd thoroughly recommend it.
Ivory Lodge B&B, Drumline, Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare.
Tel: +353 6136 4039.
One of the best hostels I've stayed in. I was welcomed by the smell of a pot of soup sitting on an old range.
The lady who runs it is very welcoming and friendly. Lots of pubs nearby and some good music.
corner of henry street and shelborne street
Ireland's National Gallery (not to be confused with the nearby National Museum sites!), tucked away near the Dail (Parliament) buildings, is home to a collection that's quite simply staggering.
There are over fifty rooms which take you through the ages of Irish art, from 17th century painters to the extraordinary work of Jack B Yeats - WB's brother. There's plenty of Italian Renaissance painting and Dutch masters to keep you going as well, and some great modern Irish portraiture. Add a fantastically-stocked shop and two great cafes to the mix and well, you've got the makings of a whole day's worth of wonder, and occasional repose.
National Gallery of Ireland
Merrion Square West
It is a waste of money to use a car in Dublin. With the Dart local rail, DublinBus and the Luas trams it is one of the best served I know (far superior to Toronto) and more user-friendly than London.
Take a seven day pass for 20 euro and hie hither, plus yon with great ease. And enjoy the pubs - many have excellent and well priced food, but you'll have to find them yourselves. I'm not telling you mine.
you can get bus tickets at the airport.
It's a castle. Get that? A castle. One huge, genuine, 13th Century castle. And you can stay there. What better reasons to recommend Ashford could there be?
Of course there are castles where, once you get over the battlements and Disney style restoration, you feel a little let down by the experience (Walworth, we're looking at you). Ashford castle, thankfully, is as rich an experience as the guests who loiter in the beautifully appointed lounges.
Ashford doesn't need much praising. Its awards and reputation speak volumes but it is worth pointing out that the castle comes into its own during off-peak seasons. There, amidst the quiet corridors and hallways, hundreds of years worth of history hangs like a tapestry, quiet dignity pervading the areas that would normally be taken for granted by obnoxious guests unable to converse without recourse to proclamation.
Everything one could possibly want for complete indulgence lies within easy reach. Golfing tees off (ahem) an itinerary that includes horse riding, falconry and boat trips. It is enough, however, to take a walk through the grounds and discover the walled gardens or venture towards Cong (where The Quiet Man was filmed) or even out to one of the small number of stone circles in the area. Just take a look at the photographs on the website and you'll soon find yourself ordering George to ready the carriage.
Fly to Galway airport and take a taxi or book a helicopter. www.ashford.ie
A smattering throw back to Dublin's hippy scene, which has been nearly totally decimated. This is really only a shadow of some of Dublin's great markets. Still it has a nice feel to it and there are stalls for second hand books, fresh olives, old records and new Japanese and Chinese fashion. There's Simons Place cafe - a real stalwart, and there's a chipper in one of the stalls. Plus there's an entrance to the excellent Market Bar - with its own entrance for when the arcade is closed. It's a fun wee refuge from the occasional rain. A bit over priced in places tho'
Originally Ireland's flagship youth hostel, it's a little tatty these days and definitely no frills. But it has loads of character and a fantastic view, and at 14 euros a night a perfect base to explore the area settled by St Columb in the 6th century, and the Slieve League - at 600m, Europe's highest sea cliffs.
In the town of Glencolumbcille, take the road beside the Glenhead tavern and it's 1.5km up the road on the left - 973 0130
Much is made in Ireland these days about the decline of the traditional pub, and that is indeed a sad event. But on the other hand, it’s hard to halt change, and when it takes the charming form of this tapas/wine bar, why would you want to?
The atmosphere is warm and friendly all through the week, the food is small and tasty, and the wine list is copious. The prices are a little higher than the pub round the corner, but it’s a case of chalk and Camembert.
The food is ok but the wines! A truly impressive and not very expensive collection of interesting Italian wines. They have two places, curiously enough separated by another cafe. Choose the right one where all the wines are! By the way, the brioche (croissant) and cappuccino are great.
14-16 South Frederick St
"Wine bar, karaoke box, sake bar" the restaurant describes itself. I would say great Japanese and Korean food and nice selection of wines and drinks!
Not what you would expect from a sidestreet in Dublin, but a really pleasant surprise with its contemporary decor and nice staff.
I did not check out the karaoke though!
7-9 Exchequer Street
+353 1 6334071
A fabulous get away - relax, get some treatments, the flotation tank will really take you away from it all. Stay in the log cabin. Noeleen is simply the Earth Mother and a wonderful host. Then explore Yeats' country!!
A student radio station broadcasting 6 weeks a year playing the usual mix of indie classics, new tracks, gigs reviews and then there's the music from the darker recesses of the DJ's collection - everything from indefensible pop to space music and hard rock. Headline show is Reverb.
97.3 FM in central Dublin or www.trinityfm.com
I used to work as one of the stout monkeys here. It's actually a great fun place to work if you're in town for a few months, most of the staff are European and all mix well. Lots of nights out and banter at the taps.
Anyway, instead of drinking your complimentary pint up stairs in the always over crowded Gravity Bar - great veiws but not enough seats - squeeze up for a look, then take the stairs down to floor five and have your drink in the bar there. Its nearly always quiet, it still has good views and you can buy more hooch when you're done with the black stuff.
St James Gate
The kids loved the pizza here, and the fact they could wander round unhindered. The statue of the naked lady in the corner caused great amusement as well. On the very top floor there is a theatre. It's worth finding out if there is a performance on when you're there. We watched an entrancing xmas story monologue, which kept even the jaded Playstationer glued to his seat. Free soup with a ticket was also a bonus on a cold winter's day.
78/9 Grafton Street
+353 1 6727720
Large bar popular with the after work crowd. Free in most of the time but do charge after ten on some nights.
Cocktail lounge upstairs looks like a brothel. Fun and rowdy in a kind of office party way. Expensive.
By harcourt luas stop
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