Not only for the great collection of works by Jack B Yeats and family, but also for its Caravaggio and El Greco. Marvel at the architecture of the new Millenium wing.
Merrion Square West; Tel: +353-1-661 5133; www.nationalgallery.ie/
The entire chaotic contents of Francis Bacon's South Kensington studio painstakingly reconstructed. Bacon's last unfinished portrait is part of the gallery's excellent permanent collection.
Hugh Lane Gallery, Parnell Square North; Tel: 00 353 1 222 5550; Open Tue-Sun; www.hughlane.ie/
Wander through the melancholy, crumbling beauty of Glasnevin cemetery, resting place of Irish revolutionary heroes, including Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins. Near the back gate, stop for a drink on a wooden bench at Kavanagh's, the popular and amazingly unaltered old gravedigger's pub.
Buses 40 or 40A, B and C from Parnell Street; www.glasnevin-cemetery.ie/
Take in a 360-degree view of the city and a free pint in the glass-walled bar at the top of the 1904 storehouse. Entry is part of the Guinness Storehouse tour, €14 per adult. Open 9.30am-5.30pm in winter, and until 8pm in summer.
St James's Gate, Dublin 8; Tel: +353 (1) 408 4800; www.guinnessstorehouse.com/
On a Saturday morning, wander the Temple Bar food market, scoffing samples. Best are the Irish cheeses, smoked fish and organic produce from family farms outside Dublin.
Meeting House Square, Temple Bar; Saturday 10am-5pm; see www.temple-bar.ie/culture_markets_food.asp for a list of traders.
It is practically impossible to find a decent, quiet, budget room in Dublin, which is why I like the Oaklodge. It is a no frills, small Victorian terraced family house on a quiet residential street in Ballsbridge at the edge of the "embassy belt". Yes, it's at least a 30-minute walk from the city centre, or a swift bus ride, but it is the perfect starting point to scout out the beautiful redbrick streets of Dublin 4. Warm welcome, good breakfast. €40 per person for a double room in August, €35 per person per night in winter.
4 Pembroke Park, off Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4; Tel: 00 353 1 660 6096; www.oaklodge.ie/
Arguably Dublin's finest Michelin-starred restaurant, the best of modern Irish cooking, from oysters to cabbage, Dublin bay prawns to Irish salmon, in a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere. Main courses up to €48, or three-course lunch for €45.
109a Lower Baggot Street; Tel: 00 353 1 6611919; www.lecrivain.com/
At over 700 acres, this is Dublin's giant playground - the largest enclosed urban park in Europe. It features lakes, deer, cricket and polo pitches, Dublin zoo and Áras an Uachtaráin, the home of the president.
From the city centre, wander along the Liffey to the Parkgate entrance opposite Heuston station.
A ring of pearls that runs from Dollymount to Portmarnock and Malahide, with huge sweeps of sand and dunes perfect for bracing walks, flying kites and gawping at the horizon. Stop for a well-deserved meal in the restaurants of Malahide. Savour the view and the chips or ice creams at Howth.
Take the DART from the city centre; www.irishrail.ie/dart/home/
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