Ireland’s capital offers a truly vibrant experience. I would say that the vivacity of the city impressed me the most.
Compared to other European capitals I would say that Dublin is not that wealthy in “regular” tourist attractions, but it compensates by the vibe it gives you by just walking its streets and having a drink in one of many pubs you encounter at each corner.
I was really impressed by the hospitality of the Irish people. It struck me as soon as I got to the documents check in the airport and continued throughout the stay (hotel, at each pub, shop and even on the street by passing locals – when I arrived as I seemed a little lost several people stopped to ask us if we needed directions and they offered their help with a smile on their face).
Coming back to Dublin’s tourist attractions, I will mention here: Trinity College (with its most emblematic treasure – the Book of Kells), Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral & Saint Patrick Cathedral and its two main museums: National Gallery and National Museum of Ireland (museums which I was not interested in visiting).
I visited instead the Temple Bar area, considered the art & entertainment district with its numerous bars and walked on its busy streets and bridges, just enjoying the nice weather and looking at Dublin’s lovely houses with their emblematic colorful doors.
Unfortunately, in Dublin to visit the famous churches you have to pay – I never understood how you can put a price on God’s home. Anyway, even considering this, it is worth visiting Christ Church Cathedral & Saint Patrick Cathedral.
Here you can also find James Joyce statue and the Post Office. Going up on the street, you can reach the Garden of Remembrance dedicated to the people who died in pursuit of Irish freedom. Across the garden is the Dublin Writers Museum.
But, in the end, to really feel the city you need to stop and drink a beer, eat some local dishes (more details on food experience here) and just party along locals, as Dublin’ best might still remain it’s entertainment.
And an afternoon in Howth would be the best choice of getaway from the busy city (more details here).
Two days in Dublin I would say are more than enough. If you have an extra day rent a car or book a tour in order to see the astonishing Cliffs of Moher (more details here).
Getting there: as Ireland is an island, best way to get there is by plane. From Bucharest BlueAir and Ryanair are the alternatives – flight of approx. 4 hours. Dublin center is reached by regular busses ( Airlink or Aircoach) – 30 min ride. No trains are available to/from the airport. If you take the 24 or 72 hours leap visitors card you have the Airlink ticket included.
Transportation: best by walking – all attractions are within walking distances. I did not use the bus at all for sightseeing within the city. Double-deckers serve Dublin so even the bus ride might be on its own an experience. Driving is on the right side so pay attention which side you look when crossing the street.
Accommodation: I stayed at Croke Park Hotel – 25 min walk to city center. Nothing to complain except that the nearest bus stop is aprox. 15 min of walking.
Shopping: many tourist shops with plenty options, my option was whiskey.
Language: English although it is difficult at first to get used to the accent