City treasures and countryside delights: a guide to Dublin

For the best deals on hotels it is worth looking a little out of the city centre. Located a 15-minute walk or five-minute bus ride from the centre is The Lansdowne Hotel, complete with a fantastic bar whose barman has to be one of the friendliest in the city. The Irish breakfast is good, the rooms are comfy and all for a very reasonable price of around £60 a night for a double or twin room.


One of the city’s main attractions is the Guinness storehouse, home to the blackest stout in the land that is loved worldwide. A visit to the storehouse will set you back 13 euros and includes the chance to learn how to pull the perfect pint, and gets you a taste of the good stuff at the Gravity Bar, where you can also take in the magnificent view of Dublin and beyond.

The literary buds among you may wish to check out the array of statues that adorn the Merrion Square Park. Dedicated to the memory of Oscar Wilde, each one is inscribed with one of his most memorable quotes. A personal favourite is the statue topped with a sculpture of a nude woman and marked with the words: “I drink to keep body and soul apart.” Read into that what you will.

For those seeking something different,  try The Tea Garden. It might not be the first attraction that comes to mind, but it’s well worth a visit.

A little way along the River Liffey, in a white painted house along Lower Ormond Quay and down a sharp flight of steps is perhaps Dublin’s best kept secret.

The Tea Garden is a low lit grotto of tea and tranquillity with several beautifully furnished rooms. The array of tea infusions on offer is astounding and each comes with  an expert explanation, and advice on how to brew, pour and sip the perfect cup.

There are blends from across the globe but The Tea Garden has not forgotten its setting, and an Irish cream tea is on offer. The cushions, throws and tummy warming pots of goodness will lull you into the most relaxing afternoon you could wish for.

At the spiritual heart of Dublin is Christ Church Cathedral, which you might have seen it in BBC hit drama The Tudors. Its medieval crypt is one of the largest in Britain and Ireland, and is home to a mummified cat and rat (known locally as Tom and Jerry). If dead pets aren’t your thing (no one’s blaming you), visit the crypt’s café.

It’s worth going beyond the city limits, and out into the picturesque Wicklow countryside. The stunning landscape can be reached by train (20 euros for a return). It’s dotted with walking routes that can be trekked in a day, a few hours or just an hour, depending on how much rambling you fancy doing.

After your long walk out in the Irish hills there are numerous B&Bs to take shelter in around the Rathdrum area and you may even wish to take comfort in one of the area’s many old pubs.

A steak and Guinness pie after a long day’s walk is truly a wonderful thing and a trip into the countryside is well worth doing even just for the beautiful sea view from the train.

Travelling with Ryanair from London starts at £60 return and if you look in the right places, you can get great deals all over the city.

The city has so much to offer. If you are looking for an inexpensive post-exam break then Dublin really is the place to go.


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Maddy Hutt

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August 2021
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