Dublin is a pretty special city.
From the people to the places, the food to the drinks, and from the cafés to the parks, Dublin is bursting with uniqueness and hope and promise that needs to be shared with the world.
And it’s easier to get to than you think.
Take Thursday afternoon off work, get to DXB for 1pm, hop on the 3.15pm Emirates flight, you will be in Dublin at 8.10pm on Thursday night.
Plenty of time for a nice meal, do some touristy stuff all day Friday then get involved in a Dublin weekend on Friday night. How bad!
Catch the 1.50pm Emirates flight back on Saturday, landing just after midnight, (almost) a full night’s sleep before getting to work on Sunday morning.
Here’s what you need to know about the Irish capital:
1. Visit when the sun shines; the city shines when the sun shines
Some places get sun all the time, and that’s great.
Dublin doesn’t – but the upside is when the sun shines, the city does too. And the effect that this has on the mood and atmosphere within the city is palpable. What’s rare is wonderful.
2. You can forget taxis, Dublin is a walking city
Dublin, despite being low-rise, is a very compact city. This means that, unless you’re heading into the suburbs, you can get around primarily on foot.
This might sound like a negative point to some people, but trust us – the independence it gives you as a tourist is just fantastic.
3. Catch Irish national sports at the Croke Park stadium
If you’ve not yet been introduced to the Irish national sports – Gaelic football and hurling/camogie – then these in themselves will prove a wonderful treat for you.
Head along to a match in the company of 80,000 passionate supporters, and the experience is a truly unique one.
4. Dublin throws a serious party
St Patrick’s Day may be celebrated all over the world – but nowhere does it quite like Dublin.
5. Guinness, obvs
You may have tasted it abroad; you may have liked it and you may have hated it. In Dublin, however, it’s a different ball game altogether – and it’s wonderful to have it quite literally on tap wherever you go.
6. Irish pubs are an institution
Check out Toners..not just any pub. A special, special pub.
You won’t know why until you walk in its doors.
7. You’ve got the best ‘guide book’ in the world
The city is known for producing a disproportionate number of wordsmiths.
Key amongst them was James Joyce, who not only wrote Ulysses – which documents a day in the life of Dublin man Leopold Bloom as he traverses the city – but also Dubliners, a collection of short stories that truly brings the place to life.
It may not contain a to-do list, or a map. But you’d be hard pressed to find a better guide book to any city, anywhere in the world.
8. You’ll experience night clubs…the Irish way
Oh lord. How do we explain this one? Copper Face Jacks – or ‘Coppers’ – is a nightclub where the normal rules of life, time, space and physics do not apply; where inhibitions go to die, and where romance springs to life.
It’s pretty special, let’s just say that.
9. And super friendly cops
What you probably thought we were referring to in the above point – but the Irish police force, An Garda Siochána, are known for their friendly demeanour and unique humour.
10. Brunch – that’s more food focused than the Dubai variety
Every city does it; but few do it better.
This city, despite its size, boasts more places to try than you could fit in on any trip. So you’re just going to have to come back.
11. The famous Irish Breakfast: Get it at Gerry’s
Brunch is great and all, but it’s a rather modern phenomenon.
The Irish brekkie remains king – and while the rural Irish might argue that they can do it better than the capital, they don’t have the institution that is Gerry’s, Montague Lane.
12. And coffee to follow
3FE, Kaph, Clement and Pekoe, Brother Hubbard.
These names might mean nothing to you right now – but Dublin is a city with a very proud coffee culture, and they would quickly enter your vernacular if you were to visit.
13. The Camden Mile
The last time we counted, there were 27 pubs on this stretch – but it’s ever expanding.
Despite being one single stretch of road, it encompasses George’s Street, Aungier Street, Wexford Street, Camden Street, Richmond Street and Portobello – somewhat confusingly, as this writer pointed out – but it’s a hive of activity, and a cracking place to be.
14. Iveagh Gardens
Speaking of gems in the city, this is a park that’s widely known to locals but completely hidden away from the majority of tourists.
Formerly the gardens to a stately home, it’s an oasis of calm in the hustle and bustle of the urban centre – and it’s there to be enjoyed for all those lucky enough to live here.
Oh, and it even comes with its own waterfall.
15. And the other parks too
From St Stephen’s Green, which lies right in the heart of the city with somewhat more prominence than the Iveagh Gardens, to Phoenix Park, which is the largest enclosed city park in all of Europe, and one of the biggest in the world…
Let’s just say Ireland’s reputation for being ‘green’ isn’t limited to the rural parts of the country.
16. The River Liffey
It’s not as picturesque as The Dubai Canal, nowhere is to be fair, but there is a certain beauty about the River Liffey.
17. The Cobblestone
Another drinking establishment, this time based on the north of the city centre – and very, very traditional, right down to the impromptu musical sessions that regularly break out there.
18. Layers upon layers of amazing history
From major events – such as the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence – to the more hidden details, this city has more stories than the inside of JK Rowling’s head.
When to go?
Emirates runs 14 flights direct from Dubai to Dublin each week
The flights will cost approx. AED 3,295