Originally published on December 12, 2017; Updated February 21, 2018
If Dublin is not on your travel radar, it most definitely should be! The city is home to over 700 U.S. based companies that have made Dublin their European headquarters. With that insurgence of brain power and talent, the capital of Ireland has undergone an expansive modernization, yet maintains its historic charm and old-world beauty.
WHERE TO STAY
I recommend staying at the historic and recently renovated Shelbourne Hotel near St. Stephen’s Green Park. It’s absolutely beautiful and the service is exceptional.
The Merrion Hotel is another fabulous option in Dublin’s City Centre.
WHERE TO EAT
Located at the top of the Dean Dublin Hotel, this restaurant has breathtaking views of the entire city. They make homemade cordials and tinctures to create drinks such as the Mad Ting or Sophie’s Swizzle. The food is excellent - you have to try the crispy calamari and order a rotisserie chicken pizza. Thursday through Sunday after 11PM is ‘New York Late Night Vibe’ with specialty cocktails and back-to-back DJ’s. Bono has also been known to stop by and sing a song or two…
Angelina’s, a sister restaurant/deli to Sophie’s, offers fresh Irish ingredients in its Italian fare. As the city transforms, so did this old car repair shop - into a hip and trendy riverside restaurant. Save room for the Irish cheese plate or try a Vanilla Honeycomb sundae with salted caramel topping.
A European fare restaurant one block away from The Shelbourne, Peploe’s serves classic Mediterranean-inspired dishes with an Irish influence.
This is a great Irish restaurant that prides itself on freshness and beautiful presentation.
This is Dublin’s answer to Dean and DeLuca. It’s an upscale market with a butcher, fishmonger, bakery, produce and wine store. You can also order sandwiches, salads, pizza and homemade pasta bowls and grab a seat at a table overlooking the River Liffey. Dollard & Co. is located in the Temple Bar area - a concentrated pub neighborhood.
WHAT TO DO
If you’ve only had Guinness in America, you’ve never truly tried Guinness. The Guinness Beer Factory tour teaches you the proper way to pour and drink Ireland’s dry stout. It’s extremely rich - exactly how it should be. The tour includes a complimentary pint at their Gravity Bar, which has 360-degree views across the city’s skyline.
This 200+ year old distillery is one you won’t want to miss. Take the tour and get a premium whiskey tasting experience. You can learn how to blend your own take-home whiskey or master the craft of whiskey cocktail making.
For the ultimate in luxury, stay at the Ballyfin, located about an hour and a half outside of Dublin. After an eight year renovation with nothing spared, the owners of this Irish Regency manor estate reopened this 20 bedroom hotel, creating splendor and beauty at every turn. Ballyfin, originally the country estate of the Duke of Wellington’s brother, rests on 614 acres of terraced fruit orchards, vegetable and flower gardens, moss forests, centerpiece lake and follies. Conde Nast readers voted Ballyfin - a five star hotel - the #1 Hotel in the World.
The Dublin Zoo is one of the world's oldest and most popular zoos, having opened in 1831. It has been transformed in recent decades to a 28-hectare park of gardens, lakes and wonderful natural habitats for over 400 animals. If you have some time on your trip, it’s a very fun activity for the family.
You have to see this tour. It takes you through the ancient cobblestone of Trinity College and will bring you back to the 18th century. At the end of the tour, you get a chance to see the university’s library, built in 1712.
The National Gallery of Ireland features an excellent collection of both old masters and modern paintings. The museum is home to one of Caravaggio’s most stunning works, The Taking of Christ, and a Johannes Vermeer (there are only 34 confirmed works in the world).
This is the oldest pub in Dublin - you should absolutely stop here for a Guinness!
You can’t miss this one! It’s handmade in Dingle with only pure, local ingredients. Irish favorites include Dingle Gin and Caramelised Brown Bread.
Kilmainham Gaol is Dublin’s jail that once housed many constituents of the Easter Rising. An excellent tour and museum to get you up to speed on Irish political history.
Centerpiece to this sterile museum is an incredible gift, Francis Bacon’s London Studio. Bacon was born in Dublin but spent most of his life in London. The small studio features over 7,000 items which have been installed exactly as Bacon left it. Don’t forget to see the museum’s collection of Bacon’s completed and unfinished works.