One question that I am asked more than any other about Ireland is whether Dublin is worth visiting. The answer is a resounding yes, but with so much else to see and do on the Old Sod, don’t let it take up too much of your vacation.
The first thing that you should do is get a Dublin Pass Sightseeing Card which gives you free entry to 32attractions in and around Dublin including the Guinness Storehouse, The Dublin Zoo, all of the major museums, the Kilmainham Gaol (jail), the Old Jameson Distillery and both Croke Park and Aviva Stadium. The card will also get you discounts on many other attractions and rides like Viking Splash Tours or Historical Walking Tours of Dublin.
The best way to get around Dublin is by foot but, if you are not so inclined or are traveling with young children, consider getting a “hop on, hop off” bus ticket which will take you to most of the major attractions in town. There are several other public transportation options available.
You may also want to consider day trips to nearby Powerscourt Gardens, the Wicklow Mountains, New Grange or the Irish National Stud Farm and Japanese Gardens in Kildare.
Dublin is the youngest city in Europe with more than 50% of its residents clocking in at less than 25 years old. Combine all this youth with 665 licensed pubs and you get a city with a lot of energy and a vibrant nightlife. So after your day of sightseeing you will as the Irish like to say “be spoilt for choice”.
Temple Bar is the most famous party destination for those that are so inclined. Unless you are anxious to “Party like a Viking” (Dublin’s founding fathers were Vikings), it is probably an area to avoid. Their are many other venues that feature pubs with traditional music and a generally more sedate environment.
If you fancy yourself more of an intellectual, get yourself to Duke Pub which is one block from Trinity College. A Literary Pub Crawl starts each night at 7:00 PM in the summer.