PHOTO: A beautiful scene in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo via Flickr/Dyn Photo)
Dublin is known for its dreary weather, lively pub scene and historic sights.
Depending on your mood, you can retreat here to party like a rock star, dive deeply into Irish history or shop and dine to your heart’s content.
Even if you only have a day or two in Ireland's capital, here are some sights you don’t want to miss:
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1. Sign up for the connoisseur experience at the Guinness Storehouse.
Guinness has called Dublin home for hundreds of years, yet still has many to go. (When Arthur Guinness founded the brewery in Dublin in 1759, he signed a 9,000-year lease!)
These days, tourists visit the Guinness Storehouse by the thousands each day. They dine on delicious Irish fare, try the various Guinness brews and learn how beer is made. You can also sign up for a private connoisseur experience that includes an upscale beer tasting with a private host.
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2. See the Book of Kells and the Long Room at Trinity College.
A visit to Trinity College is a Dublin must, mostly because the college houses the historic Book of Kells. This handmade book offers beautiful renditions of the four gospels of the New Testament; You can view two of the four sections on display at the school.
The Long Room Library is another Trinity College sight to behold. Built in the 1700’s, the Long Room contains thousands of historic books on everything from engineering to philosophy. It also houses the Brian Boru harp, which is one of the three oldest Gaelic harps in existence.
3. Throw back some pints at Temple Bar.
Temple Bar is a popular tourist area filled with pubs and Irish eateries. Really, it's the ultimate Dublin watering hole, with more than 160 years of history. It can get rowdy on the weekends, (and especially St. Patrick’s Day), but still offers a fun way to spend an afternoon if (more) pints of Guinness are on your agenda.
4. Visit Dublin’s cathedrals.
Dublin is home to many beautiful churches, including Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Each offers its own story, architecture and style. Pro tip: Stop by a cathedral for a tour or Sunday Mass.
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5. Visit the Little Museum of Dublin.
The Little Museum of Dublin serves as a tribute to the city and its contribution to Europe’s history. Its collection, which was gathered via public donation, offers insight into the political and cultural history of Ireland's capital.
View artifacts from Dublin’s olden days and watch the historic city come to life through photos, collectibles and old letters. Also, check out the museum’s “U2 room,” which features historic photos and collectibles from the Irish megaband’s early days.
6. Explore Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainhamm Gaol is a historic prison in Dublin. While the property served many purposes during its history, it is best known for housing and ultimately executing the revolutionaries involved in the Easter Rising.
A tour of the jail offers insight into the conditions at the time, the mental state of the Easter Rising’s heroes and their final days. While any visit to Kilmainham Gaol is a somber one, you’ll leave with a better understanding of the Easter Rising and its significance to the Irish people.