Ensure you get the full Irish experience on a Dublin holiday

Wednesday, 2 May 2012 3:05 PM

When it comes to getting an authentic taste of Ireland, there really is nowhere quite like Dublin. As the country's capital and biggest city, it offers the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary culture.

In the same way to other big European cities - such as London and Paris - Dublin has all the amenities you'll need to have a relaxing short break, but there's more than enough scope to have some craic too! Read on to find out how exactly you can get the true Irish experience during your getaway.

Explore Dublin Castle

Dublin's a pretty large place, so it can take a while to get to and from the various attractions. Of course, you can use the comprehensive public transport network, but as you'll only be in the city for a couple of days, you really should look to make the most of your time there.

Book car hire in Dublin and you don't have to rely on buses and trains to get around - you can instead drive straight to whatever landmark takes your fancy whenever you like. To get a good idea of the city's past and present, it's well worth visiting Dublin Castle.

Established in 1204, the historical structure has been at the heart of Ireland's history ever since and regularly hosts state functions. With the complex consisting of government buildings, museums and other facilities, you can book a guided tour of state apartments before wandering through the grounds.

While here, you should also visit the Garda Museum to learn more about the country's police force. Located in a 13th-century Norman-era tower, this structure used to be a jail before it was converted to its present use.

Check out historic art at Dublin City Gallery

As Ireland is known for producing some of the most famous artists and writers in the world, you really ought to explore the country's cultural heritage during your short getaway.

There are plenty of museums to visit, although the Dublin City Gallery on Parnell Square is a particularly good place to go. As it's the home of more than 2,000 pieces of art, you'll see everything from paintings by leading Irish artists to contemporary works by international icons such as Monet and Renoir. Francis Bacon is certainly one of Ireland's most famous artists and at the gallery you'll be able to explore his studio, allowing you not only to see his paintings, but also his personal possessions, including magazines, vinyl records and books.

Have a pint at Guinness Storehouse

Without a doubt, Guinness is one of Ireland's most famous exports and you can find out all about the ale's history by heading to the Guinness Storehouse in St James's Gate. As this is Ireland's most popular visitor attraction, it's a place that you won't want to miss.

Step inside and you'll get to find out everything there is to know about Guinness, from how the drink itself is made to the production behind its award-winning adverts - and you'll even get the chance to pour a pint of it yourself!

Reach the Gravity Bar that sits at the top of the structure and you can take in panoramic views across the entire city and have a few drinks. After all, it wouldn't be a trip to Ireland if you didn't have at least one Guinness. Once you've soaked up the vistas and finished your pint, head back down to the memorabilia shop for a few souvenirs of the craic you've had in Dublin!

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