Discover Dublin in all its glory

Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is a little over an hour’s flight from the UK making it an ideal destination for a weekend break. In this blog we have rounded up some highlights to choose from if the mood takes you to visit.

Phoenix Park
Did you know that Phoenix Park is Europe’s largest urban park with an area of 707 hectares making it double the size of New York’s Central Park. This area was originally priory lands and later became royal hunting grounds. Here you can visit the well renowned Dublin Zoo, which is the third oldest zoo in the world, or relax in the recreational areas and gardens with their conservatories and arboretum. The official residence of the Irish Republic is also situated in the Park’s grounds. The park is about 11 km in circumference and includes part of the Liffey valley.

Dublin Castle
Dating back to the early 1200’s, the castle is at the heart of historic Dublin, The City’s name comes from the Black Pool or ‘Dubh Linn’ which was sited where the present castle garden now grows. Prior to the days of the castle, the area was the site of an early Gaelic Ring fort and later a Viking fortress, part of which is on display to visitors.

The castle has had many modifications since it was built in the 1200’s. The building you will see today was still in use up until 1922 as the offices of the British Viceroy of Ireland. Today, it is used for ceremonial functions, such as the inauguration of the country’s president.

Oscar Wilde’s House
Situated on Merrion Square, all literary fans must visit Oscar Wilde’s house, which not only was the family home but is also an outstanding example of Georgian architecture. The residence of the Wilde family since 1855, the young Wilde lived here until 1876.

As well as being known for his eccentricities and bohemian lifestyle, the image of the young Wilde is of his hair in long flowing tresses and surrounding himself with beautiful things but he was a man of many talents.

A novelist, playwright, poet, and critic of note, his brilliance and wit won him many devotees. His best known plays include An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), are still popular today with their cleverly constructed plots and witty dialogue.

The ground and first floors of the house are open for guided tours and fees go towards the financing of further restoration.

Guinness Brewery
If you are a serious Guinness drinker you should check out one of Dublin’s greatest success stories. It was as far back as 1759 that Arthur Guinness took over a small disused brewery which he cannily leased for nine thousand years at £45 per year. When his first export shipment of Guinness left Dublin in 1769,he was on his way to untold riches.

From brewing ale, Arthur moved onto brewing porter, a dark beer containing roasted barley, which proved very popular among pubs in Ireland and elsewhere in Britain. Knowing he was onto a good thing, Arthur’s creative genius came up with another delight, ‘stout’ and ‘Guinness’ was born! Over seven million glasses are consumed each day throughout the world. Now the largest brewery in Europe and covering some sixty acres, Guinness is the largest exporter of beer in the world. So visit this huge brewery on Crane Street and whet your thirst – you are guaranteed to enjoy your afternoon pint with even more relish than usual. Check out www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/Index.aspx for further information.

Croke Park Stadium
For all sporting and music fans Croke Park Stadium is a place not to be missed with its fantastic atmosphere and a capacity of 82,300 people. 2009 will see something for everyone ranging from the Six Nations through to Take That in concert. So whatever you do in Dublin ensure you fit this into your itinerary! To find out more visit: www.crokepark.ie/.

Don’t forget your holiday insurance!
If this blog has inspired you to book a trip to Dublin, make sure you take out holiday insurance before you go. 24/7 travel insurance offers cover for a couple for 3 days from just £8.77*.

You can get an instant quote and immediate cover by going online to 24/7 travel insurance and if you arrange your cover as soon as you book your holiday you will be immediately protected should you need to cancel your trip.

Be protected wherever you travel with holiday insurance!

* Includes Insurance Premium Tax based on 2 adults aged under 55 taking out a ‘Standard’ Single Trip 24/7 travel insurance holiday insurance policy for 3 days in Europe and travelling within 14 days of purchase and excluding personal possessions cover. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (December 2008) and are subject to change.