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Why go?

Come St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed around the world, but the most fun will be had in Dublin. Ireland is firmly on its feet again after weathering a recession, and a four-day festival with more than 500,000 people enjoying the craic is a good way to celebrate. Big brands are again returning to shopping mecca Grafton Street, and anyone coming for the Six Nations rugby will find a city with a spring in its step.

What to do

Visit the well-loved Molly Malone statue in Suffolk Street. The ‘Tart with the cart’ or ‘Dish with the fish’ was moved from its original home in Grafton Street but is due to be returned there later this year. It’s where you’ll find high-street favourites alongside iconic stores like Brown Thomas http://brownthomas.com which opened in 1848. Just steps away, join the scholars and scribes at Trinity College http://tcd.ie whose wood-clad library dates back to 1592. The main draw is the Book of Kells, vividly displayed illustrated gospels that are believed to have been written in 800AD. Stroll to leafy St Stephen’s Green via Oscar Wilde’s childhood home in Merrion Square and Leinster House, home to the current parliament and inspiration for the White House. Be sure to visit the National Gallery of Ireland http://nationalgallery.ie to admire the works of Jack Butler Yeats and the National Museum of Ireland http://museum.ie for its archaeology and natural history displays. Leading lights of classical music make the National Concert Hall http://nch.ie a top destination. The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra has a packed programme that includes both Irish and international artists. And don’t miss a stroll through Moore Street market, where real-life Molly Malones still banter over fruit and vegetables.

Where to stay

A super-stylish place to lay your hat is The Merrion 00 353 1 603 0600, http://merrionhotel.com – actually four Georgian townhouses joined together just a stone’s throw from Leinster House. Rooms have a light and subtle colour scheme inspired by the brushstrokes of painter Paul Henry. However, many come just for the food: two-star Michelin Patrick Guilbaud and The Cellar Restaurant’s modern Irish. The Gibson Hotel 00 353 1 681 5000, http://thegibsonhotel.ie has views across to Dublin Port and a rooftop bar. Though it has competition from Bono in Temple Bar whose hotel The Clarence 00 353 1 407 0800, http://theclarence.ie has its own trendy watering hole. Superb-value Trinity Lodge 00 353 1 617 0900, http://trinitylodge.com is another Georgian gem.

Where to eat and drink

The pubs of the Temple Bar quarter are still alive and kicking. Nearby on Wellington Quay is less-touristy Bison Bar 00 353 86 056 3144, http://bisonbar.ie with its US-style comfort food, Japanese whiskies and hand-crafted cocktails. The Workmans Club 00 353 1 670 6692, http://theworkmansclub.com next door is a gig, theatre and comedy space with a lively bar. Dame Lane and South Great George’s Street is a nightlife hotspot. Great food is by no means second place here. Irish produce meets French flair at l’Gueuleton 00 353 1 675 3708, http://lgueuleton.com whose chef, Aoife Barker, trained at the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School. Try the ceviches and fideos (noodles) at contemporary Mexican restaurant 777 00 353 1 425 4052, 777.ie and work your way through the tequila list. At Chapter One 00 353 1 873 2266, http://chapteronerestaurant.com chef Ross Lewis furnishes his menu with cheeses, meats, fish and seafood from around the Emerald Isle. The best fish and chips in town is arguably Beshoff Bros 00 353 1 633 7956, http://beshoffbros.com whose founder Ivan Beshoff served on the battleship Potemkin before washing up on Dublin’s shores. But the biggest debate? For great Guinness, you can’t go wrong at Toner’s 00 353 1 676 3090, http://tonerspub.ie which is a wonderful old-time boozer with a proper pint of the black stuff.

Time running out?

James Joyce fans should take the train to Sandycove and visit the James Joyce Tower and Museum, the setting for the opening of Ulysses. http://jamesjoycetower.com

Map

Travel Information

Travel Information

Currency is the euro. Time is GMT and flight time is approximately one hour and 15 minutes from London. The cost to carbon-offset is £1.16. For more details visit http://climatecare.org

Getting There

Aer Lingus is the Republic of Ireland’s national carrier which runs flights from UK airports everyday. http://aerlingus.com
Ryanair also has daily flights from the UK to Dublin. http://ryanair.com

Resources

Visit Dublin is the official city tourist board website and is regularly updated with events and activities. http://visitdublin.com

Average daily temperatures and rainfall

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Max Temp88101215182011714108
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