Dublin's main attractions stem from its rich history and architecture, some of which goes back as far as the Viking era. During the summer, getting involved in outdoor activities is a good way to see the city at its best, as well as getting a look at places slightly outside the city centre/beaten track in areas like the Docklands and the Phoenix Park. Head to tourist favorite, the Guinness Brewery, to take a pint in the Sky Bar while overlooking the entire city in 360 degrees.
Take It or Leave It:
If the weather is inclement, as it tends to be, then opt for some of the great free museums and galleries in the city centre.
For an inexpensive scenic tour, take the DART commuter train to either end of the line and take in the seaside scenery.
Hotels in Dublin are spread throughout the city and suburbs and choosing your own will depend largely on what you want to concentrate on. If being within walking distance of the city centre is important, then choosing one of the hotels or guesthouses in Donnybrook or Ballsbridge is the best way forward. If you're a little less concerned with proximity, head for scenic Dún Laoghaire or Sandymount to get your sea view.
Driving if you're staying in the city centre and plan to remain there for the duration of your trip.
Dublin's vibrant restaurant scene is concentrated mainly in the city centre where you'll find a plethora of ethnic and Irish cuisines around every corner. Going a little further out, there are some great restaurants in Portobello and Ranelagh and, if seafood is your passion, you'll find some fantastic restaurants in Dalkey, Howth and Blackrock.
Temple Bar for food; it mostly contains tourist traps.
Dublin's nightlife has a long tradition of tending towards bustling pubs rather than clubs, but there are several excellent music venues that play host to a range of international bands and DJs. For a good pint of Guinness, there are plenty of classic Irish pubs in the Grafton Street area that have managed to remain fairly authentic. For late night music, head to the quays with The Workman's Club, The Grand Social and The Twisted Pepper on Middle Abbey Street.
Off-licences close at 10 pm and clubs are shut by 3 am.
Hen parties in Temple Bar and opt instead for some of the old pubs on Duke Street or Baggot Street.
While Dublin features all the usual high street shopping haunts that you'll find in any European capital city, there are also plenty of unique independent retailers that have great stuff on offer. Music lovers will enjoy Elastic Witch in The Twisted Pepper, fans of good design should check out Designist on South Great George's Street while fashionistas/istos should head to Indigo and Cloth in Temple Bar or the Powerscourt Town Centre for some great Irish designers.
Hit Dún Laoghaire's People's Park or Temple Bar's Meeting House Square for an amazing farmer's market at the weekends.
Best Local Souvenir:
The Pen Corner has some beautiful, one-of-a-kind stationery that will last a lifetime.