An alternative tour guide to Dublin

by Laurene Mondet
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While there are plenty of great attractions in Dublin, you may have seen it all before. But if you want to discover something different, here is our selection of unusual attractions to see on your leading city break in Ireland.

You can also find our alternative tour guide to Madrid here.

Marsh’s Library

This library, built in 1701, was the first public one of its kind in Ireland and is still used for the same purpose. Many of the collections are kept on the shelves allocated to them by the first librarian, three hundred years ago, when the library opened. The elegant interior consists of beautiful dark oak bookcases containing many old and valuable books on religion, medicine, law, science, mathematics and music because these were the areas people were most interested back them. Visit Marsh’s Library and travel back in time on your luxury heritage getaway in Dublin.

The Church

The beautifully restored former Saint Mary’s Church is arguably Dublin’s most unique bar and restaurant. No trip to the city centre is complete without a visit there. Enjoy the beauty of the stained glass window and the original Renatus Harris built organ or visit the burial crypts in the basement to realise why the Church has established itself as a “must see” destination for visitors. The Church has five different settings over four floors and offers world class cocktails, casual dining and live Irish music on your special heritage break in Dublin.

La Peniche

La Peniche is Dublin’s only floating restaurant. The barge is usually moored on the Grand Canal, but each day there are two evening cruises at 6pm and 9pm. During your time on board you will learn more about the history of Guinness and Dublin’s Grand Canal. The food served is French and Italian and as many ingredients as possible are organic, including some of the wines. Don’t forget to book in advance if you want to experience the most amazing night out on your luxury romantic break in Dublin.

GAA Museum

The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting and cultural organisation. Its museum offers an interactive guide to the origins, development and expansion of the unique Irish games of Gaelic football, hurling, handball and camogie. It boasts a vast collection of artefacts including jerseys, trophies, medals, programmes, publications and banners which illustrate the development of Gaelic Games.

Old Jameson Distillery

An exciting experience, the Old Jameson Distillery tour covers the true spirit of Ireland. Originally built in 1780, this distillery was once considered one of the largest and finest in the world. No distilling takes place there anymore but it is an excellent way to understand the hows and whys of whiskey making. Every step of the distilling process has been recreated, from malting and storing barley, to mashing and fermentation, through to distilling and maturation. Complete your journey with a visit to the bar where you can enjoy the ultimate whiskey tasting experience on your special gastronomy break in Dublin.

Loft Market

The Loft Market is a unique shopping experience providing an exciting snapshot of Dublin's creative scene bringing together artists, fashion designers, makers of contemporary jewellery, lifestyle products and more. Many of the designers have already won awards for their work so the loft market is sure to be the place to find the next big thing. You can also find plenty of vintage items in this shopping paradise on your luxury art and design getaway in Dublin.

The National Wax Museum “Plus”

Whether you are young or old, a culture vulture or fun seeker, this museum is the ultimate entertainment experience for all. Housed over four floors in an historic building, the National Wax Museum “Plus” is an outstanding attraction and deliver an interactive exhibition. It takes you through Irish cultural heritage, an enchanting children's zone of discovery and Ireland's only dedicated tribute to top scientific inventors.

Dublin Writers Museum

Ireland is world renowned for its great literary tradition. Wilde, Beckett, Joyce, Shaw and Swift are some of the many writers who have traversed the streets of Dublin. Situated in a magnificent 18th century mansion in the north city centre, the collection features the lives and works of Dublin's literary celebrities over the past three hundred years. This museum is an essential visit for anyone who wants to discover, explore or simply enjoy the country's immense literary heritage on their special city break in Dublin.

Where to stay?

The Sandymount Hotel boasts a modern environment and is ideally situated in the heart of the city. With many of Dublin's famous attractions within easy walking distance, this hotel is the perfect place to experience a leading weekend holiday in Ireland.

If you are planning a trip to Italy, here is our alternative tour guide to Rome.

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A destination for every age… - by Laurene Mondet