Written on: 02/02/2006 by PixieOfDoom (104 reviews written)
Easy to get around
The Guinness tastes better in Ireland
Loads to do for everyone
Very crowded full of tourists
Lots of stag and hen parties
Dublin is a fantastic place for a city break. It's cheap and easy to reach via either airplane or ferry and the centre is compact and well-serviced by buses manned by very friendly and helpful bus drivers so you can get yourself around quite easily.
Once there, there's a range of things to do. Dublin has nice parks, of particular interest may be Phoenix Park which used to house the British seat of government and its military presence and was the location of some grisly murders relating to the Irish bid for independence in the 19th century. There's a host of historical sites including the General Post Office which was the scene of the 1916 Easter Rebellion and still contains the bullet holes and Kilmainham Gaol which housed a host of famous prisoners including Eamon DeValera, Patrick Pearse and Joseph Connolly. I'd highly recommend the Kilmainham Gaol tour as it was very informative and interesting.
If history isn't your thing there's art galleries featuring the work of famous local artists such as Jack Yeats and loads of cultural events available such as watching a play at the Abbey Theatre.
One thing that is a must is a tour of the Guinness Brewery. First you learn all about how they make the drink, and then you get to sit in a glass-walled bar atop the factory drinking a free pint and looking out at a lovely view of the whole city. I would also recommend buying a ticket for one of the bus tours. It's hop on hop off for 24 hours and takes you all over the city so you can do pretty much all the tourist sites. Plus the drivers are not only well-informed but they sing and tell jokes as well and are very entertaining.
Once you've had your fill of tourist sites you can do a bit of shopping in town or find a pub or restaurant. There's a range of places, most of which are friendly and always buzzing. If you really want to do it local style, find yourself a pub with live music and order a pint of Guinness and settle in for the night or go on one of the pub crawls listed in various travel guides, taking you though all the best spots in the city. There are actually some organised ones you can join. One great thing I noticed about going out in Dublin is that people are far better behaved than in Britain. The bartenders have no qualms about refusing service to someone who has clearly had too much and they are friendly but forceful enough that it doesn't provoke anger or violence.
On the whole a weekend in Dublin is a nice relaxing affair which can be as lazy or as busy as you want and it will only be enhanced by the friendliness of the city's residents.