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Dublin city centre lit up at sunset

Compare the best Dublin city breaks

Make friends and be merry in Ireland's capital on city breaks to Dublin, famous for its graceful squares and love of a good night out. But it's not all parties and the famous craic - there are museums, good shopping and, of course, sport to keep you busy on a city break to the Irish capital.

Why go?

Dublin is one of the most accessible cities from Britain, with flights from nearly 20 UK airports, and it offers great value... Read more

The narrow River Liffey divides the city into north and south, stretching from the shiny Docklands to the malty-whiffing brewery, next to the huge Guinness Storehouse museum.

The city centres on Trinity College and its huge grassy grounds, the birth place of Oscar Wilde. Don't miss the famous Book of Kells displayed in the College library.

On the south side, arty Temple Bar transforms at weekends when fun-loving party animals trip down its cobbled lanes. Close by, Dublin Castle towers over the city's historic centre.

Most of Dublin's best museums are clustered around elegant Merrion Square, such as the National Museum of Ireland. The main shopping area is on Grafton Street, but you'll find shops around the whole of the city centre, including Jervis Street with its shopping centre, and nearby Henry Street. Expect to find all the big names and department stores as well as lots of smaller quirky and specialist shops. It's far quieter shopping here than back in the mean streets of London and you are sure to find a bargain or two and some unique designs in clothing and home decoration. Look out for Temple Bar market and the Loft market for small stalls selling goods.

Getting into the city is easy from Dublin's airport. It's just over 30 minutes on the Airlink bus into the city or, taking slightly longer, the Aircoach stops at major Dublin hotels. The cheapest journey is by public Dublin Bus, taking one hour with frequent stops.

Once in town, getting around on weekend breaks in Dublin is easy. Walking is a good way to see much of the city centre as it's pretty compact, so wear comfortable walking shoes and take to the streets.

Alternatively, you could opt to travel by public transport. Be sure to pay the exact fare on boarding Dublin Buses, which have routes criss-crossing the city. The Luas light rail trams run from the centre out to the suburbs, and the speedy DART train nips from Connolly Station to Dublin's coastal areas.

When to go?

Find out what the weather is like in Dublin to ensure you pick the best time for your trip.

The weather in Dublin can be unpredictable; however temperatures in the summer can reach around 19 degrees. It's always wise to carry a brolly with you, but even if the skies do turn grey, there is so much to see and explore that you won't even notice!

What to do?

Dublin is packed with places to visit, things to do, and ways to spend your time on a city break. Here are some of the best... Read more

Nightlife: Start your night in a traditional bar with Victorian wood-panelled snugs, the perfect place to enjoy Dublin's very own Guinness. Make sure you pick one with a live Irish music session, when the whole bar stomps its feet to the sounds of the fiddle, pennywhistle and bodhrán hand-drum.

Active types:
Hire a bicycle to peddle through the 700-hectare Phoenix Park, Europe's largest urban park. Cycle past local rugby matches, and look for deer roaming the lush fields.

Shopping:
Fancy browsing creamy Belleek ceramics, Celtic Claddagh rings or top Irish designer gear? Find your favourite Dublin souvenir in specialist stores on Nassau Street.

Families: Kids will squeal at animatronic Frankenstein, the highlight of the Chamber of Horrors in the basement of the National Wax Museum. Upstairs, waxworks of great Irish writers “'speak” at the push of a button.

Romance:
Stroll hand-in-hand through peaceful Iveagh Gardens on weekend breaks in Dublin, where crumbling statues dot the ivy-clad pathways. Bring a picnic and enjoy one of Dublin's best-kept secrets.

What's on?

Dubliners really know how to throw a party, so get involved and join in the fun!

Temple Bar Tradfest; January: Ireland's traditional music scene is the heartbeat of the country and this four-day event will treat visitors to street performances and markets, music and dance workshops, outdoor stages and ceilis, and much more.

St Patrick's Day; March 17: The birthplace of the feast day that is now celebrated across the world, St Patrick's Day is a big event on the Irish calendar. Dublin sees three days of celebrations, including a parade, comedy, poetry readings, walking tours and music.

Dublin Writers Festival; May: Dublin has produced some literary greats such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, and this annual festival gathers together writers from across the world. You can get involved in workshops, readings and performances.