When visiting a city there is always so much to see and do that we often have to choose what to do and what to leave out. The hop on hop off bus is excellent for bringing you around to all the better known spots but there are always a few that get overlooked. The city sightseeing blue route has been extended and now takes in Glasnevin Cemetry. This is one of my most recommended places to visit. The cemetery dates back to 1832 and is still a working cemetery. It is the burial place of many historical figures including all the 1916 revolutionaries. There is a tower which is the last resting place of Daniel O Connell and much more to see and learn. To get the most out of this place I would suggest doing the guided tour, the guides are passionate and informative and I guarantee a fantastic experience. With prices starting at €6 it’s a bargain! To learn how the body snatchers operated in this cemetery you could do the gravedigger tour which runs every evening from College Green.
You can access the Botanic gardens from Glasnevin Cemetry. This is my favourite park in Dublin, The layout of the grounds is perfect and you get to explore many diverse gardens from rose gardens to vegetable wall gardens. There is a huge selection of trees from all around the world well placed to enhance the scenery. There are also 5 themed glass houses with spectacular plants and flowers replicating conditions around the world. This is the perfect place to spend a few hours on a sunny day in Dublin. Ps children love it!!
There is a special place in the heart of Dublin which isn’t known by everybody and which I believe is one of the most interesting places to visit, the“Science Gallery”. This is a cross between a museum and a Gallery with interactive exhibitions on interesting topics. It is constantly changing its imaginative content. If you are in Dublin on your own or with a family this is a great place to spend a few hours. To tie in with this theme of Science if you are in Dublin July 23rd to 26th make sure to check out some of the events many of them free being run by the festival of curiosity. If you love Science then you should also visit Birr Castle. Birr castle is home to a very unique Science exhibition and home to what was the largest telescope in the world in the 19th Century.
There are many museums around Dublin and I love my history so I recommend them all. The main museums the natural history, the national museum and Collins’ Barracks are all well known and a great way to spend a day. There are however a few smaller independent museums that give you something different. The little museum of Dublin on Stephens green is well worth a visit. Even though it is small it has many great artefacts and a guided tour is the best way to experience it. Another new and interesting independent museum is the Irish Whiskey museum. It does exactly what it says through a 45 minute walking tour you learn the interesting story of Irish whiskey, its creation, Its rise to glory and its collapse and then finish with a generous whiskey tasting.
The last thing I will recommend are a few traditional Irish music venues. Temple bar is great and there is definitely some quality music but sometimes it is good to get off the beaten track. For people in the know the Coblestone in Smithfield is thought to be the best place to hear the best trad in Dublin. I also recommend the Royal Oak in Kilmainham. This bar gives new meaning to the word cosy if you want a seat be ready to sit on someone’s lap but the music is great! There is also a really good group of musicians who play in Mother Reillys in Rathmines on a Thursday night.
Hopefully my top tips will enhance your visit to Ireland and you will have a visit of a lifetime.