Five Reasons To Visit Dublin

There's lots to see and do in this historic city

Shamrock-loving travellers will be raising a Guinness or three this June when WestJet’s first transatlantic services—from Toronto and St. John’s to Dublin—touch down on the Emerald Isle. Set along the banks of the River Liffey, the fun-loving Irish capital is one of Europe’s coolest cities. If you’re mulling a visit, here are five great reasons to start packing.  

Museums

The National Museum of Ireland’s Kildare Street site is a must—especially for its ancient jewelry and “bog body” exhibits. But smaller attractions abound, often colonizing the city’s handsome Georgian townhouses. Consider the quirky Little Museum of Dublin, the sumptuous Number 29 house museum and the brilliant Chester Beatty Library with its historic art and book collections.

Literary Pursuits

In the heart of Ireland’s most bookish city, visitors can hit the Dublin Writers Museum, tour the Oscar Wilde House and peer at the precious pages of Trinity College’s Book of Kells, a jaw-dropping 1,200-year-old illuminated manuscript. But it’s not all library-quiet musing: join the lively Literary Pub Crawl and you’ll be hopping bars where James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and W.B. Yeats once supped. 

Guinness

Ireland’s greatest liquid asset has been brewed in the city’s cobbled St. James’s Gate district since 1759. Admission to its seven-level Guinness Storehouse visitor centre—combining high-tech and museum-like exhibits—includes a perfectly poured pint in the top-floor bar, with panoramic views of the city. Fancy a chaser? You can also tour Dublin’s Old Jameson Distillery.

Shopping

Weave along jam-packed Grafton Street or Henry Street on a Saturday afternoon and you’ll see that Dubliners love to shop. Don’t miss South William Street’s Powerscourt Centre—a restored mansion filled with tempting boutiques—or the used book and vinyl vendors tucked into the clamorous George’s Street Arcade

Nightlife

While the pub-lined Temple Bar area lures visitors from every nation, locals prefer traditional haunts like Kehoe’s and Toners. It’s also hard to resist the charms of The Brazen Head, where storytelling, folk music and candlelit pub grub combine. Finally, if Dublin’s artsy side inspires, catch a play at the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s main stage.

Getting There: Starting June 15, WestJet flies to Dublin daily from Toronto via St. John's.