The city on the River Liffey is steeped in history and immortalized in poetry and song. If you’re in town on a short stint, this itinerary is sure to show what makes “Dublin’s fair city” so.
After arriving at the Dublin International Airport, check in to The Merrion, one of the city’s premier and historical luxury hotels. The property is on Merrion Square, just steps from shopping haven Grafton Street, boisterous Temple Bar and historical Trinity College. Note: Make sure to book one of the hotel’s 19 suites; if you are traveling with an entourage, we recommend The Merrion Penthouse, which provides both security and privacy in a 2,800-square-foot space split across two floors, with a separate 1,000-square-foot rooftop terrace.
Just a few blocks from the hotel is Trinity College, built by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. The campus is open to the public daily until midnight. Stroll through the cobblestone squares and many campus greens. Don’t forget to stop by the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript dating to around 800 A.D. It’s housed in the university’s Long Room. Tipple Tip: Stop by The Pavilion, the campus bar on the far side of the cricket pitch. If you’re lucky you can catch a game in progress while you sip on a frothy pint of Guinness.
|Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university.|
Up the street from Trinity College is the best of Dublin’s shopping. Grafton Street is one long stretch of red brick leading up to the city’s famously manicured park, St. Stephen’s Green. Your well-heeled clients would be remiss to skip this section of Dublin, which is lined with high-end shopping, cafés, pubs and, of course, the famous buskers. Note: Many of these street musicians have gone on to lead successful careers (think Glen Hansard, Damien Rice and Paddy Casey).
The lunch hour is a busy one in Dublin, as locals, tourists, businesspeople and the like flood the pubs for a pint and a hearty Irish meal. Contrary to popular belief, there is delectable dining to be had in Ireland. We recommend Porterhouse Central on Nassau Street, a microbrewery serving a fun twist on classic pub fare and dozens of craft beers on tap (try the Chiller!). Don’t forget to top off the meal with a traditional Irish coffee—the only way to beat the chilly Irish air.
Time for a little reprieve before heading out to explore Dublin’s nightlife. Head back to The Merrion’s Tethra Spa for a signature treatment and a nap. The spa services include beauty and body treatments as well as a steamroom and swimming pool.
Pampered and refreshed, it’s time to sport a chic ensemble (perhaps the one you purchased on Grafton Street) and hit the town. First stop should be the Octagon Bar at The Clarence Hotel—of U2 fame. The bar is famous for its cocktails and we hear the Clarence Blossom is a popular request; it’s a concoction of vodka, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, apple juice, lemon juice, vanilla syrup and layered Mûre blackberry liqueur.
After a few potable pleasures, we suggest crossing the River Liffey to its northern bank for dinner at The Church, a church-turned-restaurant, bar and club. The pork belly with scallion mash is the big winner here and the banoffee pie for dessert is a decadent choice. Cool Touch: Arthur Guinness (yes, that Guinness) was married on the premises in 1761, when it was known as St. Mary’s Church of Ireland.
|Octagon Bar at The Clarence Hotel is known to attract celebrities.|
It’s back to Dublin’s south side and over to Dame Lane, a small street tucked up behind the bustling Dame Street. Here hides the city’s beloved The Stag’s Head, a landmark Victorian pub with plump Chesterfield sofas and dimly lit rooms. On weekends, we suggest visiting the downstairs bar, with live traditional Irish music.
Many of Dublin’s pubs have their last call at midnight, but there are a handful of late-night bars in the area. After your fill at The Stag’s Head, make your way up the street to The Globe. Open until 2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday (and 1 a.m. on Sundays), this bar hosts a series of eclectic events on different nights of the week. We have danced until the wee hours there to a live DJ who spun alternative tunes while old Betty Boop cartoons flashed against the back wall!
If you’re still energized from Dublin’s frenetic night scene (and maybe feeling a bit peckish), visit Iskander’s Kebab House at 30 Dame Street. Throughout the night (and into the early morning) locals line up for fresh and delicious kebabs, wrapped in doughy bread and topped with hot chili and garlic sauce. This is sure to put you right to sleep!
Before leaving Dublin make sure to have a traditional Irish breakfast. The Merrion’s Cellar Restaurant offers a hearty (and elegant) Sunday brunch that is sure to kick that hangover in style.