There are some things about Dublin every tourist knows about. Everybody’s heard of Phoenix Park, for instance. Most travelers know about the National Museum of Ireland, and there are plenty of notable hotels in Dublin that are worth checking out. But if you’re looking for something a little more out-of-the-way and special, read on to discover a few of Dublin’s best-kept secrets.
Along with Dalkey Hill, Killiney forms the southern boundary of Dublin Bay. This 153 meter hill towers over much of the area, providing scenic views of Dublin to the north and the Wicklow mountains to the south. On a clear day, you can even see Wales to the east. Be sure to check out the obelisk on the top of the hill, which could be mistaken for a church steeple. This area doesn’t cater to tourists like the rest of Dublin, but the Rochestown Hotel Lodge and Spa is nearby for travelers who need a rest away from the bustling city.
Located just near the five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel, Bewley’s Grafton Street Café is one of the most notable cafes in Dublin. In addition to serving a variety of coffees and teas, the venue also hosts lunchtime theater and evening music and comedy shows. But the real reason to come to Bewley’s is the decor. Its main room features high ceilings, sculptures, paintings, and stained glass by Harry Clarke, one of Ireland’s most notable artists.
Áras an Uachtaráin
Formerly called the Viceregal Lodge, Áras an Uachtaráin (pronounced AH-russ un WUKH-te-ran) is the official residence of the President of Ireland. Tucked away in Phoenix Park on the north side of the city, this home has 95 rooms, yet is renowned for not being as fancy as many other official residences in Europe — hard though it may be to believe! Show up on Saturday for a free tour.
Irish culture is famed for its traditional music, which isn’t a stodgy affair — it’s alive and kicking and a vital part of the youth culture. Natives will tell you that hearing it is a completely different experience when you listen in an Irish pub. Each night, anywhere between three and five musicians gather in a corner of a pub and perform, often without any kind of set list and with minimal preparation. There’s no extra charge for most performances, but if you love what you hear, be sure to buy the musicians a round of drinks to thank them for their hard work!