It’s easy to love the laid-back Irish capital and, yes, the locals really are as friendly as you’ve heard. Large ships dock at Alexandra Quay, about a mile and a half from the city center. Your cruise line will probably offer a shuttle service into town, or you can grab a taxi at the pier. Tell your driver to take you to St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin's prettiest park and ground zero for great shopping and restaurants as well as the city’s most impressive Georgian architecture.
What We Love
Trinity College: Dublin’s famous university is home to the Book of Kells, an eighth-century illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament displayed at the Old Library.
Grafton Street: This pedestrian-only thoroughfare is lined with boutiques, department stores, and specialty shops, and it’s manned by street performers and sidewalk artists. The boys from U2 started out busking here as teens.
Best Known For
Guinness: Whatever you do, you can’t leave Dublin without tasting a pint of “the black stuff.” The tour at the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate is followed by a tasting in the glass-wrapped observation room, which offers a terrific, 360-degree view of the city from some 200 feet up.
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Who It's Best For
Pub Crawlers: A short walk from Grafton Street is the Temple Bar neighborhood, which is touristy (in a good way) and chockablock with historic bars, colorful pubs, stylish shops, and chic galleries.
Literary Buffs: Few other cities can boast four Nobel Prize winners and dozens of other scribes, novelists, and playwrights. All are honored in the Dublin Writers Museum on Parnell Square. Of the many watering holes with literary roots, the Palace Bar on Fleet Street was a favorite haunt of Flann O’Brien, Brendan Behan, and Patrick Kavanagh.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
The City Gets a Late Start on Sundays: Shops open at noon and pubs open at half past 12. So go ahead and sleep in.
Suzanne Rowan Kelleher is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for The Boston Globe.