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10 reasons to love Dublin

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Just saying this city’s name conjures up rich images of history, rolling green hills, spellbinding city lanes, and endless pints of Guinness. On the east coast of the country, Ireland’s capital city is an extremely popular getaway in Europe, and it’s no wonder. Here are ten reasons to love Dublin.

1. History

Talk about amazing beginnings! Dublin is a medieval city that was first settled by the Vikings. Just walking through its historic streets is enough to set your mind free to weave tales about what secrets the stones hold. For a more close up history lesson, head over to the Natural Museum of Ireland to discover bog bodies (thought to have been sacrificed), Viking skeletons, and gorgeous Bronze and Iron age Celtic jewelry.

2. The Irish

Those wide smiles, crinkly eyes, and tall tales. Travelers to other countries may tell of the “friendly locals” who live there, but until you’ve experienced the Irish in their homeland you don’t know what friendly means. In short: Dubliners are a delight.

3. The music

Guys, traditional Irish music is guaranteed to get you in the heartstrings even if you’re not ready for it. With a rich history, talent, and lyrics to match, a trip to Dublin is simply not complete until you’ve spent a long evening curled up, listening to the locals play on into the small hours. You may even tear up—but that’s part of the fun, after all!

4. No car needed

Forget the car or hailing a cab. In Dublin, your feet are all you need. Hop online and you’ll find pages of free guided walking tours covering general interest to literary, history, or pub-theme. Not a fan of fussing around with maps and notebooks? You can even find podcast walking tours of Dublin. Pack light: The city is absolutely filled with cafes, restaurants, and pubs to replenish your energy while walking, which brings us to…

5. Guinness

There are many theories as to why Guinness just seems to taste better in Ireland. It seems to be down to popularity: Local pubs go through barrels faster, so the brew is always super fresh and tap lines are always squeaky clean (a Guinness representative will see to that). Plus, a Dubliner will know exactly how to serve the black stuff. There’s an elaborate dance between the ideal temperature, glass type, and those leisurely 120 seconds for it to “surge” and create the perfect foamy top.

6. Growing food scene

Didn’t imagine “Dublin” and “gourmet” in the same sentence? Time to change your thinking! Thanks to an increasing appreciation for the area’s natural produce (think oysters, scallops, prawns, farm-to-table meats, country cheeses) and traditional fare (try soda bread with butter, “boxty” potato pancakes, or black and white pudding) there’s a growing food scene in Dublin. From candle-lit taverns to swanky restaurants, this city has its fingers in every pie.

7. Irish butter

Oh wow, it’s just so…buttery. It’s almost a mistake to try Irish butter as doing so makes regular butter seem like the taste has faded away. Has it got to do with the super green, year round plump grass the cows are fed on? What’s certain is you’ll forever be looking for Irish brands in the dairy section of your supermarket from this point on. (Just so you know!)

8. See puffins

Really! Take a ferry to Ireland’s Eye, an island off Howth. Alongside puffins (though we know you went especially for them) you’ll see gray seals and a multitude of seabirds, such as guillemots, razorbills, and cormorants.

9. Bliss out by the sea

In Dublin, the sea is never far away. Swapping the city for the coast is as easy as jumping on a DART train and letting your mind wander away as you travel this 53-kilometer scenic route linking coastal towns. Hop off to explore the fishing village and cliff walks at Howth, port town Dún Laoghaire, seafront hike to Killiney Hill, resort town Dalkey, the harbor at Sandycove, or Bay Side beach—where we dare you to resist collecting the beautiful seashells that dot its beaches.

10. Trek the Wicklow Way

Hiking fans will want to lace up their boots when Dublin. After all, the city is the starting point of the Wicklow Way, a 131 kilometers, self-guided wilderness trail. Taking around 5 to 7 days, the path passes through mountain paths, country roads and hills, boreens (old, narrow country lanes) forests, lakes, monastic sites, and ruins, ending in Clonegal. Want to trek the Wicklow Way? Come prepared with waterproof gear—you never know what weather this part of Ireland will bring!