"YOUR SAY" ; Dublin Top tips, recommendations and travel advice for Telegraph readers by Telegraph readers [Sunday Telegraph (UK)]
(Sunday Telegraph (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THE BLACK STUFF
I love Dublin's atmosphere - there is a such a lively feel to the city. Make a beeline for the local bars and try some Irish stew. The one place I would definitely visit is the Guinness Storehouse (00353 1 408 4800; www.guinnessstorehouse.com). It is a fascinating and fun place and you get a pint at the end of the tour - it tastes even better than usual.
Lisa Jackson, Durham
INTO THE SPIRIT
Dublin in a weekend was a challenge, but we met it head-on. The No 347 bus from the airport was cheap and efficient, the journey enlivened by the loquacious driver. Self-catering in the St Augustine's Apartments (677 6600; www.augustineapartments.com) near Oliver Bond Street proved extremely comfortable and reasonable - Dublin is not cheap.
We dined excellently, enjoyed great entertainment and good company at the Brazen Head (679 5188; www.brazenhead.com), just around the corner. It's apparently Dublin's oldest pub. A day trip to Powerscourt House (204 6000; www.powerscourt.ie) on Sunday was equally enjoyable. The bus-ride, house and gardens are great value.
Linda Pinkney, East Sussex
IN THE KNOW
Dublin is flat enough to rent a bicycle for an easy way to see the city. Cycling around the fine Georgian streets, and places such as the Trinity campus, allows you to see the city as a local. Even a more distant suburb such as Ballyfermot, for some traditional fish and chips, is easily reached and you will deepen your understanding of Dublin.
Jack Hardy, Yorkshire
FREE FOR ALL
Dublin is a great place to explore. My children find it great fun to spot the statue and I list but a few: "The Tart with the Cart" (Molly Malone), "The Ace with the Bass" (Phil Lynott) and "The Stiletto in the Ghetto" (The Spire of Dublin), which stands in O'Connell Street. Incidentally, this is one of the widest thoroughfares in Europe and the bridge over the Liffey is the only one in Europe whose width is greater than its length. We also recommend Farmleigh House (815 5900; www.farmleigh.ie) in Phoenix Park, which is free to visit - and there's a guided tour thrown in. Bought from the Guinness family by the Irish government, it has a lovely garden which is ideal for a picnic. A great day with not a penny spent!
Lorna Banks, Hampshire
One of the best times to visit Dublin is when there's an important Irish sporting event on - such as the All-Ireland Hurling Final on the second Sunday in September. The bars all have a much more Irish feel then and the singing is heartfelt rather than aimed at visitors.
You'll find it impossible to have a night out down Temple Bar without collecting the life stories of at least half a dozen local characters.
A great place to eat is the unpretentious Mermaid Cafe (670 8236; www.mermaid.ie) on Dame Street, at the corner of Temple Bar. The menu describes itself as "France meets the East Coast".
Mandy Huggins, West Yorkshire
Brooks Hotel (670 4000; www.brookshotel.ie) in Drury Street is a good central base and Conor, the superb concierge, will guide you.
Your first sightseeing stop should be the National Gallery (661 5133; www.nationalgallery.ie) on Merrion Square, where Caravaggio's The Taking of Christ is mesmerising. A hearty walk to Parnell Square is rewarded with the (Francis) Bacon Studio in the Hugh Lane Gallery (222 5558; www.hughlane.ie). As for restaurants, L'Gueuleton (675 3708; www.lgueuleton.com) on Fade is very good; or head for brunch at the Lennox Cafe (478 9966; www.lennoxcafe.ie) on Lennox Street. Then walk along the Grand Canal, returning through the magic of Georgian Dublin. The LUAS tram is cheap and effective and takes you to Harvey Nichols at Dundrum for EUR 3.60/Pounds 3 return.
Ian Elliott, Belfast
TAKE IT EASY
Dublin is not to be rushed - leave plenty of reasons to return. The Grafton Capital Hotel (848 1221; www.graftoncapitalhotel.com) in Lower Stephen Street is a good base - just a few steps from the top end of Grafton Street, close to St Stephens Green and within easy walking distance of several major landmarks and some of the best shopping, eating and drinking venues in the city.
Breakfast in Bewleys Cafe (www.bewleys.com) in Grafton Street, then visit Trinity College (896 1000; www.tcd.ie) or take a "Hop on, hop off" bus tour before lunch at O'Neill's (679 3656; www.oneillsbar.com) at 2 Suffolk Street. Across the road is Salamanca (671 9308; www.salamanca.ie), an excellent tapas bar and Spanish restaurant.
Jean Gardiner, Stratford on Avon
GO STRAIGHT TO GAOL
Kilmainham Gaol (453 5984; www.heritageireland.ie) might not spring to mind as one of your must-visit attractions, but the 18th- century prison was home to some of the most famous names in Ireland's fight for independence during the Easter Rising of 1916. A guided tour brings to life the depressing and sometimes short stay of the prison's inmates. Its impressive Victorian architecture has made it an ideal set for films such as The Italian Job, In the Name of the Father and The Escapist.
Fiona Trowbridge, Isle of Wight
ON THE BUSES
Buy a Dublin Bus Rambler ticket (one, three or five day) before arriving in Dublin (www.dublinbus.ie) and then tackle some of these "hidden gems": Route 78 for Kilmainham Gaol (see above) and The Patriots Inn (679 9595; www.patriotsinn.com); Route 42 toMalahide, a fishing village to the north with great pubs - try John Gibney's (www.barrygibney.com); Route 31 to Howth Summit - alight at Howth railway station for the town or stay on to the summit; Route 44: Enniskerry and The Powerscourt Estate, good for country walks. and Route 40 to the Glasnevin Cemetery: then find Dublin's finest example an Irish pub, John Kavanagh's, known as The Gravediggers in Prospect Square.
Anne Coghlan, Lancashire
We stayed at Harding Hotel (679 6500; www.hardinghotel.ie), overlooking Christchurch Cathedral. After seeing the Book of Kells at Trinity Library, we discovered the wonderful and recommended Chester Beatty Library (407 0750; www.cbl.ie) in Dublin Castle.The library has a collection of Christian and Oriental artistic treasures, illuminated manuscripts, books, videos of calligraphy, bookbinding, gold-leaf chasing and woodblock prints, Korans and intricate jewelled boxes and carrying cases. It was unforgettable and offered so much that was fascinating.
Marion Sweet, Kent
JUST THE TICKET
I would recommend buying a ticket for the Dart railway (703 3504; www.dublin.ie/transport) which runs round Dublin Bay. The views from the train are spectacular, especially in the evening as the lights all come on.
Elizabeth Day, Hertfordshire
WHAT TO AVOID
PINTS ALL ROUND
Women drinkers: don't be shy of ordering a pint because a half costs about two thirds the price of a pint. When I asked a barman why a half measure didn't cost half the price, his reply was "Who would want one?"
Lois McGill, Derbyshire
When we visited, buses didn't appear to be on a timetable into the night (past around 11.30pm) or were in short supply - something to bear in mind if you're planning a night out. However, trams are also very quick and convenient.
Emma Peat, address withheld
You may feel the urge to visit the touristy Temple Bar, but generally it is to be avoided.
Clare Reilly, London
ON THE TILES
Be aware that the city is popular with stag and hen parties. Also if rugby isn't your thing, avoid visiting at weekends when Ireland is involved in the Six Nations.
Fiona Thompson, Sussex
COUNTING THE COST
At Pounds 30, we thought our airport taxi was daylight robbery until we realised how expensive Dublin has become. I know other European cities, such as London, Paris and Rome, are more expensive but because most of what Dublin has to offer involves paying an admission fee or buying food or drink, you notice how quickly the euros are slipping through your fingers.
M S Mercer, Shropshire
THIS WEEK'S WINNING REVIEW
My recommendations begin with a plea - leave yourself time to wander and enjoy the atmosphere that is part of Dublin's charm. Then concentrate on the area around Grafton Street and enjoy the buskers and flower-sellers, as well as shopping in Brown Thomas department store.
Turn left at the Molly Malone statue and lunch in the Avoca restaurant (11-13 Suffolk Street; 677 4215). A walk through Front Square of Trinity College (maybe stopping to see the Book of Kells) will take you to Nassau Street and the National Gallery. Take your children to the Natural History Museum (677 7444; www.museum.ie), or feed the ducks in St Stephen's Green.
Enjoy a pint in Bailey's literary pub in Duke Street. Finally, in the evening take a taxi across the Liffey to the excellent Winding Stair restaurant (872 7320; www.winding-stair.com) on Ormond Quay.
Margaret Leeson, Dublin
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