High-End Highlights In Dublin, Ireland
Dublin can rightly be called one of the more alluring and interesting capitals in Europe. And yet, tourist activities in town are too often boiled down to sightseeing and touring the famous bars and distilleries. There’s absolutely no problem with taking this approach to a visit. There’s a lot to see in Dublin, and it is the capital of a country famous for both its beer and its whiskey. Sightseeing, bars, and distilleries can all be part of a very authentic and enjoyable experience. But boiling things down this way also leaves the impression that dingy local bars are about the extent of what a stay in Dublin entails, and that’s not the case at all.
To counter that image, we’re highlighting a few of the nicer and more high-end experiences you can have in town.
There are actually a lot of sensational luxury accommodations in Dublin. Five Star Alliance, a fairly reliable resource in this regard, lists 22 of them in and around the city proper. We’re highlighting two of them in particular, beginning with The Westbury. It’s an elegant 5-star hotel with particularly beautiful public spaces, as well as its own restaurants, a bar called The Sidecar, and a charmed area for afternoon tea. It would be hard to call any of the hotels in the area “quintessentially Dublin” given that they’re all different, but The Westbury has everything you’d want of a nice establishment in the UK or Ireland.
The Conrad Dublin hotel is an interesting alternative to The Westbury. From the outside it looks almost like some of the nicer hotels you might stumble across in a place like New York City or Chicago. On the inside, however, it’s a little bit less hotel-like than The Westbury, with rooms and suites that almost resemble condo spaces. Chic restaurants and bars are on site, as well as yes, again, an afternoon tea spot. And the hotel also has a relationship with the Royal Dublin Golf Club.
Trinity College Library
Trinity College Library doesn’t afford you something to “do” necessarily, but it’s certainly one of the more refined and beautiful highlights in town. An actual functioning library at Trinity College, it’s about as incredible a room as you’ll find in all of Europe. That might sound a little melodramatic, but if you research it for a few moments you’ll get the idea.
The Card Club
Other cities and countries around Europe have traditional casinos with which to tempt visitors. And there’s also a thriving online gaming culture in the same places, with arcade casino games and slots having become popular in Ireland. But in Dublin, you can bypass the bells and whistles of loud casinos and online slots and visit The Card Club, or the Fitzwilliam Card Club, if you like to game. While it’s fairly small, this is a chic, classy card gaming venue that just feels a little more high-end than the average gaudy casino.
The Blind Pig
While we maintain that you can do better in Dublin that falling into the same old pub crawl or distillery tour, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid bars altogether. And there are plenty of very nice cocktail bars to check out around town. We’re highlighting The Blind Pig, a gorgeous little spot that’s been labeled Dublin’s best-kept secret. If you can picture a stone tunnel that’s been turned into a classy speakeasy, you’ve got the idea. Food and drink alike are excellent, and the atmosphere is intoxicating.
Dublin is known for its theatre scene, and there are several venues to choose from. The truth of the matter is that where you go might depend on the show calendars, and you can always make a classy evening out of a night at the theatre. That said, if you have your pick, Olympia Theatre is perhaps the most traditionally beautiful one in town. First opened in 1879 and now used primarily for music, t remains a grand place to see a show of any kind. You’ll feel like royalty.