The metropolitan capital of Ireland contains multitudes. For the partying crowd, it's a legendary drinking destination fueled by a perfectly poured Guinness. History buffs will find much to admire in the architecture and its prestigious museums (bog bodies included). Writers? There's a whole museum dedicated to the creative art and the country's literary luminaries. And for those with a camera in hand, Dublin is practically Instagram heaven. For the perfect shot to remember your trip by (and to just, you know, have a fabulous time) make sure to hit these gorgeous spots.
This five-star hotel has been making Dubliners and visitors alike feel like royalty since 1824. Step into mint green lobby and you'll be torn as to which room to explore first—we say go with the luxe spa or the most intimate of the property's watering holes: the 1824 Bar. Between the classical paintings and velvety couches, you'll think you've fallen through time and landed in first class on the Titanic—minus the imminent danger. And their legendary afternoon tea is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach: technicolor sweets, scones, and traditional tea sandwiches are piled atop a three-tiered plate making for a decedent spread, all to be consumed in the property's elegant tea room.
Tourists flock to the Temple Bar neighborhood for the craic (Irish slang for a good time). The area overflows with live music, classic pubs, takeaway stands, and souvenir shops. An enormous red pub, which shares the neighborhood's name, marks the beginning of Dublin's party capital. In the summer the building is turned into a floral display, but it's also particularly photogenic during the holidays, when ornaments and twinkle lights adorn the entire exterior.
Trinity College Library
This bibliophile's dream serves Trinity College and the University of Dublin, and it's expansive. But you're looking for its most beautiful and prolific arm, the aptly named Long Room. Petite spiral staircases and busts of philosophers and writers line the shelves, which are packed with books that are hundreds of years old (the room itself was constructed in the early 1700s). While visitors can't touch the literature, they can peruse the center aisle, which provides ample views of the stacks and their precious contents.
Vintage Cocktail Club
You'll need to keep a sharp eye out for this speakeasy, which is tucked amongst fish and chips shops and pubs in bustling Temple Bar. Ring the bell next to the nondescript door simply marked 'V.C.C.,' and a host will come collect you to bring you to one of the whimsical rooms. While the whole place will make you feel like you've been transported to the 1920s, the terrace is by far the most on the nose. Request a seat in the corner to get a good shot of the candy-striped walls, ornate bar, and framed dog portraits that hang along the back wall. And make a reservation—you won't be the only one eager to get inside.
St. Stephen's Green
The park has been open to the public since 1880, and it's remained the city's favorite—and most photogenic—slice of nature ever since. Enter at Fusiliers Arch by famous shopping area Grafton Street, and make your way over to recline at the fountain inspired by the Three Fates.
Christ's Church Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral may be more well known, but this church's gothic architecture makes it the most gorgeous in Dublin. The towering spires and stained-glass windows cast magical shadows at sundown, so capture some photos inside the structure and on its grounds before you head to the pub.
The Long Hall
It doesn't get much more photo-friendly than this Victorian-era pub: the narrow but roomy bar is adorned with stained glass and rich wood, deep red leather stools, ornate taps, and a grandfather clock that will make you question your own taste in home decor. Just don't leave without ordering a Guinness.
The Reading Room at the National Library of Ireland
Yep, it's another library, but with a totally different vibe—and purpose. The robin's egg-hued ceiling is a sight to behold (and capture), and the space isn't just for show: Those looking to trace the history of their families can do so via the records inside.
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