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20 Things Women Should Know About Dublin, Ireland
Fiona Hillard is a well-known travel writer based in Dublin, Ireland, where she authors her travel blog, Travel Edits.

We asked Fiona to advise our readership on the best ways to enjoy the Irish capital from a woman's point of view. She writes...


Female-friendly accomodations ...
Kelly's Hotel South Great Georges St/Fade Street. Reasonably-priced boutique hotels with great locations are hard to come by in any city which is why this is such an excellent Dublin find. Kelly's Hotel is situated in one of the city's trediest areas, The Creative Quarter, so-called because of its close proximity to Dublin's coolest restaurants, bars and boutiques. Look out for special offers on their website: www.kellysdublin.com

Suzy Guese, a travel writer from Denver, Colorado visited Dublin recently and told me about Number 31 Dublin. This charming B&B/guesthouse is located in a former architect's h ouse and the building itself is considered to be one of Dublin's hidden architectural gems. Their website is www.number31.com

The Times Hostel on College Street is one of Dublin's most popular hostel locations, probably due in most part to its excellent location which is within easy reach of Trinity College, Temple bar and Grafton Street. Click here.

Best breakfast in town ...
The Bakehouse on Bachelor's Walk is one of the latest fun, value for money eateries cropping up around town. Although only a recent addition to the early morning Dublin scene, their breakfasts have already attracted a loyal following. This is due not only to the huge portions but also the traditional Irish recipes and gorgeous freshly baked bread that accompanies most dishes. Address: 6 Bachelor's Walk. Website: www.the-backhouse.ie

 

Lovely lunches in Dublin...
Depending on appetite levels, there are plenty of options to choose from including light tapas, hearty traditional dishes or a modern take on just about any internaional cuisine. As it happens, all of my lunchtime recommendations begin with the letter 'P'! The Porthouse on a 64a South William Street (great tapas and wine), The Pig's Ear on 4 Nassau Street (traditional Irish with a twist), The Pepperpot in Powerscourt Townhouse, S. William Street(lovely vegetarian options) are always good, but my favourite is Pichet which is located on Andrew's Lane. This award-winning bistro offers great value for money - their delicious lunch menu offers 2 courses for 20 euro or three courses for 25 euros.

 

Interesting places to have tea ...
Ireland is a nation of tea-lovers and nowhere is this more apparent than in the cafés of the capital.

Specialist tea shops include Clement and Pekoe on 50 South William Street, Wall & Keogh organic teas on 45 South Richmond Street and Bewley's flagship café on 78/79 Grafton Street.

For a special occasion, try the Afternoon Tea in the lavish surroundings of the Merrion Hotel.

 

Must see attractions...
Dublin does not have an Eiffel Tower or a coliseum. There isn't one standout landmark that everybody has got to photograph to prove they've been here. In Dublin it's more about the atmosphere on the streets, the banter in the pubs and the warmth of the locals. In saying this however, there are several places that are well worth including on a 'must do' list. The Guinness Storehouse is consistently voted Dublin's top tourist attraction. Although a little on the pricey side, it's a special experience to sink a pint of the black stuff while looking out over the whole of Dublin from the lofty heights of the Storehouse's Gravity Bar.

To make up for the money you've splashed out on the Guinness tour, take advantage of the free entry to Dublin's main museums and galleries.  Both the National Museum of Ireland and the National Gallery offer free admission and are definitely worth a few hours of your time. If you visit The National Gallery, it's worth making an effort to see "Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs" by Frederic William Burton. This romantic portrait was recently voted Ireland's favourite painting. You may have to queue to view it however as it is only open to the public for 3 hours a week due to the fragility of the canvass.

A guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol is another excellent way to get to know Dublin's dramatic history. Apart from the Ha'penny Bridge, the Spire on Dublin's O' Connell St is probably the closest we get to any sort of landmark monument. If you're looking to capture the full magnitude of the "Monument of Light" it's best to take your photographs from Henry Street or O' Connell Bridge.

 

Irish specialities and souveniers...
Head to Celtic Note music shop on Nassau St and take home an audio souvenir of all that lovely folk and trad music you've been listening to in Dublin. 

The majority of the high-end Irish speciality shops are located on this street including Kilkenny and House of Ireland - more Waterford Crystal and Donegal tweed than you can shake a leprechaun at!

 

 

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