Social Activities

Thursday 23 May: Welcome reception

Friday 24 May:
Night Gathering at Café en Seine

Saturday 25 May: Dublin Uncovered: Free City Tour at 11:30am. For book in, contact Cristian at lacitour@gmail.com HERE


1. Pubs and Nightlife

You are sure to find the pub you are looking for in Dublin. Whether you want to relax over a quiet drink, find the perfect pint of Guinness or unwind on a lively dance floor, the city has bars and night clubs to cater to every desire. Below are a few favourites but there is no need to be said and led by this list; it’s impossible to walk down any street in Dublin without stumbling across a good bar.

Grogans 15 South William St, Dublin 2

Just two minutes walk from Grafton Street and Trinity College, Grogans is a quiet and friendly pub where you can read a book or chat with friends without having to shout over loud music. An excellent place to sample a fine Guinness, you are more likely to meet local artists, writers and students than tourists here.

Pygmalion Powerscourt Townhouse, South William St, Dublin 2

Located just across the street from Grogans Pygmalion provides a relaxed, trendy atmosphere on week nights. At the weekend it is full of enthusiastic revellers, drawn in by its extensive cocktail list and reputation for excellent DJs.

Sin É 14-15 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7

A short stroll across the Liffey from Temple Bar this pub attracts a friendly, lovely crowd at the weekends. As well as DJs playing oldies and alternative rock there is often live music downstairs.

The Cobblestone 77 North King St, Smithfield , Dublin 7

On any night of the week visitors will find a traditional Irish music session in full swing at the Cobblestone. Even on a quiet evening locals are known to start up a concert spontaneously. You will find the crowd in this pub pleasant and friendly and it has an excellent selection of local and international beers.

The Gingerman 44 Fenian Street, Dublin 2

This pub is frequented by Trinity and students and is a relaxed and sociable venue by day, becoming livelier at night. Perfect for when you want to spend the night chatting rather than dancing.

The Temple Bar Temple Bar, Dublin 2

No visit to Dublin would be complete without visiting a pub in Dublin’s most famous nightlife district and the Temple Bar offers the full experience with daily traditional music sessions , great pints and excitable crowds.


2. Notable Sights

Trinity College Dublin

You can’t take a walk through Dublin without exploring this historic university. Founded in 1592 Trinity has amassed its own mythology and its stately grounds and buildings have been the site of important developments in Irish history and the stomping ground of famous figures such as Beckett and Wilde. Guided tours of the campus are available at a cost of €10, departing from the front gate. Those with an interest in the Ireland of saints and scholars should not miss the opportunity to view the beautifully illuminated Book of Kells, housed in the Old Library building. Entrance for adults is €9.

The Guinness Storehouse. St James Gate, Dublin 8

A museum of all things Guinness, the storehouse offers an interesting look at the history of this iconic beer, including a room dedicated to its innovative advertising campaigns. One of the highlights of the storehouse is the opportunity to enjoy a perfect pint in the Gravity Bar at the top of the storehouse, which offers an unrivalled view of Dublin city.

Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch place, Dublin 8

Founded circa 1028 Christchurch Cathedral is home to one of Britain and Ireland’s largest crypts as well as a fascinating collection of holy relics.

Museums and Galleries

There are plenty of museums and galleries for you to explore if you feel like immersing yourself in culture (or simply wish to spend a few hours indoors on a rainy afternoon!)

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol was the site of some of the most significant and tragic events in Ireland’s struggle for independence, from the 1780s or the 1920s. Now unoccupied, the Gaol includes a fascinating exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the prison, and an engaging tour which focuses on the very human stories that took place within its walls. The tour costs €6 for adults and €2 for students and the elderly, though a group discount is available if booked ahead. For more details see http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/dublin/kilmainhamgaol/

Chester Beatty Library

Located on the grounds of Dublin Castle (which are well worth a visit in themselves for a look at the pretty Dubh Linn gardens), this art museum holds the impressive collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, rare books, prints and drawings amassed by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. The collection includes pieces from across Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as European medieval and Renaissance illuminations. Admission is free.

The Science Gallery

This gallery’s beautiful and thought provoking exhibitions take some of the most innovative concepts informing contemporary scientific and technological development and use them to create arresting visuals and interactive experiences. In May visitors will be able to see ‘Risk Lab’, a new exhibition inspired by the human ability to perceive and assess risk. Admission to the gallery is free.

Natural History Museum

An intact Victorian museum containing an extensive gallery of animals from Ireland and overseas, as well as geological exhibits.  Admission is free

The GAA Museum

The Gaelic Athletic Association is the organisation which manages Ireland’s unique national games- Gaelic football and hurling. In the late 19th and early 20th century the GAA provided an alternative space for young Irish people to become acquainted with their culture and for the seeds of nationalism to develop. This museum, located in the grounds of the national stadium, provides an insight into the influence these sports have had on Irish politics and culture.

The Little Museum of Dublin

One of the newest additions to Dublin’s list of museums this Georgian townhouse is dedicated to remembering life in twentieth century Dublin. Its collection includes art , photography, furniture, advertising and letters that evoke the reality and spirit of the life shared by Dublin residents of the time. Admission is €5.

Parks and Gardens

The Irish may lament the suffering endured under 800 years of British rule, but there were some benefits; the beautifully landscaped parks and gardens dotted around the city centre are one positive legacy of colonisation.

Phoenix Park

One of the oldest and largest parks in Europe, Phoenix Park on the west side of the city is a popular destination for cyclists and joggers as well as the best place in the city to spot a deer or a squirrel. Dublin zoo is also located in the park, as well as Áras an Uachtarán, the home of the Irish president, and the beautifully restored Farmleigh estate, formerly owned by the Guinness family.

St Stephen’s Green

This pretty Victorian park is located at the top of Grafton Street. It  is a popular meeting place for Dubliners on sunny days, and an assembly point for Sandemans city walking tours.

The Iveagh Gardens

If Stephen’s Green becomes too crowded, head down Harcourt Street and turn left onto Clonmel St to find this lovely ‘secret garden’.

Merrion Square

This Georgian Park is enclosed by some of Dublin’s most important cultural and historic sites including the birthplace of Oscar Wilde, the National Museum , the government buildings at Leinster House and the National Gallery. The park itself is elegantly landscaped and in Summer time it hosts a variety of family events and festivals.

 

3. Outside Dublin

If you have a few extra days on your stay why not venture outside Dublin and explore some of Ireland’s smaller town or seek out some of the island’s famous natural beauty? There are many areas worth visiting outside of the capital, too many to list here. Instead we have included some highlights which may capture your imagination, as well as some advice on how to approach planning your trip. Further information can be found at

Ireland is small but this does not mean you can see the whole country properly in two or three days. One of the amazing things about Ireland is that there is so much of it which remains off the beaten track and it is there for visitors to discover, but to do this you need time. You will have better experiences if you let yourself wile away many hours people watching in a country pub, or exploring secluded paths that take you to breathtaking, empty beaches.


Getting there

Rail: Iarnrod Eireann, Ireland’s national rail service, operates Intercity services between Dublin and other major cities and towns. For more information see http://www.irishrail.ie/

Bus: Bus Eireann is the main bus service in Ireland. Bus Áras is the central bus station for intercity and regional routes. See http://www.buseireann.ie/?gclid=CJeqxYrZ27QCFcFF2wodinoAdg

Smaller coach companies also operate services between Dublin and other cities, often offering a faster and more comfortable journey. For more details see

http://www.fureysofsligo.com/.                                                                                                                                                          http://www.johnmcginley.com/                                                                                                                                    http://www.gobus.ie/                                                                                                                                          http://www.citylink.ie/

Galway

This compact student city on the West Coast is a great base for visiting some of the most scenic areas in Ireland, and also boasts a very lively pub scene. Visit the Connemara peninsula to catch a glimpse of the rolling green hills and windswept landscapes that have made visitors fall in love with Ireland. It is also one of the ‘Gaeltacht’ areas, where locals speak Gaeilge, the Irish language. A great destination for outdoor adventurers Connemara offers some of Ireland’s best opportunities for hiking, scuba diving and cycling. For more information see http://www.connemara.ie

Clare

Clare is home to some of Ireland’s most famous and unique sights. The famous Burren landscape is dotted with prehistoric ring forts and ancient caves. The most famous of these, the Aillwee Caves consist of over a kilometre of passages lead in into the heart of a mountain. An interesting tour of the caves is available, with features including an underground lake and waterfall and the remains of bears that date from before the Ice Age. The Cliffs of Moher, on the south-western edge of the Burren, are some of the highest and most dramatic in Europe. If you feel like a pint and a bit of live music after seeing the cliffs then head to nearby Doolin village, which is widely regarded as Ireland’s traditional music capital.

You will also find some of Ireland’s most famous beaches in Co Clare, Lehinch is a European surf capital, and Spanish point, famous as the site where Spanish sailors were washed ashore after the wrecking of the Spanish Armada.

For more on things to see and do in Clare see http://www.clare.ie/

Sligo

If part of your interest in Ireland has been piqued by the lyrical poetry of WB Yeats then a visit to Co Sligo is a must. Much of his poetry was inspired by the unspoilt landscape here. And when you visit Lough Gill, Innisfree, Hazel Wood it is easy to see why. Sligo has also become a site of pilgrimage for surfers with some of the best breaks in Europe at Strandhill, Mullaghmore, Easkey and Enniscrone. For more information on Sligo see http://www.sligotourism.ie/

Kerry

Kerry is regarded as one of Ireland’s most scenic counties and provides a pleasant mix of culture and natural beauty. The town of Killarney has been a tourist attraction for over 250 years. Situated on the beautiful Ring of Kerry drive it is an excellent base for exploring some of Kerry’s most famous sites. Killarney National Park has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Twelve km off the Kerry Coast are the Skellig Islands, in the 6th Century  these outcrops of rock which rise dramatically from the violent Atlantic were chosen as the site of a monastery. The Beehive huts and chapel built by just 12 monks, stand to this day.

For more information on Kerry see http://www.kerrytourist.com/

Donegal

Away up in the Northwest Donegal can feel like it is in and different country to Dublin. Due to its proximity to Northern Ireland Donegal was neglected as  a tourist destination during the Troubles despite its natural beauty. This means that those in search of an escape will find it less commercialised than other tourist-oriented sites such as Galway or Kerry. The Inishowen Peninsula, the most northerly point in Ireland offers sublime views and beautiful walks. Donegal is also home to the Slieve League Cliffs, the highest sea cliffs in Europe, and are reached by foot along a path with stunning views through unspoilt scenery. If you are hoping to hear some native Irish speakers the Rosses in Donegal is a large Gaeltacht area and Gaoth Dobhair village has beautiful beaches and a lively traditional music scene. Donegal’s dramatic landscape offers plenty of opportunities for hill walking, climbing and water sports such as surfing and kayaking. For more information see http://www.donegaldirect.ie .

Cork

There is a stereotype about Cork people that they do not consider themselves to be Irish at all- instead they come from the people’s republic of Cork! While this may be an exaggeration Cork people certainly have a lot of pride in their county and it isn’t difficult to see why. Cork city buzzes with its own energy and a cultural and musical scene to rival Dublin’s. And that’s just the town! Wander beyond the city limits and you’ll find charming villages such as Kinsale, Cobh and Clonakilty, famous for their beaches, local music scenes and the fine local food. For more information on travelling to Cork and what to get up to there see http://www.corktourist.com/ .

Belfast

According to Lonely Planet Belfast used to be one of the ‘four B’s’ (along with Bosnia, Baghdad and Beirut) which travellers should avoid. Well today thousands visit every year without fear, and the atmosphere is one of celebration. With bars and hotels to rival Dublin a night out here is also significantly cheaper than one spent in the capital. The city is small enough to explore by foot. The pretty Queens University campus is a welcoming place for visitors to explore, and the nearby Botanical Gardens are a very popular attraction in Summer, when the tropical flora and fauna cultivated in the ‘Tropical Ravine’ are coming into flower.   The parliament buildings at Stormont have a colourful history and there are free guided tours at 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday. Visitors interested in Belfast’s divided history may enjoy taking a tour of Belfast’s Murals. The poorer members of Northern Ireland’s two political groupings had strong traditions of mural painting during the Troubles and the most famous of these can be found on the Falls Road or Shankill Road. For information on tourism in Belfast and Northern Ireland see http://www.discovernorthernireland.com   


4. The Gathering Ireland 2013


2013 is the year of the Gathering Ireland. This event aims to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, friends and family from all over the world to come to Ireland and enjoy the numerous events and attractions that the country has to offer. LACI Conference is part of the Gathering. Visit us:

 

http://www.thegatheringireland.com/Attend-A-Gathering/Individual-Gathering.aspx?eid=568#.UQ963hiWQ-8