The historical Irish capital city of Dublin is home to some of Europe’s most well-known tourist sites, hotels and restaurants. Originally a Viking settlement, the city still maintains some of its medieval charm surrounded by new age buildings which, are headquarters for some of the world’s most well-known brands like, Google, Yahoo and Ebay. Due to its new arrival into the international hub of business it has become a hotspot for business travellers who have only time to whistlestop through the city. Here is our pick about how to make the most of the famous Irish Cead Mile Failte while on your business trip. Dublin airport is situated on the outskirts of the city and is serviced by numerous bus routes, car hire and taxi services and within 20 minutes you can be in the heart of the city. The aircoach runs every 10 minutes for a €6 one-way fare and services most of the major hotels while a taxi into the city costs approximately €20-25.
Where to stay in Dublin – the best hotels
Ireland is known as the island of a hundred thousand welcomes and never is it more evident than in some of the superb collection of cool and unusual hotels in Dublin. The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel is conveniently situated in the heart of medieval Dublin with Dublin Castle and the majestic St. Patricks Cathedral only metres walk away. A short stroll away is the iconic Temple Bar which, is the cultural centre of Dublin with Irish bars, serving Irish food and playing traditional music. For the business traveller there are wake up calls, conference facilities and parking available. Based on the stunning, cobbled Grafton Street is the Westbury Hotel, renowned for delicious food and even more delicious cocktails. The Westbury is perfectly located for sight-seeing- only a few minutes walk from Trinity College, The National Museum, MOMA and the eclectic Little Museum of Dublin.
Step outside the hotel’s marbled lobby straight onto the city’s most famous shopping thoroughfare and into Brown Thomas for a spot of shopping or head a couple of metres up the street to St. Stephan’s Green park to while away an afternoon feeding swans, gazing at the stunning flowerbed arrangements and catch up on the city’s history through the series of hidden statue’s and monuments that honour many Irish heroes.
Further southside is the delectable Four Seasons Hotel, renowned for their impeccable attention to detail and passion for customer service. Their price point per room is significantly higher but the rooms provide stunning views over the leafy suburbs of Dublin but only minutes away from the vibrant centre. They provide high-speed internet, multi-line speakerphones, a variety of meeting rooms and spouse programmes, to keep your other half busy while you’re in meetings. The surrounding area is a hub of five-star restaurants and is close to the RDS which, hosts exhibitions and fairs on a regular basis. The Beacon Hotel is based in the suburbs of the city, it is serviced by bus and tram into the city centre. Located nearby are a number of restaurants while also being within walking distance of one of Ireland’s largest shopping centres- Dundrum Town Centre which, is home to JamieOliver’s Italian restaurant, Harvey Nichol’s delightful Rock lobster restaurant and the award-winning Roly Saul restaurant. Not to mention the variety of stores from high street to designer.
Where to eat and drink
The saying goes that the Irish know how to drink, but it’s a lesser known fact that the Irish know how to eat! Dublin is crammed with award-winning and Michelin starred restaurants. Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is as synonymous on the streets of Dublin as the Molly Malone, offering contemporary Irish cuisine and Ireland’s only 2 Michelin starred restaurant. Their goal is to offer you an unforgettable dining experience that’ll have you looking for an excuse to do business in Dublin again! Located on the first floor of the Fitzwilliam hotel is the infamous Thornton’s Restaurant, boasting a truly sensory experience as you look out over the lush Stephen’s Green park. Led by the fabulous Kevin Thornton who’s passion for food is evident in every corner of every plate. L’Ecrivain has been whispered on the streets of Dublin for 25 years, those that eat once at this Michelin starred restaurant, go back again and again. Under the guidance of Derry and Sallyanne Clarke, it has grown from strength to strength and has a selection of menus to choose from. For a more casual bite to eat try the lively Café en Seine, Samsara and Tiger Becks and then skip across the road to Fire @ The Mansion House for cocktails. You will not be disappointed.
What to do on your day off
In your free time after all that deal brokering, those five star business lunches munching and networking, it’s time to see some of this beautiful city. Dublin has a plethora of activities to offer visitors, for those looking for an overall history, take the red open top bus which, has hop on and off stops all across the city. For those with more time on their hands, take a trip to the world famous St. James’s Gate, the home of Guinness. You can take a tour of the vats, get a history of the famous family and drink before retiring to the Gravity Bar to pull your own pint and take in the panoramic views of Dublin’s skyline. Those that fancy a bit more of an intellectual trip should head to Trinity College, wander around the architecturally stunning campus, see the notorious Book of Kells and experience the library, one of the most well-stocked in Europe and site of the library in the Harry Potter movies. After that, take the tram to Collins Barracks, the National History museum that charts Irish history from the beginning of settlements right up to the present day. Entry is free and you’ll need a good afternoon to wander around the nooks and crannies of the museum.
While you’re in the region of Collins Barracks just head a few minutes up the road to the Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest green spaces it is home to Áras an Uachtaráin (home of the President) and the polo grounds, as well as the resident herd of deer who are often seen ambling through the park and picnic areas. After a long day in the office, in a meeting or sight-seeing, taking in a show in Ireland’s oldest theatre- The Abbey (founded by WB Yeats) is an absolute must. The theatre offers a smorgasbord of shows ranging from the internationally acclaimed to local performing arts companies.
It goes without saying that Dublin is the perfect city to mix business and pleasure with a vibrant cultural quarter, a lively night life that buzzes at every corner and a tangible history that oozes from every cobbled brick and is honoured by statues and monuments dotted throughout the city. The wide selection of hotels and restaurants ranging in cost, facilities and location offer something for every business traveller and suits everyone’s needs. Ireland’s best-kept secret? Dublin is the city that never sleeps and never stops trying to impress you.