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Dublin, Ireland, is a cosmopolitan city with many reasons to visit beyond the tourist attractions. While visitors will certainly want to see famous places like St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Guinness Storehouse, and Trinity College, the culture and atmosphere are likely to leave a unique and lasting impression. Although Irish cuisine has a reputation for being just meat and potatoes, a gastronomic revolution has recently taken place. Today, tourists are as likely to find gourmet food as traditional Irish stew in Dublin restaurants. Young chefs are using homegrown ingredients and innovation to put a modern twist on conventional Irish and international fare. The "gift of gab" is an Irish institution, and visitors shouldn't be surprised to hear the locals refer to the the Millennium Spire as the "Stiletto in the Ghetto" and the Molly Malone statue as the "Tart with the Cart." In fact, many of attractions in Dublin have nicknames, so don't be afraid to ask about them—more than likely, you'll get an earful. With authors, playwrights, and poets as famous as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Seamus Heaney (to name just a few), Dublin carries a top-notch literary legacy. The Abbey Theatre, founded in 1904, performs a wide variety of plays each year, from Shakespeare and Sean O'Casey to modern works by Brian Friel and Tom Mac Intyre. And, traditional Irish music is available at many area pubs, where Dubliners and visitors share a pint and some craic (an Irish word meaning "good times"). Dublin Airport serves more than 20 million passengers each year, so finding flights to Dublin should be easy.

When To Go

With a mild climate year-round, any time can be a good time to visit Dublin. Summer sees the highest number of visitors, when schools are on break and the weather is at its warmest. Although winter can be chilly and gloomy with shorter days, it's a great time for discounted prices and fewer crowds. The spring and fall bring many festivals, competitive prices, and pleasant weather.

high season: June to August
low season: mid-November to February
shoulder season: September to mid--November, March to May

Weather Information

Dublin experiences a mild, temperate climate. Summer can be warm, with average highs ranging from 60 to 70 degrees. Spring and fall see averages of 49 degrees, while winter temperatures drop to between 37 and 47 degrees. Rain can occur anytime of the year, but snow is rare.

Crowd Information

Summer is the busiest time for Dublin, but festivals throughout the year attract crowds as well, including St. Patrick's Day and Feis Ceoil in March, and the Failte Ireland Dublin Horse Show in August.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, and attractions remain open throughout the year, except for the holiday season in December. Many hotels may also close for New Year's Eve. Establishments are not legally allowed to sell liquor on Good Friday or Christmas Day.

When to Save

The least expensive time to visit Dublin is from September through May, when you will find discounts on airfare, hotels, and packages. Summer tends to be the most expensive time.

Information provided by Tourism Ireland