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Dublin tours and excursions

Dublin tours

The Viking Splash Tour

A tour aboard an amphibious vehicle that splashes off the road and into the city's canals, the

Viking Splash Tour has great novelty value, but some worthy substance too. Dublin's Viking history is an aspect often overlooked by visitors, and while this tour's presentation is a little on the shout-along, horned hat side, it's also a quick-fire way of seeing what is worth more of your time.

Tel: +353 1 707 6000
Website: http://www.vikingsplash.com

Bus tours

City Sightseeing Dublin offer hop-on, hop-off bus tours covering all the major sights of the city centre, with running commentary from a tour guide across several routes and dozens of stops. Tours commence from any of the stops, and tickets are valid for up to two days. Key stops include Trinity College, Christ Church Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse.

Tel: +353 1 898 0700.
Website: http://www.city-sightseeing.com

Dublin excursions

Glendalough

This early Celtic monastery, once an important seat of Christian learning, is situated 30km (19 miles) south of Dublin. St Kevin founded the monastery in the 6th century and his body lies in the 9th-century cathedral. The site is known for its 30m-high (98ft) Round Tower, which offered defence against marauding invaders by situating its door several metres off the ground. Access is possible via the gorgeous Wicklow Way, which passes through the valleys of the Wicklow Mountains; the valley's lakes and walking trails are as memorable as the monastery itself.

Tel: +353 404 45600.
Website: http://www.glendalough.ie

The Cliffs Of Moher

Towering 214m (702ft) over the battering waves of the west coast Atlantic, the Cliffs of Moher are one of the iconic images of Ireland. At an 8-hour round trip from Dublin, the day tours are quite an undertaking, but with good weather and your feet hanging over an epic drop, this place is truly breathtaking. Helped by some cleverly integrated tourist infrastructure, the cliffs are a memorable, one-off-the-bucket-list experience.

Tel: +353 65 708 6141.
Website: http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie
A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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Central Hotel

This cheap, city centre hotel harks back almost 200 years. It is very old school Dublin and as such boasts some impressive period features in its façade and public areas. The rooms have been recently refurbished, with free Wi-Fi available in most of them, though snuggle up in the Library Bar and the years still drift away.

Number 31

Overlooking elegant Fitzwilliam Place, Number 31 is the former home of Ireland's leading architect, Sam Stephenson. It has since been converted into a highly sophisticated, award-winning guesthouse with an emphasis on detail, luxury and simplicity. This stylish property offers a variety of en-suite accommodation, as well as secure car parking, but it's the intimate beauty that wins guests over.

The Shelbourne

A veritable Dublin institution immortalised in James Joyce's epic Ulysses, and now something of a hub for the Ireland rugby team, the 5-star Shelbourne Hotel has been home to the rich and famous (and even royalty) since its opening in the 18th century. Centrally located beside St Stephen's Green, with 265 opulent rooms, celebrated bars and restaurants, and a smart health club, it remains one of Dublin's most distinguished hotels.

The Merrion Hotel

Dublin's most sumptuous 142-room hotel looks like a standard Georgian block of houses, but behind its modest façade, it has been sensitively restored to combine period elegance with 5-star modern facilities. There's a classy restaurant, sizeable pool, gym and spa, but also magnificent formal, landscaped gardens, forming a serene haven far removed from the frenetic city centre.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel

Luxurious and ultra-modern, The Fitzwilliam commands a striking central location with the calm and tranquillity of St Stephen's Green to one side and Grafton Street to the other. Theirs is a stark, minimalist interpretation of typical country house features, using chrome, frosted glass, large leather sofas and dramatic down lighting. Its large roof garden is great for summer sunshine.

The Dylan

Located in the western canal belt, this small boutique hotel is the epitome of style and sophistication. It's housed in a former 17th-century theatre, which in its heyday staged concerts conducted by Antonio Vivaldi. Today, the minimalist east-meets-west designer décor of the 40 individually designed guest rooms, combined with an intimate courtyard garden, spectacular canal views, efficient staff and an excellent restaurant, ensures a luxurious stay.