60 Second City Guide
As Dublin is now a leading hub in the global aviation industry, and a key airline business and aircraft leasing conference location, the ViaSat Ireland crew presents this short and sweet guide to the very best our glorious city has to offer...
1. RDS location, proximity to city centre
Main conference venue, the RDS is located in Dublin 4, the city's most affluent inner suburb. On exiting the RDS main hall, turning right will bring you south, towards Blackrock, Dalkey, lots of lovely beaches, mountains and glorious County Wicklow. In need of some fresh air between sessions? Exit the RDS and go right, then take your first left to go to Sandymount, a mere 15 minute walk to the sea. Yes, the sea! Turning left brings you to the city centre, passing the US Embassy, the Grand Canal and to Merrion Square (featuring a statue of Dublin's most famous wit, Oscar Wilde), Trinity College and ViaSat Ireland HQ.
2. Dublin nightlife
Dublin has a justified reputation as a party capital of the world. Why is this? Mainly because people are out in town every night of the week. Weekends are manic, certainly, but any midweek night still offers a wide selection of buzzing bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Just follow the crowds. Temple Bar is a leading destination for visitors but, with the area's bars very much geared towards tourists with traditional music sessions and high prices, you won't find many Dubliners here. Try heading towards Wexford Street instead, with a a great strip of bars and restaurants, including Whelan's, a legendary bar and live music venue. For a classy drink, we recommend the bar at the Shelbourne Hotel on St Stephen's Green.
As you enjoy sampling Dublin's nightlife, let us paraphrase Oscar Wilde for you: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the contrails."
3. Software tech hub
All the world's leading software companies have major operations in Dublin. The area around the docks on the south side of the River Liffey is so crammed with tech businesses, it's been dubbed Silicon Docks. And that's where you'll find ViaSat Ireland airline software so, if you're on a tour of Silicon Docks, give us a call and drop by for a coffee! The area around Grand Canal Square is buzzing, with Facebook and Google HQs, hotels, restaurants and open water. The dockside area, north a block to the river, has plenty of beautiful, panoramic views of the city and lots of cool eateries.
4. Art and culture
Three art galleries worth a look are the National Gallery of Ireland on Clare St, which boasts old masters, including a prized Caravaggio and has just been gloriously refurbished (June 2017).
The Hugh Lane Gallery, on Parnell Square at the top of O'Connell St, the city's main thoroughfare boasts an amazing collection of Impressionist masterpieces and Irish contemporary art, including Manet, Monet, Renoir's Umbrellas and Francis Bacon's complete studio.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) is in Kilmainham, to the west of the city and features new talents juxtaposed alongside key names in modern art. IMMA is adjacent to Kilmainham Gaol, a leading visitor attraction that educates about the 1916 Easter Rising, the centenary of which is commemorated this year.
Guinness is not just one of the world's most iconic brands, it is also part of the essence of Dublin. You can learn why at any of the city's bars, but the Guinness Storehouse offers the complete history and experience. It's also the city's leading tourist attraction.
The best shopping area is around Grafton Street, in the south city centre. Here you can find high end department stores, such as Brown Thomas, as well as good quality souvenir shops - try Kilkenny Design - and plenty of great restaurants and bars. There's also shopping around Henry Street on the northside (mass market fashion, mainly) and in Dundrum Town Centre, a short trip from the RDS and one of the largest shopping malls in Europe. Dundrum features lots of high end fashion, with stores by Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Hamleys.
6. Dublin essentials
For fast and easy access to taxis, try downloading the MyTaxi app. It's possible to walk to the city centre from Ballsbridge and once you're in town, travelling by foot is the best way to experience Dublin's soul. Want some high end food? Try Restaurant Patrick Gilbaud on Merrion St, Ireland's onlyrestaurant with two Michelin stars. Best bar in Dublin? That's a big ask, but we recommend Whelan's, the Pavilion in Trinity College on a summer's evening (especially if there's a cricket match on!), the Shelbourne Hotel bar, Toner's, the Long Hall, the Palace, the Stag's Head and Kehoe's.
And you're probably asking: "Is it always this sunny in Dublin?" Of course it is! Enjoy!
Contact ViaSat Ireland by phone on 01 611 4625 or email email@example.com
Ha'apenny Bridge, Dublin - Niall O'Sullivan, ViaSat Crew
Oscar Wilde statue, Merrion Square - ViaSat Crew
The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio, 1602 - National Gallery of Ireland
Shelbourne Hotel at St Stephen's Green - ViaSat Crew
Door on Merrion Square - Niall O'Sullivan, ViaSat Crew
Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square - ViaSat Crew
This guide was first published to coincide with the IATA AGM, Dublin 2016. Updated for accuracy, June 2017.