Collected by Sharon McCloskey
17 Donegall Square N, Belfast BT1 5GB, UK
This is a great place to take refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Entry to the city’s oldest library (which dates from 1788) to browse the collections is free, and there’s also a great café and regular exhibitions.
Cow's Ln, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
This cafe offers the most delicious raspberry, apple, and chocolate chip scones you will ever taste. In addition they offer a wide variety of pastries, sandwiches, and teas. Their 2 locations in Dublin are fairly close to each other but distinct—...
22 Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 NA09, Ireland
The Temple Bar brings a lot of tourists and locals to the square. Go out there when it just starts to get dark and you will find yourself in the middle of a fun nightlife scene with brilliant musicians, new friends, and even some leprechauns ;)...
27 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Irish history sets the tone throughout this red-brick Victorian’s marbled halls. The 284 rooms include the apartment where the constitution was drafted, and a tapestry by famed 20th-century Dublin painter Louis le Brocquy hangs above the fireplace...
18-19 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1, Ireland
In what was once the Jameson family mansion, chef Ross Lewis specializes in Irish haute cuisine. The menu at this Michelin-starred restaurant changes seasonally. Standout dishes include cured Clare Island salmon with smoked pear, and a spiced...
Sycamore Building, Sycamore Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland
A fanciful three-week celebration of the arts, Fringe has been an annual asylum for artistic oddballs since 1994. Nearly 650 productions— theater, dance, poetry, magic, outdoor installations—enliven venues all over Dublin. 353/(0) 1-670-6106....
29 Frederick St S, Dublin Southside, Dublin 2, Ireland
Start with chorizo-stuffed squid and a Hendrick’s martini. Follow these with a pancetta-topped lobster burger with truffle-and-Parmesan fries, and you’ll know that you’ve moved well beyond traditional fish and chips. 353/(0) 1-679-7000. This...
34/35 William St S, Dublin, D02 T205, Ireland
Deft use of social media—you can tweet for a seat and get a special deal—enabled a pop-up poultry joint to settle into long-term industrial-chic digs in 2011. Atmosphere, like the menu, is minimalist. Flavors are not. The addictive qualities of...
27-28 Dawson St, Dublin, Co. Dublin City, Ireland
A paradise of collectible and contemporary spirits awaits the serious whiskey connoisseur. The stock here includes a single malt from the tiny island of Inish Turk Beg, in handblown bottles (pictured), and an exclusive Connemara bottling aged in a...
Ashtown, Dublin, Ireland
This is a gem, tucked away from busy city street, in Pheonix park, which happens to be the largest city park in Europe. This place brings you back in time—half a century into not too distant past, where people congregated here for a drink after a...
St James's Gate, Ushers, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Best bar in the world? Debatable. Freshest Guinness on earth? No doubt. An expedition to the Gravity Bar at St. James's Gate, perched atop the venerated Guinness Storehouse, was the perfect way to cap our Irish escapades. The storehouse, including...
21 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland
This Temple Bar area in central Dublin is nicknamed "Temple Barf" due to all the bars and the drunk tourists who pay for overpriced Guinness within them. I was enjoying a pint of the dark stuff in the Palace Bar when two young women from Norway...
Donegall St, Belfast BT1 2HB, UK
Centred around St Anne’s Cathedral, the narrow streets of this city quarter are thriving with restaurants, pubs and arts venues – stop here for food, drink or a cultural outing at the MAC arts venue in St Anne’s Square, which has three galleries,...
12-20 East Bridge St, Belfast BT1 3NQ, UK
This is a vibrant indoor market with everything from tasty food stalls (hot and cold) to crafts, jewelry, and often live music, adding to the atmosphere and making it a great place to spend a couple of hours on a weekend day. If you only do one...
University Rd, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
With its eye-catching gothic facade, as well as plenty of other listed buildings around its spacious campus, Queen's University is worth an hour or two’s exploring (you can take a self-guided walking tour with a map from the visitor's centre)....
College Park, Botanic Avenue, Belfast BT7 1LP, UK
Located in the University Quarter and designed by the same architect as Queen's University, the bosky Botanic Gardens contain one of the city's most impressive Victorian relics. The Palm House is an original wrought-iron conservatory greenhouse...
Donegall Square, Belfast BT1 5GS, UK
Opened in 1906, Belfast City Hall proudly surveys the heart of the city on Donegall Square. It's here that residents congregate in times of celebration or protest and it's also home to a cheery traditional European-style market in the run up to...
1 Oxford St, Belfast BT1 3LA, UK
OX Belfast recently added a Michelin star to its ever-lengthening string of accolades. This is one of the city's new wave of restaurants that showcase the best ingredients Ireland has to offer, like smoked eel from nearby Lough Neagh with a modern...
21 James St S, Belfast BT2 7GA, UK
Another acclaimed spot on Belfast's culinary map is this relaxed restaurant where Irish ingredients like local cheese, cured sea trout and wild venison are featured on both the à la carte and four- and five-course tasting menus. There's also an...
7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast BT1 2NB, UK
Belfast is famous for its murals, most notably the politically themed paintings representing partisan Loyalist/Unionist and Republican/Nationalist interests carried over from The Troubles. But the city is a music and soccer town, as well, and in...
46 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7BA, UK
Victorian watering holes don't get any more atmospheric than this tiny gem. Virtually every available surface is decorated with elaborate mosaics and etched glass, while the coziness factor is amped up by gas lamps, an elaborately carved ceiling...
12-20 East Bridge St, Belfast BT1 3NQ, UK
One of Belfast's must-do shopping experiences is a stroll through the aisles of its weekend food market. Producers from around the city and beyond come here to sell fruit, meat, seafood, vegetables, baked goods and oils. It also plays a part in...
41 Arthur St, Belfast BT1 4GB, UK
Irish retail success-story Avoca started off selling blankets from a historic mill in County Wicklow, south of the border. This Belfast outpost sells colorful heritage throws in lambswool and mohair, plus boho-chic clothing, food and home goods.
Fountain Centre, College St, Belfast BT1 6ES, UK
Something of a local landmark, residents have been stocking up at this food store and delicatessen since it opened in 1897. Head to this little slice of Belfast's culinary history to find shelves groaning with charcuterie, seafood, game, jams,...
2 Distillery Rd, Bushmills BT57 8XH, UK
This is where to find out how Irish whiskey is made, with a guided tour through the live production process from grain to glass at Ireland’s oldest working distillery, which got its licence in 1608. You can see everything from the malted barley...
Liosban Business Park, Tuam Rd, Galway City, Co. Galway, Ireland
Kennys has been Galway’s go-to place for the printed word for more than 75 years. Now installed in expansive new premises—and with a strong online presence as well—the store is a must for any bookworm. Inventory includes new, old, out-of-print and...
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