Destination Guide: Ireland

48 hours in... Dublin

Irish charm and traditional music provide the backdrop to C&IT's mini tour of Dublin's cultural highlights.

48 hours in... Dublin
48 hours in... Dublin

DAY 1

9am: Check in at the new 252-room Gibson Hotel at Point Village. Zibrant senior account manager Brian Han says: "This hotel offers a fantastic four-star product for conference delegates at the nearby convention centre who require quality accommodation at an affordable rate."

11.30am: After meetings in the hotel's modern meeting rooms (which can accommodate up to 300), the group departs to take a Viking Splash Tour, as offered by DMC Wallace Travel Group. Manager Doris Poelzbauer describes it as "a unique tour of Dublin, by land and water in World War II vintage military vehicles".

1pm: Lunch at Pearl Brasserie, in one of its semi-private dining areas, which can seat up to 28 people. The food, served around peat fireplaces, is traditional French.

3pm: Try an afternoon of culture, says Poelzbauer: "Your city tour should visit the famous St Patrick's Cathedral, with a private performance by its renowned boys' choir." Then back to the hotel for leisure time.

7.30pm: For dinner at the Guinness Storehouse, guests are dropped off at the main entrance to explore at leisure and enjoy a pint in the seventh-floor Gravity bar with stunning views over the city. Dinner follows, with a jazz performance by singer Grainne Brookfield.

DAY 2

8am: Breakfast at leisure, then a private tour of the city's main shopping district, Grafton Street. The group is also taken to South Great Georges Street, to see the famous red-bricked indoor market.

11am: Depart south to County Wicklow and into the hills and farmland where there are a few surprises in store. Along the way the driver stops to pick up a 'hitchhiking farmer'. Poelzbauer says: "The farmer breaks into song and mouth organ music to everyone's enjoyment. Calling for his stop, he invites everybody to his farmhouse for a cup of tea, only for it to turn out to be a lavish buffet, with a country band, farm games and challenges."

2pm: Return to Dublin for leisure time at the hotel, or join a literary-themed pub crawl, led by actors through the cobbled squares and city centre maze of narrow lanes.

5.30pm: Transfer for a private viewing of the famous Book of Kells in Trinity College, followed by a drinks reception in the historic Long Room library at Trinity College.

7pm: Short transfer to the dinner venue, Number 10, a beautiful restored Georgian residence in the heart of the city. Number 10 owner John Lynch showcases a collection of antiques, fine art and modern Irish art. Over dinner, two traditional musicians provide an introduction to the historical origins of Irish music. After dinner, there's a prize-giving ceremony, where rewards for the farm games played earlier in the day are handed out.

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