1 Hour Activities


SHERIDAN’S CHEESEMONGERS
11 S. Anne St.
+353-(0)1-679-3143
sheridanscheesemongers.com

LITTLE MUSEUM OF DUBLIN
15 St. Stephen’s Green
+353-(0)1-661-1000
littlemuseum.ie

HATCH & SONS IRISH KITCHEN
15 St. Stephen’s Green
+353-(0)1-661-0075
hatchandsons.co

PICNIC IN THE PARK

  • Visit a cheesemonger that sources the best farmhouse cheeses from across Ireland
  • Let the super-friendly staff help you gather a delicious artisanal picnic
  • Get a quick history lesson at a museum packed with 5,000 pieces of local ephemera

In a country obsessed with cheese (there are more than 50 farmhouse producers making some 150 different types), where do you go to taste the best? Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, in a row of colorful storefronts near the shopping hub of Grafton Street, has a mouthwatering and comprehensive selection. It’s hard to go wrong with the superstar of Irish cheese: umami-forward Cashel Blue from the dairy heartland of County Tipperary. But try some lesser-known varieties, too. We love pockmarked Saint Brigid, a strong, creamy, slightly pungent raw cow’s-milk cheese from County Cork that’s great with a dark beer. Next, take your picnic up the block to leafy St. Stephen’s Green, where Dubliners head for alfresco lunches, or to the secret idyll that is the Iveagh Gardens. Storm clouds looming? Save lunch for later and walk up the steps of a Georgian townhouse opposite the park to enter the Little Museum of Dublin. This quirky space, split over three floors, is packed with more than 5,000 items donated by locals: there’s a room dedicated to U2 with photographs and fan memorabilia; a copy of James Joyce’s death mask; and everyday ephemera charting Dublin’s 20th-century social history lining the walls. Hatch & Sons café beneath the museum is a cozy place for a mug of Barry’s (the best Irish tea) while
you wait for the skies to clear.

Sheridan’s Cheesemongers is on St. Annes Street, between St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College. You’ll easily be able to spot the store from the green and white candy stripe exterior. The Little Museum of Dublin is on the street surrounding St. Stephen’s Green, on the corner where it meets Dawson Street. Hatch and Son’s Irish Kitchen is in the basement of the museum.

SHERIDAN’S CHEESEMONGERS
11 S. Anne St.
+353-(0)1-679-3143
sheridanscheesemongers.com

LITTLE MUSEUM OF DUBLIN
15 St. Stephen’s Green
+353-(0)1-661-1000
littlemuseum.ie

HATCH & SONS IRISH KITCHEN
15 St. Stephen’s Green
+353-(0)1-661-0075
hatchandsons.co

HUGH LANE GALLERY
Charlemont House, Parnell Square N.
+353-(0)1-222-5550
hughlane.ie

GO BEHIND THE SCENES

  • Visit the studio of one of the art world’s biggest — and most provocative — legends
  • See the creative environment of renowned artist, Francis Bacon, whose work sold at auction for $142.5 million

It isn’t often that you have the opportunity see the chaos that goes into creating world-class art. Tucked away at the back of the Hugh Lane Gallery, a 15-minute walk north across the Liffey River from Conrad Dublin, is the paint-splattered studio where some of the world’s most sought-after artworks were conceived. Francis Bacon, born in Dublin in 1909, the son of a former British Army officer, is one of the leading figurative artists of the 20th century and is the most acclaimed painter ever to have come out of Ireland. His powerful works—depicting man in a godless world—include images of screaming popes from the 1950s and a triptych of his friend and artistic rival Lucian Freud (which set an all-time record when it sold at auction for $142.5 million in 2013). Many of his masterpieces were created in his studio in Kensington, London, where he lived for much of his life. But after his death, the contents of the studio were donated to the Hugh Lane Gallery. In order to relocate it, a team meticulously mapped, tagged and packed every item—even the dust! They can all now be seen here in all their colorful, messy glory, just as the artist left them. Here, you’ll see approximately 7,000 items, including more than 500 books, 1,500 photographs, 100 slashed canvases (Bacon often destroyed works before they were finished), pots of paints, newspaper cuttings, brushes, and empty boxes of Krug champagne. You can also see an entertaining video interview with the artist, who is far more jovial than his moody paintings might suggest. Even if you aren’t a modern-art buff, this is a fascinating place that gives up-close insight into the mind of one of Ireland’s art legends. Plus, admission is free.

The Hugh Lane Gallery is located in Charlemont House, a charming mansion on Parnell Square, north of the Rotunda Hospital. The gallery can be easily identified from the grey brickwork outside.

HUGH LANE GALLERY
Charlemont House, Parnell Square N.
+353-(0)1-222-5550
hughlane.ie

WINDING STAIR BOOKSHOP
40 Ormond Quay Lower
+353-(0)1-872-6576
winding-stair.com

CROSS THE HA’PENNY

  • Visit a historic independent bookshop named after a William Butler Yeats poem
  • Don’t miss a seasonal lunch at the café upstairs, with views of the Liffey and the Ha’ Penny Bridge

The Ha’Penny Bridge is possibly Dublin’s best-known landmark—so called because when it was opened in 1816, people who wanted to cross it had to pay half a penny. Shaped in an elliptical arch, it spans the Liffey River from the cobblestones of Temple Bar to the busy thoroughfare of Ormond Quay. And right there on the waterfront at the end of the bridge is the wonderful Winding Stair Bookshop. Named after a William Butler Yeats poem, the Winding Stair holds a dear place in many Dubliners’ hearts. For decades it was a bookshop and café spanning two floors where writers, students, and creative types (the office of the popular In Dublin magazine was in the basement) would hang out amid the dusty hardbacks and savor the quintessentially Dublin view of the bridge and river beyond. In 2005 the place was revamped and a lovely restaurant opened on the second floor, serving food straight from local producers. The independent bookstore is still there (now just on the ground floor), with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with titles—new books at the front, second-hand tomes in the back. Grab one of the two tables beside the window and settle in with a cup of coffee to people-watch, or climb the stairs (they are indeed winding) to the restaurant and pore over your new book purchases with a glass of crisp white and a dish of whiskey-cured salmon, pickled cockles, and fennel-and-apple salad. The shelves in this room may now be filled with wine bottles rather than well-thumbed books but that view of the bridge is exactly the same.

The Winding Stair Bookshop is on Ormond Quay Lower, a street that follows the banks of the River Liffey. You’ll find it on the corner where Liffey St. Lower approaches the river. You’ll easily be able to spot the bright yellow building and green storefront from a distance.

WINDING STAIR BOOKSHOP
40 Ormond Quay Lower
+353-(0)1-872-6576
winding-stair.com

IVEAGH GARDENS
Main entrance on Clonmel Street, off Harcourt Street
iveaghgardens.ie

ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN
St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
ststephensgreenpark.ie

LITTLE MUSEUM OF DUBLIN
15 St. Stephen’s Green
+353-1-661-1000
littlemuseum.ie

CELTIC WHISKEY SHOP
27-28 Dawson St., Dublin
+353-1-675-9744
www.celticwhiskeyshop.com

COFFEEANGEL
16 Anne St S, Dublin 2, D02 VF29, Ireland
+353-1-969-6001
coffeeangel.com

O’DONOGHUE’S BAR
15 Merrion Row
+353-1-660-7194
odonoghues.ie

FOLEY’S BAR
1 Merrion Row
+353-1-661-0115
foleys.ie

DOHENY & NESBITT
5 Baggot Street Lower
+353-1-676-2945
dohenyandnesbitts.ie

SOAK IN THE GREEN

  • Capture the essence of Dublin on a neighborhood walk
  • Stroll through idyllic parks and secret gardens, mere blocks from Conrad Dublin
  • Stop into the city’s best coffee bar—or a pub straight out of the 1840s

As James Joyce’s Ulysses protagonist Leopold Bloom could attest, Dublin is tailor-made for walking. Few European capitals pack as much history and texture into such a compact cityscape—not to mention the abundance of green space, right in the heart of town. Here’s a route that’ll take you through two of Dublin’s greatest parks (a perfect jet lag cure in any season), both just steps away from the Conrad. You can do the loop in under an hour, but if you’re inclined to stop, you’ll find plenty of benches, shops, museums, and spots for snacking and sipping along the way.

1. Leaving the Conrad, take a left onto Earlesfort Terrace and head south, passing the striking National Concert Hall across the street.

2. Turn right onto Hatch Street. 150 yards west you’ll spot the gated entrance to the Iveagh Gardens on your right. Step inside: the grounds open at 8am daily (10am Sundays and holidays), and close between 3:30pm and 6pm. Iveagh (pronounced “ivy”) is often called Dublin’s “Secret Garden,” owing to its tucked-away location—albeit right in the city center.

3. Head north along the rustic path through the park’s overgrown southeastern corner—you won’t believe you’re in a European metropolis. Further along is a broad grassy clearing where Dubliners find a spot of tranquility and (if lucky) sunshine. You could spend a full hour just meandering these grounds. But if you’ve only got an hour, head for the highlight: a dramatic cascade waterfall at the park’s western edge.

4. From the waterfall, walk 50 yards north to the park’s Clonmel Street exit. Follow Clonmel one block west, then turn right onto Harcourt Street.

5. Walk 2 blocks north on Harcourt to St. Stephen’s Green. Just inside the park you’ll see the Ardilaun Lodge, a handsome red-brick-and-sandstone Tudor cottage named for Lord Ardilaun, the 19th-century nobleman who purchased St. Stephen’s Green, redesigned the grounds, and gifted the park back to the city. Head east along the path until you come upon a craggy bust of James Joyce, as full of character as the author’s prose.

6. Turn north toward the center of the park, past manicured lawns framed by flower gardens. Take the footbridge across the lake leading to the verdant allée known as the Lime Walk (for the double row of lime trees once planted here).

7. Exit onto the north side of St. Stephen’s Green. Across the street you’ll see two Georgian brick edifices, at numbers 16 and 17, whose facades are completely shrouded in ivy—lush green in spring and summer, the foliage turns flaming red in autumn. Next door is the brilliantly conceived Little Museum of Dublin (see our 1-hour itinerary “Picnic in the Park”), where you can opt for a quick guided tour if you have extra time. (The museum promises to tell the story of Dublin in 29 minutes flat.)

8. From here you could head west and dive into the fray of Grafton Street, Dublin’s lively pedestrian drag. But for a more refreshing stroll, head north on Dawson Street. At number 27-28, the diminutive Celtic Whiskey Shop has a not-at-all-diminutive selection of hard-to-find bottlings; the knowledgeable staff can arrange for overseas shipping.

9. Craving sustenance? Two blocks north, turn left onto South Anne Street to find CoffeeAngel, one of Dublin’s most acclaimed cafés. The staff are dead-serious about their craft, and famously refuse to serve cups larger than 12 ounces (go ahead and let them explain why).

10. Return to Dawson Street, turn left, then make an immediate right onto Molesworth Street. Walk east for 200 yards, then turn right onto Kildare Street. Opposite, you’ll see the spectacular domed rotunda (modeled on Rome’s Pantheon) of the National Museum of Ireland’s Archaeology collection. The rotunda interior is no less impressive, with its Zodiac-themed mosaic floors and soaring ceiling painted robin’s egg blue.

11. Continue south on Dawson Street until you’re back at St. Stephen’s Green. Turn left, proceeding to Merrion Row.

12. “Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub,” mused Leopold Bloom in Ulysses. You’ll pass two great ones on Merrion Row alone: timeless O’Donoghue’s at number 15 and the more modern Foley’s at number 1. Half a block further east on Baggot Street, you’ll find Doheny & Nesbitt, one of Dublin’s most photogenic pubs, with well-worn plank floors and mahogany snugs that catapult you back to the 1840s.

13. From here it’s just a 5-minute walk to the Conrad. Turn back west on Merrion Row to St. Stephen’s Green, then turn right, passing the elegant, flower-boxed Georgian townhouses that line the park’s eastern edge. Continue south onto Earlesfort Terrace and in 150 yards you’ll see the hotel on your left.

IVEAGH GARDENS
Main entrance on Clonmel Street, off Harcourt Street
iveaghgardens.ie

ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN
St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
ststephensgreenpark.ie

LITTLE MUSEUM OF DUBLIN
15 St. Stephen’s Green
+353-1-661-1000
littlemuseum.ie

CELTIC WHISKEY SHOP
27-28 Dawson St., Dublin
+353-1-675-9744
www.celticwhiskeyshop.com

COFFEEANGEL
16 Anne St S, Dublin 2, D02 VF29, Ireland
+353-1-969-6001
coffeeangel.com

O’DONOGHUE’S BAR
15 Merrion Row
+353-1-660-7194
odonoghues.ie

FOLEY’S BAR
1 Merrion Row
+353-1-661-0115
foleys.ie

DOHENY & NESBITT
5 Baggot Street Lower
+353-1-676-2945
dohenyandnesbitts.ie

IT’S ALWAYS ICE CREAM TIME

  • Make a beeline for Ireland’s cult artisanal ice cream maker
  • The milk for the ice cream comes from a rare breed of cows from the Southwest of Ireland
  • Taste unexpected flavors such as rain, sea salt, brown bread, and gin

Hailing from the town of Dingle on Ireland’s rugged, windswept west coast, Murphy’s Ice Cream is the Emerald Isle’s go-to frozen confection. Deep background: the creamy milk used here is from the rare, native-breed Kerries, cows that feed on the grass of those postcard-perfect County Kerry hills. There’s no flavor the mad geniuses here won’t try—they created a “rain” flavor for MasterChef Ireland: a combination of peat-smoked sugar, clover, nettle, tea, and Guinness. At their sky-blue-fronted shop among the cool boutiques of Dublin’s creative quarter, choose from Irish-themed flavors such as the hugely popular sea salt, chocolate sorbet with distilled Atlantic rainwater, and brown bread. Towering waffle cones in hand, stroll over to the cobblestoned Trinity College campus and, as well as ticking off the big-hitting attractions (the intricately decorated ninth-century Book of Kells; the beautiful wood-paneled library long room), see if you can spot the entrance to St. Patrick’s holy well. Many walking by don’t realize they are right above an ancient pilgrimage site believed to be where Ireland’s patron saint baptized Christian converts in the fifth century. Tip: At the junction of Nassau and Dawson Streets, at the side of the college, look down through the metal railings to see a gated doorway below street level. The protected well is just behind it.

If you walk down Wicklow Street, you can’t miss Murphy’s Ice Cream. The bright blue shop front has a huge, old fashioned black lamp hanging outside.

MURPHY’S ICE CREAM
27 Wicklow St.
+353-(0)86-031-0726
murphysicecream.ie

FIFTH AVENUE NAIL BAR
24A Wicklow St.
+353-(0)1-679-8783
fifthavenuedublin.ie

DYLAN BRADSHAW
56 William St. S
+353-(0)1-671-9353
dylanbradshaw.com

PUT YOUR FEET UP

  • Pamper your travel-weary feet with a super-relaxing aromatherapy pedicure
  • Get rock star hair style with a luxe salon appointment

Dublin may be compact, but those cobblestones can be murder on your feet. Refresh weary legs with a pedicure at the slick nail bar Fifth Avenue. The Spa Orange Pedicure is a blissful aromatherapy-based treatment using a fruit bowl’s worth of lotions and potions. First is a cranberry-and-orange sea-salt bath, next a gentle honey-and-mandarin scrub, and then a massage with lime-zest cream to hydrate skin that may have been sapped of moisture from a long-haul flight. A file and polish finishes it all off nicely. Toes taken care of, fit in a quick hair blow dry at Dylan Bradshaw around the corner—it’s the city’s top salon, owned by stylist to the stars Bradshaw, who has coiffed the likes of Jerry Hall, Victoria Beckham, and the ever glamorous pop star Florence Welch.

The Fifth Avenue Nail Bar is located on Wicklow Street, on the corner where it meets William Street South. The exterior is black with an elegant white sign. You can continue down William Street South to find Dylan Bradshaw. It’s just past the point where William Street South meets Coppinger Row.

FIFTH AVENUE NAIL BAR
24A Wicklow St.
+353-(0)1-679-8783
fifthavenuedublin.ie

DYLAN BRADSHAW
56 William St. S
+353-(0)1-671-9353
dylanbradshaw.com