Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is a city with a welcoming atmosphere. Despite its relatively small size for a capital city, it still offers as much variety as many bigger capitals.

Drinking culture is a popular reason to visit Dublin, with pubs and bars and nightclubs in plentiful supply. O'Connell Street is a good place to start if you're looking for more traditional pubs. Temple Bar is the place to start if you want trendy bars and nightclubs.

photo: A sealion sits by a pool, pulling a face.
A sealion enjoying the attention in Dublin Zoo.

A trip to the serene Phoenix Park might please those looking for a less liquid-based way to pass the time. Phoenix Park is home to Dublin Zoo, where you can see a range of monkeys, apes, big cats, and other large mammals.

Dublin Castle might offer something to those with an interest in history, but it seemed a little too stately to appeal to the group I travelled with.

Despite the travel guide warning that the Dublin International Hostel was in an area haunted by heroin abuse, we didn't see any problems during our stay there, and the accommodation was very nice. Apart from the dormitory door being thrown open in the morning by a member of hostel staff who would yell that people checking out would have to do so within the hour.