The Business Traveller's Guide to Dublin
Dublin may be small in size compared to other capitals, but it never lacked for stature. It’s influence on the world of commerce is considerable. Google, Facebook, Hubspot, Paypal, Microsoft, Yahoo and Airbnb, these are just some of the global giants who have chosen Dublin as their European headquarters. Business travellers from all over the world travel to Dublin to attend conferences and corporate events and to meet their industry peers.
But What Does Dublin Offer to the Business Traveller?
The good news is that Dublin is a very vibrant, friendly city, full of character and full of characters, from the buskers of Grafton Street to the fruit & veg stalls of Moore Street. The Georgian architecture has a timeless elegance and you won’t find any tall skyscrapers casting shadows.
Like every other city on the planet, Dublin hosts a myriad of hidden treasures that lie undiscovered by the business travelling masses. Local bars, places to eat, and even a decent place for a run, all of which you might not find in your convention welcome package.
So here are some personal highlights of Dublin’s Fair City...
Getting from A to B
If you’re heading to a conference, chances are it will be fairly central in the city with the Convention Centre or the RDS being two of the most popular corporate venues in the city. At a stretch you might need to head out towards the Citywest Business Campus. The good news is Dubin is a fairly compact city and heading out towards any of these venues from Dublin Airport is no big deal. If the postcode address of your hotel is an odd number, then you’ll be staying north of the Liffey. If it’s an even number, you’ll be heading south of the river.
You can pick up a taxi right outside the main exit from the Arrivals terminal. Hailo and Uber are gaining in popularity. To be honest, these days there is no shortage of taxis in Dublin. With extensive bus/taxi lanes running through the narrow city centre roads to alleviate traffic congestion, and a miriad of one-way traffic streets, it’s probably best to take this route rather than renting a car.
As mentioned above, Dublin is pretty compact, in fact it’s tiny compared to the likes of London, and you’ll notice loads of people seem to commute by bicycle these days. If you want to keep your carbon footprint down, then hop on a Dublin Bike to move from your hotel to your conference venue.
A Bite to Eat
First thing’s first, if your time is in short supply and you just want to prepare for a client meeting, then here’s a link to the 10 best places where you can grab a coffee and get free Wifi.
If you’re looking for pub grub then you won’t go wrong at Doyle’s pub where the furniture and décor haven’t changed in decades. It’s good food though and conveniently located just across the street from the bus stops at Trinity College.
If you find yourself visiting clients in the IFSC (International Financial Services Centre), then a quick trip into The Harbourmaster is a must. The lunch and dinner menus are epic and great value for money, and if you’re incredibly lucky to have a bit of sunshine, then you can sit outside by the dock.
For those that prefer something lighter, then Chopped has a few locations around the city one of which is in Ballsbridge just a short walk from the RDS. This café lists an array of healthy options on its menu, and you can create your own salad.
If you have time to unwind in the eveing, then sure a stroll around Dublin can be very relaxing. If you find yourself in the vicinity, stop off for a pint in the city’s oldest pub The Brazen Head or the ever popular O’Neill’s, which is just around the corner from The Central Bank, but that’s what all the tourists do. For a truly authentic and timeless pint pulling experience, where you’re likely to bump into the a few larger than life characters, try Neary’s pub. There is never a dull moment in this type of ‘old-school’ pub where music and TV have no place and conversation is considered obligatory. Sure it would be rude not to. You’ll find this bar right by the back door to Ireland’s most famous theatre, The Gaiety.
And while you’re in town why not indulge in a bit entertainment in O’Donoghues where there is live traditional music seven nights a week. But if, on the other hand, you’d prefer to taste some locally brewed ales then check out The Porterhouse in Temple Bar, where there’s an ever-changing menu of beers to sample.
Be warned however that the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, while hosting some interesting pop up art shops and contemporary galleries, turns into something of an endless street party after hours. Some may enjoy the craic, but for serious business travellers, it’s might be best to avoid the throngs, and instead stroll down the nearby Georges Street and into a quiet snug in the Long Hall pub for what is quite possibly the best pint of Guinness in Dublin.
Phoenix Park, is one of the largest walled city parks in Europe and it’s the perfect location for a morning or evening run if you’re staying nearby. The wide expanse of greenery, the local wildlife and crisp morning dew air make this park something of a Mecca for locals that want to get their jog on.
If swimming is more your thing, then you can pay a small fee to make use of the swimming pool and sauna at the Mespil located only five minutes from both St. Stephen’s Green and the Aviva Stadium and the Conference Centre. In addition to corporate events, the Aviva hosts big sporting events and live music, so it’s worth checking the schedule if you have an evening free. The crowds that support the Irish football and rugby team are world famous for their camaraderie and friendliness - even when they lose!
Not well-known for its heat waves, it’s understandable that there are actually no outdoor swimming pools in Dublin, but that doesn’t stop the locals from enjoying a dip al fresco. There are a few spots that you can choose but take heed that it’s definitely going to feel chilly. We’re talking Baltic chilly at times, but nevertheless incredibly invigorating.
The most popular of these spots is the Forty Foot, a Dublin institution where locals kick off their shoes and dive into deep blue. It’s a DART ride out to Sandycove station and then a ten-minute walk, so not something you’ll be doing with only a half hour to spare.
The most famous streets for shopping in Dublin are Grafton and Henry Streets which attract many locals and tourists. If you’re looking for something a bit quieter and more refined, then Powerscourt Centre offers all the retail therapy you could need. Antiques, arts and crafts, and a range of high-end boutiques and gift shops make this an ideal location for grabbing all your Dublin bought souvenirs to bring home to the family. And trust us while Carrolls Gift Shop down on O’Connell Street might have all the Irish kitsch you can shake a hurley stick at, the good stuff is in the Powerscourt Centre.
Something a bit different
On your daily jaunts around the city, you’ll no doubt notice the iconic Dublin Bridges but to truly appreciate these marvels of engineering try a City Kayaking evening trip. You can watch the sun set over the River Liffey and get some great photos of the city from a lesser travelled vantage point.
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