National Museum of Ireland: This museum, like all the museums the Irish government runs in Dublin, has free admission. The archaeology wing is a highlight, featuring a plethora of artifacts from 300 years of Viking settlements in Dublin. www.museum.ie
Temple Bar Cultural Quarter: Chockablock with artist galleries, tourist shops, restaurants and pubs, this area maintains the original, narrow street plan from medieval times. At night, it can get bawdy. www.dublinstemplebar.com
Christ Church Cathedral: This church was completed in the late 1180s by the Norman invaders who finally pushed out the Vikings. The tomb of Strongbow, a nobleman who helped build the church, is here — but Strongbow isn’t in it. www.christchurchdublin.ie
Kilmainham Gaol Museum: The ghosts of the Irish War for Independence are still said to haunt this hulking prison, built in 1796. www.heritageireland.ie/en/dublin/kilmainhamgaol
Book of Kells: This gospel manuscript was illustrated elaborately by monks around the year 800 and is housed in the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin. The library’s dark-wood, main chamber, the Long Room, is worth the visit on its own. www.tcd.ie/library/bookofkells
Rustic Stone Restaurant: This restaurant from TV chef Dylan McGrath would be at home in San Francisco, especially with its raw menu. Don’t miss the Irish crabmeat wrapped in a thin slice of mango or the soups served in shot glasses. www.rusticstone.ie
Fade St. Social: You can hit the GastroBar, which serves “Irish tapas”; the main room, which serves flatbreads and a few traditional, meaty Irish mains; or just have a drink at the rooftop bar.
L’Ecrivain Restaurant: Michelin-starred, high-end food. In season, the foie gras with rhubarb puree is a standout. www.lecrivain.com
The Stag’s Head: Sample from the extensive collection of Irish whiskeys at this spot, where you’ll find original Victorian-era decor and some of the friendliest, most efficient barmen in Dublin.
O’Donoghue’s: This weathered pub where the Dubliners got their start in the ’60s still has some of the best music in the city. www.odonoghues.ie
The Horseshoe Bar: Unique cocktails aren’t always easy to come by in this pint-and-whiskey city, but there’s some fine mixology going on in this bar inside the historic Shelbourne Dublin hotel. www.marriott.co.uk
The Westbury Hotel: Rooms are spacious and well appointed, and the location right off Grafton Street is unbeatable. www.doylecollection.com
The Merrion: Serious luxury in a series of Georgian town houses where the British general who bested Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo was born. www.merrionhotel.com
County Wicklow and Glendalough: Just an hour from Dublin, the camouflage-colored mountains of Wicklow rival the scenery anywhere in Ireland, as does Glendalough, a valley town with two lakes and the spectacular remains of a medieval, monastic settlement. It’s all best seen on foot. Book a tour with Walkabout Wicklow. www.walkaboutwicklow.com