Discover one of Ireland’s Hidden Gems in this fantastic spot: Connemara!

At Citylink, we are proud to serve the region of Connemara. Clifden, Cleggan, Oughterard, Letterfrack – the list of stops along our 923 route are as beautiful as each other. Connemara is the perfect place for any visitor to experience the Wild Atlantic Way. It offers visitors some of the most scenic views and natural beauty you can find across Ireland. Places like Inishbofin Island, Clifden Town, Wildlands Adventures, and others provide top-notch experiences for anyone who finds themselves out in this beautiful part of Ireland.

We had the pleasure of filming and producing our brand new “Hidden Gems” ad campaign highlighting Citylink 923 Galway to Clifden/Cleggan route. With each diverse shot, you’ll be amazed by the stunning surroundings of the Wild Atlantic Coast. To coincide with this ad, we thought we’d run through some of the iconic landmarks featured in the clip that you just MUST Visit.

Lowry’s Bar

Known as one of the best pubs in Clifden and Voted Best Traditional Bar, Ireland 2019, 2018 & 2015, Lowry’s Bar is the perfect place for a bite to eat and a lovely pint. You will have a fantastic time with their amazing traditional style interior and charming staff. A special shout out to barman Damien, whose smile would brighten up any oul grumps day! Lowry’s Bar also has one of the most fascinating backstories we’ve ever heard, bringing a rich character to the place.

Lowry’s Bar Clifden has been in the Lowry family since 1949. At this time, Patrick Lowry, a Garda sergeant stationed in Donegal, decided to retire and move back home to his native Connemara. Upon his return, he decided to buy a pub. As chance would have it, a cousin of his was selling a pub in Clifden located at Market Street, then known as Connolly’s Bar.

So he bought the pub in Clifden, renamed it Lowry’s Bar, and sure the rest, as they say, is history! Patrick ran the business as not only a pub but a grocery as well. The grocery section was situated at the front, and the public house section was at the back. We can imagine that was very handy if you were tired after doing a day’s shopping! You could stop out the back to Lowrys Bar, where a well-poured Guinness would give you some strength for the walk home!

The most interesting part of Lowry’s history is the unique selling point of offering patrons the chance to cure a toothache! A dentist called Mr. John Bermingham operated his dental practice from a small room at the back of the pub. The story goes that patrons in Lowrys Bar would be sent out to have a sizeable Jameson after a visit to the dentist to numb any pain and, of course, settle the nerves. It’s no wonder it soon developed the reputation for being one of the best pubs in Clifden!

In 1977 Patrick’s niece Eilish and her husband Paul took ownership of Lowry’s Bar which they ran until Paul passed away in 2010. Paul was a natural in the pub, a particularly popular figure with all customers, locals, and visitors, and is sorely missed. Eilish is still involved in the pub but is now taking a well-deserved break from the business’s day-to-day running. Damien, the current owner, is the third generation of the family to own and run the pub. He hopes to emulate the great success of Patrick, Paul, and Eilish before him.

Find out more at http://www.lowrysbar.ie

Clifden Station House Hotel Connemara

If you are looking for a place to stay while in Connemara, the Clifden Station House is the perfect base to explore the majestic beauty of Connemara.

The Clifden Station House is Galway’s most popular family hotel. Immersed in the heart of the Wild Atlantic way. The cosy modern hotel has many rooms to choose from, with double rooms, family rooms, junior suites, and deluxe double rooms available. As well as an indoor swimming pool, spa and free kids throughout the school holidays including movies shown in our own 200-seat theatre.

You can also indulge in their delicious gourmet dinners created for you by our award-winning Chef Pascal Marino. They have a fantastic 10% discount on their Gourmet Dining Breaks which are not to be missed. We treated ourselves to their stunning lunch menu at their Signal Bar & Restaurant, and we must Connemara seafood tastes divine!

Check out their deals for this years October Mid Term Break or recharge your batteries on one of their famous Wellness Breaks.

Clifden Bookshop

Clifden Bookshop is one of the staple retail outlets in Clifden. Based on Main Street, this little gem is the perfect store to visit when you’re in the area.

The Clifden Bookshop opened in 1997. It is a niche business in the beautiful town of Clifden, known as the Capital of Connemara. When you walk through the door, you’re greeted by walls filled with gorgeous colourful books and the lovely smiling face of Nicole, the owner of Clifden Bookshop. They state, “Our mantra is that there is a book out there that is the key to unlocking a lifelong love of reading.” And have first-hand knowledge of their stock in their “Room with the Books.”

One of the very cool parts of Clifden Bookshop is you’ll see walls of familiar faces who have passed through the store over the past 25 years. You’re sure to find some inspiration here and a chance to chat about your most recently read books!

Inishbofin Ferries

Cleggan is a beautiful seaside village right on the edge of Ireland. Cleggan is also the point for those wishing to travel to Inishbofin Island will catch the boat.
When you arrive in Cleggan via Citylink, you’ll see the village has four bars Olivers, Joyces, Newmans, and The Pier Bar. One a grocer, a sit-down restaurant, and a seasonal take-out.

In addition to trips to the local islands, leisure activities for visitors include horseback riding and fishing.

We’d always recommend a trip out to Inishbofin Island – It’s the perfect place for a bike ride or a stroll. The lads at Inishbofin Ferries and the office staff are quick to recommend things to do or places to go for a bite on the island.

For ticket information, head to: http://www.inishbofinferry.ie

Connemara National Park

Last but not least, situated in the West of Ireland in County Galway, Connemara National Park covers some 2,000 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. Connemara National Park was established and opened to the public in 1980.

Much of the present Park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School, the remainder having been owned by private individuals. The southern part of the Park was at one time owned by Richard (Humanity Dick) Martin who helped to form the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during the early 19th century. The Park lands are now wholly owned by the State and managed solely for National Park purpose.

The views here are absolutely breath taking and the hike will be sure to get those steps in!

Does this sound like the perfect weekend for you? Well then you are in luck! We are hosting a Weekend Giveaway for Connemara over on our Instagram page. Head there now to enter!

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How To: Manage Your Booking

We understand that life is hectic and sometimes plans change. We here at Citylink want to make your experience as pleasant and seamless as possible.

A question we get asked a lot is “Can I change my booking?” and the answer is, yes! To help our customers have more flexibility and control over their travel plans customers can now amend their booking up to 3 times prior to the scheduled service departure time.

Conditions:

  • You can amend your booking with Citylink up to 30 minutes before a service departs its first stop
  • We are happy to change the time and date of your booking but we cannot change the destination.

How to manage your booking:

If you need help with amending your ticket, check out our handy video tutorial below.

Or check out our step by step guide below:

How to manage your booking:

When you go to our website www.citylink.ie, click “Manage my Booking” in the top right corner as seen below:

When you click on the “Manage My Booking” section the following page will appear:

Enter your booking reference number which can be found in your confirmation email, or if you chose to have your ticket text to your mobile, your booking reference number can also be found here. You will also need to enter the email you used to book your initial journey.

Once you have submitted these details, you can proceed to change the date and time of your booking. Your new ticket will be sent to your email.

Other Citylink blogs that might interest you:

1. What are my rights if my flight is delayed

2. Citylink’s top 5 tips for stress-free airport travel

Keep up to date with Citylink via our socials:

How to Spend a Summer Night in Galway

Galway is one of those places that when the sun starts to shine, you just don’t want to be at home. You’d much rather be out and about, taking in the sights and sounds of everyone enjoying the summer sun. Galway has some iconic places to spend a summer evening like Spanish Arch, Eyre Square and Woodquay – all with stunning views and perfect for a cheeky drink.

Summers in Galway can be electric. You’ll see tourists and locals mixing with culture and music and there’s always so much to do. We’ve decided to give you guys an idea of how to best spend a summer night in Galway and make the most of the upcoming warm and sunny days.

Dinner in the Dean

The Dean, a recently opened hotspot, is one of those iconic landmarks in Galway. Situated just off of Eyre Square, sitting on their rooftop terrace on a warm day while you eat is idyllic. Acknowledged as “a slice of boutique bliss in the heart of Galway, one of Europe’s friendliest cities”, The Dean and their rooftop restaurant, Sophie’s will offer any visitor a high-class, spectacular dining experience while you take in the view of Galway City.

The Dean, Galway.

Swan Out To Salthill

It’s almost criminal to be in Galway on a warm summer day or evening and not venture out to Salthill. Salthill on a warm day is world-class – you may even think you were in Spain. Taking the 401 city bus from Galway and getting off near the church in Salthill, you’re only a stones throw away from the beach. There’s a lot of cool places to stop and grab a bite, a drink or a coffee in Salthill. O’Reilly’s Bar has a stunning rooftop veranda where you can have a chilled drink and look out to the ocean.

Head down towards Blackrock Diving Tower and you’ll arrive upon up to Jungle Café where you can get delicious coffee and treats which are just perfect for a warm summers evening while listening to the waves.

The Promenade, Salthill.

Booze in the Blue Note

Galway’s Westend is where it happens. There are so many cool bars, restaurants and cafes. The Blue Note is a staple of the Westend’s bar scene. Just on the corner of William Street, the Blue Note is a perfect place to continue your day out in Galway in the sunshine. Sit in their beer garden, which is a hub of activity in the evenings and weekends and listen to some great local music – we can’t think of a better way to chill out!

According to galwaywestend.ie, the philosophy of the Blue Note is “drinks are something to enjoy while you talk to friends, not something you talk about.”

The Blue Note, Wiliam Street.

Get A Load of GIAF

July in Galway is massive. From mid to end July, you’ll meet some of the finest talent and artists both local and international under the roof of Galway International Arts Festival. GIAF 2022 kicks off on July 11th and is the first full programmed festival since 2019. Have a pint and ice-cream at the Festival Garden in Eyre Square, take in a world-class music act at the Heineken Big Top or see one of the street acts – there’ll be plenty of music, art, theatre and performances for everyone to go and see.

As proud Friends of the Festival, Citylink will be giving away tickets to shows during the festival so be sure to check out @citylinkireland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your chance to win!

Satori and Unfolding, Galway International Arts Festival.

Irish Citylink completes acquisition of GoBus!

With the acquisition of GoBus, Irish Citylink will become one of the largest private land transport companies in Ireland.

Irish Citylink, a wholly owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro group headquartered in Singapore, has successfully completed the purchase of GoBus from its present owners. The acquisition marks a significant step forward for the company in expanding its network throughout Ireland. 

On reviewing the market to identify companies that offer an excellent level of service, it was imperative to choose a company whose values and reputation aligned with the core values and level of service Citylink is known for. GoBus epitomizes these values that are important to our company and passengers. 

David Conway, Regional Director of Irish Citylink, commented“Having navigated the challenges of COVID-19 and as we are rebuilding and expanding the range of services we offer to the traveling public, the addition of the GoBus network will enable us to provide significantly more options to both Citylink and GoBus customers. This enhanced network of services will encourage more people to travel via public transport and support our greater green agenda of moving towards a sustainable public transport network”.

The acquisition of GoBus fits into Citylink’s strategy to become the largest operator of intercity coach services in Ireland. GoBus’ convenient services and fleet of modern and comfortable coaches, alongside Citylink’s premium and reliable services, provide major opportunities for the company to become the largest intercity coach operator in Ireland. 

When asked about the acquisition, Frances Cahill, General Manager of Irish Citylink, commented, “This is just the beginning – The acquisition of GoBus brings so many new opportunities to the business in terms of employment, funding for local sponsorships, and the services we can provide for our passengers. We are absolutely delighted to bring two reputable transport providers together to provide an expanded network of routes and an even better customer experience for our current and future passengers!”

The stories behind Irish Citylink and GoBus

Irish Citylink first began right in the heart of Galway almost 20 years ago. The company’s distinctive blue and yellow coaches have become synonymous with high-quality, reliable, and affordable coach travel. In the beginning, Citylink ran up to 12 daily services between Galway and Dublin. Since then, they have expanded their business and network of routes to over 100 daily direct, express, and multi-stop services across all routes. Over 150 people are employed in the provision of Irish Citylink’s services in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, and Cork.

GoBus was established in 2009 and operates frequent and flexible coach services across three main routes serving Galway, Dublin, Cork, and Ballina. GoBus prides itself on offering flexibility and the best in comfort and safety on board.

Pairing GoBus with Citylink’s mission to connect Ireland’s towns, cities, villages, and airports across the nation by providing reliable travel is both ambitious and vital. Particularly as the need for public transport increases each year.

Irish Citylink operates a range of services in Galway, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Clifden, Loughrea, Athlone, Ballinasloe, and more. The company currently carry over 28,000 passengers per week across all routes which is forecasted to surpass 35,000 later this year. With these numbers in mind, it is clear that transport is an essential and vital service in today’s society. With this acquisition, Irish Citylink is determined to create a reality where transport is more accessible in Ireland than ever before!

For more information on how this acquisition will affect Irish Citylink and GoBus’ customers, please click here.

Are you excited? Galway International Arts Festival is back in full swing!

Galway is the fourth largest city in the Republic of Ireland and has one of the island’s most vibrant and diverse cultural scenes! From Art, music, and theatre to just the people you meet on the street, there is a reason Galway was voted the Capital of Culture in 2020. With many events happening here, it’s difficult to get bored. Especially during the summer months! 

Citylink is proud to become a Friend of the Galway International Arts Festival this year as we appreciate how important the arts are for fostering creativity, empathy, and education. In July, GIAF invites world-class acts from all over the globe to the City of Tribes for two weeks of cultural extravagance! 2022 will be a particularly special year for the Festival as it will be the first full programme of events since Covid, and it’s set to be a big one!

In 2019, over 200 events took place in 30 venues for 14 days, with attendance above 260,000. The festival not only attracts the locals but people from all over the world travel to Galway for these two weeks as well. The Guardian has even named the Festival one of Europe’s Top 5 Summer Festivals. 

Previous festival highlights include Medicine, Madness, Robert Plant, Joni Mitchell, Sam Jinks, Jenny Greene, Gavin James, Kodaline, St. Vincent, Burt Bacharach, Macy Grey, etc.

Some of the gigs and shows our team is looking forward to the most are:

  • The Academic: 

Deservedly billed as “One of Ireland’s most exciting live acts,” the Academic is one of Ireland’s prolific rock bands, with several sold-out shows. They have also supported some huge acts like Twenty-One Pilots on tour! Some of their hits include “Bear Claws” and “Fake ID” – This is set to be one of the festival highlight shows, and they’re sure to rock the Big Top Tent!

  • “Middle Bedroom”: 

This will be the ninth installment of “The Rooms” series by Tony Award-winning playwright Enda Walsh. Enda Walsh is a multi-award-winning Irish playwright who has had many shows in the festival over the years! Previous installments of this series include “A Girls Bedroom,” “Bathroom,” and “Kitchen.” This immersive theatre piece is held in Columban Hall, a unique venue in Galway. The “Rooms” series has toured to Washington and New York; most recently, five of the works were presented at the Barbican, London. This is definitely a must-see show.

  • “Remember”: 

An art installation in the main gallery of the Festival. Ana Maria Pacheco is a Brazilian sculptor and artist. Recently exhibiting at the Galway International Arts Festival in 2017, pieces like The Longest Journey, Dark Night of the Soul, a masterpiece of myth and history, and a plethora of prints lined the gallery. Her exhibition was incredibly popular and drew a crowd to see the beautiful sculptures.

  • Orla Gartland: 

Dublin-born singer-songwriter Orla Gartland began her career posting videos on Youtube in 2009. Skip to now, and she has amassed 24+ million total views. She has now gone on to have her music featured on the acclaimed Netflix series “Heartstopper,” which was released earlier this year. Orla’s indie pop/folk vibe is definitely going to create a fantastic atmosphere for the audience, and we are super excited to go!

  • Druid Debuts 2022: 

This is undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights of the Galway theatre and culture scene. Druid Debuts is an event of rehearsed readings that takes place annually and showcases some of their “New Writing Programme submissions.” Each summer, the selected playwrights are provided with professional support, a director, a cast, and space to develop their script to a rehearsed reading level. After the reading, audience feedback is invited as a means of further development.

Be sure to check out https://www.giaf.ie/festival/events and @GalwayIntArts on Instagram for clips and previews of what’s to come!

Pride Month at Irish Citylink

Around the world, June is recognized as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, celebrating the queer history and the steps taken to where the community is today. Pride Month and pride celebrations are celebrated across the globe in various forms – through music, street performances, parades, and parties. For many in the queer community, it is a highlight to the calendar as community members and allies come together and show the power of equality.

A little history of Pride in Ireland:

The first pride week to be held in Ireland was back in 1979 – 10 years after the Stonewall Uprising, which saw LGBTQ Protesters clashed with police in New York in 1969. The first pride parade to be held in Ireland was June 1983, and 10 years later, in 1993, homosexuality was decriminalized, which was a monumental step forward for Irish LGBTQ+ Rights. Since then, equality for the gay community has been gradual, with the 2010 Civil Partnership Act and the 2015 referendum to legalize same-sex marriage.

At Citylink, Pride is incredibly important, not just for the workplace but also for our customers. This is because we strive to provide an inclusive space for all. So the importance of Pride at Citylink is not just for the month of June but is key to the company ethos. We recognized that workplaces, especially over the last couple of years, have been going through many changes. With hybrid working, change of careers, back to the office – but the one thing that remains a constant, including here at Citylink, is the value of diversity, inclusion, and equality.

Citylink provides a whole host of services across Ireland – Galway, Athlone, Cork, Dublin, Limerick, and an array of towns and villages along the way. As a company that serves many communities and people, we must show our support in any way we can.

Limerick Pride, 2019.

Pride celebrations around Ireland continue to grow. We’re delighted to serve many towns and cities that celebrate pride and show their support to the LGBTQ+ Community. We were delighted to see Inishowen host the inaugural pride in County Donegal. We hope to see many more like it in the future.

Citylink is proud to support Limerick Pride (July 4th – July 10th). Limerick Pride has lots to offer, including drag shows, performances, and art. Keep an eye on our socials for fun and exciting Pride content. We will continue to show our support for the many festivities and celebrations across the country.

Citylink’s Top 5 Tips for Stress-Free Airport Travel

At Citylink, we recognise travel can be stressful, here are a few simple tips to help you along the way.

Travelling to Dublin Airport can often prove an anxious journey. Allow us here at Citylink to take care of the main guidelines you need to remember before embarking on your journey to Dublin Airport.

1. Give yourself enough time

Always allow yourself extra time when travelling to Dublin Airport, this cannot be said enough. It is impossible to predict what may come in your way or what the weather may be like, therefore allowing that extra time gives you that peace of mind. As a rule of thumb we advise 3 hours for transatlantic flights & 2 hours for all flights in Europe. That is to allow 3 hours for Terminal 2 and 2 hours for Terminal 1.

For your convenience, we have attached timetables of Galway-Dublin Airport & Limerick City-Dublin Airport.

2. Fast Track

Enjoy priority security with Dublin Airports dedicated Fast Track lane. Fast Track minimises any waiting time and gets you through Security in less than 10 minutes and also it gets you 10% off on Airport shopping. So if you’re tight on time or simply want more time to shop, grab a bite to eat or relax before your flight, the Fast Track service allows you make the best use of your airport travel time.

Fast Track access is priced between €5.95 – €7.99 and is dependent on date and time of travel. This may be worth your while especially if you plan to make a purchase in Duty Free.

3. Passports/Visas

How often do you get the reminder: Do not forget your passport! This happens far more often than you think on our eireagle and Citylink airport services. Keep a print and digital copy of your passport for further travel just in case.

4. Essential luggage tips

Don’t forget to pack an adaptor, battery charger, first aid kit, phrase book, insect repellent and sun cream if appropriate for your destination. If there is anything you’ve forgotten to include, don’t worry, you’ll find most travel essentials on sale at one of the many airport shops.

5. Check-in

There are two ways to check in. You can check in online 24 hours ahead of time and go directly through security or you can check in manually at the airport at a self-service check-in kiosk or the old fashioned face to face check in option. Always check your luggage allowance which can vary airline to airline.

Conclusion

We hope the following tips can act as a guide to helping you plan your trip away with as much ease as possible. If you have any additional queries in relation to any of our airport services, do not hesitate to get in contact with our Citylink team. We also have a FAQ section to answer any questions you may have.

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5 Delicious Brunch Locations in Galway City

Here at Citylink, we associate brunch with good times and relaxing days with our nearest and dearest.

With Galway brunch options on an upward curve all the time, we decided to put together a list of some of the most exciting places to stuff your faces.

This is by no means a definitive list of the best places in Galway, but instead some of our favourites, and a few of the places you simply have to try over the next few weekends. Get drooling!

Dela Restaurant

dela food 4
Dela Restaurant, Lower Dominick Street, Galway

Well, the picture speaks a thousand words. Just WOW. Have a sweet tooth? Then you NEED to try the Buttermilk pancakes. They are simply delicious and most definitely hard to beat. On the other hand, we have never tried one savoury dish on the menu that wasn’t delicious either. There is something for everyone. Want to kick it up a notch? Order yourself a cheeky mimosa to wash it down.

Available Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 15:00 and Sunday 10:00 – 16:00

McCambridges

mccambridges brunch
McCambridges, Shop Street, Galway

Right in the heart of town, they’re known for exquisite coffee and always well-renowned, delicious food. From avocado egg smash, devilled Irish crab meat to cinnamon french toast, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. Want to take some of the goodness home? Well, you’re in luck. McCambridges stock a full range of local artisan foods and boutique wines and spirits.  This is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Available Sunday 10:00 – 18:00

Harry’s at Water Lane

wings
Harry’s at Water Lane, Bohermore, Galway

Not only is their brunch menu AMAZING with sweet and savoury waffles, homemade pancakes, chicken wings and their signature Harry’s fry, they have outdone themselves with delicious selection of cocktails. They also have a new dessert menu including waffles, cookies skillets and much more!

Hyde Bar Galway

hyde bar food
Hyde Bar, Forster Street, Galway

The Hyde Bar & Gin Parlour in Galway offer a fantastic array of brunch options including bottomless brunch. There are so many options to suit all your different tastes such as brioche french toast, super salads and wild mushroom bruschetta. Feel like something more filling? Go for the steak and eggs, meat tacos or eggs royale. Whatever you choose, you won’t be dissapointed. Add in to the mix that Galway Coach Station is directly across the road from the Hyde & you are on to a winner from the off!

Available Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 – 17:00

Tribeton

tribeton eggs
Tribeton, Merchants Road, Galway

Absolute FAB brunch. They do a delicious full Irish and the eggs Benedict are to die for! Not to mention that the atmosphere in there is wonderfully chilled, exactly what you want for a well-deserved weekend brunch after a busy week!

Available Saturdays 10:00 – 16:00 and Sundays 12:00 – 16:00

Well those are five places to brunch in Galway. If you have any you think need to be added to our list, get in touch with us on our social media. We’re always looking for new places to brunch!

Facebook: @citylinkireland

Twitter: @citylinkireland

Instagram: @irish_citylink

Our Top 5 picks for a Spring City Break in Europe!

Nothing beats the post Christmas blues like a quick Spring getaway to look forward to. There are a multitude of amazing destinations at our doorstep in Europe, waiting to be explored. Keep reading to find out about our Top 5 picks for a Spring City Break in Europe.

1.Amsterdam

amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, is well known for it’s artistic heritage, narrow houses with gabled facades and being the world’s 2nd most bicycle friendly city in the world. Amsterdam’s nickname is “Venice of the North” attributed by the large number of canals which form a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world in the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century and became the leading centre for finance and trade.

Exploring the cities canals by foot, enjoying a walk on Blijburg beach and learning about Amsterdam’s history at Stadsarchief (City Archives) are a few of the many amazing things you can do to make the most of your time in this wonderful city.

Things to do:

Flight time from Dublin Airport: 1 hr 40 mins

2. Berlin

berlin
Berlin, Germany

Berlin is a world of culture, politics, media and science. It is the capital and largest city in Germany bursting with fascinating history. It’s 3,748,148 inhabitants make it the second most populous city of the European Union after London.

Among the city’s main features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree, Havel, and Dahme rivers. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes.

The city has numerous orchestras, museums, and entertainment venues, and is host to many sporting events. It’s Zoological Garden is the most visited zoo in Europe and one of the most popular worldwide. The city is also well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts and a very high quality of living.

Things to do:

Flight time from Dublin Airport: 2 hrs 20 mins

3. Paris

paris
Paris, France

The “City of Love” as it is well-known globally is the perfect place to visit with your loved ones to overcome the Christmas blues. Paris, France’s capital city, is a major European city and global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture.

Paris is especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was among most visited art museums in the world in 2019, with 9.6 million visitors. The historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and popular landmarks in the city centre included the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, now closed for renovation after the April 15, 2019 fire.

Paris received 24.5 million visitors in 2018. It was ranked as the second most visited travel destination in the world in 2018, after Bangkok. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis.

Things to do:

Flight time from Dublin Airport: 1 hr 45 mins

4. Venice

venice
Venice, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. It was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important centre of commerce – especially silk, grain, and spices, and of art from the 13th century to the end of the 17th.

The lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, and artwork. Venice is known for several important artistic movements – especially during the Renaissance period.

Although the city is facing some challenges (including an excessive number of tourists, problems caused by pollution, tide peaks and cruise ships sailing close to the buildings), Venice remains a very popular tourist destination, a major cultural centre, and has been ranked many times the most beautiful city in the world. It has been described by the Times Online as one of Europe’s most romantic cities and by The New York Times as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”.

Things to do:

  • Grand Canal – Canal, basilica and palace
  • Rialto Bridge – Ornate footbridge over the Grand Canal
  • St. Mark’s Square – Landmark basilica dominated square
  • St. Mark’s Basilica – Landmark cathedral with gilded domes
  • Burano – Island of lace-making and colourful fishermen’s homes
  • Murano – Museo del Vetro and glass souvenirs
  • Bridge of Sighs – Iconic white-stone enclosed bridge

Flight time from Dublin Airport: 2 hrs 40 mins

5. Budapest

budapest
Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. Budapest is a global city with strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. It is Hungary’s financial centre, and was ranked as the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe.

Among Budapest’s important museums and cultural institutions is the Museum of Fine Arts. The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has several notable monuments, including the Hungarian ParliamentBuda CastleFisherman’s BastionGresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue.

Things to do:

Flight from Dublin Airport3 hrs

No matter where you decide to travel in Europe, you are guaranteed to find some delicious cuisine, historic landmarks, fantastic nightlife, beautiful scenery and much more!

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