As a fun city in which to do business, there can be few better than Dublin, where serious commerce is almost always followed by some serious craic
There are few cities where you can so seamlessly marry a business trip with some serious leisure time as you can in Dublin. This may be an important centre of commerce and the Irish headquarters of some major corporations but the “craic” is never far away. There are few business meetings that don’t end up in an atmospheric bar late in the evening.
The great thing about this city is that almost everything worth seeing is within walking distance of the major hotel area, so a quick stroll to your business meeting may well take you through the Temple Bar area, where the vibrant bars, club and restaurants are shoulder to shoulder.
There’s a good choice of ways to travel around in Dublin, including taxis, which are reasonably priced. The journey from the airport to the city centre takes about 15 minutes, or you can take an airport bus. A state-of-the-art light rail transit system, LUAS, operates between the city’s two main stations and to a number of suburbs.
TOP BUSINESS HOTELS
A very smart hotel converted from three Georgian townhouses in one of the smartest parts of Dublin - the perfect choice if you want to be right in the city centre and at the heart of all the action, though still in very stylish surroundings. Not only is the building itself very beautiful, there’s even one of the biggest private art collections in Ireland.
The Shelbourne Dublin
One of Dublin’s best known hotels, the once slightly faded Shelbourne, now a Renaissance Hotel, is again a major player after an extensive refurbishment. Right on St Stephen’s Green, its location is perfect for a business trip and though much of the old charm has been retained, most of the facilities now work properly.
The Westin Dublin
Located in a former bank building, right by College Green on Westmoreland Street, this has to be one of the top choices for visiting business travellers. It’s just across the road from Trinity College and right in the heart of the business area.
ONE FOR YOUR TIME OFF
Right in the centre of the city by the River Liffey, The Clarence, owned by Bono and The Edge of the Irish rock band U2, is surprisingly simple and elegant, in spite of its rock star associations. Although it is bang up to date, the hotel still manages to offer the best of all that old fashioned Irish hospitality we hear so much about.
EATING AND DRINKING
The Church Gallery Restaurant
Right in the heart of Dublin’s central district, there’s no denying The Church is a dramatic venue. Spread over four levels, this restored 18th-century Church of Ireland church still has many original features, including an original organ and spectacular stained-glass window.
Close to the green open spaces of Merrion Square Park and St Stephen’s Green, Pearl Brasserie is where you will find many of Dublin’s super-cool urbanites, all drawn by the restaurant’s mix of Parisian sophistication with a dash of New York style. Take a seat in one of the brown leather armchairs while you study the menu.
For some real local colour, particularly out of business hours, head for the Temple Bar area, where the cultural centres, art galleries and the like that draw the crowds during the day give way, as evening falls, to the dozens of vibrant bars and restaurants that act as a magnet for those in search of a good night out. Some worth checking out include Lillie’s Bordello (Adam Court), where the drinks come accompanied by plenty of music ranging from mainstream pop to club classics, and Spy Club (Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 6 William Street) - spread over three floors, this is one of Dublin’s coolest bars, catering to the seriously hip crowd.
Pretty similar to the UK, though you may get a sense that timing is rather more flexible than you may be used to. Suits are the norm for business meetings, though many will shed their ties at the first opportunity, as the working day merges into after-work drinks time.
Trinity College and the Book of Kells, a 9th-century illuminated manuscript. And don’t miss the adjacent Long Room, with its fascinating exhibition of historic volumes.
The Dublin Writers’ Museum, in Parnell Square, with letters, notes and personal items from the likes of Behan, Swift, Wilde and Joyce.
NEED TO KNOW
Currency is the euro.
Office hours are generally Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm.
There’s good shopping to be found all over Dublin, not least in Grafton Street and O’Connell Street, though there’s little difference between prices here and those in the UK.