A highlight of any trip to Dublin is that visitors can tour Trinity College’s grand buildings, relax in its tranquil gardens and see the famous Book of Kells in the venerable Old Library.
This intellectual powerhouse is one of the most esteemed bastions of learning outside Oxford and Cambridge, and Ireland’s most famous university. With impeccably manicured gardens hiding among its elegant historical buildings – as well as some sleek but tasteful modern additions – it’s also one of the most tranquil spots in the whole of Dublin.
Founded in 1591 on the orders of Queen Elizabeth I, it became the educational establishment of choice for the Irish elite, not to mention more than a few from England, Scotland and Wales as well. It can boast an impressive list of famous (or infamous) alumni, including two of the Emerald Isle’s most seminal writers, Samuel Beckett and the irrepressible Oscar Wilde.
Early mornings are the best time to visit – you can amble to your heart’s content while the student body still sleeps, before they’re clanged awake by the morning Mass bells. Come in summer, though, and you can take a tour guided by current students.
College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland