Why you’ll love it
Dublin is paradise for history buffs. Start at Trinity College Library, where you can see the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript written in 800 A.D.; from there, walk to Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral. Unwind in Temple Bar, the historic district where pubs and shops line cobblestone streets. For a change of scenery, day-trip into County Wicklow, which Terry McCabe of Altour Travel says is known as the “garden of Ireland.”
Why it’s a deal
Flights to Dublin have been at least 15% cheaper than the European average for the past five years, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And that trend — owing in part to lower airport taxes and aggressive pricing from Aer Lingus — is expected to continue. Ireland’s economy remains weak, so you’ll find the costs when you get there bearable, despite the country’s being on the euro. Hotel rates, for example, dropped 6% last year, per Hotels.com.
Where to stay
The contemporary Maldron Hotel Parnell Square (maldronhotels.com; summer rates starting at $102 a night) is within walking distance of Temple Bar and the Abbey Theatre.