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Why go?

The Irish may be fond of children but their capital can be expensive and daunting for parents travelling children. But don't be fooled, Dublin has a lot to offer kids of all ages.

Parks – like Merrion Square, St Stephen’s Green and the large Phoenix Park – all have rolling lawns ideal for children to romp around on. There is also a playground on the east side of St Stephen’s Green.

There are buskers, as well as funny and creative street artists performing on the pavements at Temple Bar and in Grafton Street, which will entertain the children as you are sightseeing.

There are also a number of fun bus trips suitable for all age groups. Children under five can use public transport free of charge, while family tickets make admission fees to various museums and events more affordable.

Activities

Attractions: Dublin Zoo - in the middle of Phoenix Park - has been one of the city's main attractions since 1830. Apart from the popular big animals – lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and gorillas – there are many more favourites and the zoo’s management take pride in the animals’ welfare. 

If animals aren't your thing, Dublinia will take you back to the Viking era and to Dublin in the Middle Ages. You can take a trip on a Viking ship, try on some Norsemen clothing, view a Viking house and learn their runic alphabet. Displays can take you back 700 years. 

You can't miss a visit to the National Leprechaun Museum, where you can learn about the story of this mythical Irish creature, a tiny cobbler who knows where great treasures of gold are hidden. Here, countless stories about leprechauns caught by humans, followed by leprechaun magic, are retold in twelve hisotrical interactive chapters – from the 8th century to today’s representation of leprechauns in films and in pop music.  

Sightseeing: Viking Splash Tours offer an exciting way to see the sights of Dublin. On land and through water: this unusual city round trip has amphibious vehicles, which drive into the water and back out again. 

Beach and coast: At the coastal village of Malahide you'll find a sandy beach, and in Killiney there's a nice pebble beach with a view over the Wicklow Mountains. Both beaches are quick to get to with the DART from Dublin’s centre.

Not far south of Killiney, on the coastal promenade in the small town of Bray, is the Aquarium National Sea Life Centre with sharks, piranhas, seahorses and many other creatures that will fascinate the children.

The lowdown

How to get there: British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Dublin; from £100 return. 

Travel time: A flight from London Heathrow takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Buy: Read a Marco Polo travel guide before you go on your family holiday.