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Dublin has become a major stopover for cruise ships, with 86 vessels visiting the city in 2014. Smaller ships can sail right up the Liffey close to the city center, while larger liners berth in Alexandra Quay about 2 km (1 mile) from the center. So it's only a short walk into the action, or a cheap taxi ride if you prefer (taxis meet every ship). If you're staying overnight, then the bucolic beauties of County Wicklow are only an hour away and you can easily find a tour bus to take you there at the main tourist office on Suffolk Street. Renting your own car for the day opens up a lot of options including trips to the prehistoric wonders of Newgrange or the majestic Georgian country houses of county Kildare. But if you prefer to spend your time in the capital then a quick trip to the aforementioned tourist office will help you orient yourself and make some informed choices. Dublin is an easy city to navigate on foot, or you can use the extensive bus and tram network to get around.

Best Bets for Cruise Ship Passengers

Guinness Storehouse and Brewery: The source of the magic black beer.

Georgian Dublin: Head for the elegant squares and classy museums of this great walking district.

Temple Bar: If you feel like partying with locals and visitors alike.

Trinity College: The stunning old campus is a great place to stroll and meet the natives.

Grafton Street: All the best shops in Dublin squashed into one very walkable street.