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Go where the Dubliners go

By: Felicity Long

No one knows the best city attractions better than a local, and with this in mind Tourism Ireland rounded up the top 10 attractions Dubliners put on their own bucket lists.

The Teeling Whiskey Distillery, for example, located on the edge of Phoenix Park, gives the mega-popular Guinness Storehouse a run for its money -- although it follows a similar blueprint.

The idea is to bring the Teeling distillery process to life via interactive tours that highlight the story of the family behind the whiskey dynasty -- followed, of course, by tasting and shopping.

Ireland has no shortage of churches, but you can't get much more interactive than the guest experience at Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of the city. In the ancient crypt, for example, visitors can try on period costumes that range from Tudor ruffs and tasseled bonnets to medieval monk's robes.

The cathedral also features a sound installation with features such as the Listening Bench, where visitors can listen to Christ Church's stories told by storytellers in several different languages. The free experience is wheelchair accessible and available to all visitors within the cathedral grounds. The Irish Whiskey Museum on Grafton Street, offers another look at Dublin's historic whiskey industry.

Visitors can join a Whiskey Blending Tour for tastings and lessons in customizing whiskey to take home. The venue also offers cheese and whiskey pairings and chocolate and whiskey tastings.

For a day of virtual time traveling, plan a visit to Dublinia which offers a glimpse into the lives of seafaring Viking warriors who once settled Ireland's capital.

Dublinia features a virtual flight over the medieval city to see some of the capital's best-known landmarks at the museum's newly installed Curved Screen Theatre.

The facility also includes artifacts and interactive displays from the National Museum of Ireland, where visitors can play medieval games, visit a rich merchant's kitchen and explore a Viking warship, as well as climb 96 steps to the summit of an original medieval tower.

A key part of Ireland's story is one of emigration, and visitors can deepen their understanding of the impetus behind the Irish diaspora at EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum.

A highlight of the interactive galleries is "Ireland Never Leaves You," a film that tells the story of Patrick Keaney, who left Kerry for New York aboard the Jeanie Johnston famine ship in 1849, and the "Power of a Name" exhibition, where you can add the name of someone you know who emigrated.

Enjoy more Irish storytelling at the Glasnevin Experience, set within the country's 124-acre national cemetery. The "Extra-ordinary Lives" indoor exhibition highlights individual stories -- about Maria Higgins, for example, who died once but was buried twice -- and enables visitors to search for their own family surnames.

Sports fans can learn about favorite local pastimes at the GAA Museum in Croke Park, including a look at the origins of hurling, camogie and Gaelic football.

Architecture buffs can take in the visitor center and interactive multimedia exhibition at the 7th-century Clondalkin Round Tower in North Dublin.

The immersive experience leads visitors through the history of the tower, and kids can build their own round towers and dress up in medieval costumes.

The venue also includes the Physic Garden, where visitors can learn about the healing herbs used by the monks, and the Meditation Garden for a serenity break.

No one strolling through Dublin can miss St. Patrick's Cathedral, where tours explain its history and point out the graves of such luminaries as Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels," and Douglas Ross Hyde, the first president of Ireland. Or time your arrival to coincide with a choir recital or Christmas carols during the holiday season.

Finally, make time to tour Newbridge House and Farm on the outskirts of Dublin.

Newbridge House features three centuries of antiques, paintings and sculptures, including the Cabinet of Curiosities, full of family heirlooms; the Georgian Red Drawing Room; and the Servants' Quarters.

Here kids can shake off the cobwebs at the Farmyard Discovery Trail for an up-close-and-personal encounter with Connemara ponies, baby chicks, goats and pigs

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