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Aran Inspired

Dublin City Gallery / The Hugh Lane Gallery

Contained in beautiful Charlemont House on Parnell Square, near O'Connell Street, the Hugh Lane Gallery is FREE to visit and houses one of Ireland's top collections of modern and contemporary art, with over 2000 works. Charlemont House is a magnificently restored 18th century mansion, beautiful both inside and out, which once belonged to the Earl of Charlemont. Named after Sir Hugh Percy Lane, an Irish art connoisseur who died in 1915, the museum famously exhibits the reconstructed studio of Francis Bacon (1909 - 1992), an Irish-born British artist. Opened in 1908 in Harcourt Street, the museum is renowned as being the world's first public gallery of contemporary art. Today, the Hugh Lane is situated just metres away from the Dublin Writers Museum.

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Driving Tips for US Visitors to Ireland

If you’re arriving directly from the US, you’re going to be jetlagged. Make your first night in Ireland car free. Public transport from all of the airports is good, and there’s always a lot to do in the vicinity of the airports. If you’re arriving at Dublin, you’ll have a chance to explore the city.

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What is the Difference Between 'Ireland' and 'Northern Ireland'?

Many non-Irish people ask "What is the difference between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?".

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How to Use Your U.S. Cellphone in Ireland

If you intend to travel to Ireland and use your cellphone -- be warned. Roaming costs for US cellphone users in Ireland can be astronomical. You could face a bill of hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. The bill will be even greater if you call other Americans in your group on their US cellphones while they are in Ireland.

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What is the Weather like in Ireland?

It will probably be raining! There is a reason why Ireland is famed for its lush, green scenery -- mother nature provides it a generous, year-round water sprinkler :) The climate in Ireland is generally damp and mild. Summer daytime temperatures typically range between the low 50s Farenheit /  low teens Celsius to the high 60s Fahrenheit / about 20 Celsius or thereabouts. Temperatures usually creep higher than this at some points in the summer, and you may even get a week or two of temperatures that go into 70s or even 80s Fahrenheit (low to high 20s Celsius). The best strategy, nevertheless, is to expect mild days sprinkled with rain showers, and treat anything else as  pleasant bonus. I should stress that summer rain usually falls in intermittent showers (literally dropped from a single cloud), rather than as continuous rainfall.

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What are the Best Castles to See in Ireland?

Ireland has no shortage of castles -- there are approximately a thousand castles spread throughout the island, though no complete and accurate list exists. Sounds fantastic? There's a snag -- the majority of Ireland's castles lie in ruins. Castle ruins have their own, abandoned, ivy-covered charm, and some ruins are tremendously more impressive than others. Nevertheless, if you're visiting Ireland, you'll probably want to see at least one beautiful medieval castle. You may want to see a castle you can walk into, with intact bedrooms and royal furniture.

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Can You Tour Ireland in One Week?

If you spend a lifetime in Ireland, as I have, you won't be finished exploring this country, which is littered with historical sites and scenic places. So, what if you've only got a week? Funnily enough, people who visit Ireland in a week often see more attractions than people who live here all their lifetime. This is probably because one-week tours are focussed on visiting the most popular tourist attractions, and taking in the most scenic locations.

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How to Plan a Vacation to Ireland on a Budget

It's easy to see why some opt for package tours to Ireland -- every morning, you get on the coach with everyone else and the coach takes you to the next sightseeing destination. For some, however, package tours to Ireland may be too expensive, while others may want to avoid the "conveyor belt" experience of the package. So how can you plan and book a great vacation to Ireland, while saving on costs, without slumming it?

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Advice from an American Who Visited Ireland

In 2013, I corresponded  back and forth with Patrick O'Leary, a Human Resources manager for UPS in Louisville, Kentucky, who is a highly organized guy. He was planning a two-week trip to Ireland with his son and daughter. At the end of his trip, Pat agreed to share some of his practical tips for Americans who are planning a vacation to Ireland...

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