|Subject: Re: Bloomsday Centennial in Dublin|
I was in Dublin for a longish weekend in March (e.g. the 17th)
I stayed in a home exchange place so I can't recommend a hotel.
But maybe you check out something like www.homeexchange.com or the ilk. Maybe someone want to swap with you or, if not, maybe they will have the place available and you can rent it from them. I stayed in a cute little pad directly on the Liffey (Temple Bar side) and within your price range during a St. Pat's day weekend. Nicht schlect!
The Musical Pubcrawl is quite good, IMHO. IN my case there were two lads that took you around to three bars and played a couple three tunes at each bar. They weaved in stories about the instruments, the bars, and - very important when they were signing Gaelic - about the songs. Definitely more about the music than the pub crawling - not sure which you prefer ;-)
Of course, many of the bars are quite good. Each has their own spirit and touristyness but in June you should be able to stroll by a few and decide what's your style. Or go on the musical pub crawl and simply ask for some recommendations....
This group is quite good for a walking tour overview of the city and history of Dublin:
For me the Guiness Experience was OK. If you tire of the experience, check out the Guiness advertising section and then race to the tippy top for a pint and a view. Dissapointingly, there was only ONE bar keeper (long red-headed lady) that could draw a nice shamrock into the head of a Guiness. The Guiness head is indeed
legendary and the legend here is, if the shamrock drawn in the foam is gone before you are finished with the beer, then you didn't do it right and have to try again. Meself, havn't fernd one yet!
There is some castle north of Dublin that was in the same family for 800 years or something. It wasn't interesting (in case that wasn't clear from my description).
Most important thing: talk to the local people!