Enjoy the views of the grand Croke Park Stadium and 360° views of the city of Dublin with the Etihad Skyline Tour at Croke Park. You will be standing 17 stories above ground and 44 meters (144 feet) up in the open air after climbing roughly 100 steps to the top. The 1.5-hour tour will bring you around the top of the stadium, stopping at five platforms to enjoy the views.
The grand stadium
Entering the stadium at the mid-level is astounding. The enormous size of the stadium that holds 82,300 people is almost mind-boggling. Measuring 144 meters (472.5 feet) long and 86 meters (282 feet) wide, it is almost two times the size of a football (American soccer) field. Croke Park Stadium is the third largest stadium in Europe, but does not host any professional games. The National Stadium houses four dressing rooms that are exactly the same except rooms three and four are slightly smaller than one and two.
Four groundsmen work on the pitch of the stadium every day to keep the real grass, which was introduced in 2002, in ideal shape. In the winter months, they use large glass lights around the pitch to keep the ideal consistent temperature for the grass to grow, around 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit).
The views from above
During the tour around the top of the stadium, you will make five stops to see and learn about important people, landmarks, and historical events that occurred in the city of Dublin.
At the first stop on the top of the stadium you will see Glasnevin Cemetery, Holy Cross College, the Archbishop’s Palace, the National Botanic Gardens, and the Royal Canal. You will also hear about Brendan Behan, Charles Stewart Parnell, Daniel O’Connell, Dermot Morgan, Eamon De Valera, Luke Kelly, Michael Collins, and Stephen Gately. You will see and hear about one of “Dublin’s monumental failures.”
Moving on to the second viewing platform, your guide will tell you about Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, the Old Jameson Distillery, and Phoenix Park.
Reaching the third stop, you are getting views of some of the city’s most famous landmarks. Here, you will see and hear about Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Chester Beatty Library, the General Post Office, the Spire, and Trinity College.
Arriving at the fourth stop of the tour, you will see a monument that was designed to commemorate the visit of the Olympic torch for the 2012 Olympic Games. From this point, you will also view Aviva Stadium, Dun Laoghaire Harbor, Sugarloaf Mountain, the North, and South Bull Walls. Here you will also hear about the famous Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship.
The fifth stop on the tour may be a challenge for those scared of heights. This view has some parts of the city to see but it is mostly about the pitch. Towering over three levels of seats, you now comprehend the immense size of the stadium. Wearing a harness, you are now clamped onto the safety cable as you walk out on the skywalk jetting out above the pitch.
The last stop on the tour gives you views and information about the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, the Convention Centre, Dublin Docklands, Poolbeg Chimneys and Lighthouse, and the Samuel Beckett Bridge.
The Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) was founded in 1884 by several Irish men. Their goal was to conserve and foster Ireland’s athletic games. The cultural and amateur sporting organization primarily focuses on promoting Gaelic Games. The most popular games are hurling and Gaelic football; however, they also include rounders, handball, and camogie. They also promote Irish dance, Irish music, and the Irish language. The games are not only played in Ireland, they have over 500,000 members around the world.
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Croke Park tours
In addition to the live tour, audio guides are also available. The are available in English, French, German, Irish, Italian, and Spanish. Tickets for the Skyline Tour cost 20 EUR (23.50 USD) for adults, 18 EUR (21.00 USD) for students and seniors (with identification), and 12 EUR (14.00 USD) for children. Family packages area also available. There is a 1.2 meter (4 feet) minimum height restriction for this tour. The ticket prices also include entrance into the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Museum. Here you can test your abilities in the interactive games area. Stadium tours are also available. For more information on tour times, go to the Croke Park website.
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