Dash to Dublin
By Q Virginia Staff
Located near the midpoint of Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey, Dublin was founded as a Viking settlement. But for much of the country’s history and since medieval times, Dublin has been Ireland’s primary city. Today, it is Ireland’s economic, administrative and cultural center and has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city.
If you are looking for a vacation with a rich blend of tradition, architectural beauty and culture, then Dublin is the ideal destination for you. As well as being steeped in history, it has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent writers, including James Joyce, W.B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw.
There is certainly something for everyone here and you won’t need a car or a bus to get around as Dublin is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that can easily be explored on foot. If this sounds a little tiring, don’t worry, as refreshments are always close by when walking through the city. Pop into Bewley’s, Dublin’s famous coffee shop, or visit a traditional Irish pub for a drop of the black stuff (Guinness, of course).
A trip to Dublin would not be complete without a visit to the Dublin Writers Museum, which houses a reserve of books including rare, first editions and critical works. Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university, is well worth a visit. The university houses the Book of Kells, a world-famous illuminated manuscript transcribed by Celtic monks, and also owns some of the most important buildings in the city. You have to check out Dublin Castle and the famous Guinness Storehouse at St. James’ Gate. Much of Dublin’s charm comes from the easily accessible nature of the city, so enjoy a stroll through the fashionable shopping area around Grafton Street before heading through the beautiful St. Stephen’s Green park at the top of the street. The city’s cultural heart, Temple Bar, is filled with street performers, quirky shops and a range of bars and eateries that are not to be missed on weekends.
Dublin has a vibrant nightlife and the city is reputedly one of the most youthful cities in Europe. You’ll find a plethora of pubs throughout the city centre. The area around St. Stephen’s Green—especially Harcourt Street, Camden Street, Wexford Street and Leeson Street—is a centre for some of Dublin’s most popular nightclubs and pubs. Theatres and traditional bars provide regular live music, such as Buskers and the Ha’penny Bridge Inn. Be sure to catch Her Royal Highness, Queen Panti Bliss, at her popular gay utopia, Pantibar! Or if relaxation is what you’re after, why not take an open-top bus tour to see more of this wonderful city and rest your weary legs?
In Dublin, there is no shortage of things to do and see. Pop on over and find some good “craic!”