Dublin

Dublin - Ireland

Dublin deserves its reputation as one of the great destination cities in Europe. From fantastic shopping and sightseeing during the daytime to a huge array of pubs and clubs for the night, Dublin has it all for the tourist. Temple Bar is famous for its cobbled streets, cafes and fantastic selection of places to sample a pint of Guinness (poured to perfection, of course).

Dubliners go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome in the Irish capital and it is little wonder that Dublin is one of the most visited cities in Europe.

 

Brief History

After starting life as a settlement where Vikings would moor their ships, Dublin became the island's most important city in the years following the Norman invasion.  The name “Dublin” comes from the Irish name Dubh Linn (meaning "black pool", not to be confused with the Blackpool in the north west of England).

Years of rule by London were brought to an end in 1922, when Ireland was partitioned and Dublin made the official capital of the Republic of Ireland. Years of stagnation followed, until a huge renewal started in the 1990s, completely changing much of the city and creating the vibrant destination of today.

Literature, Theatre and The Arts

Dublin has produced many prominent figures from the world of literature, including Nobel laureates Yeats, Beckett and George Bernard Shaw, not to mention influential writers such as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker. But one figure towers above all others in Dublin’s literary world: James Joyce (author of Ulysses and Dubliners).

Dublin’s most famous theatres include the Abbey, the Gaiety, and the Olympia. The Abbey started out in 1904 to promote Irish literary talent. Among the founders was one W. B. Yeats.  To this day, the Abbey is known for promoting promising Irish artists. It is famous for providing Yeats and George Bernard Shaw with their breaks.

Elsewhere, The Gaiety (on South King Street) shows mainly musical and operatic production, with occasional dramas. It is well known for hosting a variety of live music, dancing, and films after the theatrical entertainment has finished.

The National Print Museum of Ireland and National Library of Ireland can be found in Dublin, and are well worth a visit. Three branches of the National Museum of Ireland reside in Dublin: Decorative Arts and History (Collins Barracks), Archaeology (on Kildare Street) and Natural History (Merrion Street).
There are a number of significant galleries in Dublin, including (but not limited to) the National Gallery, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, The City Arts Centre, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, The Project Arts Centre and The Royal Hibernian Academy. Around St. Stephen's Green, Dublin’s main city centre park, you will regularly find work by local artists on display.

 

Nightlife and Entertainment

The inhabitants of Dublin are famous for enjoying a good drink. And they are famously welcoming to visitors who share their enthusiasm for life. What better place could there possibly be for thirsty tourists to quench their thirst than Dublin’s vibrant city centre? Despite some politicians’ recent attempts to calm the city centre down after dark, Dublin remains vibrant. The area around St. Stephen's Green is a centre for nightclubs and pubs in Dublin and is a must-visit both during the daytime and after dark.

If you are after something livelier still, Temple Bar is the area to target. A favourite of stag and hen parties, the area can get a touch rowdy at times but measures are being introduced to keep the worst of the debauchery under control.

Don’t be deterred by Bono (who is no longer legally an Irish resident... for tax purposes), Dublin is a mecca for great live music. Apart from U2, a number of internationally renowned bands have sprung from in and around Dublin, including Thin Lizzy, The Boomtown Rats, Sinéad O'Connor and My Bloody Valentine. You can still catch great live music any night of the week in many of Dublin’s lively bars and clubs.

 

 
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Climate

Dublin has relatively cool summers, with the average temperature in July being just under 20C. While the west coast of Ireland is famously rainy, Dublin actually has slightly fewer rainy days than London each year.

Winters in Dublin are relatively warm, with the temperature rarely falling far below zero.
One interesting phenomenon in Ireland is prolonged dusk as a result of sitting next to the Atlantic Ocean.

If you are still awake to see the dawn, it’s probably time to leave Temple Bar and go to bed.


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Useful Links

Dublin Weather (BBC)

Dublin Airport

Official Tourism Site