Best known for its nightlife and welcoming charm, the capital of Dublin is infectious in its gaiety and friendliness. Much of it has to do with its hearty folk, who are equally known for their unabashed warmth and hospitality. Besides that asset, the city also has much to offer in terms of visually pleasing architecture, most dating centuries back. Not to mention the literary giants it has produced. Here, we introduce some of the top things to do in this vibrant city.
Take a walk in the legendary St. Stephen’s Green
Immortalized by James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, St Stephen’s Green is a lush Victorian public park that is well-known and beloved by the locals. Spread well over 9 hectares, it has been beautifully preserved, with a wide array of trees and shrubs dotted all over the land, with seasonal blooms brightening the park annually. Travellers can visit the waterfall and admire the Pulham rock work, or visit the memorials of poet Yeats and writer Joyce. During the summer, the park will be jazzed up by the sounds of free daytime concerts, which travellers can enjoy. Idyllic and charming, this park is a wonderful place to people-watch and spend a lazy afternoon.
Visit the Kilmainham Gaol Historical Museum
Do not be put off by the fact that this is a former prison. Ireland has a long and fascinating history filled with heroic events and this museum is the place to cover them all. Stretching from the 17th century all the way to the 20th Century, there are informative tours conducted to better acquaint tourists with Ireland’s past victories and milestones as a nation. Some of Ireland’s most celebrated political figures were held here. Some highlights include a significant exhibition dedicated to the political history of the prison, an audio-visual show as well as a one-of-a-kind art gallery on the top floor which showcases the works of prisoners from all over Ireland.
Down a pint or two at an Irish pub
Travelling to Ireland without downing at least a pint (or two) of their internationally celebrated beer is unheard of. Home to some of the finest pubs in the world, Dublin’s nightlife stands out with its generous dosing of gay Irish folk music and boisterous ambience, with Guinness or without. Travellers have many options to enjoy their brew, from the multiple award-winning, completely musician-owned Merry Ploughboy Irish Music Pub, which hosts a two-hour music and dance show every night; to the Porterhouse Brewing Company, a franchise which provides nightly live music and features brews from all over the world. Travellers get to do beer-tasting here (no Guinness here, though!) and chat up with the friendly locals. Of course, for travellers who insist on seeing the origins of Guinness, there is the Guinness Storehouse, which brings travellers through the process of creating the famous stout.
Experience a festival
As celebrated in Ireland as its Scottish counterpart, the Dublin Fringe Festival has long been a platform for aspiring, avant-garde performers to show off their skills and tricks, from theatre to street art. Vibrant and exciting, the two-week-long festival features more than 100 shows spread across over 40 venues. Travellers will be spoilt for choice at the number of entertainment options available. St Patrick’s Festival is another event that should not be missed if travellers can help it. This four-day event is celebrated in style, featuring some of the best Irish performing talents in a massive parade that includes fireworks displays and outrageous costumes.
Visit Trinity College
The first university established in Ireland, Trinity College has grown to become one of the top hundred universities in the world. This intellectual hub is popular with tourists because of its beautiful architecture – a mixture of classical and contemporary buildings flanked by impeccably landscaped gardens.