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Dublin Travel Guide

flights to Dublin

More than any other European country Ireland is a place where the line between legend and fact remains pleasantly blurred and nowhere else in Ireland is this more true than Dublin. Dublinís legendary status has been confirmed through history by the unprecedented number of great writers who have lived and worked in there: Joyce, Becket, Wilde, Yeats and Doyle to name just a few Ė their endorsements alone have guaranteed the myths will continue. A distinctly colourful city in every sense of the word the beauty of its fine Georgian Architecture is complimented perfectly by the friendly, welcoming atmosphere. More than most it is a peopleís City where conversation is an art form and story telling a way of life. You will never be lonely in DublinÖ itís just not allowed.

The Republic of Irelandís capital city is also its most cosmopolitan. It is compact, yet broad on entertainment. Unlike Britain, pub culture is never frowned upon but is positively encouraged. This could well have something to do with the quality of the Guinness on sale, which is undoubtedly the finest in the world. Dublin is a wonderful city to stroll around. Most of the main sights and attractions are within easy walking distance of each other and the streets are picturesque and pleasant. Walk along Graftan Street, a bustling pedestrian mall filled with buskers, colourful shops and cosy pubs. OíConnell Street is the busiest and home to the Cityís finest restaurants and up market shops. Along OíConnell youíll also find Dublinís famous General Post Office and a series of statues depicting events from the Cityís history.

One of the most famous of the Cityís landmarks, as much for lending itís name to hundreds of pubs as any historic significance, is Dublin Castle. Not so much a fortress as a palace, the buildingís origins date back to 1204 but only the Record Tower actually survives from then. Dublinís oldest building is Christ Church Cathedral, which dates back to 1040, although most of what exists today is Victorian due to the extensive restorations and renovations carried out in the 1870s. The original 12th century doorway is one of the few external features not to have been changed and the oldest surviving part of the Cathedral is the crypt, which was completed in 1188. Another popular attraction is Trinity College, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. The university complex boasts some marvellous old buildings and a wonderful campanile but the main attraction is The Book of Kells. Housed in the Library of Colonnades, this superb illuminated manuscript dates from around 800AD and is one of the oldest books in the world.

Nine miles south of Dublin is the James Joyce Museum. Housed in one of the Martello Towers it contains photographs, books, letters and two death masks of the author. To the north of the city is Malahide Castle, a remarkable building filled with fine period furniture and paintings and home to Puck, a Talbot family ghosts. About a mile north of the charming suburb of Howth is Irelandís Eye. The island is a seabird sanctuary and has several good bathing coves, extensive wildlife and the ruins of a 16th century monastery. Back in the City centre there is a great choice of museums to check out. The National Musuem has a fascinating collection of treasures dating back to the Bronze Age. The National Gallery has a particularly fine collection of Italian Art and the Heraldic museum is of interest to anyone wishing to trace his or her Irish roots.

Dubliners really do like a pint or two and as if to prove the point there are over 850 pubs in the City. The highest concentration and the most vibrant pub scene is the Temple Bar area. Essentially the Irish equivalent of Soho or Greenwich Village it is also one of the oldest areas, its atmospheric cobbled streets are lined with a plethora of restaurants, busy pubs, small art galleries, intriguing shops and music venues. Street performers are everywhere and there are often book markets to browse through. One of Temple Barís main focal points is the spacious Meeting House Square where you can catch quality free entertainment in the form of films and concerts. Of course any drinker worth his salt simply has to make the pilgrimage to the Guiness Brewery, where, although you donít get to see the actually brewing process, you do get a tour of the facility and to watch a short film on the companies history. It is definitely worth taking the time to visit, if only for the delicious complimentary half pint of fresh Guinness youíre given at the end. Perfection in a glass!

As you would expect Dublin takes its partying seriously, so much so, that they have extended the St. Patrickís Day celebrations into a whole week of, parades, firework displays, shows and concerts. One of the highlights is the Temple Bar Fleadh during which the bars put on free musical entertainment and encourage pub-crawling to ensure you hear the very best of what is on offer. Another major event is the Guinness Blues Festival, which takes place on the third weekend of July. Spread over various indoor and outdoor locations, it attracts some of the biggest names from the Blues, Jazz and Rhythm and Blues scene. Dublinís literary heritage is celebrated every year on June 16th in the shape of Bloomsday. Named after the central character in James Joyceís masterpiece ĎUlyssesí, Leopold Bloom, it attracts fans from all over the world many of who dress in period costume and adopt the personalities of characters from the book.

It is no surprise that Dublin is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. The Cityís personality alone has ensured that travellers return time after time to soak up the lively welcoming atmosphere of one of the most artistic and colourful Cityís in the world. It is a beautiful City with a heart of gold loved equally by both intellectuals and youthful revellers. From listening to apocryphal tales in a packed bar to strolling along the banks of the Liffey, listening to traditional Irish music on Meeting House Square to wandering through delightful Phoenix Park there is a tangible quality to everything you do. It is no wonder that myths abound. Dublin is truly magical in every sense.

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Dublin Travel Guide, Attractions and Highlights
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