Divided into north and south by the River Liffey, Dublin is a varied city with a throbbing urban heart. Feel its pulse in the retail haven of Grafton Street the country's foremost shopping street, and branch out to experience its thrilling cultural life along the veins of Temple Bar which pumps around the clock with music, art and eclectic fashion.
In summer time, St Stephen’s Green, the lush park at the southern end of Grafton Street, turns from a sea of emerald to a sea of pink as the locals cover every spare centimetre of grass and bare their wintery flesh to the sun.
The Guinness Storehouse is located in the heart of the Guinness brewery at St James’s Gate. Housed in an old fermentation plant, now the 7-storey self-guided visitor experience tells the history of the making of this world-famous beer.
Make sure you try it in Dublin ... apparently it doesn't taste the same when it leaves Ireland. Wait until the top settles and the brew turns black. As you drink, you should see thin rings around the glass marking each mouthful – this is the mark of a perfect pint.
The Temple Bar area is a square on the south bank of the River Liffey with off-shooting streets and narrow laneways. They’re lined with boutiques, cafes, galleries and pubs, and at any time of year, packed with culture-vultures and party-seekers. It’s the city’s playground, and it has a lot going on.
Temple Bar is the centre of Dublin’s cultural universe. Buskers, street artists, open-air markets and exhibitions create carnival atmosphere. You can catch a show (no less than three theatres on offer), mosey through a gallery, explore a market, go to a gig or just plonk yourself in a cafe for Dublin’s best people-watching spot.
The National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland has three of its four branches in Dublin; Kildare Street, Collins Barracks and Merrion Street. Each branch devotes itself to a different area of interest.
Kildare Street focuses on archaeology and includes displays on prehistoric Ireland, the Vikings, the medieval period, and there are even displays from other regions such as Egypt and the Roman world. Of particular interest is the early medieval Celtic metalwork.
Collins Barracks is home to the decorative arts and contains the Great Seal of the Irish Free State as well as ceramics, furniture, glassware, costumes and much more. It also features an exhibition in Irish military history.
Merrion Street houses the Natural History Museum and it contains specimens of animals from around the world. The Victorian building itself is worth a visit.
Trinity College & the Book of Kells
Trinity College is the educational homeland of Ireland. Visit the Old Library to see the staggering Long Room and Ireland’s greatest art treasure, the Book of Kells; one of the world’s most famed ancient manuscripts.
Written around 800 AD, the Book of Kells is a beautifully decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Christ in Latin, and one of Ireland's greatest cultural treasures.
The Infinity Experience
St Patrick's Cathedral