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Dublin Travel Advice
The Magic and Charisma of Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. Its vibrancy, nightlife and tourist attractions are noteworthy, and it is the most popular entry point for international visitors to Ireland. As a city, it is disproportionately large for the size of the country (2006 pop. Greater Dublin Region 1.6 million); well over a quarter of the Republic's population lives in the metropolitan area. The centre is, however, relatively small and can be navigated by foot, with most of the population living in suburbs.
Dublin has many fine and quite affluent suburbs. Seeing them is a good way to get a real feel for the city's culture and identity. A walk around some them on a nice day is well worth your time as many are home to some of Ireland's finest architecture(Victorian,Georgian,Modern etc).Some are easily navigated by foot from the city's centre and are dotted with many fine upmarket delicatessans and boutiques . Examples include Donnybrook and Ballsbridge - the 46A bus goes through Donnybrook and the 7 bus through Ballsbridge, and both routes have several stops in the north and south city centre. Ballsbridge is Dublin's embassy district and is home to some of Ireland's most expensive roads including 'Shrewsbury Road', which is famous for being the 6th most expensive residential thoroughfare in the world and 'Ailesbury Road' which is equally as salubrious and home to a bulk of the capital's embassies including Spain and Poland.
Things to Do in Dublin
Dublin is divided by the River Liffey. On the north side of the Liffey is O'Connell Street--the main thoroughfare, which is intersected by numerous shopping streets, including Henry Street and Talbot Street. On the south side are St. Stephen's Green, Grafton Street, Trinity College, Christ Church, St. Patrick's Cathedrals, and many other attractions.
Dublin postcodes range from Dublin 1 to Dublin 24. As a rule, odd numbers are given to areas north of the River Liffey, while even numbers are given to areas south of the river. Usually, the lower the postcode, the closer to the city centre.
If you're already in the city, the main tourist office , located in St. Andrew's Church just off Grafton Street in the city centre (Dublin 2), is a good place to start for information. You can book accommodation and tours there, as well as find general information on where to go and what to do.
Although some of Dublin's finest Georgian architecture was demolished in the mid-20th century, a remarkable amount remains. They were a reminder of the past British imperialism and were pulled without regard to their beauty and architectural significance. They were replaced with modernist or pastiche office blocks, St. Stephen's Green (Dublin 2) being a prime example. Thankfully, attitudes have changed significantly, and Dubliners are now rightly proud of their impressive buildings from all eras.
National Museum of Ireland
If you are interested in the history of Ireland, then you will want to visit the National Museum of Ireland. This museum includes a number of archeological exhibits that tell the story of the country dating all the way back to the ancient Celts. You will be able to see historically significant objects from the Celts, the Vikings and the Romans. The National Museum of Ireland also offers rotating temporary exhibits that you will be able to enjoy. This museum is very rustic, offering quiet displays and it may not be a favored option for young children.
National Botanic Gardens
When you want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, then take a while to spend in the National Botanic Gardens. These gardens are known for a number of things: beautiful plants and flowers, quiet picnic areas, and friendly squirrels. There are a number of small diner like restaurants that are located through the gardens so that you can enjoy a quiet meal in a beautiful setting as well. The National Botanic Gardens offers a number of areas, including a greenhouse, a vegetable garden, a forest area, and a tulip garden.
While it may be a distance away from the main part of the city, Glasnevin Cemetery is worth the visit. It is the final resting place of numerous well known Irish people, including Michael Collins, W.B. Yeats, Gonne Mac Bride, Brendan Behan, and Sean McBride. The cemetery offers tours throughout the day and a museum is located on site as well. You can make use of onsite genealogy services which could help you find out more about your family if you are of Irish origin. A cafe is located in the museum if you wish to spend the day on the site.
Chester Beatty Library
This art museum and historic library is located centrally in the city. It is the original home of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty and he collected a wide variety of art work and decor from countries all around the world, including Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The library portion includes a variety of original early documents, such as Christian manuscripts. The Chester Beatty Library is definitely worth a visit and is easy to reach within the city. If you get hungry while you are visiting, you will be glad to know that a cafe is located on the ground floor for your enjoyment.
Phoenix Park is a downtown slice of nature. It is one of the larger parks that you will find anywhere in Europe and it offers a wide variety of natural beauty. When you visit Phoenix Park, you can take walking or cycling trails to view wildlife. The park also offers picnic grounds, Victorian gardens, a zoo, a number of monuments and a historic fort. You could find that you spend hours enjoying the relaxing environment of the park. You may even want to take a picnic lunch and enjoy a whole day away from the busy city.
When you visit Dublin, be sure to take in these sites so that you can enjoy the history and culture that Ireland has to offer.