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Dublin travel guide (source taken from Expedia’s YouTube channel)

April 13, 2017

All rights belong to Expedia.

Dublin stands resolutely on Ireland’s east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey. Although it is home to more than a third of the population, Ireland’s dynamic capital city retains a lyrical village magic, and a playfulness few other cities can match.

Despite a long and sometimes tragic history of invasion and resistance, this thriving business capital has poetry, music, and literature, percolating through its cobblestones. Dublin’s ancient streets are compact enough to explore on foot, or by bicycle.

The River Liffey separates the city into two neat halves. It is criss-crossed with historic bridges, many of which are tribute to Dublin’s finest moments, and heroes.

Dubliner Oscar Wilde once said, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

While Dublin proudly honors its past, it is equally passionate about enjoying each and every new day.

Nowhere is life celebrated more than in the city’s nearly 700 pubs. Nothing matters more to Dubliners than having a good time, or, as the locals call it, the “craic”.

Pubs and music are at the very heart of Dublin’s traditions and society. Just south of the river, is the Temple Bar, where locals and tourists have been meeting for generations. This is the place to find art galleries and colorful shops, and immerse yourself in the spirited, and often improvised, traditional folk music. Irish emmigrants have taken their music all around the world, but there is nothing like hearing it played live.

Entertainment is also important, a little further south, on Grafton Street, a lively shopping precinct known for its buskers, and proud to be a launchpad for many international musical acts.

At the other end of the spectrum, and a little further to the east, is the architecturally spectacular Aviva Stadium. Time your visit to catch an international superstar here.

Of course, any local will tell you that music and a pint glass go hand in hand. The history of Guinness, one of Ireland’s most famous institutions, is on display at the Guinness Storehouse. Also known as the “black stuff”, “black custard”, and “Irish champagne”, this world-famous tipple is said to have been born in the 18th century, when water from the Liffey became too polluted to safely drink. The brewing process removed the germs, and also provided sorely needed nutrition. Today, the river is cleaner, but Dubliners’ thirst for Guinness has remained undiminished.

The picturesque Grand Canal was built around this time connecting Dublin to the west of Ireland, allowing Guinness to be exported, marking the beginning of one of Dublin’s great success stories.

Visit the Old Jameson Distillery, and discover the magic of how three simple ingredients are transformed into a smooth whiskey that is enjoyed all over the world.

But of all the gifts Dublin has given to the world, perhaps the most intoxicating are its stories. Originally built for the sons of the Irish gentry, the stone buildings of Trinity College are home to some of the oldest remaining manuscripts in the world, including the 1,000-year-old Book of Kells.

This ancient manuscript is only a small part of Dublin’s literary history. This city is famous for its authors, playwrights, and poets, and tributes are dotted all over the city.

Visit the flamboyant statue of Oscar Wilde, decorated with precious stones that reflect as love of beauty. Or, pay your respects to James Joyce, one of Dublin’s literary giants.

There are more tributes to the past, just a stroll away in Saint Stephen’s Green, which holds a special place in the heart of Dubliners. While today it is an oasis of calm at the center of the city, the park has witnessed many turbulent episodes of Irish history. During the 1916 Easter Rising, a pivotal battle took place here, which reignited the long and passionate fight for Irish independence from English rule.

The ghosts of Ireland’s battle for independence also feel very real, at the Killmainham Gaol, in which many of the rebellion leaders were brutally executed.

Right at the center of Dublin’s historic heart is Dublin Castle. Originally built on a Viking site, it has been a prison, a fortress, and a treasury. From within these stone walls, the English administered Irish rule for more than 700 years. Famously, the Irish crown jewels were stolen from the castle in 1907, and their whereabouts remain at mystery to this day.

The National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology on Killdare Street showcases other early treasures, which illuminate Dublin’s history throughout the ages.

A little further from the center of town is Phoenix Park, one of the largest walled parks in Europe. Visit the Wellington Monument, a tribute to the First Duke of Wellington, a Dubliner, known as the “Iron Duke”, who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

Of all Dublin’s heroes, perhaps none are as important as Saint Patrick, who is credited with many miracles, including, converting Ireland to Christianity. The site of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, is said to be where he first baptized the Pagan chieftains, and altered Irish history.

The nearby Christchurch Cathedral was founded almost 1,000 years ago, and has born witness to the lives of warriors, kings, and saints.

Dubliner Jonathan Swift once said, “May you live all the days of our life.” There is no better way to define Dublin. Its passion for life is contagious, captivating, and sure to stay with you the rest of your days.


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