Dublin - Happy in the Rain
Dublin, the energetic capital city of Ireland, is a vibrant, forward-looking destination and absolutely essential stop for those visiting this feisty and fun Celtic country. Voted the best European capital in the BBC survey of 2003 for its quality of life, Dublin is compact and easily accessible. The capital of the happiest country in Europe can be comfortably explored on foot, and boasts a vibrant nightlife, centered around the upbeat Temple Bar and O’Connell Street. This, combined with the open, straight-talking Dublin personality means many stay longer than they planned.
The city of Baile Átha Cliath (the Gaelic name for Dublin) sits on the mouth of The River Liffey, on which lies the fabulous, historic Guinness factory, the birthplace of Ireland's favorite beer. The River Liffey is certainly one of the focal points of Dublin, as it is over the river that sits the beautiful Ha'penny Bridge, a pedestrian bridge built in 1816. Take a walk over the bridge and you will come straight into the renowned Temple Bar, near to where U2's Bono owns a hotel.
Temple Bar is absolutely not to be missed for a drop of Guinness and Dublin’s night time energy. Punters pouring out of bars, music to be heard from all directions and new friends are to be made, on its historic streets. Some great places are located in this area; Eamon Doran's bar, the Temple Bar music centre, the Oliver St. John Gogarty pub (where the best traditional Irish music is to be heard) and the Irish Film Institute. Visit Temple Bar on a Saturday or Wednesday and you can also include the Temple Bar Food Market amongst your memories. From morning to late-afternoon, wild Irish smoked salmon, oysters, Irish cheese and even sushi are offered up to those with a taste for excellent food.
In Dublin, homage is paid to the literary giants which the city has produced in the National Print Museum of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland. Famed for the great names it has spawned, Dublin was the birthplace of William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. It was also the setting for two works by James Joyce; Ulysses and Dubliners. Dublin is also the home to the famous Book of Kells which is on display in Trinity College. The Book of Kells is a manuscript created by Celtic Monks, but a few years back, in A.D. 800.
Enjoy Dublin's superb shopping on the pedestrian Grafton Street or Henry Street. On rainy days, head for the indoor shopping centres such as Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, Jervis Shopping Centre and the Ilac Shopping Centre. Outside of the city, there are plenty of shopping malls, such as the Square in Tallaght and Blanchardstown Centre. If shopping is not your cup of Irish tea, then head to Croke Park for some Gaelic football or to Landsdowne Road for a wild rugby match. Dublin city; for the unrivalled Irish wit, the best Guinness in the world and the chance to catch up with Bono.
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