10 things to do in Dublin
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a unique blend of forward thinking cosmopolitanism and an affinity for traditional national values. In this city, extravagant nightclubs peacefully coexist with cozy tea houses and centuries-old stone buildings neighbor modern glass high-rises. Gorgeous Dublin is the quintessential destination for music, theater and experimental art.
Unfortunately, visitors to the Emerald Isle, in their desire to enjoy the beauty of the picturesque countryside, miss out on the merits of the capital. Undoubtedly, the hills, cliffs and ancient, dilapidated castles deserve hundreds of dithyrambs. But Dublin has a lot to offer to the traveler. Not forgetting the world famous Guinness Storehouse and the amazing Book of Kells – a medieval gospel packed with miniatures.
Not surprisingly, Dublin has been recognized as a “City of Literature” by UNESCO. It is home to William Yates, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker. I’d like to expand your knowledge of Ireland’s capital city and suggest 10 things you should definitely do in Dublin.
1. The National Leprechaun Museum
You don’t have to laugh right away, because the Irish are revered and in awe of Celtic mythology. Fairies, dwarves, and elves have made significant contributions to the nation’s culture. For thousands of years, supernatural creatures have lived side by side with humans, some bringing good and others promising bitter misfortune. A tour of the National Leprechaun Museum will appeal to all members of the family, young and old. At certain hours, the staff puts on costume shows for adults. The production “These Dark Lands” is especially popular.
2. rent a bicycle
The Irish landscape is characterized by lowlands and plateaus, and the climate is considered moderately humid. Perfectly flat paths and perfect weather begs to be explored on a bike ride, because walking around the dozens of Victorian parks and long Tudor-era residential neighborhoods is simply not realistic. To compare old and new parts of town, visit fashionable neighborhoods like Portobello and Ranelagh. You’ll find private stores selling eco-friendly two-wheelers around the corner. Pay cash or card and off you go for a thrilling ride.
3. See the most ancient mummies of the swamp
Dublin is located in a swampy area. In dark pre-Christian times, the Celts made sacrifices to their gods and drove innocent people into the swamp. A little later, the swamps were used to execute criminals and destroy witches. Thanks to the oxygen-free environment, the bodies, clothing, and jewelry were perfectly preserved. The National Archaeology Museum has on display mummies whose ages date back to the beginning of the Iron Age. The oldest exhibit (Cashel Man) is over 4,000 years old. If you wish, you can also check out less intimidating glimpses of the country’s history, namely jewelry, manuscripts and a collection of tournament weapons.
4. pay tribute to Irish literature
James Joyce is perhaps one of Dublin’s most celebrated residents. He is considered the father of modernist movements in literature. The main events of the talented writer’s novels and stories unfold in the cramped streets and broad avenues of his beloved city. Be sure to take a photo with Joyce’s dapper bronze statue on North Earl Street, then follow the route of his most popular work, the novel Ulysses. The pubs, cafes, and eateries mentioned in the genius work are marked with special signs. At the end you’ll find a bookstore that hasn’t changed much since Joyce’s time. Twice a week fans flock there and read passages from Ulysses.
5. Haggle at the Temple Bar’s flea market.
If you want to drink a beer in an authentic bar accompanied by traditional Irish music, Temple Bar is not the best choice. The establishment is heavily advertised in tourist guides, so its prices are unreasonably high. On the weekends, however, there is an incomparable flea market in the Temple Bar neighborhood. People bring out cute old jewelry, used books, and even clothes. Lovers of vintage pieces argue with vendors in an attempt to bring down the price to an acceptable level. The bustling crowd is fun to watch, but it’s even more fun to participate in the haggling yourself.
6. Have a cup of tea at the historic Grapheon Street Café
In the heart of Dublin there’s a cozy little place set in the style of the Joyce novels. Here you can while away the hours with a cup of tea or coffee in the peculiar atmosphere of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. After lunch, stroll along Graffon Street and check out the street musicians and strolling artists. Be sure to buy a bunch of flowers from a greeter and give it to the girl or boy you like.
7. Experience Irish theater
Dublin’s stages are comparable to London’s. Ireland is the cradle of the greatest actors and playwrights of the last century. At all times of the year, street troupes in the city’s parks present plays based on the works of Beckett and Freel. But the Abbey Theatre, designed by William Yates himself, is even more remarkable. Tickets are not easy to buy, you need to book a seat several months in advance, but the agony of a theatergoer more than pays off after the third call.
8. Listen to live music
Ireland wouldn’t be Ireland without energetic music. Every self-respecting pub invites folk bands and puts on crazy dance nights. Even your grandmother wouldn’t be able to sit still when she heard the call of the national musical instruments.
9. Take a tour of Glasnevin Cemetery
Are you interested in the not-so-normal side of history? Then you will be amazed by the majestic crypts of the Glasnevin Cemetery, where prominent cultural and political figures found their last resting place. The management offers tourists a variety of themed tours. Visitors are also given the opportunity to wander the maze of Celtic crosses and richly decorated marble obelisks on their own. Behind the fence of the cemetery is a well-known pub “Gravediggers” (Gravediggers), where you can have a pint with representatives of such a noble profession.
10. Enjoy a game of hurling.
Definitely, the Irish invented one of the fastest and most dangerous field games. Hurling is very similar to field hockey, but it has more wrestling elements (hooks, grabs, throws). It is a very exciting sport, which was first mentioned about 3,000 years ago. You can watch the match broadcast in any pub or buy a ticket to Croke Park Stadium and cheer on your favorite team live.
Contrasting Dublin gives you a lot of impressions. To fully appreciate the beauty of the capital of the Green Island one day is not enough. Come to Dublin for a few weeks and take in all the charms of this multi-faceted city.
10 things to do in Ireland
Dublin’s oldest district, Temple Bar, is the most popular tourist spot. And it’s all because of the huge number of restaurants and pubs located here. Most of them are designed for tourists who believe that intense Guinness drinking will help them comprehend Ireland. The city’s oldest pub deserves a special mention – The Brazen Head, which opened as far back as 1198, the current building of the institution was built in the 16th century. Now The Brazen Head is one of the best pubs in the country where you can taste excellent Guinness and enjoy live Celtic music.
2. Walk on St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is an annual Irish national holiday that is celebrated on March 17 in memory of St. Patrick. St. Patrick, according to legend, brought Christianity to the pagan island. On this day, there are music and beer parties, a parade with songs and dances, and guinness beer pours like a river. The holiday used to be celebrated only in the United States and Ireland, but now parades dedicated to St. Patrick are held in many countries around the world, including Russia.
3. Betting on dog racing
Dog racing is one of the most popular activities in Ireland, especially considering the fact that casinos are illegal here. At dog racing, you can not only enjoy the fight for first place, but you can also try to win something by placing a bet. You can read more here.
4. Learn about the history of Guinness
“St. James Gate Brewery is the same brewery where the world-famous Guinness dark beer is brewed. It is truly an iconic place. Here is the home of Arthur Guinness, the founder of the company, and its museum, which is located in a seven-story building. The first floors of the building are dedicated to souvenir products, company history, and beer tastings, and at the very top is the Gravity Bar, which offers a stunning view of the city. Admission price for an adult is €13.50 (this includes the price of the pint of beer you will be offered).
5. Attend a rugby cup match
Rugby is without a doubt the most popular sport in Ireland. Every year, six teams – England, Wales, Scotland, France, Italy and Ireland – play against each other in the Six Nations Cup (the most prestigious European competition). The next competition will be held from February 2 to March 16, 2013. There will be 2 matches of the Irish team in Dublin at the Aviva Stadium arena. You can see a more detailed schedule of matches here.
6. Take a lap around the Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a popular hiking route that runs through County Kerry. There are lots of sights along the 166 kilometer route, including Ross Castle, Killarney Lakes, Tork Falls, St. Mary’s Church, and more. The ring is usually traveled by car, but there are also trails for hiking.
7. See the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. They are over 200 meters high and 8 kilometers long overhanging the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a place fans of Harry Potter will love, because scenes for the last movie were filmed here.
8. Visit Galway
Galway is the cultural capital of Ireland, a city of sailors and pirates. It’s one of the few large Irish cities where you can still hear the Gaelic language and take part in the national holidays. It is also said that the most “Irish” Irish people live here : )
9. Visit the Earl’s Tea party.
Ashford Castle, in the northwest of the country in County Mayo, has a history dating back to 1228. It often changed owners, so, for example, in 1873 it passed into the possession of the Guinnesses. It is now one of the finest hotels in Ireland. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, guests gather in the spacious drawing room and enjoy tea.
10. Buy Claddagh rings as a gift
No jewelry store in Dublin is without Claddagh rings (rings in the shape of hands that hold a heart topped with a crown). The heart symbolizes love, the hands symbolize friendship, and the crown symbolizes loyalty. Linked to this ring is the legend of a faithful lover who waited for her fiancé to return from slavery and he gave her such a ring as a present. This ring used to be the national wedding ring in Ireland, but now it is also given as a token of friendship. The average cost of the ring is from 300 euros.