Why go to Dublin?
Dublin’s wicked sense of humour
Our taxes may be escalating in Ireland but as an old proverb says: "There is no tax on talk" and Dublin's "craic agus ceol" – pronounced "crack agus col" (with a drawn-out o) this means "crack (fun) and music" - is alive and well. Dubliners cherish their nights out and excellent pubs and clubs host packed event schedules, so for social antics, or just a great weekend away with your friends, Dublin is your city. Read more on my Dublin nightlife page.
Dublin is a hive of cultural activity
Dublin hosts cultural nights, days, festivals and a cultural week in May with free events at 44 venues. The Dublin Theatre Festival is one of the best while our St Patrick’s Day Parade in March is probably our biggest international export. Read more on my When to go to Dublin page. Must-sees include The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle, the IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art , the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology and the The National Gallery of Ireland plus other museums, galleries, folk parks and libraries. Dublin offers a feast of rich culture.
It’s everywhere! Cobbled streets and castle walls from Dublin's official date of establishment in 988 AD are symbolic of its medieval beginnings. Dublin Castle is dated 1204 while Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral have been standing tall since Dublin's days as a Viking settlement. History buffs will be in their element. Read more on my Dublin attractions page.
It's so easy to get around
Tour Dublin's cultural sights, pubs and restaurants without a car, taxi or train - the city centre is easily navigated on foot. Dublin has also joined Brussels, Vienna and Paris with its own bike sharing scheme. Hop on a Dublin bike (db) at 40 stations to get around for a small fee. Read more on my How to get around Dublin page. It’s easy to be eco in Dublin.
Pockets of green space
As well as charming Georgian squares such as Merrion Square, Victorian parks including Stephens Green where more than 3.5km of pathways circle its herbaceous borders and lake, or the Phoenix Park at 707 hectares (1752 acres), which is one of the largest designed landscapes in any European city, Dublin is home to botanical gardens and secret corners of green dotted throughout the city, not forgetting leafy banks that hug the River Liffey, Grand and Royal Canals.
Music and art are part of Dublin’s DNA and live events take place every night of the week. Bands, DJs and songwriters parade their talents on a daily basis while international acts perform at the new state-of-the-art 02 venue. Sporting events kick off in the rejuvenated 50,000-seater Aviva Stadium or savour a buzzing atmosphere in the 82,300 seater Croke Park Stadium, the home of Ireland’s national sport, Gaelic Games.
Architecture - a changing skyline
Dublin has more than its fair share of signature buildings and historical sights and its skyline is ever changing. It treats the architectural eye by blending medieval architecture with contemporary design. New additions include the Spire on O’Connell Street – the world’s highest free-standing monument resembles a needle - while exciting developments continue to spring up in the Docklands where gems such as the U2 Tower and the Watchtower at Point Village pierce the sky.
Compact city centre shopping
I’ve browsed Paris markets, the back streets of Berlin and London high streets, and I believe Dublin is on a par, managing to squeeze equally top-class shopping into a (relatively) much smaller space. More adventurous shoppers can explore winding back streets and cobbled alleys for vintage and artisan designs. Read more on my Shopping in Dublin page.
Dublin's palate is ever-evolving as our widely travelled chefs continue to open quality international eateries and introduce the world's finest wines. Prices have dropped dramatically across the board in the past two years so the value has never been better. Ireland's extensive coastline produces lots of delicious fresh seafood. Take a look at my top places to eat in the city on my Dublin cafés and restaurants page.
Beaches and a scenic rail line
Howth and Malahide are pretty upmarket coastal villages to the north while Sandymount, Dun Laoghaire and Killiney line up further south, and are all linked by the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), a scenic rail line running north to south of Dublin as far as Greystones, Wicklow.