Dublin Travel Guide
Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland, is a city of storytellers and pubs, and among the quaintest of European capitals. It counts among its native sons the likes of Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett – think Waiting for Godot – and literary luminaries Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Dracula creator Bram Stoker, and, most famous of all, James Joyce, whose masterpiece, Ulysses, is set in Dublin, and whose short fiction, Dubliners, offers a poignant snapshot of the city in the early 20th century. As for pubs, Dublin's Temple Bar quarter can fairly be described as the pub crawl capital of the world, packed with bars, clubs and restaurants, where some of the oldest public houses in the land can be found – notable among them Brazen Head, originally established in 1198. Temple Bar, in fact, is a place almost of pilgrimage for the party-hearty young crowds from other parts of Ireland as well as Britain, and the highlight of any tour of Dublin.
Dublin is located on the central east coast of Ireland, at the mouth of the River Liffey, in the approximate center of the Dublin Region.
From a purely tourist perspective, other than Temple Bar, priorities here are the 12th-century Dublin Castle, from where the Irish Crown Jewels were stolen in 1907; the venerable old Trinity College, dating from 1592, where the Book of Kells, created by monks in 800 AD, is the principal draw; the Ha'penny iron footbridge, which is among the most photographed sights in Dublin; the grey-brick-granite O'Connell Bridge across the River Liffey, one of the city's most prominent landmarks; and the neoclassical Customs House, also on the Liffey and also a city landmark. The 7-story Guinness Storehouse, which chronicles the history of Ireland's most famous brewer, is also worth visiting, as is the 18th-century Leinster House, a former ducal palace which now houses the Oireachtas Éireann, or National Parliament of Ireland. The city's principal streets are O'Connell, the main thoroughfare; Kildare, which has on it the National Museum and National Library of Ireland; Grafton and Dawson, which constitute Dublin's shopping hub; and Henrietta, the oldest Georgian street in the city, originally developed in the 1720s.
Oh, Dublin's best-known rock band is U2, and its most prized beer, not surprisingly, is Guinness Draught, brewed at the historic Guinness Brewery (a.k.a. St. James's Gate Brewery), which was famously leased by founder Arthur Guinness in 1759, at £45 per year, for a period of 9,000 years!
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