TripAdvisor twice hailed Dublin as the friendliest city in Europe. So what’s the first thing you should do? Why, meet a Dubliner, of course. We’ve even got a program in place to connect first-time visitors with hospitable locals. It’s called City of a 1,000 Welcomes (you’ve heard of the céad míle fáilte, right?), and it’s going down a treat.
Another way to stock up on the low-down is by taking a tour. As well as traditional bus sightseeing experiences, visitors to Dublin can explore the city’s haunted corners with Hidden Dublin Walking Tours, visit the latest cultural happenings and new openings with the Le Cool Dublin Experience, or explore the emerging docklands on a Segway tour.
New kids on the block...
Dublin has its big hits and historic sights (we’re looking at you, Trinity College and the Guinness Storehouse). But truly, a visit is as much about the here and now.
New ideas and sparky start-ups are flourishing, with fresh scenes popping up along South William Street, Essex Street West and most recently, Capel Street. You can still hit up Grafton Street for high street shopping, but don’t miss the buzzing bars and boutiques of the emerging Creative Quarter around South William Street to George’s Street, and from Lower Stephen’s Street to Exchequer Street.
The quays are quite the architectural catwalk, too. From Daniel Libeskind’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre at Grand Canal Dock to the Custom House and U2’s Clarence Hotel, Dublin’s skyline seems at once rooted in present and past. All that’s missing, as the late poet Seamus Heaney said, are “the Vikings coming sniffing up the Liffey”.
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What’s the story?
Dublin, of course, is famous beyond its friendliness. James Joyce immortalised the city and its people in masterpieces such as Ulysses, and it continues to live and breathe the written word. Dublin is a UNESCO World City of Literature, but it’s not just its authors who are interested in spinning yarns... hence the famous local greeting: What’s the story?
The best places to join the conversation are Dublin’s pubs, clubs and cafés. New or old, fashionable or funky, gorgeous or grimy – there’s something for everyone’s taste here. Three to make aim for are The Fumbally (a café-cum-collective on Fumbally Lane), Izakaya (the Japanese whiskey bar on South Great George’s Street) and Everleigh Garden (“70% outdoors, 30% indoors and 100% friendly,” as it says itself) on Harcourt Street.
Finally, don’t forget Temple Bar – a cobblestoned enclave of galleries, restaurants, hopping pubs, buskers and the shape-shifting Meeting House Square. Perhaps check out another newbie to the urban landscape, which went unappreciated until relatively recently: Dublin’s twist on grafitti, murals and tagging. Challenge your perceptions with a Street Art tour around Temple Bar’s streets and alleys – who knows what you’ll discover…
Dublin wants to meet you... come say hello.