The best free thing to do in Europe, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, is to have a pint with a Dubliner.
It’s typical of Dublin that a meeting between a local and a visitor (where you get in-the-know tips and local knowledge) has been turned into an event, with the City of A Thousand Welcomes initiative.
That’s probably why it was voted the Friendliest City in Europe by TripAdvisor twice: Dublin is a city that definitely wants to meet you.
The best place to take a breather in Dublin city is along the River Liffey. Pick a bridge, any bridge. Dublin’s got plenty.
From here, the city’s water-edged catwalk of architecture unfolds. The modern glass Convention Centre Dublin shines next to the grand neoclassical façade of Custom House.
All that’s missing, as poet Seamus Heaney said, are “the Vikings coming sniffing up the Liffey”. After all, at its heart, Dublin is a Viking city. Find out where it all started with a walk around medieval Dublin – this intimate knot of small alleys and broad streets south of the Liffey is where you’ll find Christ Church, Dublin Castle and Dublinia.
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A friendly reputation is not the only thing Dublin is famous for. James Joyce immortalised the city and its people in his work, and the city continues to live and breathe literature. Hence it being awarded the title of Unesco City of Literature.
Catch a reading of Joyce’s work in Sweny’s Pharmacy, the real-life relic from Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. Discover where Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, lived and studied or take a different approach to literary works on the Literary Pub Crawl.
Or you can visit the bust of the celebrated Indian poet 'Gurudev' Shri Rabindranath Tagore in St Stephen's Green – the only non-Irish statue in the park to date! The bust was unveiled on October 17th 2011 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Indian Nobel Laureate and a close friend of W.B. Yeats. In fact, Yeats wrote the introduction for the English translation of ‘Geetanjali’.
Dublin’s a great city to explore on foot. From the gracious city parks of Merrion Square and Iveagh Gardens, to the grand Georgian architecture and alfresco café culture of South William and Drury Streets, there’s a lot to divert your attention.
And don’t forget Temple Bar – a cobblestoned cultural enclave of galleries, restaurants, shops and the lively Meeting House Square.
Friendly? Definitely. But Dublin’s got a whole lot more going on.
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