Dublin is a city with a past. Remains of tall chimneyed buildings and old factory signs on street walls hint at Dublin’s industrial history. With many factories still in use and the faint smell of hops in the air, you need only close your eyes to imagine the bustling city life as it was in years gone by and this is just one thread of this Irish Capital. The people here are very proud of their City’s past and it shows. One of the most welcoming gestures of the city is the helpful manner with which Dubliners show the many tourists trying to find their way around. We all know of the wonderful Guiness factory that resides here but what else does Dublin have to offer? In this quick Global Guide, The Faraway Bug took to the streets to uncover the sights and sounds of Dublin town and boy, were we in for a treat…
The Brazen Head – This twelfth century pub holds the title of being Ireland’s Oldest pub and was one of the first places we visited after our arrival. Popular with the locals as well as the tourists, the pub is decorated with photos, pictures and memorabilia relating to The Brazen Head’s rich history. Out of all the pubs we visited (there were a few) this one sticks out in my memory as being the most interesting and pretty. Put it on your pub crawl checklist!
Temple Street – One of the most touristy areas of the city, but full of lively bars, shops and places to eat. If you are looking for night-time entertainment, be it enjoying a pint or two or enjoying some local comedy, this is the place for you!
Trinity College & Library – The library at Trinity College has long been on my sightseeing wish list. As a lover of traditional books, I could not wait to see inside and the beautiful library did not disappoint. The nice thing about visiting was that everyone else seemed to be a part of the same happy experience with many sat, staring around them in hushed awe. It really does feel like something special and I could not help but feel supremely jealous of the archivist seen busily going about their work at the desks on the level above.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral – Visitors have come to St Patrick’s Cathedral for centuries with the current building open since the thirteenth century. The modern but poignant Tree of Remembrance stands proud in West Wing in commemoration of the First World War as well as the memorial of Jonathan Swift, the most famous Dean at the Cathedral and author to works such as Gulliver’s Travels.
Dublin Castle including the Chester Beatty Library – Currently used to host events such as the inauguration of Ireland’s Presidents, Dublin’s Castle has seen its fair share of military and royal rule over its century long history. Take a tour of the official State Apartments and wander the Dubh Linn Gardens, named in Viking times as the original site of the Black Pool and the city’s namesake. Also on the grounds is the Chester Beatty Library, home to a diverse collection of artworks, prints, manuscripts and early printed books from around the Globe and well worth a visit.
Jameson Distillery – Understated but well laid out, the Jameson Whiskey Bow St Distillery makes for a very enjoyable and interactive experience. With your own tour guide taking you through the distillery, you will learn about the history of the company and the development of the Jameson brand, including the origins of the “Sine Metu” motto. Experience the steps of the whole distillation process from beginning to end with your own chemistry table and follow this with the treat of a taste testing session as you learn the proper way to drink the good stuff. After the tour, your complementary drink and the Jameson Cocktail bar awaits. Enjoy!
Jeanie Johnston Ship and the Famine Memorial – The walk along Custom Quay is an enjoyable one and I’m sad not to have spent more time here. The Jeanie Johnston is a replica of a 19th Century ship that would have been used to transport emigrants out of Ireland and tours are available throughout the day. Opposite this is the Famine Memorial, serving as a stark reminder of the Great Famine in which over 1 million people died. The Famine Museum is also located close by.
Oscar Wilde – With my hometown also being linked to Oscar Wilde, learning of Dublin’s connection with this literary great was an awesome surprise. The Oscar Wilde Statue can be found in the park at Merrion Square, along with some of his most-famous quotes and Mr Wilde’s childhood home at no. 1 Merrion Square just around the corner.
Molly Malone – Created as a tribute to the famous fictional character of Molly Malone, this bronze statue is currently situated in front of Dublin’s Tourist Information centre. Catch Dublin on 13th June to celebrate Molly Malone Day.
The Spire – Also known as the Monument of Light and the tallest sculpture in the world, this stainless steel monument replaced a previous pillar destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1966.
These are the areas of Dublin city that we saw in a short two day visit, showing how closely linked the city attractions are.
Here are a few more places of interest that we hope to visit next time!
National Leprechuan Museum – This was a tricky one to find, maybe we didn’t have enough gold! This eccentric museum looks like a really fun visit with lots of interactive areas.
Phoenix Park is located at the edge of the city and is home to Dublin Zoo.
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum can be reached as part of the hop-on hop-off bus tours and adjoins with the Botanical Gardens and Gravediggers Pub.
National Museum of Ireland can be found close to Trinity College and houses a collection of artifacts including those dating from Ireland’s Viking past, Egyptian treasures and a number of items from a recent Iron Age discovery.
Check out our article coming soon for a photo tour of our favourite Dublin attraction, The Guiness Factory.