Dublin, located on the banks of the River Liffey, is the capital of the Republic of Ireland. This is a beautiful green city, famous for its picturesque medieval streets, architectural monuments and museums.
Who travels to Dublin and why
Dublin, founded in 841, is rightfully proud of its rich historical past and magnificent sights. Every year millions of tourists come here to admire the Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Garden of Remembrance.
The capital attracts guests with festivals:
- In March, locals celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which is considered the patron saint of Ireland. Costumed parades, fun concerts, and theatrical performances take place on the central streets.
- In mid-June, fans of James Joyce flock to the city for the Bloomsday festival dedicated to the writer’s most famous novel, Willis. Participants dress up in Victorian era clothes, gather in the main square, in cafes and restaurants, act out scenes from this work and discuss their favorite moments.
- Horse lovers visit Dublin in August. At this time, the Dublin Horse Show festival starts here, attracting about a million tourists. The program includes horse races, horse shows, contests, music concerts in parks and squares.
The Irish capital is a great place for outdoor activities. There are several sandy beaches within the city. There you can swim, sunbathe, rent a boat or go kayaking. Excursions to the island of Lambay, sailing on a boat in the bay, playing golf in the city club are very popular.
There are a lot of interesting places in Dublin. Parents and children get a lot of impressions walking in city squares, studying museum exhibits, visiting the zoo. At Zipit Forest Adventures, ATVs, suspension bridges and treetop roads await schoolchildren.
Old Dublin is known for its narrow medieval streets lined with shops, pubs and restaurants. There are always many tourists here. During the day, people come to listen to street musicians, drink coffee in open areas, and buy souvenirs.
At night, watch the show of the Lords of Fire and have fun in nightclubs. Temple Bar has entertainment for all tastes. Beautiful mansions house art galleries, design centers, antique shops and flower shops.
One of the main streets of Dublin is named after the Duke of Grafton, the illegitimate son of Charles II. It is the commercial and business center of the city. There are shops of popular brands and offices of well-known companies.
Walking along Grafton Street, you can see the mansion of the rector of Trinity College, built in the 18th century, a bronze statue of the Irish singer Phil Lynott, a sculpture of Molly Malone and listen to performances by street musicians, mimes and poets.
In the center of the capital, on an area of 25 hectares, there is a botanical garden, which the locals call the “Green Heart of Dublin”. For more than 200 years, it has been a favorite place for outdoor walks. The park is divided into zones, each of which is planted with plants from different countries.
Among the tall trees there are artificial ponds, canals with openwork bridges, colorful flower beds, alpine slides. Indoor greenhouses with rare flowers and the House of Palms are popular.
Garden of Remembrance
In the historic part of Dublin is the Garden of Remembrance, founded in 1966 in memory of the Easter Rising of Irish volunteers against the civilian army. In the center there is a memorial dedicated to those who died for the freedom of the people.
Walking along the wide alleys, you can see the statue of Children Lear, symbolizing rebirth and resurrection, and several monuments that tell about certain historical events in the country. Beautiful trees were planted in the park, green lawns were laid out, benches were installed.
In the 17th century, Phoenix Park appeared in Dublin, which is a real wildlife sanctuary within the capital. Deer, hares, pheasants, squirrels live in the green zone. Animals are not afraid of tourists and willingly accept treats from their hands.
A zoo, cafes, playgrounds are open on the territory. Phoenix Park is also a historical landmark. Here you can see the Wellington Memorial, the presidential residence and the memorial cross of John Paul II.
Historical landmarks and architecture
The main outpost of Britain on the island was founded in 1204 to protect Dublin from the Norman invasion. Throughout its history, it has been used as the residence of the king and viceroys of the English crown.
Since the beginning of the last century, Dublin Castle has passed into the hands of an independent Irish government. It hosts official ceremonies, conferences, concerts. The interior houses the Chester Beatty Museum and Library, which houses a collection of early printed books, manuscripts, and manuscripts. An art center operates in the castle chapel.
At the northern end of O’Connell Street there is a thin steel needle 120 meters high. It was erected in 2003 on the site of a monument to Admiral Nelson blown up by Irish rebels. According to the architects, the monument embodies the unbroken spirit of the freedom-loving Irish and the dawn of a new century.
The needle is coated with a reflective material that makes the steel surface glow beautifully during the day, which is why it is called the Monument of Light. At night, aviation lights are turned on at the top of the monument.
The Victorian castle was built in Dublin in 1840 for Queen Victoria. It attracts tourists with round crenellated towers, narrow arched windows, thick defensive walls and a well-kept garden.
At the end of the last century, the architectural complex was acquired by a wealthy family who opened an art gallery on its territory. A little later, the Irish singer Enya bought the castle. It was she who gave the palace the name Manderly — in honor of the house described in the novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
A house that looks like a medieval fortress is easy to find in Phoenix Park. The four-storey building, erected in the XV-XVII century, has been restored and is in perfect condition.
Inside, the medieval interior has been preserved: a fireplace, niches in the walls for storing things, stairs. Near the castle there is a beautiful English lawn. Nearby rises a stone cross erected in honor of John Paul II in 1979.
James Joyce Tower
In the vicinity of Dublin, there is a round stone tower built in 1804 to protect the city from Napoleon’s army. When the danger passed, the building began to be rented out. For some time the poet Oliver Gogarty lived there, to whom James Joyce used to visit.
A well-known writer described this tower in the first chapters of the novel Ulysses. Inside the fortress there is a museum dedicated to the life and work of Joyce, and one of the rooms completely repeats the interior from the book.
The Gregorian house, built in 1748, was intended for the Earls of Kildare. Soon the owner sold it to the Dublin Royal Society, which opened a national gallery and museum here. After gaining independence, the building housed the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland and the residence of the Prime Minister.
In front of the main entrance of Leinster House there is a monument to the participants in the national liberation movement who died during the civil war.
Dublin’s iconic landmark is the arched footbridge, built across the River Liffey in 1816. The width of the structure is 3.5 meters, the total length is 43 meters.
Wood and cast iron were used for the construction. In the first years after the opening, the passage was paid and cost half a penny (hence the name). Walking across the bridge is a convenient way to cross the Liffey while enjoying great views of the city and river.
Temples of Dublin
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The Cathedral in Dublin, dedicated to St. Patrick, was founded in the 12th century. It is inextricably linked with the culture of Ireland, as well-known poets and writers were its parishioners. In the 18th century, Jonathan Swift became the dean of the cathedral, maintaining a hospital and a shelter for the poor at his own expense.
Today the temple belongs to the Anglican Church and is used for solemn national ceremonies. Inside it you can see a bust of Swift, an ancient Celtic cross and the coats of arms of ancient Irish families.
Cathedral Church of Christ
In the historical part of the city rises a Gothic cathedral built by the Viking king Sithrig Silkenbeard in the 10th century. The temple was rebuilt more than once, but managed to maintain strict early Christian features.
Tourists are interested in the St. Lawrence Chapel, which houses the embalmed heart of the saint himself, the tomb of the Knight Strongbow, dating from the 12th century, and the ancient altar. In the crypt of the cathedral there is a permanent exhibition of church relics, where visitors are shown silver candlesticks, early printed books and manuscripts.
Dublin Castle has a chapel that served as the home church of the English kings and local lords. The elegant building is decorated with white limestone on the outside. On the walls are marble busts of St. Patrick, Jonathan Swift, Brian Boru.
Inside is a large organ decorated with a portrait of the composer Thorl O’Carolan. Since the middle of the last century, religious services have not been held in the Royal Chapel. Now it is a popular tourist site used for cultural events.
Church of St. Mary
The residence of the Dublin Archbishop was the Church of St. Mary, built on Liffey Street in the early 19th century. The neoclassical building is lined with marble, the facade is decorated with columns and statues.
In the interior there are marble sculptures of Archbishop Daniel Murray, who took part in the construction of the temple, and Poll Kalen, the first Irish cardinal.
Museums in Dublin
National Museum of Ireland
On Kildare Street, it is easy to find a beautiful two-story mansion that houses the National Museum of Ireland. It houses the richest collection of historical and cultural values. Among the exhibits are ancient gold jewelry, Celtic clothing, early Christian relics, musical instruments, medieval weapons, orders, and coins.
Modern Art Museum
In 1991, the Royal Hospital was converted into a modern art museum. The building was overhauled, glass steps, aluminum railings, lighting were installed.
Exhibitions of famous artists, meetings with writers, poets, and artists are regularly held in the interior. The central hall has excellent acoustics, so it is used for concerts and theatrical performances.
The Dublin Literary Museum is located in an 18th-century mansion in Parnell Square. The four-storey house accommodates exhibition halls, a library, a bookstore, and a cafe. The purpose of the museum is to tell about the life, work of writers and attract the public to Irish culture.
Guests are shown portraits and personal belongings of cultural figures. The expositions dedicated to James Joyce, Bernard Shaw, Patrick Pierce, William Butler are very popular.
There is a museum in Dublin that tells about leprechauns — the world-famous characters of Irish folklore. The little red men are always dressed in green robes and are considered wish-granting wizards.
A tour of the museum introduces folklore stories about leprechauns and talks about how their image is used in popular culture. Tourists can explore an optical illusion tunnel, a room protected from artificial rain by parasols, and a treasure chest of leprechauns.
John Jameson Distillery
The Jameson Distillery, founded in Dublin in 1780, quickly became the city’s flagship distillery. The brand has always remained true to traditional whiskey production. The unsurpassed taste and quality of this strong drink made it popular all over the world.
The distillery now houses a museum. During the tour, guests see the whiskey distillation process, inspect the aging tanks and devices that pour the drink into bottles. The guide tells the history of the company’s creation and offers to try branded whiskey in the tasting room.
Guinness Beer Museum
The iconic attraction of the Irish capital is the Guinness Beer Museum, located in a seven-story modern building. Its spacious halls display expositions covering all stages of brand formation and revealing the secrets of making a foamy drink.
On the top floor there is a bar «Gravity» and an observation deck. There you can try different types of beer and admire the panorama of the city.
The Dublin Museum is ideal for a family visit. Tourists are waiting for interactive historical exhibitions. Adults and children can see how people lived a thousand years ago, try on the national clothes of the Irish, study sea ships and medieval weapons.
The museum consists of three parts. The first takes guests to the time of the Vikings, the second tells about Dublin in the Middle Ages, the third introduces the archaeological finds made within the city.