Decadent, delightful and full of surprises, Dublin packs a punch that will leave you reeling but still wanting more.
Dublin's most enduring quality can be found in Dubliners themselves. Garrulous, amiable and witty, Dubliners are the greatest hosts of all, a charismatic bunch whose soul and sociability are so compelling and infectious that at some point during your visit you could find yourself wondering if you could stay here permanently.
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What To Do
Outdoor exertions are surprisingly popular in this sodden city. For the literarily inclined, retracing Leopold Bloom's illustrious journey across the city is a must, but even just walking around town for pleasure is a joy. The hardier can try swimming or pit their wits against Irish fish.
What To See
Squeeze into crowded streets for close-up people-watching.
Though most people don't schedule too much gallery time into the pub crawl, Dublin museums offer a wealth of collectables. From the proverbial pot of Irish gold to the artistic riches of the Book of Kells to a host of quirky 'objets d'religious', it's a city of archives and artefacts.
Classy crystal, chunky knitwear and off-beat artefacts.
If it's made in Ireland - or pretty much anywhere - chances are you can find it in Dublin. Fashionistas can ogle Prada frocks in Brown Thomas, young'uns can model streetwear on Grafton St and the warren of lanes to its west, while the consumer cathedral that's Dundrum has raised the retail bar.
It's a bit o' craic in old Dublin town.
While Dublin's nightlife has been jacked up in recent years and now includes a dizzying roundabout of trendy bars, cafes and clubs, the local pub still exerts a centrifugal pull on fun. The pub is a meeting point for friends and strangers alike, the place where Dubliners are at their most convivial.
Dublin has its share of public holidays for holidays' sake along with the usual chestnuts: 1 January - New Year's Day; 17 March - St Patrick's Day; March/April - Good Friday and Easter Monday; 1 May - May Day Holiday; first Monday in June - June Holiday; first Monday in August - August Holiday; last Monday in October - October Holiday; 25 December - Christmas Day; and 26 December - St Stephen's Day.
St Patrick's Day, May Day and St Stephen's Day holidays are taken on the following Monday should they fall on a weekend.
There are two big events in Dublin each year that capture the collective imagination of all who attend. St Patrick's Day is a celebration of traditional Irish culture highlighted by a parade through Dublin and a large céilidh on St Stephen's Green that attracts thousands of revelers intent on dancing the day away.
A more modern (or, rather, Modernist) celebration occurs on 16 June each year. Bloomsday celebrates the masterwork of James Joyce - a Dubliner in exile and perhaps the greatest writer of the 20th century. The events of Joyce's novel Ulysses are set on this day, and literary buffs can spend the day retracing the steps of Leopold Bloom, the book's protagonist.
Throughout the rest of the year, Dublin keeps jumping with a variety of musical, sporting and cultural events. February sees the Dublin International Film Festival, while October hosts the Dublin Theatre Festival. Sports fans can gather at Croke Park in September for the All Ireland finals of both Hurling and Gaelic Football. September also sees hundreds of performers strutting their stuff in the Dublin Fringe Festival, while December means blowing Christmas money on the horses at the Leopardstown Races or on rides at Funderland, Dublin's traditional funfair.
Food and Drink
Ireland's largest city is also the nation's culinary capital. From the lowliest greasy-spoon diner serving the kind of deep-fried food that your arteries will resent to the fanciest Michelin-starred restaurant where eating is a veritable culinary journey, Dublin is a glutton's delight.