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Things to Do in Dublin

You Won’t Soon Run Out of Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland

When we think of things to do in Dublin we probably won’t think it compares with all the great capitals in Europe.  It really is not that large, either in geographic area or residents (about half-million in the city proper in 2011), although what it is lacking in mass it will make up for with character.  There are many places to visit in Dublin, however the true character with the city is the charismatic people.  It is in fact an entertaining place to be, starting with their pubs (of which they’re extremely proud of); you will find most for being brighter and more contemporary compared to their British counterparts.

History Is a Big Part of Things to Do in Dublin

Of course Dublin like any place in Europe will be very historic.  And unlike most Americans, people there seem to have an innate understanding of the times past, and the way it relates with their current culture.  If you go to one of these pubs that has Irish folk music, so much of their lyrics involve their struggles for independence from Britain.  They gained their independence almost 100 years ago, however the tales continue to be passed down.

There is certainly more to the history than under British control.  Initially a Viking colony, it rose to become Ireland’s main town following the Norman occupation of England in 1088.  From the mid-1600s to 1800 Dublin reached a pinnacle, briefly becoming the fifth largest city in Europe during this time.  In 1800, following the Act of Union moving the seat of government to London, it went into a period of stagnation, although remaining an economic hub for almost all of the island.  However it didn’t have a key part in the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, which drove the development of nearly all cities all through this era.

The Many Ways to Enjoy Irish Culture

1.    Book of Kells.  This is certainly the cultural masterpiece, generally regarded as Ireland’s leading national treasure, that was created by Celtic monks approximately 800 AD.  It’s an illustrated Latin Gospel book which holds the four Gospels from the New Testament.  Based at Trinity College Library, it is a must-see.

2.    Guinness Brewery.  Yes, Guinness is an important part of Irish culture, with more than 4 million visiting each year.  Among the most remarkable thing regarding Guinness I have heard will be that their most well-liked variety was actually a mistake.  In the first years they accidentally burnt the hops during one of their brews, and instead of getting brown beer it came out black.  As opposed to simply throwing it out they gave it away to the locals.  It became a tremendous hit, and subsequent to brewing and promoting it, they ultimately made the commitment to have the dark drink their only beer, which it now is to this day.

3.    Kilmainham Gaol.  Now a museum, this earlier prison played a vital role in the struggle for Irish independence.

4.    Jameson.  Established in 1789 by an attorney from Scotland named John Jameson, the complex in Dublin is now the place of the vatting of their whiskey.  Trip Advisor ranks it as being one of their foremost attractions in Dublin, and is open seven days a week.

5.    Irish heritage.  Have you Irish ancestry you would like to trace?  Two spots that you’ll be able to look will be a quick walk from one another in Dublin: the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives of Ireland.  Each of them remain free, and they have immense catalogs.

Dublin may be navigated fairly easily by foot, or else the tour buses will with no trouble get around the city.  It will  rain quite a bit in Dublin, but it is really an enjoyable city to visit.

Grafton Street from Finn Keenan on Vimeo.

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