Insider Tips

What Dublin is Made Of

By Visit Dublin

25th April 2021

Dublin's Fair City is very much "alive alive-o"; with sights and experiences as vibrant and interesting as the inhabitants themselves.

Here, we present a small sampling of what Dublin is made of; but more than anything, it's made of Dubliners, reflecting their resilient spirit, irrepressible sense of humour, pride in their home, and passion for discovery. This is the perfect opportunity for locals and visitors alike to learn about spots they may have missed; it's time to reclaim and renew your acquaintance with what makes it not just unbeatable... but truly unstoppable.

Amazing architectural gems

From medieval churches to the Georgian quarter, Dublin has a host of architectural gems from every important period in history — on an architectural amble, golden oldies like Christ Church Cathedral (c.1028) and Dublin Castle (1230) never fail to disappoint, and mid-century fanatics will get a kick out of Busáras (1953). For those who prefer something more contemporary, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (2010) and The Convention Centre Dublin (2010) light up the night near the Dublin Docklands.

Illustrious literary heritage

Dublin holds the written word close to its heart and there are some truly heart-warming literary spots scattered around the capital — from statues and busts, to bridges and plaques. There are many ways to approach a literary tour of Ireland's capital; why not embrace Joyce’s Dublin and follow the steps Leopold Bloom walked in Ulysses? Alternatively, visit some of the talking statues dedicated to Ireland’s most famous writers (Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw to name but a few) to stage an impromptu reading. 

Fascinating historical stories 

Dublin is steeped in history that dates back over 1,000 years. History buffs will have plenty to discover, whether they’re interested in our Medieval Viking past or the Irish Civil War in the early 20th century. Essential activities include spotting the battle scars outside the General Post Office left over from the 1916 Easter Rising; taking a walk through The Liberties (once a semi-independent fiefdom with its own laws); and visiting College Green to picture the 18th Century scenes as a grand new parliament house (now the Bank of Ireland) rose in 1728, and an imposing gateway and façade for Trinity College followed in 1759. 

Striking street art 

While Dublin is known around the world for its literary past and rich history, it also has a buzzing street art scene. An easy city to walk around because of its compact size, Dublin is the perfect setting in which to organise a street art crawl — and there’s no better place to start than Drury Street in the Creative Quarter, which is simply bursting with colour. Francis Street in the Liberties and the streets close to Smithfield Square often see new pieces popping up, while Temple Bar has an ever-evolving backdrop of creative expression on show, perhaps most spectacularly in the form of the exterior of Blooms Hotel on Anglesea Street, where James Earley's vivid public art dazzles on a truly grand scale. 

Energising hikes 

What better way is there to experience the great outdoors than enjoying a sunset's symphony of colour, or listening to birdsong as you fill your lungs with crisp morning air? Dublin offers plenty of bracing walks all year round for every level of hiker. Visit Killiney Hill for incomparable views of the sea and the city; grab a coffee to go in Clontarf and enjoy a stroll out to Bull Island; or head to the Dublin Mountains for a bit of magic and mystery at the Hellfire Club.

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