Insider Tips

What Dublin is Made Of

By Visit Dublin

26th September 2020

As locals continue to play their part, while Christmas 2020 may not be the festive season we are used to enjoying in the capital, Dublin still brings a little magic at this time of the year.

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. While some aspects of life in our unique city may be temporarily paused, this is the perfect opportunity for locals to seek out spots they may have missed; it's time to reclaim and renew your acquaintance with what makes the Fair City not just unbeatable... but truly unstoppable.

Amazing architectural gems

If you're an architectural enthusiast, why not try walking a trail past some of the city's more notable buildings? From medieval churches to the Georgian quarter, Dublin has a host of architectural gems from every important period in history — 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) await near the Dublin Docklands; both are particularly compelling when lighting up a nighttime stroll.

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 explore, whether they’re interested in our Medieval Viking past or the Irish Civil War in the early 20th century. Some 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 seasonal hikes 

What better way is there to experience this time of year than heading for the great outdoors, wrapped up well in warm jackets, hats, scarves and gloves. Enjoy early sunsets that never fail to offer a symphony of colour while filling your lungs with crisp air with a nip of frost. Dublin offers plenty of bracing winter walks for every level of hiker. Visit Killiney Hill for incomparable views of the sea and the city, grab a coffee 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. Take a flask or a travel mug with a warming drink to keep the chill at bay while you burn up the seasonal treat calories!
 

Though big gatherings, cultural outings and indoor dining are off the table for the moment, there's no shortage of things to do in Ireland’s capital city while staying within your local area: and despite the restrictions, there are plenty of ways to prepare for an enjoyable — and safe — winter season in Dublin.

Are you ready to accept the challenge? Get out and enjoy some of the creative, dynamic and quirky activities that make our city a capital to cherish and be proud of. 

Visit Dublin

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