Dublin Hotels Near Croke Park
10 Things to See And Do in Dublin
- Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I as an enclave of Anglo Irish educational privilege, Trinity College can boast Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde amongst its former pupils. Passing under the archway of Front Gate, entering the wide cobbled quadrangle that is Parliament Square, you are greeted first by the sight of the imposing Campanile. Often used as a symbol to portray Trinity College, the Campanile dates from the mid 19th Century. Other notable buildings include the neo-classical Chapel and the Library. The Corinthian façade of the former is unique in Ireland, while the latter is home to the famed Book of Kells (a 9th Century manuscript of the Gospels.) Escorted by students, walking tours of the Campus will provide any visitor with an account of Trinity's past, a history of the Campus buildings and interesting anecdotes about its most famous graduates. The tours run from mid-April until early October from inside the Front Gate of the College. Tours commence every 40 minutes from 10.15. There are generally 9 tours in any one day.
- Once the centre of Dublin’s local government, City Hall remains one of the city’s grandest buildings. Its large, domed atrium was designed in 1779 by Thomas Cooley while the central mosaic floor is surrounded by frescoes by James Ward that show scenes from the history of Dublin, such as the battle of Clontarf. Presiding over it all are four imposing marble statues, one of which is of Irish patriot Daniel O’Connell.
- Although it isn’t really a castle, Dublin Castle is no less impressive for that. Indeed the city gets its name from the Dubh Linn or Black Pool on the site of the present Castle Gardens and Coach House. A collection of very fine 18th century buildings built on a medieval plan of two courtyards, it was formerly the centre of the British colonial administration in Ireland. Today it serves as a venue for grand diplomatic or state functions and occasional artistic performances, such as recitals. It is also a major tourist attraction and citizens of all nations experience the varied facilities and the unique historic layers revealed throughout the complex - from the Medieval Tower to the world treasures of the Chester Beatty Library and from the Viking Defence Bank to the splendid State Apartments. The interior, including the beautiful state rooms, are pay-per-view (you have to take a tour) but you can wander freely round the exterior.
- Located at the end of Grafton Street, St Stephen’s Green offers an oasis of peace amid the bustle of modern Dublin, with tree-studded lawns, a languid pond fringed by willows, a children’s playground and formal gardens. It is also populated by several statues of historical and artistic figures, including W.B.Yeats, James Joyce, the poet James Mangan and the Protestant rebel Wolfe Tone. But the Green’s appeal also lies in the elegant Georgian townhouses that frame it. Subdued on the outside, most have spacious, beautifully proportioned rooms, sweeping staircases and ornate plasterwork. Also worth a quick visit are the lovely 19th century Iveagh Gardens, which contain sunken lawns, a roaring waterfall, elegant stone fountains, a grotto, a rose garden and a newly planted maze. The high stone walls that surround them with concealed entrances only add to the sense of secret enchantment that pervades them.
- Established in 1877, the National Museum of Ireland: Archeology & History is a must see, housing archaeological collections dating back to 7000 BC, as well as some of the highlights from the Celtic Iron Age and the Golden Age of Irish Art, including such masterpieces the Broighter Hoard, Tara Brooch and Ardagh Chalice. What’s more, the 19th century building’s interior is almost as impressive as its collections. Designed by Thomas Newenham Deane and his son Thomas Manly Deane, it is one of the best surviving examples of Irish decorative stonework, woodcarving and ceramic tiling. The rotunda or entrance hall is 18 metres high and is decorated with classical columns of marble, opening onto a great central court and gallery. Exhibition rooms are located around the court on the ground floor and off the gallery on the first floor.
- If you approach the grey, hulking walls of Christ Church Cathedral from the River Liffey, it dominates the skyline. Dating back to the 1170s, this is one of the city’s most historic buildings. Kings and conquerers worshipped here, from the Norman mercenary Strongbow to the ill-fated James II and his rival successor to the English throne, William of Orange. To Dubliners today, it’s chiefly known as a gathering place to hear the bells on New Year’s Eve (it boasts ‘the largest full-circle ringing peal in the world.’)
- St Patrick’s Cathedral is Dublin’s most famous church and one of the largest in Ireland. Its site has played host to religious structures since the 5th century. The present church dates from the 13th century. Though its exterior is beautiful enough, its interior is even more intriguing. Among the most poignant of the many memorials are those to the tens of thousand of Irish soldiers who sacrificed themselves for the United Kingdom in both world wars. But perhaps the most celebrated is the one commemorating one of the cathedral’s former Deans: Jonathan Swift. His period at St Patrick’s (1713 – 1745) was the most fruitful of his writing career and he composed many powerful bromides inveighing against the follies of the colonial government in London. (though the luckless Irish were by no means exempt from his pitiless satiric vision, as demonstrated by A Modest Proposal, which suggested eating babies as a solution to famine problems.) He is buried here with his companion, Stella.
- Ask most casual observers about the things they most associate with Dublin – and indeed Ireland – and it’s a safe bet that Guinness will come pretty high up the list. This makes a pilgrimage to the Guinness Storehouse in St James’s Gate a must. The six-storey listed building is a shrine to all things Guinness-related. During an extensive tour you will learn, in great detail, all about the intricacies of brewing the beer. However the most entertaining part of the exhibit relates to the way in which the company’s stylish, ingenious advertising campaigns have evolved and grown in complexity over the decades. The tour finishes with a pint of high quality Guinness, best enjoyed in the Gravity Bar, which offers peerless panoramic views over Dublin.
- Though poor and reactionary for much of its history – as well as labouring under a hugely repressive Church – Dublin has produced a staggering number of world class writers, including Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce, as well as modern masters like John Banville and Roddy Doyle. The Writers’ Museum pays fulsome but intelligent tribute to all of them, with handsome busts lining the corridors and a wealth of quirky, fascinating artifacts, from manuscripts and playbills to the telephone from Beckett’s Paris apartment. There is also an excellent cafe and a well stocked bookshop.
- Another pleasing side effect of Dublin’s trendy new image is that the quality of shopping available in the capital has improved enormously in the past 10 years. Not only are the boutiques sleek and stylish but they are all located in a compact centre that makes them easy to walk between. The best of them are found in William Street South, Castle Market and Drury Street. The jewel of Dublin’s shops is, however, Brown Thomas – Dublin’s Harrods or Bloomingdales. Plush and sophisticated, if sometimes pricey, it stocks a wealth of designer names like Paul Smith, Prada and Marc Jacobs. As befits a city with such a rich literary tradition, Dublin also has some beautiful new and second hand bookshops. Particularly enticing are Books Upstairs, with its excellent Irish literature section, and The Winding Stairs, which is housed in a wonderfully eccentric building that overlooks the Liffey. If, however, you want a different kind of shopping experience you could try some of Dublin’s justly famous street markets. The most celebrated, and one of the oldest, is to be found on weekdays on Moore Street, off O’Connell Street on the north side of the Liffey. In recent years the old familiar stalls of fruit, vegetables, portable radios and wrapping paper have been supplemented by lively African, Asian and Russian food, giving the street a more diverse, colourful, unpredictable edge. Bargain antiques can also sometimes be found – amongst a good deal of tat – at Blackberry Fair, while Meeting House Square, a food market, offers a diverse array of mouth watering delicacies.