Paris might be incredibly romantic and New York might be incredibly intoxicating, but Dublin has charm. And not to mention craic.
But what makes it charming, delightful and fun is not only its rich history and culture but the fact that the Irish are the friendliest people on the planet with a knack of making strangers feel at home in an instant.
These spots are cheesy and decidedly tourist, but there is a lot of history to cover.
View Ireland’s national treasure the Book of Kells
How can you possibly visit Dublin without seeing one of Ireland’s national treasures? To see one of the oldest books in the world you will have to visit the library at Trinity College. This is where the Book of Kells found its home. Transcribed by the Celtic monks and dating back to 800 AD, it is considered one of the masterpieces of Western calligraphy. The intricate design of the miniatures found in the Book of Kells have influenced not only the stone carvings dating to that period but still serve as an inspiration today – the delicate knot work can be found on many Celtic wedding rings.
Beware – if visiting in the summer the lines might be longer then you would expect.
A moment of contemplation at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral supposedly stands in the place where St. Patrick first baptized converted pagans into Christians. Originally St. Patrick’s Cathedral was outside Dublin’s city walls but as the city grew it became an integral part of the city. St. Patrick’s Cathedral has long and colorful history and it suffered a lot of neglect until late 19th century when the wealthy Guinness family funded the restoration process that brought it back to its old glory.
Soak up some history at Dublin Castle
Dating back to the 13th century Dublin Castle originally was part city’s fortification part the safe keep of the treasure. Over the years it served as a residence for the Royal Chief representative, a dungeon and temporary Parliament.
It is also the place where Claddagh rings are authenticated and hallmarked by the Irish Assay masters.
Walk over Ha’Penny bridge and take a stroll through St. Stephen’s Green
Spanning the river Liffey, the Ha’ Penny bridge offers pretty views of the river (although the river is absolutely filthy). The name stems from the toll of half a penny that was required to cross the bridge. It is by far the prettiest bridge in Dublin.
For an easy afternoon stroll there is no better than St. Stephen’s Green. Once a place where public punishments where executed today it is a green escape right in the middle of the busiest part of the city of Dublin.
Rest your feet in one of the pubs in Temple Bar
One of the oldest parts of Dublin and wedged in between the river Liffey and Dame Street, Temple Bar is an absolute maze of small, cobbled streets and pub after pub. Sure, it might be crawling with tourists (especially during the St. Patrick’s day festivities) but you never know when you will stumble on a pub with good craic. The beer is flowing and you will never be short of a conversation. Although if you want to meet the locals you might want to venture in one of the side streets.