When they call it “The Green Emerald” it’s because there’s much substance to it: verdant all year-round landscapes of valleys and mountains, and equally sparkling as the eponymous gem, Ireland is lively and tries to be less ostentatious than its Anglo-Saxon neighbour, but again, it cannot help being ultra charming and nearly as vibrant. At the end of the rainbow, the story goes, is the pot of gold, but Ireland is far richer and marvelous than that! Nowhere is this more evident than in its capital and largest city, Dublin.
Veined by the River Liffey and replete with iconic buildings, Dublin is ideal for those who seek something less gaudy and clichéd than London. One of its landmarks is the imposing and history-rich Dublin Castle, but as it is also quite dynamic, Dublin is also modern and vibrant. For instance, the Spire of Dublin, a gigantic stainless steel needle pinching the sky from one of the city’s trendiest avenues, O’Connell Street. Dublin is also famed for its usually packed pubs and restaurants which have long attracted artists like William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett, the eccentric James Joyce, and (get a chill of this!) Dracula’s creator, Bram Stoker. The city also offers placid public parks like Phoenix and St. Stephen’s, both nearby Grafton and Henry Streets, Dublin’s most picturesque and trendiest shopping centres. For a less formal, yet more exciting experience, try the open market on Moore Street. In terms of architecture, St. Patrick’s Cathedral stands as Ireland’s tallest and largest while the imposing Customs House presents neo-classical touches to mark its importance. Trinity College is Ireland’s famed institution of higher education while the National Museum complements the city’s intellectual vibe. As far as fun, entertainment is an understatement for a city that boasts with thousands of cheery pubs and intense night life, but there are also day time venues such as the ones held on St. Patrick’s Day, when the entire country enters in festive mode and colorful parades and fairs begin to populate the country’s cities. And if you claim to have visited Dublin without passing by the famed Guinness Brewery and Storehouse, you’ve simply never been to Dublin!