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A Quick Guide to... Dublin

History Dublin

The city of Dublin has a long history in its location at the mouth of the River Liffey. In fact, the old Irish name of the city was Baile Atha Cliath meaning the town of Hurdle Ford. This name came from an old river crossing that can still be found today. The raids of the Vikings in the 9th century lead to them starting a settlement in the area where they farmed and traded with the locals. The Danes controlled this area until the Norman invasion in 1169 when Henry II expanded his empire. Over the next few hundred years, Dublin expanded and became the most important city in Ireland. One of the major setbacks was the devastation from the Black Death in 1368. In 1592, Queen Elizabeth I started Trinity College. This famous university still exists today and is one of the most respected universities in the world. Other important events in the history of Dublin and Ireland include an invasion by Oliver Cromwell in 1649, who took the best land for his soldiers and Ireland backing James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Several hundred years of Irish upset at the English masters lead to high emigration, especially during the potato famine, and frequent revolts. This cumulated with the formation of Sinn Fein in the 20th century and independence was finally granted on 6 December 1922. One of the results of this treaty was the split into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which stayed under British control and was the scene of many disturbances that continue today. In the 1990s, the economic fortunes of the country changed for the better with growth of 40% from 1993 to 1997. This led to unemployment at record low levels and better standards of living for the Irish. Another benefit of this was an increase in tourism to the region and the emigration trend even reversed.

When to go Dublin

Dublin is a popular destination for visitors all year around, but the busiest times for tourism are spring and autumn months. Visitors travelling at these times will avoid the high prices charged during the summer and the closure of many attractions during the quieter winter period. Luckily most of the attractions do not depend on the weather and visitors can enjoy them at any time of the year. School holidays, particularly at Easter and in the summer months, are busy in Dublin. If you are travelling without children and wish to avoid the extra queues then it will pay to avoid the main school holidays for your visit. Those travelling with children may prefer to visit during those times to take advantage of special offers and attractions aimed at children. Special mention must be made of St Patrick's Day.

This Irish national holiday is a major party time in Dublin and the festivities are famous around the world. Anyone planning to visit for the celebration on March 17th should endeavour to make their arrangements well in advance and double-check to ensure their reservations are not lost in the chaos. Many of the best parties and hotels book up well in advance so it pays to prepare well in advance. Anyone who visits Dublin for a specific attraction or event should check before booking that it will be available on the dates that they wish to travel. It would be disappointing to make the trip to this great city and miss out on something they were looking forward to. Booking a trip well in advance is the best way to save money on travel and accommodation if you are not tied to any specific dates for your holiday.

Weather Dublin

The weather in Dublin is mainly influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The moderating aspects of this vast body of water and the Gulf Stream mean that summers are generally cooler and winters milder than comparative locations in the centre of a landmass. The ocean also helps to make the climate wetter and the temperatures less extreme than it could otherwise be. Typically, Dublin has a great temperate climate with summer varying between a comfortable 15oC and 20oC during the months of July and August. Winter temperatures usually stay around 4oC to 8oC and major snowfalls are rare. Its location on the east coast of Ireland means that Dublin is actually in one of the driest parts of the country, but the city still has rain on around 150 days in a typical year and often rain can fall every day for weeks on end. Rain falls throughout the year, but July is typically the driest month with a monthly average of 43mm. December is often the wettest month with an average of 73mm.

The Atlantic Ocean can also be the source of strong winds that blow across Ireland. Dublin is sheltered from these, but the winds can still be strong, especially in the autumn months. It is not unknown for hurricanes to strike Ireland, but it is a rare occurrence for the country to experience storms of this strength. In the summer months, visitors to Dublin can make the most of the long days during their visits to the city. Often it only truly falls dark after 11pm and the 18 hours per day of daylight are great for exploring the city. In the winter months, the days are much shorter and it will be dark around 5pm in December and January.

Arrival Dublin

As the capital and largest city in the Republic of Ireland, Dublin is a major airport hub and has flights direct from many of the major European airports as well as several North American cities, including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Dublin airport is located 13km north of the city centre and has all the facilities one would expect to find in a major airport, such as pubs, restaurants, shops, ATMs and car hire facilities. The airport has one passenger terminal which also contains banks, a post office and pharmacy. The airport has good public transport links to the city centre, with Bus Eireann offering affordable services from Dublin all over the Republic and Northern Ireland. Dublin is the hub at the heart of the Irish train service too. It can be expensive to travel by train in Ireland and parts of the network are in need of maintenance, but the service is improving and offers a comfortable and convenient way to travel around the country. The longest train journey from Dublin is 4.5 hours, so even the furthest points of the Irish train network are within easy reach. Inroad Eireann (Irish Rail) operates routes from Connolly Station in Dublin to the north and Heuston Station to the west, south and south-west reaches of the country. Close to Dublin on the south side of Dublin Bay is the port of Dun Laoghaire, which has regular ferry services to Britain and France. The ferry port has great public transport connections to the city centre with services travelling the 11km (7mile) journey several throughout the day. Ferries that sail between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead in Wales link directly into the main British train and road network offering convenient access to Dublin from around the UK.

City Transport

Dublin has an advance network of public transport which includes train, buses and light rail tram called “Luas”. Public transport of the city is managed by the many operators including state and quasi-state entities. Irish Government is spending lot of money to expand public transport system under the transport 21 program.

Best locations Dublin

The Georgian streets in the centre of Dublin are ideal for visitors to wander around on foot. A stroll through these streets is a great way to experience the sights and sounds of the Irish capital city. The city centre straddles the River Liffey and many visitors also enjoy walking along the banks of this famous river. Several of the bridges spanning the river date back to before 1800, and the oldest of these � the Anna Livia Bridge in the suburb of Chapelizod was built in 1753. One of the most famous buildings in the city centre is Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland. It was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 to provide education to upper class children and keep them away from malign Catholic influences throughout Europe. Over the years the University has changed from its original purposes and is now one of the most respected universities in Europe. One of the most popular attractions in Dublin is the Books of Kells. This hand-drawn manuscript of the Gospels dates back to the year 800 and features elaborate script and colourful illumination. This magnificent artefact is on permanent display at Trinity College Library and many people consider it to be Ireland's greatest national treasure. Visitors and locals who prefer to be in the countryside will enjoy a trip to Phoenix Park. This attractive 704 hectare (1.739 acre) parkland in the west of the city has a network of pedestrian paths and roads to make it all easily accessible for visitors. Visitors to the park can get an audiovisual presentation describing the history of Phoenix Park from the visitors centre adjacent to Ashtown Castle. Also at the visitor centre is a cafés serving drinks and food from 10am to 5pm weekdays and 6pm at weekends.

Top attractions of Dublin

Dublin has wonderful tourist attractions because of being historical and cultural city of the Ireland. Among the top attraction are museums and galleries, Churches, Libraries, parks and gardens, historical buildings, cultural centers, and heritage sites. There are many churches throughout the Dublin city. These churches are located in the north city, south city, North County, South County and city center.

Dublin is a center of art and culture so there are many museums and galleries which are attracted by the tourists. Most famous museums are Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Museum, and National Gallery. There are also many small private collections.

Among the historical buildings, most famous are Howth castle, President’s Residence, Howth Harbour, malahide castle, and Skerries Mills in the North County. In the North city Casino Marino and public building called Kings Inn are well known. In the South city, you can visit Marsh’s Library, and Rathfarnham Castle. Drimnagh Castle and Clondalkin Round tower are famous historical places in the South castle. You can also witness many historical buildings while walking in the streets of city center.

Dublin also has many parks and ground. Over 2000 hectares of the land has been converted in to parks and gardens which increase the beauty of the City. Dublin Zoo is another attraction in the city. Other attractions for the tourists are Guinness storehouse & St. James Gate Brewery, Dublin Castle, temple bar and many more. You can also enjoy shopping, nightlife, theater and many festivals in the Dublin City.

Night-life Dublin

Dublin has long had a reputation for its great night-life. This includes some fantastic traditional old pubs which have not changed since famous residents like James Joyce and Brendan Behan once drank and the sounds of traditional Irish music is still heard today. Some of the cooler modern bars in the city replace the soundtrack with modern techno beats and the regulars wear the latest fashions. The latest fashion in Dublin night-life is the rise in popularity of cocktail bars and nightclubs. These hip venues have been springing up round Dublin over the last few years and party-goers can have a choice of great clubs any night of the week. Some of the modern cocktail bars have a strict door policy that only allows regular clientele in, but you might be able to get past the doorman if you are young and female and wear your best clothes.

Dublin has a vibrant live scene, and it is possible to find live performances on most nights of the week. Many of the biggest names in music and comedy regular visit the city and play to packed crowds in venues that range in size from small and intimate to the 50,000 capacity Aviva Stadium. One of the top live venues is Vicar Street, which regularly hosts some of the top Irish and international acts. Vicar Street was voted Irish Music Venue of the Year in 2008 and 2009. Ireland has a long history of strong religious support for the Catholic Church, but over the last few years the gay scene in Dublin has become slowly more prominent. It might not be have the same size or presence as in some of the more established European capitals, but it is slowly growing in popularity.

Accommodation in Dublin

Dublin is capital city and popular among the tourists, so, accommodation in this city needs advance booking. This will save you from botheration on visiting. Many hotels and guesthouses offer online reservation. Accommodations in Dublin includes guesthouses, hotels, hostels, apartments, Caravan/camping etc.

Accommodations is classified in to stars like one, two, three, four and five stars hotels, guesthouses, camps etc. Some international chains of the hotels are also available in the city.This classification is approved by the Irish hotel federation and Irish tourist board. This classification makes easy for the guests to select their accommodation according to their needs and budget.

One star hotels are those which offer only mandatory services along with stay. Two stars hotels are good for families. All dining facilities are also available. Three stars hotels are those which have well decorated rooms with very good bathrooms, dining facilities, etc. Four stars hotels are equipped with high standards of modern facilities with very good restaurants. Five star hotels are luxurious hotels of international standards. These hotels offer, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, gyms, business center, conference halls and meeting rooms etc. Classification of the guesthouse ranges from one star to four stars in Dublin.

Hostels offer neat and clean rooms on low price. Some hostels also offer family rooms. You can also have apartment to stay in Dublin in the urban or suburban area. Camps are also available in camping parks. These are categorized in to different classes ranging from one to four stars. Rent is different for different class.

City of destination Dublin

The city of Dublin dates back several thousand years and the first mention of a settlement in the area is thought to be in the writings of Ptolemy in the year 140. The city as it exists now was originally a Viking settlement on the east coast of Ireland that grew to be the bustling metropolis that exists today. The city holds a prominent position on the mouth of the River Liffey, which divides the city into two. This great river divides the city into two, and has nine bridges crossing it. Several attractions exist on each side of the river, including castles, gaols and the birthplaces of some of the most famous poets and writers of all time. Guided literary trails show interested visitors around these famous places. Over the last decade, European money has flooded into Ireland making radical changes to the face of the city. This investment has brought the city forward from the early 20th century to a modern and vibrant 21st century capital.

The mixture of old and new makes it a popular destination for a city break with visitors enjoying the mixture of modern bars and old pubs, thriving markets and modern malls and trendy caf? serving great food. Further afield from the city, the area around Dublin Bay has several small coastal towns and the ferry port of Dun Laughaire. Nearby County Kildare has miles of rich farmland and a reputation for breeding champion thoroughbred horses. County Louth and County Meath both have evidence suggesting the sites of ancient civilizations as well as numerous historic castles and monasteries. These places offer a glimpse of Ireland for visitors to the area, but many visitors are happy to spend their entire stay in the city of Dublin.

Useful contact numbers

It is important to know useful numbers before going to Dublin. This can help you in case of any problem. These useful numbers can be of Police, health & hospitals, airport, help lines etc. Country dialing code is +353 and city code is 01. If you are in Dublin and having an emergency then dial 999 or 112 to seek for help regarding fire, ambulance, marine rescue service and mountain rescue. In Irish language police is called Garda. You can also call police by dialing this number. Garda is unarmed force ready to help you in case of emergency.

If you want to call Tourist Information office, dial 01 605 7700. This office can provide much information like maps, details of events and festivals etc. If you want to get any information about trains in the Dublin city then dial telephone number of Irish rail which is 01 836 6222. Telephone number of Irish ferries is 01 661 0511. 01 873 4222 is the telephone number of Dublin bus service. From here you can get information regarding bus timings and their routes. You can dial 11860 for international directory inquiry. Telephone number of Samaritans is 1850 60 9090. In Dublin there is also 24 hours listening service of child line and its telephone number is 1800 66 66 66.

There are offices of many embassies like USA (01 668 8777), Australia (01 676 1517), UK (01 205 3700), Canada (01 478 1988), Netherlands (01 269 3444), Germany (01 269 3011) and France (01 260 1666).

Dublin is very busy city and time is needed to go to different Parts of the city.

Dublin festivals

There are many events, music concerts, live performances, Exhibitions, sports and festivals in the city of Dublin. Dublin has its own history and culture. People of Dublin celebrate many festivals throughout the year. These festivals are divided in to different categories like film festivals, art festivals, cultural festivals, book festivals, religious festivals, food festivals and many more.

For filmmakers, artists and animators, a festival called “dark light festival” is celebrated every year. On the 16th of June Bloomsday is celebrated every year to pay tribute to Irish writer James Joyce. On this day, holiday is observed with many performances and dramas to remember the writer.

Many tourists and people of the Dublin celebrate one of the best fringe festivals called Dublin Fringe festival. This festival is gaining popularity around the world especially Europe. This festival was first started in 1995. Now Dublin Fringe festival is a sixteen day event and celebrated during the month of September. Many artists participate in this festival for live entertainment, music, dramas, theater, dance and live art. Dublin holds a festival of world culture every year. Artistic customs from different parts of the world are main feature. There are many performances and events in this festival. This festival is very good example of intercultural artistic exchange.

Dublin Theater festival is one of the oldest theater festivals in Europe. It is also called Ulster bank Dublin Theater Festival. This festival was celebrated first time in 1957 and since then has become important cultural festival.

Museums and monuments in Dublin

Sightseeing, Museums & monuments, Historical places, religious buildings, parks and gardens, Zoological garden, Nightlife, shopping, libraries and many other attractions make Dublin one of the most visiting city in the world. There are many Museums and monuments in the city which require many hours to explore. These museums and monuments provide very good opportunity for the history and art lovers. These museums and monuments are located in different areas of the city like North city, North County, South city, South County and City center.

Among the Museums, most frequently visited and liked by the visitors are Dublin writer museum, Garda Museum, Croke Park and GAA Museum, Irish Museum of modern art, Irish Jewish Museum, national museum of Ireland located in Collins barracks Dublin, and natural history museum. Among the monuments most famous are The Stardust Memorial park, All government buildings, war memorial Gardens, Spire of Dublin, Leinster House, The mansion house, Wallington monuments, Sea point Martello tower, and Teach an chustaim building. Among the galleries, Douglas Hyde gallery, gallery of Photography, Hugh Lane gallery, National Gallery, national Photographic Archives and original print gallery are most visited galleries.

National Museum of Ireland is collection of decorative arts and history. National museum, Dublin is home of history and archeology. Natural history museum was opened by Dr. David Livingstone in 1857. You cam see many stuffed animals in this museum.

Kids Amusement in Dublin

Dublin is not only famous among adult visitors but kids also like to visit this city because there are many attractions for the children as well. There are many spots which provide amusement not only for the kids but entire family. Attractions like zoo, Museum, sea thrills, horse riding, bowling, etc are liked by the kids.

Children like to visit Zoo and Dublin has a beautiful zoo. Dublin Zoo is situated in the phoenix park. There are many species of mammals, birds and reptiles. Sea safari is another attraction not only for children but entire family. Here children will be able to explore marine life. Dublin has a new children Museum called “Imaginosity”. Family tickets on discount are available here. You can take your children to Ark which is a cultural center for the children. Phoenix Park is another attraction for the children in Dublin city. This park is in over 1700 acres. Take your children to Chester beatty Library which has many things attracted by entire family. An exciting fun and adventure is Viking Splash tours. This is an educational tour as it tells about Dublin History.

One of the top attractions for entire family is Malahide castle where you can visit “Tara Palace” which has dolls house. This section is liked by girls while boys like Fry Model railway. Dublin also has an indoor water park called National Aquatic Center. This center has wonderful water slides. Lambert Puppet Theater in Dublin is the only puppet theater in Ireland. Children like to enjoy the puppet show. Beside these attractions there are many more wonderful places attracted by the children.