March 27th, 2012
If you’re going to be visiting the Emerald Isle, make sure to include these 5 Must Do’s …
One of the oldest landmarks in Dublin, Dublin Castle was founded in 1204 on the orders of King John of England, and after the Norman invasion of Ireland (1169). Today the site contains two museums, an international conference centre, gardens, Government Buildings, and the State Apartments, which are the most important state rooms in the country. The grounds are free to explore.
Many prominent literary figures came from Dublin, including world famous William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, and Samuel Beckett, and influential playwrights and writers like Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker. In fact, in July 2012 Dublin was named as a UNESCO City of Literature. Ireland’s biggest libraries and literary museums are found in Dublin, so literary enthusiasts should make stopping at the National Print Museum of Ireland or the National Library of Ireland a priority.
If you are looking for a “genuine Irish experience” during a night out on the town in Dublin, then visit the Temple Bar area, south of the River Liffey and the best known area for nightlife in the city. Developed as Dublin’s cultural quarter, the area has preserved its medieval street pattern with many narrow, cobbled streets, and retains the spirit as a centre for small arts productions, photographic and artists’ studios, street performers, and small business.
They say that if Dublin is the heart and soul of Ireland, Guinness is the heart of the city itself! Since 2000, over 4 million visitors have flocked to the Guinness Storehouse to learn more about the famous dark brew. In 1902, the Storehouse was constructed as a fermentation plant for the St James Gate Brewery, and was used continuously until 1988 when a new, state-of-the-art fermentation plant was built in nearby Liffey. Up to 100 lucky visitors (each week) are able to “Start the Brew”. Since all that is pretty thirsty work, you’ll be looking forward to their Tasting Laboratory that forms part of their New Brew Experience, where visitors can taste Guinness from the Keg Line and learn how to savour the beer like a real connoisseur.
Spend a little time learning about Irish history and culture at one of the many museums located in Dublin. Meet the Vikings and Leprechauns face to face. Or do a family history search at the National Photographic Archives.
Get into the spirit of things while you mix and mingle with locals and tourists alike at one of the many Festivals held year round in Ireland’s capital city. Check local listings before or after you arrive.
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