If you’re thinking of spending your next vacation in Ireland, than a visit to Dublin is probably already part of your itinerary. If you’ve been to Dublin before, then you may want to consider visiting again, for it is a far different city than it was five years ago.
Ireland’s largest city has much more to offer than Irish pubs and fish & chips. The Celtic Tiger, a term used to describe the massive growth and economic rise that has propelled Ireland forward over the last decade, has brought about many changes to Dublin.
Previous visitors to Dublin will likely first notice that the city is far more crowded. This is due to both increased tourism and a massive influx of new residents. When Ireland joined the European Union, it allowed residents from dozens of other countries to visit and eventually move into Ireland, with many settling in Dublin County. A high rise in cultural diversity is one of the many reasons to visit Dublin.
1. Cultural Diversity
Whereas five to ten years ago, if you walked down the city streets of Dublin, you could be fairly assured that the majority of people on the streets were also Irish, if not tourists. Now, the streets exhibit an eclectic mix of Irish, English, Polish, Nigerian, Middle Eastern, Asian, and many other ethnicities. This amazing mixture of such a wide variety of various cultures has not changed the allure of Dublin, but has enhanced it, most notably in the areas of food and dining.
2. Food & Dining
If you are on vacation in Ireland, then of course you’ll want to partake in both a traditional Irish breakfast, as well as hearty traditional Irish food for dinner. You’ll find traditional Irish pubs aplenty amongst the streets of Dublin, many featuring live entertainment to compliment your dining experience, or to simply enjoy while you swallow a pint of Guinness or two.
However, if your vacation in Ireland is a week or more, you may soon want to sample other culinary fare, and Dublin can easily accommodate. It is hard to walk through the streets of Dublin without being tempted by a vast array of diverse restaurants, from trendy fusion cuisine to ethnic food of many cultures. Sake bars and Karaoke bars, Lebanese cuisine and Mexican fusion, French gourmet, Thai food, wine bars with tapas, and fine Italian dining can all be found in Dublin, plus nearly anything else you can think of. But be sure to seek out the famous Leo Burdocks Fish & Chips near the Christ Church Cathedral, as it is unquestionably the best fish and chips in Ireland. But you’ll need a place to sit and savor your meal, as it is take-out only.
The residents of Dublin tend to appear quite fashionable, and with good reason. A seemingly endless corridor of clothing stores, unique shops and large department stores are waiting for you on fave shopping locales Grafton Street and Henry Street, enticing Dublin residents and tourists alike. The prices in many of these stores are much more reasonable than you might think. Newly built shopping malls can also be found in Dublin, and of course there are gift stores aplenty throughout the city, where you can find a large assortment of souvenirs to help you remember your vacation in Ireland.
4. Historic Sites
Dublin is full of rich history and amazing stories, and one of the many tour buses circulating throughout the city is a great way to see many of them. You can enjoy a pint of Guinness atop the Guinness brewery overlooking the city, after first touring the facility and seeing how Dublin’s famous brew is made. Or you can explore the stunning Christ Church Cathedral, a centuries-old Viking Church. Trinity College also holds many points of interest, including the Book of Kells, an ancient illuminated manuscript.
But there is far more to see and hear in Dublin than the most common tourist attractions. Many of the streets, bridges, statues, monuments, and old buildings all share a fascinating history that can only be discovered by finding a seasoned tour guide. If you are on a tour through Ireland, then you already have one; otherwise, board a tour bus and pay attention, because something interesting lurks around every corner. A proper guidebook to Dublin will also provide immense detail about the city.
5. Dublin County and Surrounding Areas
Dublin City is a great vantage point from which you can journey to many exciting and beautiful places, such as Glendalough, the Wicklow Mountains, quaint seaside towns such as Howth and Bray, attractions such as golf courses and horse riding, sites featuring amazing scenery and peaceful tranquility, old ruins and charming villages. Exploring the surrounding suburbs and countryside can really expose you to how openly friendly and welcoming the Irish community can be. For a prime example of this, be sure to read this article about traditional Irish Blessings and Toasts, which exemplifies the overall spirit of Ireland.