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Dublin in General
Member Name: killip
Dublin in General
Date: 12/09/01, updated on 12/09/01 (236 review reads)
Advantages: shops, pubs, art, GUINNESS!
Disadvantages: homeless, dicey areas
I visited Dublin earlier this year and I have done once before (in the dark and distant past) and, like all other cities, this one has its good and bad points. In fact, some are a bit of both!
For example, Dublin is literally crawling with pubs – for a great selection visit Temple Bar (the nightlife capital of Ireland), which is both good and bad. There are good pubs and bad pubs, Qué Céra Céra, but, and trust me on this one, there IS such a thing as too many pubs. And too many pubs lead to too many drunkards, and too many drunkards leads to too many fights.
Dublin is a beautiful city, don’t get me wrong, there are several (at least 5 I reckon) independent department stores and all are absolutely excellent – it is all too often in British cities that one can’t find a department store that’s not part of the House of Fraser or Debenhams groups. Clerys is particularly good, as Brown Thomas. It also has excellent other shops – a branch of every chain store and about five million Dunnes’s (only to be expected). The architecture is absolutely marvellous and worth a (sober) look around.
The villages around Dublin which are now part of Dublin such as Howth and Mallahide, are absolutely picturesque and worth a look round if you’re interested in that kind of thing (and unluckily for me the people I was with were) and they are all served by Bus Atha Cliath, Dublin’s bus service.
The bus service in Dublin is very good if you can get your head round them, apart from maybe they should run a little more often and shouldn’t make you get off at the terminus (I’ll never understand that one – why not just turn round like any other sane company?????)
If you’re into art, try visiting the Dublin Art Gallery and you can buy paintings on St Stevens Green – all the good artists from Ireland sell their wares there and you can get them from a fiver (irish) upw
ards. Worth a look as I say.
OK, so all I have said so far is excellent, lots of licker, shops, good buses, nice little pockets of places untouched by commercialisation, good art, in short pretty good for anyone. The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) system is good if you’re in a hurry (I forgot to mention).
The downside to all this is, of course, too much choice! Too many pubs, too many shops, too many bloody ticket options on the bus! What happened to “Clontarf please?” and handing half a dollar over? Aside from that, there are a lot of homeless in Dublin and it can really be quite disturbing. When I was over there it was the Albanian’s turn and they had babies on their backs asking for some money (in Albanian) for their kids. There are also Irish people on the streets of Dublin, many of them children which really is quite upsetting.
If you’re just a general tourist, the centre should be enough to keep you going. If, however, you are going to places where relatives used to live, there are quite a few pretty dicey areas. To get to where my granddad used to live and to see his church, for example (in the middle of Arbour Hill) we had to walk through the Red-light district and to Arbour Hill, past the prison etc. which is also set in a pretty bad area. I really don’t recommend to going to the suburbs if it can be at all avoided.
So all in all if you fancy a pissup or some art, go if you don’t mind the homeless that much (and I know that sounds really heartless) but please, please, stay out of the suburbs.