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When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.....They'r e looking in the till
Dublin in General
Member Name: Emma1973
Dublin in General
Date: 02/09/02, updated on 19/02/05 (181 review reads)
Advantages: Lots of it beautiful, Lots to do, Great Restaurants
Disadvantages: Way too expensive, Gets very busy
Dublin, the city of craic, cabbages and churches. With a history going back a few thousand years, but also regarded as a major metropolitan European city it has many different faces.
Right then, there's the travel brochure splurge but does Dublin deserve the reputation it has? ME and the other half flew over to Dublin last Monday to stay for 3 nights, doing the tourist thing but also checking out the nightlife as well.
Dublin is a surprisingly small city but is divided into several main areas. These are:
O'Connell Street: This is the main heart of Dublin and is a massive 150ft wide and dates back to the 1700s. Its like Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon, full of shops and buses, dominated by a huge statue of Charles Parnell who nearly won Home Rule. Around the area I the General Post Office, involved in the Easter Rising of 1916 there are still bullet holes in the walls! There is also the Writers Museum, Wax Museum, High Lane Gallery of Modern Art. Busy on a Monday I should imagine its hell on a Saturday, and for some strange reason parts of it smell really awful as well.
Then of course the area around Trinity College which spawned writers such as Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift. You can take guided tours or just wander round the garden. If you take a trip there be sure to take a trip into the old library and see the Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated book of the Four Gospels dating from the 9th century.
Grafton Shop: shops, shops and lots more shops! A pedestrianised area its full of buskers and pubs where quite a few celebs started out including Chris De Burgh, the Boomtown Rats and Christy Moore. For the tourists there is the Lord Mayors Mansion, Leinester House, the home of the Irish parliament, the national museum and library. This is where you will find the more expensive restaurants, I find it way too busy again.
Georgian Dublin is one of the more beautiful areas of the c
ity. Slap bang in the middle of it is St Stephen's park, a beautiful park with many historical statues its just the place to take a break from shopping. Its surrounded by Georgian building, housing museums and galleries.
My favourite area, which is where we stayed is Old Dublin. Included is Temple Bar, this the destination for party people, full of pubs, clubs and restaurants, its always packed every day of the week. A nice place to visit but beware of rowdy groups of hen nights and stag parties, although there's usually some Garda around.
It also has the best tourist destinations, Dublin Castle, St Patricks Cathedral and the Viking Adventure are a few to name, we went to the first two places and they were absolutely beautiful, away from the party crowds, you could really relax.
And of course a visit is almost obligatory to the Guinness Hopstore in Western Dublin, when you've sample that its off over the River Liffey to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. If you aren't too tiddly then you can take the kids to Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo where the MGM lion was born! Whilst not so much shopping there are some excellent traditional pubs and clubs. This was one of my more favourite areas, lots less traffic and lots less people.
So there you go, Dublin in a nutshell! Well, nearly, Dublin really is a fascinating place, I personally wouldn't take my kids as there is not that much to do and its very busy with lots of traffic. Its definitely a place for the older visitor, plenty of tourist spots and excellent restaurants. We also saw quite a few hen nights and stag parties in Temple Bar which is full of pubs and clubs, but oh my, make sure you take plenty of cash! In Temple Bar a Smirnoff Ice and a pint of Guinness will set you back nearly 10 euros (That's about £7-8 to you and me!). I dread to think how much they would be in the clubs.
Its also quite difficult to find an Irish restaurant in Dublin, the amount
of Italian restaurants is absolutely amazing, and every street has loads of cafes.
A huge tip that my own council should take notice of is the roadwork's, never done at rush hour these are done in the early evening so they don't block traffic. Why hasn't someone in Bristol thought of this yet?
So what didn't I like about Dublin? Well, definitely the unnecessarily high prices in the bars and sops although restaurant food is reasonable.
Some of it was quite slummy as well, including near the centre, lots of boarded up buildings, other falling apart, etc. Although I cant fault the cleanliness of the streets.
Oh and the Irish are a miserable lot (no shouting please). Having heard about how warm and friendly they were, I was really disappointed the only people like the above were the ones who were paid to be, the tour guides, etc. Even the bar staff were miserable and gruff and all the shop assistants just looked fed up, no please, thank you, etc.
So Dublin is a great and mostly beautiful city and I would recommend it to anybody, all I am left to say is.........When Irish Eyes are Smiling.......they're looking at the money in the tills..