Dublin is a city like no other. Situated on either side of the River Liffey, Dublin is a city of history in the middle of an economic boom. With stunning Georgian Architecture as the backdrop to every day life in Dublin, visitors to Dublin will enjoy seeing something very unique, a historic city supporting a very modern and high tech population. People who visit Dublin usually only visit Dublin for a weekend, so it can be hard to decide what to see and do. This article is meant to help you decide where your time should be spent. In this particular article I will be looking at the top 5 things to do in Dublin while a second article will deal with the rest of my list of the 10 things you must see in Dublin.
1 – Georgian Architecture
Georgian Architecture in Dublin dates from the 18th Century when Dublin enjoyed a rapid growth of population, a growth which meant the city had to develop outside of its medieval walls. Georgian architecture is so called because it was built between 1714 and 1830, during the reigns of George I to George IV. Georgian Architecture shares a sense of proportion and balance and a certain amount of grace which were derived by implementing mathematical rules and ratios to the architecture.
Among the finest examples of Georgian Architecture in Dublin are the Custom House, Georgian Houses, The Four Courts and the General Post Office (GPO).
2 – Trinity College
Situated in the very heart of Dublin City, Trinity College is a world famous educational institution. The College was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 and was exclusively for the education of Protestants in Ireland. It was not until 1793 that Roman Catholics were allowed to be educated in Trinity College.
Today the College still retains much of its feel of eras gone by with its spacious green areas and cobble stoned courtyards. Combined with being an educational facility, Trinity College also home to the Book of Kells, an illuminated gospel book which dates back to the 8th Century.
3- Temple Bar
Situated on the south side of the Liffey, Temple Bar is a trendy area set in a historical location with narrow streets which are still cobble stoned. Today Temple Bar is associated with nights out, a Saturday market, culture, stag and hen parties. For the younger generations visiting Dublin, Temple Bar is usually the first point of call.
Historically Temple Bar is very varied as during the last Century the area was very dilapidated. At one stage during the 1980s the area was nearly turned into a bus terminal. In opposition to this proposed development on the behest of residents and traders, the Government set up a non-profit company in 1991 to protect this unique area.
4 – Grafton Street
Grafton Street is Dublin’s premier shopping street. The street is a pedestrian only street and stretches from College Green to St Stephen’s Green. Named after the Duke of Grafton who was the owner of the land in this area, the street developed from a country lane into its present state as one of the best streets in Ireland if not all of Europe.
Recent economic boom in Ireland has treated Grafton Street well, and the ensuing developments did little to dampen the charm of this street. Whether you plan to shop during your visit to Ireland, or plan to sample the night life, be sure not to miss Grafton Street.
5 – Guinness Storehouse
Billed as the place where past and present meet, The Guinness Storehouse is a trendy museum which takes you to the home of Guinness. In this fantastic exhibit you will see, smell and enjoy over 250 years of Guinness being brewed in this part of Dublin. The museum takes you on a historical journey to present day and will hopefully answer all of your questions about the ‘black stuff’ on the way.
The gravity bar sits at the top of the Guinness Storehouse and offers fantastic panoramic views over Dublin while the restaurant slowly spins around on its axis.