Travel Guides: Dublin
Dublin is the capital and the largest city of Ireland, with a population of 495,781 inhabitants and over 1.1 million in the metropolitan area of Dublin County. The city is situated on the banks of the River Liffey.
Dublin English name is said to be derived from the name of the Irish Dubh Linn which means black pool. However, many historians do not agree with this etymology because the modern Irish name of the city is Baile Átha Cliath and not Dubh Linn. The first reference to the city was in the writings of Ptolemy in 140, where it referred to city as Eblana. The name Eblana is close enough to Dublin to put doubt on the derivation of Dubh Linn. A similar word with Dubh Linn is found in Icelandic language – “djúp lind”, which means deep pond.
The clime of the city is temperate marine with average annual temperature of 4 degrees Celsius in January and 16 degrees Celsius in July. Annual average rainfall is 750 mm / m square. The first settlement was in the city of Ath Cliath, a Celtic settlement. Then in the fourth century, the Vikings have found another settlement. After the Norman invasion of Ireland, Dublin became the capital of Ireland, and after the seventeenth century, the city has developed rapidly.
A multitude of wars in the first half of the fourteenth century destroyed the city, leaving many of its historic buildings in ruins. Irish Free State rebuilt a part of the city, but Dublin remained partially destroyed. After 1960, when Ireland became more stable, the city was modernized slowly but reconstructions and major infrastructural developments have started only in 1990, during the Celtic Tiger, while Ireland has undergone very rapid economic development.
In recent years, Dublin has become a modern city but preserved much of its history. The town’s infrastructure has reached European levels and it still is growing. Dublin is a major cultural center in Ireland. The Temple Bar district is an area known worldwide for nightlife and is popular with people in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. The city has a growing gay community, although homosexuality was legalized only in 1992 after a case in European Court of Human Rights.
In the center of Dublin is the Trinity College that is the most famous university in Ireland. It is the city where there were born or lived many outstanding writers, known worldwide. The first famous Dublin writer was Jonathan Swift (1667-1745). The biggest of them was James Joyce (1882-1941) who revolutionized literature with his novel “Ulysses” in 1922 which is full of details about the 1920′s Dublin. Four other writers have received the Nobel Prize for Literature: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Nobel Laureate 1923, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) -1925, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney -1969 -1995.
In Dublin are the largest and most prestigious museums in Ireland: Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Ireland, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Chester Beatty Library and three branches of the National Museum of Ireland. Telifís Éireann Radio, the national television and radio, has its headquarters in Dublin. TV3, the only private television channel, is also based in Dublin, although most of its programs are imported from the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
An Post, the Irish postal service, and Eircom, the largest telecommunications company in the country, both have main bases in Dublin. Dublin is the largest educational center in Ireland, with three universities. University of Dublin is Ireland’s oldest, founded in the sixteenth century. National University of Ireland is the second university in Dublin, most recently Dublin City University (Dublin City University).
The university specializes in business, engineering, science and industry. In addition to the three main universities, there are various other institutions and faculties of education. They include the Royal College of Surgeons, the independent medical school founded during the period when Ireland was still part of the British Empire. This city is located in Dublin Institute of Technology, a modern technical college specializing in technical and artistic training. Finally, there are two institutions that teach only artistic study: National College of Art and Design, and Institute of Arts, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire.
Dublin is the transport hub of the Irish. Port of Dublin (Dublin Port) is the country’s largest port and Dublin Airport is the most important airport in Ireland, with the highest passenger traffic on the island. The city’s main railway stations are Connolly Station and Heuston Station. Heuston railway is used for services that go to southern Ireland, while Connolly serves routes to County Sligo and to Northern Ireland.
The town is crossed by several roads and national highways. Among the most important is the M50 motorway, a motorway with two lanes in each direction which connects the southern, western and northern to the city. M50 is still under construction, the development plan is to add another lane in each direction and complete the road that surrounds the city.
Dublin had in recent decades a transport system rather weak. After the 1990s, investments in this system have increased and now the city has a relatively advanced modern system from Europe. The city is served by a suburban train line – Dublin Area Rapid Transit, or DART. Trains are fast and frequent enough to cover even though the line is not suitable for the city size. In addition to the rail system is a new tram system opened in 2004, which is called the Luas.
This system is very modern and efficient, and is composed of two lines – the green and red – which connects the city’s main railway stations and provides a quick connection between the center and southern suburbs. The third system is the transport bus operated by Bus Átha Cliath or Dublin Bus. Bus network, with over 200 routes, is very extensive considering the size of the city. There is a network of 24 night bus lines called Nitelink.
Dublin is administered by Dublin City Council, whose head is the Mayor elected for a term of one year. The Council is based in two locations – the headquarters is the City of Dublin, who became mayor in 1850 and a significant proportion of administrative employees of the Board of Civil Offices are based. Being the capital of Ireland, Dublin is the headquarters of the national government and the central political structures. In Dublin is the Irish National Parliament (Oireachtas Éireann) which consists of the President of Ireland and the two parliamentary chambers – Dáil Éireann (Chamber of Deputies) and Seanad Éireann (Senate).
President of Ireland lives in Aras an Uachtaráin, the former residence of the governor-general of the Irish Free State. The residence is located in the city’s largest park, Phoenix Park. Both houses of parliament meet in Leinster House, in the south. This structure housed the parliament of the formation of the Irish Free State on December 6, 1922. Government of Ireland is based in a complex known as the Irish governmental entities blocks planned by the architect Aston Webb, who also designed the facade of Buckingham Palace in London.
Dublin can be about reddish and freckled people, beer and St. Patrick’s Day party. It is a city with charm, different from what you see elsewhere. History did not spare at all, and its inhabitants were strong enough to overcome the successive raids from the Vikings and Normans, struggles over religious, over a devastating famine, and over the waves of emigration. It was not easy, but a guide said: “Lose Some, Win Some.”
It seems that the Irish came out with their heads up of these many attempts, have not lost the humor and self-irony, and took what was best from each experience. Dublin is a city as “2 in 1″ and not because of differences between the northern and the southern district, as you might be tempted to believe, but because of differences between day and night. During the day it is the city filled with history, with an interesting architectural mix with the bustle of people, buses and cars, and at night the town becomes crowded in pubs, with beer, whiskey and music.
For day walks in Dublin, you have some goals that should not be missed. In the northern part of the city relax with a stroll down on O’Connell Street, admire the “mast” high Dublin to celebrate the new millennium, Post Office building, which has a special value for Irish nationalists is headquartered in one attempt for liberation from British sovereignty. All about one of the attempts of the Irish people speak and shattering statues erected to remember the hunger period from the mid nineteenth century. Then, a terrible disease of potato, vegetables grown in Ireland and main staple food, has affected harvests for three successive years.
Over one third of the population of Ireland died and another one third immigrated to countries like Canada, USA and Australia. Even the late President of America, J.F. Kennedy came from a family of Irish immigrants. Southern part of town, visibly agitated, hosts tourist attractions. Start your walk from Christ Church, a neo-Gothic cathedral where you can find a stuffed version of Tom and Jerry, discover the church org. Not very far from here, is a famous cathedral city, dedicated to St. Patrick, who has christened in honor of the Irish and Ireland which spends around mid-March.
A walk through the beautiful city park, St. Stephen’s Green is the ideal continuation. Lenster House, the headquarters of the Irish Parliament, and Trinity College are just a few minutes walk away. College Library has over 4.5 million titles, of which the most precious is the Book of Kells, an illustrated version of the four Gospels. City of Dublin, the former head of Royal Exchange, is right at the gates of Dublin Castle. The castle was used as the HQ for a long period of British domination of the region.
Interesting is one of the statues from the castle gates, which embodies the “right”, represented in a very special way: unrelated to the eye, with scales ranging balance in the wind and rain in Dublin. It was a clear message that justice was discriminatory and hence not very balanced. Hence the stories circulating about “justice” made by British judges brought to court Irish castle with various accusations.
Because of strong social policies, Ireland has become in the years 1990 – 2000 a goal sought by many immigrants. Now, it seems that the international public opinion is watching former Celtic Tiger, not to become a new Greece and not to financial collapse. Dublin has two completely opposite personalities. Day is a normal city, with people rushing tourists, shops and cafes. At night, after 21.00, Dublin is the city bars and pubs, and the Temple Bar area is too small.
The truth is that until you spend some time in a bar with a glass of Guinness in front, you know you can not say the city and the Irish spirit. You have two options of places where you can feel good: pubs with house music, mixed drinks and more, crowding as many rifles and includes, or pubs with live music, Irish, more gentle, savored with a glass of Guinness in front. Some prefer the second type of bars and even feel very well in such a place. Pubs with Irish music in particular are found on the streets near O’Connell Street, in the northern part of town.
There are people of all ages, airy places (in Ireland, as in other civilized countries, there is no smoking in public places) and good atmosphere. At the opposite end is the famous Temple Bar area, which is in the southern city and attracts tourists is very noisy, less than 25 years (girls) and no number (men). The sidewalks and narrow streets are filled with groups of young people who are out for a cigarette or simply live on the street celebrating.
Temple Bar area began as a local utility offered transportation to make their garages for cars here, but because their longer afford to maintain these spaces, they decided to rent the very small amounts of money, craftsmen and local entrepreneurs. Shop after shop, cafe after cafe and bar after bar, the area grew and took the name after Trinitty College Rector, Sir William Temple to have their home here.
The first city on this territory was a Celtic one, but then came the Vikings and founded the town of Dubh Linn. Dublin became the capital of Ireland, after the Norman invasion and the seventeenth century after he began a very rapid development, but wars have destroyed much of the city and many of its historic buildings became ruins.
Dublin witnessed a huge development after 1990, when it was modernized in large part; today it became a modern city, but remain parts of its tumultuous history.
The official languages that are spoken in Dublin are Irish and English. The official currency is the euro. Telephone prefix is + 353. Dublin is one of the most ancient cities of Europe. It kept alive the beauty of its historical and cultural charms, but it also offers trendy bars, stylish restaurants, cosmopolitan shops and hotels. There has never been a better time to visit this beautiful capital, because it rivals the elite of European cities.
Dublin has many tourist attractions; it is a famous cultural and artistic center in Ireland. Dublin captures the essence of Ireland. The most famous museums in the city are: Dublin Writers Museum, James Joyce Museum and the house where he grew George Bernard Shaw, which now can be accessed by visitors. Malahide Castle is a beautifully restored residence, with elegance and charm.
This castle is one of the oldest historic castles in Ireland. It served as the residence of the Talbot family from 1185 – 1975. Here are the mulled wine stalls, minced pies and take a tour of this wonderful very interesting medieval castle. This really captures the imagination of visitors. Dublin has all the flavors chosen. It is worth exploring life in Dublin, and the medieval town can provide great satisfaction to tourists curious about the times long gone.
Here you can discover the history of the Vikings passing through Dublin’s Georgian period until modern times. You can discover here and drink Guinness and Irish national repository at the Old Jameson Distiller. You should not forget the beautiful zoo or football Welshman that tourists may encounter at Croke Park. Dublin beaches offer plenty of opportunities to practice water sports, in the summer. In Dublin there are at least 14 beaches on the coast, which offers more or conditions of luxury to spend an unforgettable vacation on the Irish coast.
There is no subway. There are only 2 or 3 tram lines, and they make the connection between periphery and the center. A round trip ticket is 4, 5 euros per person – is automatically generated from the devices in each state and have different costs depending on the distance for which you choose, but are very expensive anyway. 95% of transportation is provided by the famous double-deck buses that are present here, as in London, in a very large number.
For tourists there are some bus with the top floor uncovered (in December is a true marvel to go upstairs) and who does tours through town on the most important tourist attractions. For one person costs 15, 50 euro / day and you can descend and climb as often as you crave every item. You can circulate in the red line, but there is also green. You can not get on buses in different colors.
In December at 16, 00, when it’s already dark, the last bus leaves the circuit. Expensive fuel: gas 1, 22-1, 25 euro per liter, diesel 1, 16-1, 19 euro / l. Of course, Ireland is one of the countries that have traffic on the other one side of the road. Who has not driven a right hand drive car the controls are like those with left hand drive, the only difference being, of course, drive the other and that you need to shift with your left hand.
You very quickly get used to shift; the larger problem is with traffic on the left: all the priorities are exactly the opposite, the right becomes left, and the right becomes left the roundabout. When you arrived at an intersection of two streets, each with several bands, you can take the heat because you could never figure out what band you stay on after turn.
The streets are very narrow, with only one lane per direction, very crooked, with roundabouts at each intersection and many traffic lights. The streets are so narrow in some places, like when you see a car after the crest of a hill or after a curve, you are wondering in horror if you have to get the whole place apart. Maybe that is the feeling of that stands to the left without taking into the “bagels” endowment.
However you will never see traffic jams or queues of more than 10 cars at traffic lights. In addition, Dublin is a city developed horizontally, so that distances are quite large.
Without a GPS I do not think you can do well in Dublin. Paid parking everywhere: in the center where the most interesting places on the street are very few, very strictly defined, and for which you pay 2 euros per hour but not more than 2 or 3 hours, but are hard to come free. In return, they are host of multi-store car parks, indefinitely, but as rates: 3, 5 euros per hour.
Do not try to park elsewhere or not to pay you as soon block the wheel (as if someone follows you in particular) and have hundreds of euros in fines. Parking spaces are quite narrow, that is why you will not see too many jeeps on the streets. Cars – Registration numbers begin with a group of two figures representing the year of manufacture, continuing with a letter for the city and then a series of five digits. So if the Irish are not quite rosy in the automotive field, probably because of the crisis passed by here: you will se very few new cars from 2009 or 2010.
Most cars are bought second hand. National Highways and other roads – Highways are paid, with stopping points required for tax collection. There are places that charge at all outlets in Dublin. Roads are very good, no pits, but contain too much asphalt shingle, which I believe make a lot of tire damage. Weather: very rarely it snows and do not have snow removal equipment or materials that dispersed slip.
For some, driving on the road with a little ice and 2 inches of snow can be a breeze, but for them it can be the ultimate challenge of life. In conclusion, Ireland is a country very expensive, but worth visiting at least once in life.11