Dublin is Ireland's capital city in which over a quarter of the country's population lives in this vibrant metropolis. Dublin remains an intimate European capital city, rich in its cultural heritage and offers visitors much in terms of local charm from touring historical castles to cozy conversations over pints in traditional pubs. Located along the banks of the river Liffey on Ireland's east coast at Dublin Bay, Dublin is divided into two distinct areas, the south side of the river and the north side of the river. To the north is the main boulevard called O'Connell Street where the majority of shopping streets are located. Along the south side of the city is where you'll find such sights as Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grafton Street, and the popular Temple Bar area. With all of its charms and quirks, Dublin is a proud city and a favorite for many travelers.
The city of Dublin was officially founded in the year 841 AD by Vikings; however this land was home to Celtic settlers for centuries before that time. The city eventually expanded into the Kingdom of Dublin. During the Middle Ages and after the Norman Invasion, Dublin was a significant merchant city. The city evolved throughout the centuries and experienced sizable growth during the 17th century at which time the city began to expand and even rebuild in the formal Georgian architectural style that can be seen throughout Dublin today. Near end of the 18th century, Dublin was considered quite the elite capital city throughout Europe, however it also experienced a number of significant hardships and poverty. Throughout the 20th century, Dublin saw many years of deterioration. Later, the city tried to solve problems by building social housing and over-sized office buildings. Today, the city is a modern mix of old and new with a bustling tourist center and outlying suburbs that sprawl around the city center. The tourist core of the city where the majority of shopping, dining, and entertainment is a very walkable district and there are a number of outlying areas such as castles and charming villages that can be reached via bus tour or car rentals.
This Irish gem of a city is considered a cosmopolitan capital, but the heart of Dublin can be experienced through the many historical attractions and the local cultural traditions. Discover the city's rich literary history at the Dublin Writers Museum, which showcases the lives of distinguished local writers such as James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, and W.B. Yeates. The many museums from the National Gallery of Ireland to the National Museum of Ireland are all extensive in their collections. Entertainment options abound in Dublin. Those looking for a night on the town don't have to look too far. Once named the number one party city, Dublin has its fair share of clubs, bars, and pubs. Of course, the city is chock-full of traditional Irish pubs offering charming interiors, locally brewed pints of beer, and live musical entertainment. Dublin is a great city to travel by on foot through the neighborhoods on each side of the river Liffey with an inviting culture, a rich history to discover both in the core of the city and beyond in the lush, green countryside that Ireland is so famous for.