It is June. Sunbeams are breaking through your windows (on a good day, at least), while you can barely make it through the final weeks of school. Luckily for all of us, the summer break is coming up. All that is left, is deciding on what place you would like to visit. Preferably, one that satisfies all your interests and does not pull you away too far from this beautiful city. Look no further, because Dublin has it all. Whether you are into art, literature, booze, history, nature, or music, Dublin will provide your every need. Let’s elaborate:
For the art lovers among us, Dublin is home to a great number of museums. And what is more, most of them are free to enter! One of the highlights for many is the National Gallery of Ireland, which displays not only a collection of Irish art, but also artworks from every great European school of painting. Other great museums that are definitely worth visiting include the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Ireland, the Irish Emigration museum and the Little Museum of Dublin, which houses over 5000 exhibits and gives you a great idea of life in Dublin during the 20th century.
Moreover, in case you really want to feel the artist in the room, and even obtain an insight into his life, the Hugh Lane Gallery houses the chaotic workspace of none other than Francis Bacon.
Dublin is also the place to be for all you literature lovers out there, because it was the stomping ground for various famous writers, such as James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Becket and Oscar Wilde, who is waiting for you to take a selfie with him on the corner of Merrion Square Park.
Another way to embody your inner Hermione Granger is, of course, surrounding yourself with books. And what better way to do that than to go to the a-ma-zing library inside Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university and home to the ancient Book of Kells. The Old Library possesses 200.000 ancient books in the most beautiful bookcases, as far as the eye can see. And the Harry Potter reference was not even misplaced, seeing that J.K.Rowling used the library as inspiration for Hogwarts!
When one thinks of Dublin, one thinks of Guinness. So it is only natural that you have a pint (or maybe two), and even try to learn its secrets. After all, St. James’s Gate, the place where Guinness is brewed and that holds a secret experimental brewery as well, is now open to the general public. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!
Besides Guinness, you can also treat your taste buds to the incredible flavors of Irish whiskey. With an experience of over two hundred years, the taste and history of Irish whiskey cannot get much richer than this. In Dublin, a great whiskey tour is the one in the Teeling Distillery.
Nightlife in Dublin can be best experienced in the Temple Bar area, since these narrow streets are filled with pubs and live music. It is one of the oldest areas in Dublin and is located on the south side of River Liffey. Sadly, most pubs in Dublin already close at 11:30pm on weekdays, and 1am on weekends.
Another thing that can certainly be experienced in Dublin is a rich history. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin castle are among the places you may want to visit when you are interested in architecture. Another interesting building is the so-called Kilmainham Gaol Prison. This is where many Irish revolutionaries were imprisoned and executed by the British. In current times, it houses a museum that exhibits contemporary works made by prisoners from across Ireland.
Another iconic national and historical space is the Glasnevin Cemetry, which was built in 1832 and is the final resting place for many historical figures, such as Michael Colins and Brendan Behan. Nowadays, its museum tells the stories of more than 1.5 million individuals that helped to shape the Ireland of today.
St. Michan’s Church, finally, is not just any chapel. Instead, it holds 17th to 19th century vaults full of mummified people. Thus, probably not for the weak.
Phoenix Park, which opened 350 years ago, can be found close to the city center and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy mother nature in the shape of wild deer. If you wish to organize a picnic where you do not risk you meal being eaten by deer, you can also visit Saint Stephen’s Green Park.
If you rather spend your day enjoying mother nature outside Dublin’s city center, the coastal town of Howth is the place for you. The Howth Cliff walk is also a great opportunity to get unimaginable views over the sea.
Last but not least, music lover will definitely feel at home in Dublin as well. Since, as mentioned before, it offers enough opportunities to experience live music. Not only in the pubs, but also on the street, for example on Grafton Street.
On top of that, the Christ Church Cathedral also regularly has choral performances, in which choristers from all over the world come to sing.
Need I say more? Just come to Dublin and experience this all yourself!