Dublin

Welcome to Dublin

If you want the full Oirish experience - and many do - Dublin will happily oblige. You know the score: a nice pint of Guinness, impromptu fiddle sessions in unreconstructed Victorian pubs, good craic, a lovely pint of Guinness, buskers torturing U2 songs, ponies being ridden bareback down cobbled streets by cheeky ragamuffins, a fine pint of Guinness…

This city is nothing if not amiable: indeed, those visiting from other capitals might initially be disconcerted by the friendliness of everyday interactions. It’s one of the reasons why Dublin is sometimes described as provincial; another being the easily-walkable size of its centre.

But this cosy picture risks underestimating the city - after all, only a few years ago, Dublin was living it up as the capital of one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. Now, of course, the Celtic Tiger has swept out of town, leaving wreckage in its wake - but also a sense of relief, that people are now breathing more easily and things are returning to the status quo. The natural home of Dubliners is the pub, not the swanky but soulless super bars and clubs that sprung up to service the suddenly rich.

The boom years have left a positive legacy, too: a lot of great restaurants and shops which have proved their worth by surviving the downturn. Indeed, whatever you choose to do here - be it absorbing the city's rich history through its political monuments or getting down and dirty with the club kids on Camden Street (or yes, just sitting in the pub with a pint) - Dublin feels a long way from being a city on its knees.

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Quick facts

  • Inhabitants in Ireland:
    Approx 4.2 million
  • Inhabitants in Dublin:
    Approx 1.2 million
  • Official language
    English and Irish (national)
  • Currency
    Euro
  • Time zone
    GMT
  • Emergency number
    112
  • Constitution
    Republic (Northern Ireland is governed by the UK)
  • Country phone code
    +353
  • Country code
    IE
  • Local transportation
    Bus, DART (coastal train-line), LUAS (Tram), Taxi, Bike