About Dublin

by SmarterTravel Staff
Ha'penny bridge in Dublin (Photo: iStockphoto/Marek Slusarczyk)

Dublin, Ireland, is a cosmopolitan city with many reasons to visit beyond the tourist attractions. While visitors will certainly want to see famous places like St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Guinness Storehouse, and Trinity College, the culture and atmosphere are likely to leave a unique and lasting impression.

Although Irish cuisine has a reputation for being just meat and potatoes, a gastronomic revolution has recently taken place. Today, tourists are as likely to find gourmet food as traditional Irish stew in Dublin restaurants. Young chefs are using homegrown ingredients and innovation to put a modern twist on conventional Irish and international fare.

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The "gift of gab" is an Irish institution, and visitors shouldn't be surprised to hear the locals refer to the the Millennium Spire as the "Stiletto in the Ghetto" and the Molly Malone statue as the "Tart with the Cart." In fact, many of attractions in Dublin have nicknames, so don't be afraid to ask about them—more than likely, you'll get an earful.

With authors, playwrights, and poets as famous as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Seamus Heaney (to name just a few), Dublin carries a top-notch literary legacy. The Abbey Theatre, founded in 1904, performs a wide variety of plays each year, from Shakespeare and Sean O'Casey to modern works by Brian Friel and Tom Mac Intyre. And, traditional Irish music is available at many area pubs, where Dubliners and visitors share a pint and some craic (an Irish word meaning "good times").

Dublin Airport serves more than 20 million passengers each year, so finding flights to Dublin should be easy.

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