With history etched into its cobbled streets, Ireland’s first city is a hangout for writers, poets and dreamers. Dublin punches above its weight for culture, character and nightlife – take a short break to Dublin from Glasgow Airport and discover a different pace of life beside the River Liffey.
Literary legends abound on the streets of Dublin. James Joyce devoted an entire novel to one man’s day in the city; Seán O’Casey and Brendan Behan lived within minutes of the Dublin docks. Hear their stories in the Dublin Writers Museum (18 Parnell Square) and James Joyce Centre (35 North Great George’s Street), before strolling down to Trinity College, to walk the hallowed precincts that inspired Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift. The college library preserves perhaps Ireland’s most famous piece of literature, the ninth-century Book of Kells.
There’s more to Dublin nightlife than stag nights at Temple Bar. In Dublin, the traditional pub is king, and nights out span the generations, as old-timers trade tall tales with students and hipsters. Essential stops for thirsty travellers include The Stag’s Head (1 Dame Court), John Kavanagh’s (1 Prospect Square) and The Long Hall (51 South Great George's Street). Don’t overlook the official Guinness tour at the St James’ Gate Brewery – even the Queen wasn't averse to stopping by on the first state visit in 2011.
Home of music
From cockles and mussels to the Boomtown Rats, Dublin has music in its blood. Thin Lizzy, U2, Sinéad O'Connor, the Undertones, the list of local talent goes on and on. Discover the next generation of Dublin rock legends at such iconic venues as Project Art Centre (39 East Essex Street), Vicar Street (58-59 Thomas Street) and Whelan’s (25 Wexford Street). Jazz fans snap their fingers at JJ Smyth’s (12 Aungier Street), while the sound of fiddles spills into the ears like Irish whiskey at the events organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann (32 Belgrave Square South).