A Dazzling City
While there are numerous lists and rankings for the cities of the world, only a few have as high a ranking as Dublin. Dublin is the capital of Ireland, which been deemed one of the most progressive and sustainable countries today. It is an atypically rich city with the typical European accoutrements and heritage.
Dubh Linn Lore
The city’s name originally came from the Irish name ‘Dubh Linn,’ or ‘black pool.’ No one is sure of its origins exactly but many historians suspect that the city was around as early as the 2nd century A.D. It was the Norse people that built the first settlement there in the 9th century and became a center of power when the Normans took over in the 12th. Dublin expanded greatly from the 17th century to the early 19th, until about the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Ireland’s independence from Britain was officially recognized in 1922, to end the Irish War of Independence. The new government rebuilt much of the city that was destroyed by the three consecutive wars between 1916 and 1922. From that time, much of Dublin remained unchanged until the late 1990’s, when big private developments began to change the city’s architecture.
Doing the Dublin Route
The city is exceptionally vibrant at night, even for a European city, thanks to a largely young population. Pubs and nightclubs are abundant in Dublin; the area around St. Peter’s Green, in particular, has some of the best nightclubs in the capital. Temple Bar in Dublin’s Cultural Quarter is a major local landmark, and is known in the U.K. for its stag and hen parties.
Local museums, libraries and theaters can account for much of the daytime entertainment, as the city has plenty of them. The country’s largest library and museum – the National Print Museum and the National Library – are both in the capital, the hometown of names like Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. The Abbey Theater is another century-old institution that features local talent, and has featured the likes of William Yeats and George Bernard Shaw in the past.
Shopping in Dublin can mostly be done at the city center where a handful of shopping districts are located. Wicklow Street is of particular interest with its designer boutiques like Hermès and Louis Vuitton, and is seen as the Dublin version of the more popular 5th Avenue in New York. Big department stores like Debenhams, Arnotts and Clerys can also be found in Dublin.
Getting Around Dublin
All roads literally lead to the capital – Dublin is also the hub of the Irish road system – making the city very accessible by car from the surrounding areas. Transport within Dublin is done mostly on the city’s bus line with its signature double-decker blue-and-yellow buses. Trains are also available, especially for going out to other places in the Greater Dublin Area.
Dublin was voted Europe’s friendliest city in 2007, and it is easy to see why. The Dubs are friendly, accommodating people in a city that’s laid-back but never boring. Whatever it might have been in the past, today’s Dublin is the epitome of modern – and fun – Europe.