Among the oldest buildings in the city, Christ Church Cathedral, founded around 1030, stands at the edge of the historic area of Dublin known as The Liberties, also the home of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Guinness St. James’s Gate Brewery, established in 1759. Rather than being left behind, this long-standing neighbourhood has developed into a hub of creativity, containing within its boundaries the Antiques Quarter, the National College of Art and Design, the independent Teeling Whiskey Distillery and a host of well-loved cafés.
One of the most widely photographed Dublin icons, the colourful doors of the Georgian townhouses of the city are the focus of many an Instagram pic. Civic Georgian Dublin buildings such as The Custom House, the GPO and Parliament House have also been shown to be infinitely photogenic, even in the rain.
Lying at what is generally considered to be the centre of the city, Trinity College is one place that most Dublin tourists want to see – in particular, its grand front square. Other notable landmarks include the Ha’penny Bridge and historic O’Connell Street, where much of the fighting took place during the 1916 Easter Rising.
Today, the central Creative Quarter, as it’s known, is one the trendiest areas in Dublin, full of independent boutiques and fashionable cafés, bars and restaurants. Exploring this area feels like being in the beating heart of the city.
First opened in 1796 as the world’s largest docks, the Grand Canal Dock area was all but abandoned until the late 90s when regeneration began. Now, the ultra-modern area around the enclosed harbour has been nicknamed ‘Silicon Docks’, due to the high concentration of tech firms such as Google and Facebook that have based their European headquarters there.
Last but not least, Dublin’s green areas are just as appealing as its architecture, loved by locals and tourists alike when the pace of city living gets to be too much.