Dublin may seem pretty unremarkable at first glance, but it’s the locals who make the city what it is – a bustling melting pot of cultures, with fantastic nightlife, and great socialising, The architecture of the city is a patchwork quilt of history, ranging from spectacularly vintage buildings to the more unremarkable builds of the 70’s and 80’s. However, it’s the little gems hidden amongst these streets that make the city so enjoyable – from friendly local drinking dens like Kavanagh’s that haven’t changed in 150 years, to big clubs like the Button Factory – the city is diverse and alive, with the Dubs showing an unwaivering loyalty to their city!
Dublin’s streets are a vehicle-infested mish-mash of horns and red lights – the trains and buses do little to ease this congestion. In all honesty, getting around in Dublin is a much more pleasant experience when done by foot. It gives you the chance to experience the city the way it’s meant to be seen, and gives you the chance to find all those hidden, out of the way spots that you just wouldn’t experience when you’re sitting on a cramped bus waiting for some idiot to move out of a box junction. Another similar alternative is to use Dublin’s answer to BoJo’s London bikes scheme, and rent a pay-as-you-go bike – they’re free for the first half an hour!
Must See/Must Do:
• September sees the Bulmer’s International Comedy Festival hit the city for three weeks, showcasing some of the best new and established talents in the world!
• Take a trip to the Holy grail of drinkers the world over – the Guinness storehouse!
• Check out Dublin Castle!
History and Culture
There’s no more potato famines here! The country has been divided in the past, after the War of Independence led to the partition of Ireland, leading to a bloody civil war. Dublin’s economy changed dramatically in the 1990’s, as huge foreign investment led to hugely reduced rates of unemployment, and the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy powered on without hindrance for a good ten years, until 2008 – the Credit Crunch. Slowly, foreign investment dried up, with many international companies moving further afield to eastern Europe and Asia in favour of lower rents and wages, and unemployment rose once again. The city of Dublin however, remains a vibrant place, with an intricate mix of culture, heritage and general fun, whether it be in one of the local Irish pubs, or one of Dublin’s famous galleries!
Dublin’s nightlife is an absolutely hilarious affair – there’s live comedy everywhere you turn. You can try Banker’s, for a Friday-night improvisation session with some rookie comedians making their way to the big stages testing their skills! Otherwise, if you prefer a more traditional celtic pint, try the ‘Auld Dubliner’ – popular with tourists, it can get very busy, but it’s a great place to go and practice all those Irish drinking songs you learnt before you came! If you’re up for clubbing the night away, you can try Copper Face Jacks – great for slightly different music, you’ll find it’s a firm favourite with off-duty police officers and nurses – and everyone loves a girl with a uniform! Otherwise, try the relatively new ‘Rogue’, home to the Bodytonic Crew, who are experts at mixing disco, house and electro – a two-floored, intimate club with a big soundsystem – perfect for your stag weekend.
Eating & Drinking
Eating out in Dublin is a great experience – try Bang Cafe for one of the best eating experiences in Ireland – Michelin-praised, and created by the ex-Head chef of the Ivy in London, there’s a mouthwatering selection of traditional Irish fare, along with newer, contemporary dishes. You’ll need a reservation, but it’s well worth it for the reasonable prices! If it’s an alfresco dining experience you’re after, try Bistro, on the George’s St Arcade – the food is great, the service is fantastic, and the wine cellar is full!
If it’s a lively drink you’re after, you’re in the right place – the Irish sure know how to drink! Try Kavanagh’s – famous for its secret serving hatch allowing gravediggers to get a beverage on the job in times past, or if you’d prefer somewhere where you and the rest of your Stag party can converse and have a laugh without music drowning out the conversation, try Brogan’s, a traditional bar just along from the Olympia Theatre!