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HOME AT FIRST's

ADVENTURE

CENTRAL IRELAND — DUBLIN

Taken from Home At First’s "Ireland Activity Guide"

Photos © Home At First

 

          Dublin, it can be argued, is everything the rest of Ireland isn’t. It’s urban, congested, chaotic, trendy, dirty, youthful, international, scholarly, artistic, loud, and sleepless. It’s the one place in Ireland where you cannot easily see the sky

 

Dublin is more manmade than natural.


 

          Don’t the Irish know it! Fully one-quarter of Ireland’s citizenry lives within Dublin’s confines. Of course the nation’s government clusters here. Much of its international commerce congregates here, too, more and more in new high-tech corporate parks ringing the city. Ireland’s great university, Trinity College, has attracted Ireland’s best and brightest minds for centuries. Perhaps something of a surprise, the artists of Ireland best known for representing Ireland’s rural soul rise more frequently from Dublin’s significant art/writing/music scene than from the hinterlands.

          Visitors on holiday want to explore Dublin’s historic sites,

many tied to the nation’s epic struggle to overcome outside domination — whether from Vikings, Normans, Cromwellians, or more recent incursions. Others look forward to crawling from pub to pub in a city where such a pub-crawl can become a

 Young street buskers in Dublin's Temple Bar

lifelong journey. Surely the music

 

draws traditional Irish (Celtic) music,

dynamic Irish dance, classical performances, and major and

 

minor league poppers and rockers.
          So where do you go to find Dublin at its core? One can suggest several districts O’Connell Street, Trinity College, and Drury Street come to mind. But, for most people, Dublin in a nutshell might best be found in the cobblestone lanes of Temple Bar.

         Temple Bar has been there for a while. Invading Vikings founded the city 1,000 years ago at this spot they called it Dubh Linn on the River Liffey. The rest of Dublin grew up around the Temple Bar, which, though across from the elegant north side of the Liffey, continued to be a lively presence in the city. It’s but a short walk across the arched Ha’Penny Bridge from the broad avenues of Neo-Classical Dublin to this village within the city. It’s just as easy to walk

Temple Bar Gate. Photo © Home At First.

Merchant's Arch
entry to Temple Bar

from the gates of Trinity College, Temple Bar’s neighbor to

 

the east.

 

          Entering through an arched passage

Reckless fashions at Dublin's Temple Bar. Photo © Home At First.

Shopping can be Reckless in Temple Bar.

along a cobbled alley too narrow for cars tells you instantly you have arrived at Temple Bar. Excited laughter mixes with all kinds of music and a smorgasbord of smells from cuisines both recognizable and mysterious. Pedestrians are kings and queens here. And jesters. And street musicians. And fashion martyrs.

          Shops, pubs, and restaurants line the alleyways, competing, often outlandishly, for your attention. The youth culture is strong here these streets appeal to youth of every age. Just as the crazy colors and crazy fashions of the shops grab at your eyes, the din of voices in packed bars claws at your ears. There’s the smell of Guinness in the air, fresh from their hop store a few blocks away. When it’s time to eat, the choosing is hard. What’ll it be: traditional Irish, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Mexican, American?
          And to quench a thirst or accomplish a youthful travel goal take a

 

pub-crawl there are dozens of pubs in the quarter.

          Looking for traditional Irish music in a lively Irish pub? There are many small pub venues with occasional music, but music happens daily at Fitzsimon’s

on the outside of Temple Bar by the

 

Ha’Penny footbridge along the River Liffey and Oliver St John Gogarty’s on Fleet Street near the center of Temple Bar. At either location you’ll get Irish music, song and dance afternoons and evenings daily, and a lively crowd almost always. Fitzsimon’s second-floor riverside restaurant serves food from 10:30AM-10:30PM and breakfast until 5:30PM, as well as live Irish step dancing sessions most days, and a DJ powered nightclub. Gogarty’s second-floor restaurant features traditional Irish food from land and sea with good quality and moderately high prices.
          Temple Bar was threatened with urban renewal twenty years ago when a cadre of enterprising property owners took on the town fathers and won. They did so by uniting to turn their eclectic district into the Left Bank cultural center of Dublin. Their entrepreneurial spirit of those times continues to this day, as do their unified promotions. At any of the district's merchants, ask for the guide to the pubs, clubs and cafés of Temple Bar,

Gogarty's Restaurant, Temple Bar. Photo © Home At First.

Oliver St. John Gogarty's pub in Temple Bar
 

the hippest street in town.

 

MEET ME AT THE BAR...

This article is taken from HOME AT FIRST’s 100+ page comprehensive "Ireland Activity Guide". The only way to get
your copy is to travel with HOME AT FIRST to Ireland.

You can explore the alleys of Dublin's Temple Bar
as part of your travels in Ireland with HOME AT FIRST.
Learn more about HOME AT FIRST's travel program to:
CENTRAL IRELAND.

 
Home At First's exclusive "Ireland Activity Guide".

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