Dublin, the heart of Ireland, is a magnificent, modern city with a bounty of riches. Grab your passport and get ready to explore! Walk the quays along the River Liffey (pictured above, you can just make out the dome of the Custom House in the background), visit Trinity College, wander around Dublin Castle, and so much more!
Many of the street signs in Dublin are in both English and Irish/Gaelic. Dublin does have a bikeshare program, as well as a series of trams (mostly used to get to and from Dublin Port for catching a ferry to England or Wales) for getting around. I found that I was able to do most of my exploring on foot. There are large pedestrian-only areas, including Grafton Street, as pictured above. Speaking of… Make sure you find your way to Grafton Street, there are plenty of great shops to find awesome Irish souvenirs to take home.
This is Dublin’s coat of arms. The Latin reads: “Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas” – which means: “The obedience of citizens is the happiness of a city.” No one knows for sure what the symbolism of the three castles is, but many believe it to be Dublin Castle repeated three times because the number three has mystical significance. Dublin Castle is a sprawling complex of buildings that date from the 13th century, though most of what remains is from the 18th century. In Norman times it was a defensive fortification, but it spent most of its life serving as a seat of government and royal residence. Even if you only walk the grounds, it is worth a visit to see this Irish castle.
Oscar Wilde reclines under a tree in Merrion Square. Yes, that really is a statue, it does look quite life-like. A famous Irish author, playwright and poet, Wilde lived nearby in his early years. In addition to living in Dublin during his youth, Oscar Wilde also attended Trinity College. A must-see in Dublin is the Book of Kells and the Trinity College Library. The interior of the library is spectacular and the Book of Kells – an illustrated version of the bible circa 800 – is considered to be one of Ireland’s national treasures.
Knock knock. I spent an entire afternoon wandering up and down the streets of Dublin photographing doors. There is an abundance of gorgeous homes and buildings throughout Dublin, but colorful doors like this one caught my eye. There are many places where it seems that these pale bricks and colorful doors stretch for miles. I highly recommend checking out the area around Fitzwilliam Square or Merrion Square (near the Oscar Wilde statue mentioned above). Contact Mary or one of the Ireland travel experts at Caldwell Travel to book a guided walking tour of Dublin.
Fusilier’s Arch adorns the Grafton Street entrance to St. Stephen’s Green. Need a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Dublin? Head to St. Stephen’s Green and enjoy the 22 acres of Victorian park and over two miles of walking paths. A true urban oasis, this is a great place to relax in the shade.
If you find yourself in need of something to do on a rainy day – or you simply love a good museum – I highly recommend you check out the National Museum of Ireland. They have great exhibits about vikings in Ireland (vikings!!) and Irish gold. Truly fascinating.
Interested in a visit to Ireland? Have any specific questions or just want to plan a trip to Dublin? We book vacation packages flying round trip out of Indianapolis International Airport. Call us at 317-885-9855 today to get started.
This is another installment in our Travel Correspondent’s Notebook series, where one of Caldwell Travel‘s own representatives reports on their travel experiences in a location. This entry comes from Brett Godfrey, a travel photographer.