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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Dublin Travel Guide
Dublin Travel Guide and Dublin Travel Information - TravelPuppy.com
Dublin is a city on the rise and rise. Business in many sectors is booming and the city id filled with tourists who flock to the ‘party capital of Europe’ to sample the famous Irish craic (fun).

During much of the first half of the 20th century, strife and unrest tore Dublin apart as it was involved in a violent divorce from Britain. Despite ongoing attempts for a lasting peace settlement, the religious and political troubles further north still dominate Irish politics.

It is easy to see why tourists head to Dublin in such large numbers. This vibrant, fun-loving city on the River Liffey is full of fun pubs where the craic is spun with a well-polished finish and the streets echo with the ghosts of luminaries, such as James Joyce and WB Yeats. An great time to visit is between April and October, when the weather is at its best, with July and August being the busiest months. Increasingly the city is becoming a popular destination throughout the year, with many festivals, cultural and religious events and sporting fixtures.

Highlights not to miss include the early medieval Christchurch Cathedral (Dublin’s oldest building), the streets of Temple Bar, Phoenix Park (Europe’s largest urban park), the National Gallery of Ireland and the treasures of the National Museum of Ireland, home to Europe’s finest collection of prehistoric gold artefacts. A wealth of buildings and museums (including Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university, and the Guinness Storehouse) convey a real sense of history. Indeed, it is this living history, conveyed through the media of music and literature, which has brought Dublin such acclaim. In the 20th century, a string of writers and poets immortalised the city, none more so than James Joyce whose Ulysses (1922), which depicts one day in Dublin, is considered by literary critics to be the greatest novel of that century.

Today Dubliners are no longer content to rest on the laurels of this richly cultural history. Alongside the old bars, the museums and the folk music in the pubs, there is a new wave of funky bars, rebuilt city streets and confident moneyed 20-somethings – an image that is carried forward by popular music acts like Westlife, Corrs and, the biggest of them all, U2.

This new face of the Irish capital stems from the stunning economic success of the country in recent years, which has been able to combine extensive funding from the EU with sound financial acumen to stimulate high levels of growth. Key industries include electronics, teleservices, tourism and retail. Dublin has the youngest population in Europe (with 41% under 25 years and 69% under 45 years). Its parks are packed with mobile phone swinging young professionals enjoying the summer, while during winter, they seek refuge in the numerous bars. The ‘capital of Euro-cool’, is booming and its citizens are intent on enjoying it while it lasts.

The economic boom has also had some negative implications. Prices have increased dramatically and, although unemployment has steadily decreased in recent years, the capital is struggling with the recent influx of immigrants and asylum seekers, who have cultures often at odds with Dublin’s own lifestyle. Despite all these changes, the city and its people have remained the same. Alongside trend-setting bars, clubs and designer shops it is still possible to find traditional pubs, fiddlers in Temple Bar, even horse-drawn carts clip-clopping along cobbled streets. It is a fascinating blend of tradition and contemporary life. It is no wonder today, Irish eyes are well and truly smiling.