On the east coast of Ireland, Dublin is located at the mouth of the River Liffey, which runs through the city. There's no shortage of sights to explore in Dublin. Visit a castle, or take a walking tour through the Georgian streets of Merrion Square. Shop O'Connell Street or ride on top of the city's hop-on hop-off double-decker tour buses. Or just kick back at the St. James's Gate Guinness Brewery and enjoy a tasty pint with a perfectly, frothy head.
ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL
An imposing Norman structure dating from 1190, St. Patrick's is the national cathedral for the Protestant Church of Ireland. Many historically significant articles of history are housed here, from ancient battle flags to banners of the Knights of St. Patrick, founded here in 1783. The choir section contains the largest church organ in all of Ireland, and it was here that Members of the Cathedral Choir took part in the first performance ever of Handel's Messiah in 1742.
Dublin's architectural golden age is exemplified by the 18th-century Georgian restoration of Dublin Castle, originally built in the 13th-century. Wander through the elegant rooms and view the lavish decorations and beautiful antique furniture. A trip to the countryside leads to picturesque Malahide Castle where the Talbot family reigned for 791 years.
FROM SCHOOL TO SHOPPING
Explore Trinity College, Ireland's premier university. The priceless Book of Kells, a brilliantly illustrated medieval text of the four gospels, is displayed at the Trinity College Old Library. Nearby is Grafton Street, the city's most exclusive shopping experience. Look for elaborately stitched Aran sweaters and world-renowned Waterford crystal.
Stories tell how Joyce, Yeats and other famous writers found inspiration, where else, but in the pubs of Dublin. The Irish drink nearly 500 million pints of beer a year, mostly stout, a rich, creamy dark-brown brew. Also sample generous portions of traditional pub dishes such as Dublin Bay prawns, Galway oysters, and Pig Trotters.