10 Reasons to Visit Dublin
You'll feel like you have the luck of the Irish when you discover all the reasons to visit the Emerald Isle's capital city.
When it comes to a rich cultural legacy, few cities can compare with Dublin. Famous for the disproportionate number of famous writers—such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett—who hail from there, Dublin has both preserved its history and evolved into a modern city known for its shopping, vibrant theatre, entertainment and continued support of the arts. With such much to do, check with a Four Seasons Concierge to make the most of your time in Dublin.
Music, Music Everywhere: Music, of course, is the Irish art par excellence and Dublin is a great place to hear it, not least because major artists sharpen their act here before taking off for Europe or the United States. Try Whelan’s on Wexford Street for modern, O’Donoughues on Baggot Street for traditional music.
Poetry Now: Writing still resonates in Ireland, and writers still matter. Witness the annual Poetry Now Festival in Dun Laoghaire and the regular readings and festivals around Ireland.
Perfect Pubs: It is always a good time to be in Dublin, whatever the weather. When the rain comes tumbling down, it simply makes great pubs such as the Palace Bar, long associated with writers and journalists or Doheny & Nesbitts, a favourite with just about everyone, more welcoming.
Francis Bacon’s Studio: The Hugh Lane was one of the world’s first modern art galleries, and it is now home to Francis Bacon’s chaotic, fascinating studio, transplanted whole from London and reassembled to the last splatter of paint.
Handel’s Messiah: Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin in 1742, and every year there is an outdoor revival on Fishamble Street. This year, the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death, there will be regular Handel events all year.
Sport Shrine: The countryside comes to the big city most weekends in the shape of Gaelic football and hurling teams and their hordes of fans, come to pay homage at the shrine of Ireland’s indigenous sports, the mightily impressive Croke Park.
Cultural Treasure: The Hill of Tara, burial place of Ireland’s ancient kings, is a hop and a skip from Dublin. See it now before they build a highway nearby: the Smithsonian recently called it one of the world’s great, endangered cultural treasures.
Off to the Horse Races: The Irish love their horses, and from the season opener in late March until the end of the year there is always a large and festive crowd at either Leopardstown or Fairyhouse race tracks.
Seaside Getaways: Literary buffs will want to visit Howth Head with its huge views or Sandycove, scene of the opening of Joyce’s Ulysses. The DART light railway provides an easy way to get there and to explore the lovely seaside spots just outside the city.
Rare Manuscript: The Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript dating from around 800 AD, is on display at Trinity College. The book is notable for its beautiful decorated initials and interlinear drawings, which embellish the text.