Dublin 2, Dublin City
Dublin 2 is the beating heart of the City and offers visitors a concentration of attractions in such a small area. One of Dublin’s most popular shopping streets; Grafton Street can be found here and also the landmark Temple Bar area, which offers a plethora of bars, restaurants, markets and shops.
Trinity College Dublin (353 1 876 2320) is the central marker for Dublin 2, the oldest university in Ireland with old cobbled squares, gardens and parks. The old library (353 1 608 2320) is a must see, which houses the famous Book of Kells.
The wealth of historic buildings in this part of Dublin is astonishing and visitors will get a real sense of the rich, colourful history of the city in Dublin 2. The Carmelite Church (353 1 475 8821) dates back to 1825, housing shrines, altars, a repository shop and coffee shop. St Ann’s Church (353 1 676 7727) is also worth a visit, whose interior was complete in 1720.
Dublin Castle is a popular stop and is right at the heart of historic Dublin, the original fortification may have been an early Gaelic ring fort. The states apartments, Chapel Royal and the beautiful Chester Beatty library are open to visitors.
Nearby, the Dublin City Hall (353 1 222 2204) houses an exhibition, which tells over a 100 years of the history of the city. Dublin 2 is home to lots of official buildings, including Government buildings (353 1 662 4888) which offers guided tours every Saturday and Leinster House, the seat of the Dail Eireann allows the public entry when Parliament is not sitting.
The Mansion House is an impressive building and has been the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin since 1715 (not open to the public).
Dublin 2 is the location for many of Dublin’s libraries and museums, such as the National Library of Ireland (353 1 603 0002) which explores Ireland’s rich literary heritage; it includes a Yeats exhibition and houses an impressive collection of Irish documentary heritage on the world.
The National Museum of Ireland’s archaeology display (353 1 677 7444) takes visitors back to 7000 BC, exhibiting prehistoric Ireland in its full glory, as well as Celtic and medieval art. The Natural History exhibition (353 1 677 7444) houses one of the worlds finest collections, including a zoological museum.
The Heraldic museum (353 1 603 0200) demonstrates the breadth, development and application of Heraldry in Ireland and Europe over the centuries. Georgian Dublin is alive and well in Dublin 2, with many fully restored Georgian houses.
Newman House (353 1 716 7422) is made up of two of the finest Georgian buildings in Dublin with guided tours around the magnificent 18th Century interior. Merrion Square is the quintessential Georgian Dublin, adorned by an attractive park which retains much of its Georgian character, and is also home to an art exhibition every Sunday.
The Oscar Wilde house (353 1 662 0281) also provides and excellent example of Georgian architecture, and is open for group tours. Number 29 (353 1 702 6165) is an excellent place to visit for those who want to see a beautiful restoration of an 18th Century Georgian house, which is open for tours.
Those of an artistic persuasion will not be disappointed by the galleries on offer in Dublin 2. Cill Rialaig Project at Origin Gallery (353 1 478 51590 houses a continuous exhibition of contemporary art, and Gallery 29 (353 1 642 5784) exhibits original vintage posters.
The National Gallery of Ireland (353 1 661 5133) boasts a collection of 2,500 paintings and 10,000 other works, with every major European school of painting represented. Dublin 2 also offers some archive museums, such as the Irish traditional music Archive (353 1 661 9699) which acts as a reference archive and resource centre for the traditional music and dance of Ireland, open to the public.
There is also the National Photographic archive in Temple Bar (353 1 603 0374) which houses the photographic collection of the National library of Ireland of over 60,000 photographs.
Beside the city’s well known shopping centre is St Stephen’s Green, Ireland’s best known Victorian park, providing nine hectares of sanctuary from the bustle of the city. The Iveagh Gardens (353 1 475 7816) nearby off Harcourt Street are a less well known park, but well worth a visit. Designed in 1863, the gardens include a rustic grotto, cascade fountains and woodlands.