What to do in Dublin?

There is plenty to do in Dublin, even on a rainy day. The Irish capital has several museums, including the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland. But the main attraction is certainly the Old Library of Trinity College. The library holds the famous Book of Kells. This 1200 year old book contains the four Gospels in Latin Vulgate and is celebrated for its lavish decoration.

With its two cathedrals, Dublin is also a Christian peculiarity. The 11th century St Patrick's Cathedral was always a secular cathedral, while Christ Church, whose original parts also trace back to the 11th century, was once managed by an order. Nowadays, both are under the jurisdiction of the Church of Ireland (Anglican). They are open to visitors though there is an admission fee.

If the sun is out, a walk around Georgian Dublin is good option. Start at Stephen's Green, the main city centre square on the South side, which still holds some of its original stone and red brick 18th century façades. From there a short walk takes you to the more complete Fitzwilliam Square and Merrion Square. The latter is the address of Oscar Wilde's childhood home and a statue of the writer is displayed within the square.

You may find the classic Georgian Architecture too symmetrical. If so, Temple Bar is for you. Its narrow cobbled streets are a testimony of the medieval town. Holding many Irish cultural institutions, such as the Gallery of Photography or the Irish Film Institute, this south side area is seen as Dublin's cultural quarter and is very popular with tourists.

If you are a serious Joycean, however, you should probably come for Bloom's Day. You can follow the crowds on the 16th June, who retrace the action of the novel throughout the city. You can start at the James Joyce Martello Tower in Sandycove and have your lunch at Davy Byrne's pub near Grafton Street. You can also visit the James Joyce Centre, in North Great George St, which holds many documents of the writer's life and work.

For those who are more into sports, the Croke Park stadium hosts the museum of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), which promotes the local traditional sports, such as hurling and Gaelic football. Located inside the city, it is the third largest stadium in Europe. The 24th February 2007 saw the second rugby match played in the stadium. It was a Six Nations match and featured Ireland VS England. It was highly sensitive because of the events that had taken place there on Bloody Sunday 1920. But the Irish supporters applauded the British anthem and Ireland managed their largest ever win over England in rugby (43-13).

You can also watch the Gaelic games in one of the numerous pubs of the city. The Irish capital probably has the highest density of pubs in the world, although they all have their own uniqueness. If you are looking for traditional music, there are plenty of places all around the city that feature music sessions. The most popular ones are the Brazen Head and O'Donoghues' on the south side though the Cobblestone and Hughes' on the North side hold the cream of the musicians.

Although Guinness and Jameson whisky can also be experienced in Irish pubs, the best places to enjoy both beverages are the Old Jameson distillery in Smithfield and the Guinness Storehouse at their St James Gate brewery.

Finally, the city also features several areas that were rejuvenated during the Celtic Tiger years. O'Connell Street saw a restructuring, including the construction of the Spire, a large 121.2 metres high (398 ft) stainless steel pin-like monument. The old docklands along the river Liffey were also the site of major restructurations, which saw the construction of many high-tech architecture buildings.

O'connel Street, Dublin

Temple Bar, Dublin

Molly Malone statue in Dublin

The river Liffey, Dublin

Malahide Castle, Co. Dublin

Celtic building Kerry

Irish food and goods

Christmas in Grafton Street