Your Key To The Happy City of Dublin

Dublin is a vibrant modern city steeped in history, rich history, dating back thousands of years.  The first inhabitants were hunter-gatherers who appeared approximately 7,000 years ago.  Throughout the next centuries, there were many famous legendary warrior clans, such as the Tuatha de Danann, High Kings and Chieftains and then followed by the Celts in approximately 500 BC, Vikings in the 9th century and then the Normans in the late 12th century.

The name Dublin derived from Dubh Linn or Black Pool.  “Dubh” means black in Irish, and the original Black Pool was located in what are now the gardens of Dublin Castle.  This was where the Vikings used to moor their ships coming in from the River Liffey, close to their settlement in Wood Quay and Ath Cliath.  Today, the Liffey is very different from what it used to be – it was four times wider and extended well out into what is the current Dame Street and Trinity College and out towards O’Connell Street.

The Viking or Medieval area is one of my favourite districts of the city where you can still find many historical remnants today.  The medieval church of St Audoens houses many medieval artifacts.  At the back of the church is the St Audoens Gate, one of the original and main gates leading into the city which dates back to 1250.  It is also one of the only two areas in the city where the medieval city walls of Dublin are visible above ground. Christchurch Cathedral is also located in the medieval area and is one of Dublin’s top tourist attractions.

Located in the heart of the walled medieval city, St Audoens Church is the only remaining medieval parish church in Dublin.  This church is dedicated to St Ouen who was the 7th century bishop of Rouen and patron saint of Normandy.

Inside you will find many artifacts discovered during excavations through the years.  As well, there is an early medieval cobbled stoned lane that once ran down the side of the church – this is the only such lane uncovered in Ireland.

Christchurch Cathedral

Christchurch Cathedral holds 1,000 years of history in the heart of Dublin. Founded in 1028, the Cathedral was a major pilgrimage site during the medieval period and houses many artifacts and relics.  Inside the beautiful Cathedral, you will find a fascinating medieval crypt dating back to the 12th century.  It is the largest in Ireland and Britain and one of the oldest structures still in use in the city today. Visit the Gothic naive or climb the Belfry and ring the Cathedral bells.

Among the many great attractions throughout the city, here are some of my suggestions for you:  The Chester Beatty Library located on the grounds of Dublin Castle. There you will find a rich collection, including manuscripts, prints, icons, miniature paintings, early printed books and objects d’art from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.  Across from Christchurch Cathedral, step into Dublinia a museum where you can experience life in the city in Viking times – see what life was like on board a Viking warship, visit a Viking house and take a trip down a Viking street.  The GPO Witness History visitor center located in the historic GPO building on O’Connell Street is a highly interactive and immersive experience.  It focuses on the 1916 rising and its aftermath and how Ireland has developed since. Visitors can experience vividly the events of the 1916 rising through the eyes of those who participated on both sides as well as from first-hand accounts of bystanders.  Located across from the gates to Trinity College is The Irish Whiskey Museum.  This museum is a must, not only for the whiskey connoisseur but for everyone, as it offers a fascinating understanding of the origins and history of whiskey in Ireland.  A visit to Epic, The Irish Emigration Museum should also be included in your itinerary.

Irish Whiskey Museum 119 Grafton Street, Dublin 2

Journey back through time and discover the origins of Irish whiskey, its rise to glory and its dramatic fall before the current revival.  Enjoy the wonderful stories by our entertaining guides. At the end of your tour become a true master of whiskey tasting.

Epic Ireland Custom House Quay, Dublin 1

The Irish Emigration Museum is an interactive experience. It will guide you on a journey to discover the stories of Irish emigration around the world, from early times to the modern day.

At EPIC you can walk through 20 themed galleries to find out why people left, see how they influenced the world they found, and experience the connection between their descendants and Ireland today.

As a way of getting around the city, I would recommend doing a city tour with Do Dublin Tour Company.  This is a hop-on-hop-off tour running every 10 – 15 minutes daily from early morning until late in the evening.  The bus stops outside all the top attractions in the city and in the vicinity of many more, all the local guides are trained by the Irish Tourist Board.

Dating back 400 years, the coat of arms for Dublin is inscribed with the motto: “Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas” which translates to “The Obedience of the citizens produces a happy city”.  This motto can be seen today in our many world famous Irish bars and no visit to the city would be the same without stopping off in one to sample the renowned hospitality and Irish Charm inside.

Here are some of my favourite Irish bars to sample a fine pint of Guinness.

O’Donoghue’s located on Suffolk Street, famous Irish bar with live music nightly, serving a traditional Irish breakfast from 8am and bar food throughout the day. A favourite pub with locals and tourists alike.

The Old Storehouse located at Crown Alley, Temple Bar, a lively place in the heart of Temple Bar with live music playing all day and night.  Extensive menu serving famous Irish dishes as well as many house specialties.

The Brazen Head located at 20 Bridge Street Lower, in the medieval area of the city is Dublin’s oldest pub dating back to 1198.  It was a well-known meeting place for revolutionaries such as Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone and Daniel O’Connell.  Live Irish music and food served daily.

For the culinary delights, Dublin is adorned with restaurants serving every type of cuisine to suit the many preferences and to tickle the taste buds.  May I suggest the following restaurants: The Sussex on Sussex Terrace for fine Irish cuisine. Brookwood located on Baggot Street, is fantastic for seafood and steak.  The Boxty House in Temple Bar, ran by renowned Irish Chef Padraic Og Gallagher, serves the best traditional Irish dishes in the city and it is famous for its Boxty dishes.  You must also try Taste at Rustic or Fade Street Social by Dylan McGrath, both modern and trendy with invigorating menus.  To finish off the night head for Lillie’s Bordello, Dublin’s if not Ireland’s most famous and prestigious nightclub.  Dance the night away until the early hours seven nights a week surrounded by lush interiors and art deco.

Meet the Author
Paul Fitzsimons

I began my hospitality career in May 1996 as a Hall Porter in what was then The Burlington Hotel. It had 400 guest rooms and in later years, expanded to 500 rooms with conference facilities up to 1,400 delegates. I quickly worked my way up to become a Concierge and then became a Member of Les Clefs d’Or Ireland. I have been involved with the Society for over 16 years now and I have held all the position on the Executive Board. In 2014, I was elected President of Les Clefs d’Or Ireland and continue to hold the position. In 2007, due to the hot real estate market in Ireland and its prime locations, the hotel was bought over with the intention to develop it into a high end office and apartment building. It closed its doors on January 2, 2008 and I was one of the last employees to exit. However, in April of that same year, the hotel reopened due to tighter building restraints on new developments and I was offered the Head Concierge position which I am still today. Throughout the years, the hotel changed hands and become a Doubletree by Hilton from 2012 to 2016. Thereafter, it was acquired by the Deka group operated by the Dalata hotels, currently the biggest hotel group in Ireland. The name of the hotel was changed to Clayton Hotel – Burlington Road.

Clayton Hotel Burlington Road

Clayton Hotel Burlington Road is Dublin City’s largest hotel located only a stone’s throw from St Stephens Green, Trinity College Dublin, the Aviva Stadium and RDS. The hotel holds its reputation as the venue of choice for meetings, conference and events. Guests of Clayton Hotel Burlington Road can expect excellent service from friendly staff in a hotel that is well loved by many for its great atmosphere and attention to detail. The enviable proximity to some of Dublin’s most famous landmarks and amenities ensures both business and leisure travellers can experience all this vibrant city has to offer. Leeson Street Upper, Dublin 4, D04 A318, Ireland

+353 1 618 5600

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