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The friendliest city in Europe

By SUZY TURNER

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WITHIN EASY reach of the Algarve, these days flights are cheap and easily available to the beautiful island fondly known as the Emerald Isle. Dublin, in particular, is a top destination for those looking for somewhere a bit hip and ‘happening’.

Both the largest city and the capital of Ireland, Dublin is today an economic, administrative and cultural centre for the entire island. The city has a vibrant nightlife to rival the likes of any chic capital and it is estimated that 50 per cent of its population is under the age of 25! Dublin is also the ideal destination for anybody seeking out a bit of culture.

The city’s literary history is world-famous, having produced many prominent figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from the city include Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker, the creator of Dracula. It is perhaps best known for being the location of the greatest works of James Joyce.

There are numerous museums and art galleries to check out during your visit, but perhaps what should be on the top of everyone’s list to this capital is a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, home to the black stuff since 1759. It is easily Ireland’s Number One visitor attraction. The huge seven-storey building has been remodelled into the shape of a giant pint of Guinness. The highlight for many is the Gravity Bar. Here visitors receive a complimentary pint of Guinness and can relax and enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree views across Dublin City.

Voted the friendliest city in Europe last year, Dublin has something to offer everyone. Sporting enthusiasts are easily catered for, as the city is the headquarters of almost all of Ireland’s sporting organisations including hurling, Gaelic football and rugby union.

While sports fans can keep themselves busy, so can the shopaholics! The city centre has a number of shopping districts including Grafton Street, Henry Street, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Jervis Shopping Centre and the Ilac Shopping Centre. If you’re more of a fan of large department stores, check out Clerys, Arnotts and Brown Thomas.

Transportation around Dublin is not a problem either, with a fine array of bus and train services throughout the city available for those not keen on renting a car – advisable though if you plan on spending several days visiting other parts of the country!

Whether you’re preparing to splash out on a top luxurious hotel (or castle!) or you’re on a serious budget, you won’t be disappointed with the choice of accommodation in this fine city. All budgets are catered for.  

For further information, check out www.visitdublin.com