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Ireland is a nation that captivates travellers with its romantic visions of a bygone age, but it’s also one of the most comfortable nations to visit in the present. It’s full of historic treasures, lush landscapes, friendly people, and an internationally-appealing culture. At the heart of Ireland is the capital, Dublin, once known as the most beautiful city in Europe and today a cherished centre of history, culture, and good times.

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Dublin Castle

The City’s Historic Monuments

When in Dublin, travellers don’t have to venture far to explore a wide arrangement of historical treasures. Located in the heart of downtown, Dublin Castle dates back to the 13th century and has two museums, state rooms, and a library to explore. The castle was the seat of British rule until 1922, so it provides insight into the tumultuous relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are even some elements dating back to the time of the Vikings, so it’s a great first stop on a historical journey through Dublin. Kilmainham Gaol is another historic building that every traveller ought to see on a trip to Dublin. Many of the leaders of the Irish rebellion were imprisoned and executed here before the jail closed in 1924, so it provides a sombre lesson on the nation’s struggle for independence.

Trinity College

Dublin’s Past Treasures

Trinity College is Ireland’s most famous educational institution, but its appeal lies beyond its diplomas and degrees. Its library is the home of the Book of Kells, the world’s most famous illuminated manuscript, which retells the Gospels through beautiful animated passages. It’s the most essential of the city’s many treasures, not that Dublin is lacking for things to do. Travellers can get a sense for normal city life at the Little Museum of Dublin, which digs into the city’s cultural history as well as key historic events such as the 1916 Rising and JFK’s visit to Dublin. The museum also has a tourist greeter program, which connects visitors with a local who’s happy to share Irish culture over a pint or a cup of tea.

Temple Bar

A Pint and a Dram

Speaking of pints, while endless jokes over Ireland’s famous pastime can grow tiresome, beer and whiskey are big parts of Irish culture. There are few better places for travellers to connect with locals and enjoy a bit of the famous Irish hospitality than in a local pub over pints. As well, Ireland is serious about the quality of a good drink, which is evident at many of the city’s iconic alcohol-related sites, including Temple Bar and newer favourites like The Church, which offer seriously extensive whiskey menus—Temple Bar has 450 on selection. As well, travellers are invited to learn how the good stuff is made at the Guinness Storehouse Factory and the Old Jameson Distillery, which take travellers behind the scenes of two of the world’s most celebrated beverages. Even if travellers aren’t big drinkers, these sites shed a fascinating light on the city’s, and the nation’s, cultural history.

First published at Travel Industry Today

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