Dublin is unique among the capital cities of Europe. It is on the sea with a bay of harbors and swimming areas; it lies nestled among hills and mountains; and it contains Phoenix Park, the largest park on the European continent. Dublin’s streets have been described as bustling and lively. They have also been called congested. As all of these descriptions are accurate, the excitement of the city can best be enjoyed by moving from point to point via the comfort and convenience of local bus and rail service.
Within half an hour of Dublin’s city center there are mountain walks, historic homes and gardens, sandy beaches and fishing villages. Within Dublin are countless places of interest to explore. It is a city steeped in history and tradition, but it is also youthful. Of the one and a half million people in greater Dublin, about half are under 25. It is a city that welcomes visitors of all ages. Activities for the family include enjoyment of the nature preserve, the grazing deer, the 700 animal zoo, and the well tended, formal gardens of Phoenix Park. There is a hands-on center where children can design and produce pottery pieces. Other family possibilities are horseback riding, sailing and the thrill of the interactive Dublin Viking adventure that recreates the sights, sounds and smells of Dublin as it was 1000 years ago.
Dublin began as a Viking trading post called Dubh Linn (Dark Pool), which soon merged with a Celtic settlement called Baile Átha Cliath (Town of the Hurdle Ford) – still the Gaelic name for the city. Because most of the early city was built of wood, only the two cathedrals, part of the castle and several churches have survived from before the seventeenth century. Much of the “newer” construction is from the Georgian period of the eighteenth century. Recent modernization has worked in harmony with the beauty and grandeur of the past.
Fine museums and art galleries recall Dublin’s long and colorful history, while the pubs and cafes buzz with traditional Irish entertainment. Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral are all at the top of almost every visitor’s list. Dublin’s many other attractions range from sea world, museums and art galleries to the prestigious Guiness Brewery and the Temple Bar, which is the center of restaurants and nightlife.
Dublin is Europe’s leading center for computer software, with more than 100 international companies and a growing home market. It is also a thriving center for culture and is home to the great literary tradition of Shaw, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett. It is the source of musical talent in groups ranging from the Dubliners and the Chieftains to U2. Street-side cafes and pubs are alive with animated conversations, and visitors can easily find themselves included in the discussions of sports, music, politics, and literature.
Dublin’s economy is the fastest growing in Europe with 40,000 businesses employing over 525,000 people. Recent years have brought an upsurge in the growth of the city’s population and an air of excitement as renovations and improvements to the city’s housing and service sector have taken place. Dublin provides the visitor with countless opportunities for learning, for remembering and for relaxation which appeal to every taste and age group.
Population : Metropolitan Area: 1,000,000+
Greater Dublin Area: 1.4 million.
Area: 44 square miles
Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time: 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in New York.(6 hours ahead of central time in Chicago, etc.)
International Dialing Code: to place telephone calls outside Dublin but within Ireland, add ‘01’ to the front of the number. From outside Ireland, use Ireland’s international code as a prefix: 353. Dublin’s city code is 01. Calling cards can be purchased at news stands and post offices in Ireland to use in placing calls from public or private phones. To call the operator: dial 1190.
Emergency ( police; fire; ambulance): 999.
Currency: euro (EUR). Credit cards are accepted at larger restaurants, but cash is still the preference in Dublin. The easiest method of securing cash at the best exchange rate is to make withdrawals using a US credit card from the ATM machines found at the major banks.
Customs Regulations: Telephone: 1 855 4045 in Dublin for information.
Average Annual Temperatures
Weather forecast: 1 550 123 854
Jan. 1 New Year’s Day
Mar. 17 St. Patrick’s Day
Good Friday and Easter Monday (dates vary each year – Mar. or April)
1st Mon. of May May Day holiday
Whit Monday (late May or early June)
1st Mon. of August August holiday
Last Mon. of Oct. October holiday
Dec. 25 Christmas day
Dec. 26 St. Stephen’s day
Electricity: 220 volt A/C. Most hotels have 110V shaver outlets. Plugs have 3 square pins.
Visitors with disabilities: Disability Federation of Ireland will assist with suggestions and publications: 295 9344.
How to get around: Buses are the main form of public transportation. Dublin Bus operates Mon-Sat 6 AM – 11 PM and Sun. 10 AM – 11:30 PM. (exact fare needed) 873-4222. Schedules and prepaid tickets are available at Dublin Bus office and some news stands.
Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) is a light rail service running from Howth in the north to Bray in the south. Trains run every 15 minutes – every 5 minutes during rush hour.
Taxi stands can be found outside hotels, train and bus stations.
Air Travel: Dublin Airport is 7 miles north of the city. There are taxis and an Airlink express bus service to the city center that operates 6 AM -11:30 PM with departures every 20-30 minutes. The cost is minimal.
Rail Service: There are two mainline rail stations in Dublin. For rail information call Irish Rail at 836 6222.
Ferries from the United Kingdom sail into the ports of Dublin and Dan Langhaire (9 miles south of the city)
Note: Traffic drives on the left side of the road in Ireland.