Jewel of the Emerald Isle

Catharine McCluskey, Press Officer
Dublin Tourism Marketing & Development

An intimate village, a sophisticated metropolis, the capital city of Ireland is a centre of interest and activity. Dublin combines two distinctly different features - a rich and varied history and cultural inheritance which integrates harmoniously with the ever-changing, vibrant beat of life in Dublin today. Whether you are travelling in a group, as a family, individually or on business, you will find that Dublin has something for everyone. The city is bursting with colours, music, sights and scenes which provide the irresistible backdrop for exploring the magic that is Dublin City and its beautiful surrounding county.

County Dublin is ideally situated on the east coast of Ireland and just a 20-minute journey will bring the visitor from the bustling city to the charming coastal towns and villages of the county which dot the sometimes rugged, sometimes sanded coastline. There are boundless opportunities for craft shopping, water sports, dining and picturesque walks against the spectacular background of Dublin Bay.

As one of the oldest cities in Europe, Dublin provides the visitor with a multitude of cultural riches, from the ancient to the avant garde and ranging from history to architecture, literature, art, archaeology and the performing arts. Monuments in literature and stone mark the history, writers, poets and people of Dublin, and medieval, Georgian and modern architecture provide a backdrop to a friendly, bustling port. Dublin is also home to a great literary tradition (the city was home to Shaw, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett, among others) and is the cradle of many musical talents, from the Dubliners and the Chieftains to U2.

Spawned by the need to ford the River Liffey, fortified by the Danes, developed by the Normans, adorned with fine buildings by the Anglo Irish, the city has grown in stature and elegance over the centuries.

Dubliners, with their friendly and fun-loving attitude, certainly know how to entertain. The quintessential 'Dublin pub' provides the focal point of Dublin's social life, illuminating the vibrant hues of Dubliners and their culture. It is a place where conversations and 'craic' (Irish for 'fun') flow freely, unleashing the unique atmosphere that is at the heart of Dublin and her friendly people.

There is a wonderful array of dance, theatre and concerts to choose from in Dublin, from the most exquisite formal presentations at the National Concert Hall to the jovial street performer. Every show is performed with a distinctly Irish sense of enthusiasm and conviction that delights and enthrals audiences.

Music and song play a large part in the culture of Dubliners. The city provides inspiration for a variety of artists, from traditional Irish folk musicians such as the Dubliners and the Chieftains, to contemporary artists like U2, Chris de Burgh and Sinead O'Connor.

Music, whether it is classical, traditional or contemporary, is easily accessible in Dublin, often experienced with its natural accompaniment - dance. Visitors may try their hand at traditional set dancing or dance the night away at one of the numerous trendy night-clubs that carry the beat of the city well into the morning hours.

Internationally renowned artists regularly visit the city with an abundance of first class performances as varied as the Bolshoi ballet and the staging of rock concerts. Comedy and cabaret also feature strongly in the entertainment line-up and can be sampled at a multitude of impressive venues.

The Irish are passionate about their sports, and Dubliners are no exception. The city comes alive with colour and expectation during many weekends of big sporting events, especially football internationals and street marathons. Golfing enthusiasts are well catered for: they can try out one of almost 60 golf courses throughout the county of Dublin. Ireland's pride and reputation for the sporting horse is showcased at many racing meets and show jumping occasions. The most popular national sports are Gaelic football and hurling - the latter has been acclaimed as one of the fastest and most exciting field games in the world.

Due to Dublin's coastal location, the sea has always been an integral part of the city's life. A multitude of nautical activities and sports have flourished, including yachting, sailing, windsurfing and fishing.

In addition, there are numerous opportunities to go greyhound racing, cycling or visit the many fine gardens, houses and parks that adorn the area. Or why not participate in one of the thoroughly enjoyable tours and trails available? You can catch a glimpse of a polo match while wandering through the meandering paths of the Phoenix Park near the heart of the city - the largest enclosed park of its kind in Europe. Whatever your heart desires, Dublin provides a superb location all these activities and many more.