James Joyce once called the sleepy Dublin Port the center of paralysis, because as according to him, nothing ever changed there. How he would be surprised now. The city neighborhoods surrounding the Dublin port of call are now crammed full of trendy restaurants, hotels, shopping and an all around international party atmosphere.
One thing that does not change a lot is the weather. The hottest part of the year is mid May through mid August. However, the temperature stays around the mid 60s.
Held on the weekends, Cows Lane Markets, on the west edge of Temple Bar, has the most famous young designers in the country.
In the heart of Temple Bar you’ll find Meeting House Square Market, the best place to find homemade foodstuffs like homemade breads, chocolates and organic veggies. On Sundays it transforms into a craft and furniture bazaar.
Barry Doyle Designs on Georges Street Arcade is the place to find true Celtic Modern Jewelry. You can even watch Barry at work in his shop next door.
If you enjoy novelty gifts, don't miss Trinity Crafts, on 3 Upper O’Connell Street. There you will find everything cheesy, especially the Leprechauns.
Things to Do
For traditional Irish sports you’ll want to go to Gaelic Games where you’ll find the wildly popular Gaelic Football and curling.
Malahide Castle is a glorious picture book castle occupied by the Talbot family from 1185 until 1976 when it was sold to the Dublin City Counsel. The parkland surrounding the castle boasts over 5,000 species of trees and shrubs, all clearly labeled.
Inside the Castle, the kids will want to see the Fry Modern Railway Museum. The miniature track covers 2,500 square feet. Girls will like Tara’s Palace, a 25-room fully furnished miniature dollhouse.
Arbour Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for all 14 Irishman executed by the British following the 1916 Easter Uprising. Among those laid to rest there, Padrig Pearse, the rebellion’s leader.
Restaurants and Bars
A lot has happened since the time when Irish food was best disguised in soup. One can grab a traditional bite to eat in a pub or experience all the fine dining Dublin cruise terminal port has to offer.
Busyfeet and Coco Café boast not only the best place to people watch as the city’s young and hip stroll by, but it has a great ultra cheap menu. You can't lose with the grilled cheese salad, served with raisin toast and tomato tapenade over arugula.
An 11th Century Norse King of Dublin, Sitric, loved the Howth area. Named King Sitric, this well known seafood restaurant boasts some of the best view to watch boats in the harbor.
With 900 pubs, the city is bound to have one that will leave a lasting impression on you. With the beat of live modern music upstairs, Conways is an old school “spit and sawdust” public house.
If you’re a journalist, or just want to rub elbows with one, check out Doyle’s, across the street from the Irish Times office.