Dublin has been riding one heck of a roller coaster in recent decades. In the 1990s, Ireland’s capital regained a European presence that it had last experienced in the 18th century, metamorphosing from struggling provincial backwater to the city that never slept. But when the money dried up, the Celtic Tiger lost its roar and looked as though it was going to limp away with its tail between its legs.
And yet, a few years on from the financial crash, Dublin’s appeal for visitors remains undimmed. Plane loads still arrive in the city looking for hedonism, history and the perfect pint. They come for the city’s rich literary heritage and its earthy good humour, for its Georgian architecture and high-tech arts centres, its wood-panelled Edwardian pubs and designer bars.
They find a city whose secrets are still waiting to be explored. There's history on show at Dublin Castle and a world-class collection of treasures at Chester Beatty Library. You can see European contemporary art at Irish Museum of Modern Art and Francis Bacon's studio at the Hugh Lane Gallery. You'll see Ireland's religious heritage at Christ Church Cathedral and the resting place of national heroes at Glasnevin Cemetery.
And after your sightseeing, there's plenty of special ways to wind down. You can't beat a pint at McDaid's or a live music session at The Cobblestone, and of course seeing Irish theatre at its best at the Abbey or Gaiety theatres.