Baile Átha Cliath … loads of free atmosphere!

No. 10 Dublin
Once No.1 – so what has happen with Dublin???? It has gone fare too expensive and busy – have lost quite a bit of it’s friendliness, but still the atmosphere is free and there is loads of it.
Founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island’s principal city following the Norman invasion. All ready in the 17th century Dublin became the second largest city in the British Empire. Today the urban population is 1,045,769.

Came to Dublin the first time March-91 … to stay for nearly a year. Hundred after hundred of daffodils in full bloom welcomed me along the road from the airport to the city. Amazing view and the first reason why I fell madly in love with the city and island. Stayed out in Dun Loagharie – about 30 min with the Dart (green commuter train) from city center. A beautiful place that has a Mediterranean feeling with palm trees, seafront promande and sandy beach. For 6 months I stayed at the prestige’s Royal Marine Hotel – gave me plenty time to find my own Dublin.

Dublin has really developed and become a modern cosmopolitan city with so much history – a big city with bright light – banking has always been big in the city – today massive companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo! & Facebook – have their European HQ in Dublin.

So what does my Dublin continue of; loads – but this are my favorites.
1. Afternoon tea at The Westbury Hotel
2. Shopping on Henry Street
3. Visiting Brown Thomas, to have a look around
4. Chicken wings and a burger at “Elephant & Castle”
5. Trinity Collage
6. Guinness Store House
7. The Kitchen
8. Post Office
9. Stephen’s Green
10. Dinner at “La Stampa” – today “Balzac”

Let’s work the list;
1. The Westbury Hotel serves afternoon tea at The Gallery– a traditional hotel just behind the famous Grafton Street. It’s just for the stress free surrounding, because Dublin is stressful – find it more stressful then London, and delicious finger sandwiches.
Westbury Hotel,
Balfe Street/Grafton Street
Dublin2, Ireland
Phone; +353 (0) 1 679 1122
2. Henry Street, was the poor relative to the Grafton Street once – today it’s have new shopping centre’s and fashionable shops. Arnott, the department store has got a massive face lift.Also the flower and fruit market is on one for the side streets, Moore St – a must.1991 Grafton St had all exclusive Irish shops, but through the years the British shops has taken over.
3. Brown Thomas the most exclusive shopping in town and on Grafton Str – once much smaller with a beautiful stair case in the foyer. Has moved across the street and left the stair case to Mark & Spencer’s. Fantastic shop for looking, great lunch salad and to pick up ideas. Nothing comes cheap at Brown Thomas.

4. “Elephant & Castle” was the first restaurant I ever visit in Dublin and I have been coming back every time I visit. Famous for their chicken wings, omelets and burgers. Queue to get in for lunch – been busy-busy so long as I have gone there. Located in the popular entertainment area, Temple Bar.
“Elephant & Castle”
18 Temple Bar Dublin 2.
Phone: +353 (0)1 679 3121.

5. Trinity Collage – was founded 1592 – and the first university in Great Britain and was modeled on Cambridge university. You can walk into Trinity at any time and have a look at the area and buildings, although going inside and seeing the Books of Kells is only aloud at certain times. A university with world class reputation.
(text; – The Book of Kells is the most famous, and one of the finest of a group of manuscripts in what is known as the Insular style, produced from the late 6th through the early 9th centuries in monasteries in.
6. Guinness Storehouse, has become Irelands No.1 tourist attractions. Guinness, the nearly black dry stout – that I dare to call the most famous beer in the world. Sorry, Budweiser.
Located at St. James’s Gate Brewery and opened in 2000. So much to see and take part in – 7 floors. Guinness well know for their high quality merchandises. The Gravity Bar gives the most stunning view over Dublin. Also they serve wholesome food in the Brewer’s Dinning Hall and with a view into a working kitchen.
Guinness Storehouse,
St. James’s Gate Brewery,


7. The Kitchen – U2’s fashionable nightclub and one of the best in town.
The Kitchen has won three awards at the Smirnoff Dance Awards, including the prestigious “Best Venue” award. Muzik Magazine was recently quoted as saying that the Kitchen is “The best nightclub in the world at the moment.” It speaks for itself.
The Clarence Hotel,
East Essex Street,
Dublin 2, Ireland
Phonel: 086-0450084
8. General Post Office – the most famous building in the city on O’Connell St – completed 1818.
Has a massive part in the history of Ireland. It was here during the Easter Rising of 1916 it served as the headquarters of the uprising’s leaders. The assault by the British forces extensively damaged the building and it was not repaired until the Irish Free State government took up the task some years later. An original copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is on display in the An Post museum at the GPO. It’s an impressive building with old post office features inside. It’s also had big part in the condolences for the Omagh bombing’s victims in 1996. Flowers where left outside the building and taken to Omagh every night. One of the bouquets where mine.
9. Stephen’s Green is really two things for me – a beautiful park surrounded by magnificent Georgian buildings with the famous Dublin doors, became a park in 1663  – and it’s the Stephen’s Greens beautiful shopping arcade/centre … both just in the top of Grafton Street. Always do both every time I’m in town.
10. “Balzac” / La Stampa – an expensive and very special restaurant – now also a boutique hotel.
Because the restaurant is in graded building and – it’s in a narrow but long townhouse – is it short of daylight – that is all solved with massive mirrors along the walls with large stunning candleholders with candles in front. Refurbished and with a new name. Gone Italian to Paris brassiere. Mirrors and candleholders still there.
35-36 Dawson Street
Dublin 2, Irland
Phone: 01 677 4444

Dublin will always be very special to me – it was all mine for so many years – until I met Belfast. It’s exciting to come back and own it all over again … time after time.’It’s a bit with Dublin and me – like the son of  Dublin, Oscar Wilde, once said it.

“A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.”
Oscar Wilde

Photos provived by; / / vanni – / / keith levin – / / / / / / gypsytravels – / / / / / / /

8 thoughts on “Baile Átha Cliath … loads of free atmosphere!

  1. Dublin is without doubt a fantastic city – and if you ever go back – take some time extra and visit Belfast, to me even better – only 300.000 but such gem and so much cheaper. Will do a post about Belfast, that was my home for 10 years.
    If you come to Dublin – I will met up with you if possible.

  2. Dublin has now moved farther up on my list. I need to store this post somewhere to refer back to your list… or maybe print it out. And all those companies may have shifted the atmosphere.. it’s a tax thing for them eh? wt

    • Wendy, Rep. of Ireland like Northern Ireland have a very good climate for foreign companies to open up in. Great support. Taxes are quite high in the Republic at least for the workers – don’t know about companies.
      The atmosphere in Dublin is from the people and buzz. So much to see and do, but it went crazy when € took over. So so expensive. So if you go there – give Belfast a couple of days too. Much cheaper, friendlier and very Irish.

  3. Great post, Viveka! We’ve been on holiday in Ireland some years ago and had a great time exploring the countryside. We skipped Dublin though. Now that you’ve recommended Belfast, maybe it is better to go there than Dublin.

    • Malou .. I would say Belfast – going back every year – lived there for 10 years. Stay at hotel that will cost £135 for 3 nights with breakfast for 2 – excellent value – in the middle of the city, modern – but nothing fancy.
      So much cheaper to eat and to shop – still it’s Ireland with the hospitality and friendliness. No different from the Rep. and a lot less stress. Will do a post about Belfast. I love the city.

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