Monday, November 1, 2010

A short guide to Dublin

The Irish, and Dubliners in particular, have a reputation for liking a drink. Some say this is just a stereotype but the party atmosphere in the Irish capital is second to none and is something which needs to be experienced, especially with the increase in cheap flights to the city from the UK and further afield.

The Temple Bar district is where the majority of the nightlife is centred. By day, this is a picturesque cobbled street containing quirky and exotic shops, reflecting its reputation as a Bohemian “arthouse” area. By night, the restaurants, bars and pubs come to life. Traditional music can be heard up and down the street, whilst it is not uncommon to find a ceilidh in full swing. Recommending anywhere specific is a moot point as establishments are set up and close down at an alarming rate, meaning that there is always something new to experience in this quarter of the city. Suffice to say that Temple Bar goes with the latest trends, so if you want to be seen, this is the place to go. However, avoid this area when you're researching the best hotels Dublin has to offer, as they'll be pricey and touristy.

There may be more to Dublin than drinking but if you do crave a 24/7 party, the city has other alcohol-related attractions which can pass the time before the next night out.

The Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate Brewery is a must-see as it charts the story of the drink that is at the heart of the city. Guinness is one of the world’s most famous brands and the exhibition not only charts its 250 year history but also details the complex brewing methods employed to make the black stuff. What strikes you about the exhibition is the passion and dedication which goes into the making of each and every pint, which is something you can sample for yourself with a complementary Guinness at the Gravity Bar at the end.

Another place to visit is the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street in the Smithfield district. First made by John Jameson in 1780, Jameson Irish Whisky is triple distilled for a smoother taste. The exhibition takes you through each stage of the distilling process, whilst the interaction between the group and the tour guide also demonstrates the love which goes into making every bottle of whisky. At the end of the tour, you get a free sample, whilst a handful of people get to partake in a taste-test of different whiskies before being asked which is the greatest. Of course, Jameson always comes out on top!


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