Barefoot Abroad in Dublin

Viking Settlment

Situated at the mouth of the River Liffey, Dublin is Ireland’s capital and largest city by far.  The population of the Dublin urban area is around 1.1 million people.

Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island’s principal city following the Norman invasion.  The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century; it was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire and the fifth largest in Europe. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland.

Dublin is a place rich in history and culture and one which prides itself with a long tradition in music, theatre and literature.  To truly experience Dublin is to immerse oneself in its rich, vibrant and absorbing culture.

Art and Culture

For art lovers a visit to The National Gallery, home to one of Europe’s premier collections, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art housed in the magnificent Royal Hospital building, are not to be missed and a great way to take in the city’s and country’s artistic heritage.  For a window into the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world visit The Chester Beatty Library, the European Museum of the Year 2002.  Highlights of the collection include Egyptian Papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur’an, the Bible and European Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.

Keeping the city’s rich theatre tradition alive, The Abbey Theatre, the national theatre, is a great place to take in an authentic Irish stage performance.

The Gate Theatre, the city’s most elegant theatre, housed in a late 18th century building, has been artistically and architecturally a landmark building for over 200 years and continues to offer a stimulating and classical program, appealing to theatre-goers of all generations. If you are looking for a musical, opera, ballet or drama then The Gaiety Theatre and The Olympia Theatre in the city centre and the Civic Theatre or the Draíocht Theatre in the suburbs are just some of the many options open to you.

Dublin’s literary tradition is an integral part of Dublin’s culture. A visit to the Dublin Writers Museum will give you an insight into the immense literary tradition of the capital and introduce you to some of Dublin’s literary geniuses of past and current times.

The National Concert Hall, the biggest and most prestigious music venue in Dublin, has something to suit all tastes, from classical concerts to magical musicals to monthly workshops for toddlers and parents.


dublin 5Dublin is a vibrant, sports mad city and for sports enthusiasts the passion and atmosphere of a Gaelic Football or Hurling match in Croke Park, the home of Gaelic Games, is an experience not to be missed.  It is the largest stadium venue in Ireland and, with a capacity of 82,300 is one of the largest stadia in Europe.

If it’s racing you like, Leopardstown Race Course hosts some of the biggest races in the Irish racing calendar or you can enjoy a night of greyhound racing at either Shelbourne Park Stadium or Harold’s Cross Stadium.

The Dublin region contains some of the country’s premium angling centres, with Corkagh Park Fishery good enough to satisfy any angling devotee.

Dublin Bay offers many marine leisure opportunities including sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kayaking.

For those who don’t wish to brave the elements the National Aquatic Centre, one of Europe’s largest indoor waterparks and pool centres, is one of Dublin’s most exciting attractions for families and individuals alike.

If you want a leisurely walk at your own pace as well as discovering Dublin you should check out the Dublin iWalks Series, a number of free downloadable podcasts and maps telling the story and history of the capital.

With over 60 Golf Courses in the Dublin region you are never more than a short drive from a fine course. Among the array of world renowned courses are Portmarnock Golf Club, The Royal Dublin Golf Club and St. Margaret’s Golf and Country Club.

If it’s a family trip, Dublin has more than enough to keep the kids happy.  From Dublin Zoo to Imaginosity (Dublin Children’s Museum), from the National Leprechaun Museum to Dublinia and Viking Splash Tours, there’s so much for kids to see and get involved with, there may be little time just for you!