DOSSIER SPÉCIAL : L’IRLANDE AUJOURD’HUI
2 days to discover Dublin
Passer 48 heures à Dublin / Les conséquences économiques du Brexit
GET YOUR BEARINGS
Dublin’s natural dividing line is the River Liffey, which flows languorously out towards Dublin Bay. O’Connell Street is the city’s spiritual heart and its monumental General Post Office was where the main events of the Easter Rising took place 100 years ago, changing the course of Irish history forever. South of the river is the cobblestoned streets of Temple Bar, Trinity College and a mostly intact Georgian streetscape around St Stephen’s Green, Merrion and Fitzwilliam Squares. Further east is the city’s regenerated Docklands area. The Discover Ireland Centre is set in the former Church of St Andrew on Suffolk Street. It opens 9am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday, Sundays 10.30am-3pm.
DAY ONE TAKE A HIKE
2. Start on the northside of the River Liffey and cross via its main point, O’Connell Bridge, for fine views in both directions. Continue along Westmoreland Street and soon you will arrive at College Green; to your right is the imposing Bank of Ireland Building, the erstwhile seat of power under British rule.
3. Bear left and pass under the landmark arch of one of Ireland’s most influential seats of learning, Trinity College. Cross the quad and pass the college’s leafy lawns and playing fields, exiting at Lincoln Place. Continue along Clare Street and bear right onto Merrion Square, bordered on all sides by elegant Georgian townhouses. To your left is the National Gallery of Ireland and on Upper Merrion Street, The Dail. Bear right down Merrion Row and you will emerge onto St Stephen’s Green, Europe’s largest city square.
LUNCH ON THE RUN
4. Named after a Bob Dylan lyric, the Meet Me in the Morning (50 Pleasants Street), has swiftly risen to the top of foodies’ lists, garnering wild praise for its winning formula of interesting food and specialty coffee served up in friendly surroundings. The 'egg and greens' has already become a staple, while gazpacho with black kale on toast is another to try if it’s on the menu. From €10.
5. Grafton Street is the city’s main upmarket retail row. Browse designer department stores Brown Thomas at 88-96 Grafton Street and Avoca, on neighbouring Suffolk Street. There's also a burgeoning scene of independent small boutiques on Drury Street.
6. Dublin has its fair share of urbane cocktail and wine bars, but for most people a highlight of any visit is the opportunity to sip a pint of Guinness in one of the many traditional pubs dotting the city. Try Grogans Castle Lounge at 15 William Street, a one-time haunt of literary giants like Patrick Kavanagh, J.P Donleavy and Flann O’Brien, who immortalised it in 1939 novel At Swim-Two-Birds .
DAY TWO SUNDAY MORNING: A QUICK HISTORY LESSON
7. Last year, Ireland celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising - the armed insurgence of Irish republicans determined to end British rule in April 1916. While the uprising failed, it won more public support for republicanism and reset the course of Irish history. Richmond Barracks, off Bulfin Road in Inchicore was where many of the insurgents were held before being moved to Kilmainham Gaol, and last year it opened an exhibition dedicated to their stories. Ireland’s globetrotting diaspora is the subject of one of the city’s newest attractions, EPIC, at The chq Building, Custom House Quay (epicchq.com). The museum tells the story of the Irish abroad, revealing surprising insights into some well-known figures’ Irish ancestry - like Charles de Gaulle and Billy the Kid.
A WALK IN THE PARK
8. The National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, just 3km from the city centre, are well worth a wander. Established in 1795, there are over 17,000 different plants cultivated here from all over the world, including six that are already extinct in the wild. Admission is free and guided tours are free on Sundays.
ON YOUR BIKE
9. Hire one of the bicycles from sharing scheme "dublinbikes"and cycle along the sturdy granite flagstones of the Great South Wall. Extending for 4km into Dublin Bay, it's one of the longest sea walls in Europe. At the end is the distinctive Poolbeg Lighthouse, painted red to indicate portside for ships entering Dublin port, and there are sweeping views of Dublin Bay and its suburbs.
THE ICING ON THE CAKE
10. One of Dublin’s most alluring traits is the ease with which you can leave behind the urban streets and escape to the seaside. Pack your swimming costume and take the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) from Pearse Street Station to Sandycove. From there, it’s a short stroll to The Forty Foot, one of Dublin’s enduring bathing spots, mentioned in the opening chapters of James Joyce's Ulysses . Once the preserve of male bathers, now everyone takes the plunge together come rain or shine.
Dublin has its fair share of urbane cocktail and wine bars
A short flight of 1 hour and 40 minutes from Paris takes you to the Irish capital city of Dublin. It is the perfect destination for a romantic weekend, or a short family visit. Wander along the Liffey, follow in James Joyce’s footsteps, enjoy traditional music in the pubs… You will be surprised and charmed by this city so full of history and culture. Here are a few tips to follow with some thoughtful recommendations for places to visit.