DOSSIER SPÉCIAL : L’IRLANDE AUJOURD’HUI

2 days to dis­cover Dublin

Vocable (All English) - - La Une - AOFIE O'RIORDAIN

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.

AN APER­I­TIF

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.

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