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Ireland's capital beckons this summer and with its rich heritage, attractive architecture and famously good atmosphere, Dublin never fails to disappoint. One of Europe's top tourist destinations, it is bustling with a wealth of activities. Catering to varied tastes and budgets, Dublin also offers its visitors the chance to see breathtaking countryside a stone's throw from the city.
Expect a perfect fusion of old and new: "Dublin is special, a place where tradition and cultural heritage have merged seamlessly over the centuries to create an atmosphere simply unique to Dublin," tourism service visitdublin claims. And it is a view echoed by Lonely Planet, which extols the spirit of Dubliners in ensuring that despite the relentless march of modernisation, their city remains one of Europe's most down-to-earth capitals. In short then, your trip will be jolly.
Dublin's nightlife is legendary and from cosy, romantic pubs to swanky bars and eateries, you'll find all the vibrancy you'd expect from a European capital, with a twist of Irish charm. Choose from traditional folk music or up-to-the-minute beats, or if comedy and theatre are more your thing, this cultural capital is famous not only for is playwrights, but its sharp-witted residents, so you're likely to be in luck.
Renowned for inspiring some of the world's most feted wordsmiths, no trip to Dublin would be complete without a little celebration of James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw. The Dublin Writers Museum should be the first port of call for anyone wishing to explore Ireland's literary heritage, as it brings 300 years of history to life. The James Joyce Museum and the simple Victorian home commemorating the birthplace of Shaw are also must-sees.
Nearby Malahide Castle is one of Dublin's top tourist attractions and is easily reached by hire car. It is situated in the pretty seaside town of Malahide and well worth the drive. Some 250 acres of parkland awaits, along with the fairytale castle furnished with beautiful period furniture. This is a perfect setting for an afternoon stroll and you can easily cast your mind back 800 years or so to the opulent days of old.
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