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Dublin Highlights

Dublin's highlights - the history and the humour
id_15768
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 10.7 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  The River Liffey cuts through the heart of the city centre of Dublin, and this walk takes you through the two main streets, the war... more »

Tips:  Right in the city centre, all roads in Ireland lead you to O'Connell Street, so you can reach it by car, bus, bicycle, taxi, train or ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. O'Connell Street

O'Connell Street lies in the very centre of Dublin city, and it has often been centre-stage of the monumental events in Ireland’s history. Every year, it is the main route of the St Patrick’s Day parade, and people still gather here to demonstrate.

On its completion in 1785, O’Connell Street was considered one of the finest streets in Europe,... More

At the junction of Parnell Street and O'Connell Street is the Charles Stewart Parnell Monument.

Made of solid Galway granite, it was paid for by the public and unveiled in 1911. Charles Stewart Parnell, who died at 45, made a huge impact in his short life. He was an Irish landlord, the nationalist political leader, a land reform agitator, and... More

3. Father Theobold Mathew

Next down the main stretch of O'Connell Street is the white man, pointing south.

Unveiled in 1893, this monument honours Father Mathew who introduced “The Pledge” to Irish society; “I promise to abstain from all intoxicating drinks except used medicinally and by order of a medical man and to discountenance the cause and practice of intemperance.... More

4. North Earl Street

Where O’Connell Street meets North Earl Street, on the left hand side is a statue of the brilliant James Joyce, the novelist and poet considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for "Dubliners," "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," and "Finnegan’s Wake." The... More

The Spire of Dublin, officially titled the Monument of Light, is the world’s largest sculpture, and can cause great dizziness if you try to look straight up while standing at its base. Made of steel, it reflects the sunlight by day while at dusk, it appears to merge into the sky. It would be a bit of a stretch to say it’s popular, but nothing in... More

6. James Larkin

Just after the Spire, and raising his hands to the sky, is James Larkin.

This bronze statue was unveiled in 1980, although it had a typo. Alteration marks can be seen where the incorrect birth date of 1876 was amended to read 1874. Larkin, better known as Big Jim, founded the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, the Irish Labour Party, and... More

On the right hand side is The GPO, General Post Office, the most imposing building on O'Connell Street.

Its infamy comes mainly from being the headquarters of the 1916 Rising, an insurrection protesting British rule in Ireland. After occupying the building, the leaders hoisted two republican flags, and Padraig Pearse read a proclamation,... More

8. Sir John Gray

Just after the GPO, agin the middle strip of O'connell Street is the gently gesticulating white Sicilian marble statue of Sir John Gray, unveiled in 1879. Sir John Gray was an Irish physician, surgeon, proprietor of the Freemans’ Journal newspaper, journalist and politician. He is celebrated because he introduced a fresh water supply to Dublin... More

9. William Smith O'Brien

Across the Luas (tram) line, is the rather defensive pose of William Smith O'Brien.

This statue was originally erected in 1870 at the O'Connell Bridge entrance to D'Olier Street, but was moved to O'Connell Street in 1929. William Smith O'Brien was an Irish nationalist, Member of Parliament and leader of the Young Ireland movement.

In 1848, he ... More

10. Daniel O'Connell

Proud, straight and defiant, the man for whom the street is named, stands above all just at his street meets the O'Connell Bridge.

This heavy limestone grand design was unveiled to crowds in 1882. The four winged figures represent Patriotism, Fidelity, Courage and Eloquence. The figures that surround the drum represent O’Connell’s many labours... More

The Ha’Penny Bridge, made of cast ornate, is officially the Liffey Bridge, but is named for the toll charged to cross it. Despite its relatively insignificant history, it's probably one of the most recognisable, and photographed landmarks in Dublin and gives an excellent view of the sweep of the Liffey through the city centre.

Here, you’re met... More

Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets. It is promoted as "Dublin's cultural quarter" and has a lively nightlife that is popular with tourists.

It has a good history too, it is the landing site of the Vikings, and the first settlement in Dublin was built... More

If this building looks unexpectedly familiar, the Capitol Building in Washington DC was inspired by its plans. (Meanwhile, Leinster House was used as the inspiration for the White House).

Now a bank, the Irish government has been asking for it back--the Bank of Ireland building was formerly the Irish Houses of Parliament. It served as the seat... More

Trinity College’s full title, rather grandly, is the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth. Founded in 1592, it is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland. Some of the grand alumni number Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett (Nobel Laureate in Literature), Ernest Walton (Nobel... More

On the corner of Trinity college and Grafton Street, this rather busty statue was erected in 1988 during Dublin's millennial celebrations and was to commemorate the unofficial anthem of Dublin, the song of "Molly Malone," also known as "Cockles and Mussels." The only monuments to women in Dublin are of fictional characters. The... More

While many of the shops on the pedestrianised Grafton Street are shared with many high streets in the UK and Ireland, it retains much of its charm. Bewley’s Oriental cafe is a celebration of all things Egyptian following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. It was founded by the Quaker Bewley family as an alternative to alcohol and is a... More

Over on South William Street, the Powerscourt Townhouse is worth a diversion. It was built as the party house for Viscount Powerscourt in the 1700s, somewhere to entertain when the Parliament was in session. It is said to be unique in showing the transition in Georgian architecture from rococo style to neo-classic under one roof. If your feet are ... More

As soon as there is a hint of sunshine, students, office workers, and tourists alike flock to St Stephens green, but for some reason, it never feels crowded. The entrance is marked by the Fusilier’s Arch, built in 1907, a replica of the Arch of Titus in Rome.

Typical of gardens of its era, inside there is a Victorian bandstand, which still gets ... More