When conjuring up images of Ireland, most of us think of antiquated stereotypes revolving around leprechauns, potatoes, and drunks. The city of Dublin has taken on a massive restoration in the past two decades because of the rapid growth of Ireland’s economy and their growing integration with the rest of Europe’s high tech society. While Dublin has assimilated with the rest of Europe, when taking a vacation in Europe, Dublin is a can’t miss destination because of the duality of olde time appeal and the New Europe feel it has.
Between the years 1995 and 2008, the Irish economy boomed and the country went from one of the poorer parts of Europe to a leading money maker. The citizens of Ireland like to call this upward swing Celtic Tiger. Because the country started investing in the IT industry, more high paying jobs were created, and large American companies like Google and Facebook set up international headquarters in Dublin. Because of this upturn, Dublin has become one of the brightest beacons in all of Europe and now draws in artists and high energy people like the rest of Europe.
When thinking about nightlife in Dublin, we usually picture a smokey pub with lines of patrons downing pints of Guinness. In 2004, Ireland passed a ban on smoking in pubs and all drinking establishments in general. This new law might seem like an affront to the true authenticity of the Irish experience, but it is still possible to go outside and have a drag off a cigarette.
If you are looking for a trendier experience, you do not have to stray far away from the heart of the city. Gastropubs specializing in everything from steaks to exciting fusion cuisine can be found on every corner. You can also find hip and trendy clubs and lounges to have a late night experience rivaling that of Berlin, Barcelona, or Paris.
Between the months of September and October, Dublin is transformed into a cultural a party hotbed when over 20 festivals take place on the streets of the city. The gatherings range from the traditional German celebration of Oktoberfest, The Dublin Festival of Fashion, Arthur’s Day which celebrates the creator of Guinness, and Hard Working Class Heroes Fest which features over 100 indie bands performing over three days.
A list of Irish festivals is not complete without the inclusion of the world’s ultimate St. Patrick’s Day celebration, which draws in thousands of visitors across the world every year.
When considering your next venture into Europe, give Dublin a shot. The residents will welcome you with a pint of Guinness and some soda bread.