Dublin’s location next to the water gives it a very temperate climate and it receives less rainfall than the rest of Ireland. In Ireland that means that the winters are still quite damp and rain showers are common anytime of year. December is the wettest month with on average about 3 inches of rainfall. July temperatures hit a high of about 68°F which makes for cool and pleasant summers. The best times to visit are the months of May and June when there is the most sunshine. Winters are mild as well with only rare snow flurries.
Originally a Viking settlement, the largest city and capital of Ireland is now a bustling modern metropolis with the fastest growing population among European capital cities. Dublin is the historical centre of Ireland and when you are looking for sights to visit historical ones are probably where you should start. On the campus of Trinity College stands the almost 100 feet high Campanile. A truly interesting piece of architecture, superstitious students believe that walking beneath it when the bells are tolling ensures that you will fail your exams. The Chimney, an old distillery chimney built in 1895, was converted into Dublin’s only 360-degree observation tower. A shuttle ride to the top offers you a special perspective on historic North Dublin.
One of Dublin’s most recognizable symbols is the Christ Church Cathedral. Located on a hilltop, it is by far the most photogenic of Dublin’s three cathedrals. Fusiliers’ Arch, modelled after the Arch of Titus in Rome, sits above the main entrance of St. Stephen’s Green. It pays tribute to the 212 Royal Dublin Fusiliers killed fighting the British during the Boer War. Consider taking a stroll around Ivaegh Gardens. Designed in 1863 the gardens contain a fountain, rosarium, maze, and a few less rules than some of the cities other parks.
Another more sobering historical site is Kilmainham Gaol. On the rocky road to Ireland’s independence this jail held many political heroes, villains, and martyrs. Another architectural delight is Merrion Square and its surrounding neighborhood. Dating back to 1762 and having the National Gallery as its next door neighbour, this square is the centrepiece of a neighbourhood featuring stately Georgian buildings complete with ornate door knockers and foot scrapers, a tribute to the elegance of that era. The Regent House entrance on College Green, guarded by statutes of Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke, is a popular meeting spot for locals. On O’Connell Street the Spire soars to a height of almost 400 feet. A homage to nothing in particular some locals jokingly say it is a tribute to the fight against heroin addiction in Dublin. Also not to be missed is St. Patrick’s Tower; outside of the Netherlands it is the tallest surviving windmill tower in the world.
Dublin has made an interesting transformation over the years from a jumble of unique architecture and self-deprecating locals to a charismatic city overflowing with personality. Why not treat yourself to a Dublin special?