Curious about travelling to Dublin, Ireland? Here are 10 interesting stories about the Irish capital city.
Dublin has been the largest settlement on the island since the Middle Ages. It has a rich culture and an incredible history of poetry, literature, music, and many great pubs and restaurants. This is all true, but these are hardly the facts to blow your socks off!
Perhaps you are heading to discover the craic of Dublin on your next weekend trip or maybe you would just like to get your facts straight. Either way, we’d like to introduce you to some lesser known facts about Dublin.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the Irish capital:
What “Dublin” means in Irish
The name for Dublin in the Irish language is both Dubh Linn and Baile Átha Cliath. While walking around Dublin you’re more likely to see the latter on road signs. The literal meaning of Átha Cliath is “Ford of the Reed Hurdles.”
Dublin is (Dubh Linn) is Gaelic for “Black Pool” which was originally a lake Vikings used to moor their boats – and can now be found in the penguin enclosure in Dublin Zoo.
Dublin’s size, weather, and youthful population
The city of Dublin covers a land area of 44.5 square miles. The weather can be described as “just right” as spring begins in February, summer rolls up in May, autumn peeks around in August, and winter commences in December. The temperature ranges from 46°F to 75°F. Almost 50% of the population of Dublin is under the age of 25 – so it’s full of life and energy!
The only bridge in Europe to have the same width and length
Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge that covers the famed River Liffey is reckoned to be the only bridge in the European continent that has the same width as its length.
It was originally made of rope and could only carry one man and a donkey at a time. It was replaced with a wooden structure in 1801. The current concrete bridge was built in 1863 and was first called “Carlisle Bridge”.
Dublin is home to over a thousand pubs! With this many pubs, Dublin’s nightlife is very lively. Being the city of pubs, perhaps it is fitting that the world’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head, which has been standing since 1168, is in Dublin. One of Dublin’s famous pubs is The Oliver St Gogarty Pub in Temple Bar.
Food in Dublin
Dublin is home to traditional Irish pubs and innovative culinary dishes. With around 740 Irish pubs around the city, local delicacies such as Irish stew, boiled bacon and cabbage, and Shepherd’s Pie.
Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature
Dublin is the home to many acclaimed literary pioneers. The city’s literary prowess has even been recognized by UNESCO and has been listed as a City of Literature. There are only five other Cities of Literature in the world; Norwich in England, Iowa City in the USA, Edinburgh in Scotland, Melbourne in Australia and Reykjavik in Iceland.
It is the home of the largest park in Europe
The Phoenix Park is one of the capital’s oldest and most famous landmarks. It is also the largest city park in all of Europe. Phoenix Park sits on 707 hectares of land, which makes it the largest city park in the world after Central Park in New York. The park is also home to Dublin Zoo which is the park’s most popular attractions.
Dublin Mountains are actually hills?
Although they are known as Dublin Mountains, none of them meet the criteria required to claim mountain status. The Sugarloaf is the tallest ‘Dublin Mountain’ measures only 423.3 meters (or 1388.7 feet) above sea level.
Famous Dubliners – from classic authors to beloved actors
Dublin has a renowned history in the literary and movie world with celebrated native names such George Bernard Shaw (dramatist, critic and Nobel Prize winner), James Joyce (writer and poet), Oscar Wilde (playwright, poet, essayist and novelist) and Dracula creator Bram Stoker to name but a few. Prominent Hollywood actors hailing from the city include Maureen O’Hara, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne and Colin Farrell.
Home of Ireland’s popular musicians and movie stars
Dublin is home to many of Ireland’s most famous musicians prominent Hollywood actors, from the Dubliners and Thin Lizzy, Sinead O’Connor and U2 to Maureen O’Hara, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne and Colin Farrell.
Many of U2’s back catalog of albums were recorded in their home city.
There is a whole lot to do in Dublin, from visiting the Guinness Storehouse where you’ll get a free sample included in any tour to the bustling nightlife of The Temple Bar area, you’ll find the host city friendly and welcoming no matter what you’re there to see on your weekend trip.