Temple Bar & Trinity College
In central Dublin, just south of the River Liffey, Temple Bar’s 18th-century cobblestoned streets are a hedonistic whirl at weekends. Catch a movie at the Irish Film Institute or immerse yourself in old Dublin at the Gallery of Photography. Meeting House Square hosts the weekend food market. West is Christ Church Cathedral, close to where the Vikings first settled, and on the way is the sprawling Dublin Castle. Further west are the red-brick terraces of the Liberties neighbourhood.
East of Temple Bar is Trinity College’s sprawling statue-studded campus and the white colonnaded Bank of Ireland. South is Dublin’s shopping hub, around Grafton Street and Nassau Street.
St Stephen’s Green
South of Trinity College, linked by Grafton Street, is St Stephen’s Green, its 22 acres of landscaped lawns loved by locals on sunny days. West is Merrion Square, where Dublin’s iconic doorways lend character to the elegant Georgian houses. Close by is the majestic Leinster House parliament building. West is Grand Canal for leafy waterfront walks to Portobello’s neat Victorian red-brick terraces. Further south, upmarket restaurants and hotels dot leafy suburban Ballsbridge.
City Centre North
North of the River Liffey, O’Connell Street, filled with shops, is graced with statues of Dublin luminaries. Halfway along is the landmark General Post Office building, the centre of the Easter Rising in 1916. Museums line the northern end. A westbound walk on the riverside Liffey Boardwalk passes the Italian Quarter‘s alfresco cafés at Ormond Quay, and the 18th-century Four Courts. Once unfashionable, the Northside now buzzes with bars and an eclectic mix of multicultural restaurants, especially around Parnell Street.