Liffey is beautiful

Something for the week- end? A new List travel guide to European city breaks begins with a trip to DUBLIN. '.'.::'(:si Alan Morrison

When it took over from Glasgow as European City of Culture in 1991, Dublin was on the brink of a new beginning. Eight years on, it’s one of the liveliest places on the map. Work sites pepper the centre as money is pumped back into the city, but the old beauty remains in those famous Georgian buildings, lining streets with names that conjure up a rich literary and political history.

The only way to soak up Dublin’s atmosphere is to stroll the streets themselves. Cross the River Liffey at O'Connell Street, nip into the grounds of Trinity College, stroll into the green urban oasis of St Stephen’s Green. North of the river, the bland malls and stores of Mary Street and Henry Street will have visitors wondering if they've actually left home; but on the south side’s Grafton Street, even the familiar has been given a lift Marks & Spencer made classy by a copper and black frontage.

Choose Liffey: Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge

between Dame Street and the river. Cast the map aside and just let your feet take you where they may, up and down the narrow lanes of Temple Bar. Here you'll find cafes, cool clothes shops and record stores filled with bootleg CDs, cassettes and videos. Temple Bar is the buzz in the blood of Dublin’s nightlife to its advantage and disadvantage. The city's drinking dens are Mecca to Britain’s stag and hen parties, so beware of boisterousness spilling over; but, that aside, the mix of music, flirtacious chat and Guinness poured long into the night is an intoxicating treat. The warmth of the people gives Dublin a glow, come rain or shine. Sometimes, all the clichés are true.

The city's alternative flavours lie waiting in the area

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Stating the obvious Guinness Brewery The l'unioux bre\\er_\ in St James (late \srrs lounded in 175‘). and the llopslore no“ l‘errtures an audio-\isurrl displa} and bar in Much to sample the blrrek slul'l' at ll.\ point til origin.

Dublin Writer's Museum Joye. Suill. \Vilde. Yeats. ()‘(erey Slum . . . Ireland’s literar} talents Ii;r\ e graced the \\orld. .'\|so It} the .lunreson literrrr} l’ub ('rrml to disem er the seribes’ inspiration.

Phoenix Park Visitor Centre Ireland's rich and turbulent lll\lt)l'}. l‘l'Ulll .i.5l)llli(' It) the [H‘L‘sc‘ltl tltl}. digested into a single sitting. The park also horrses Dublin Zoo.

Malahide Castle l’se Dublin as a base to brruieh out into the lush green eourrtr)side and take a trip to this spectacular horrse \xith its botanic gardens and model ruilurr}. Kilmainham Jail Irelanth Zorlr eentur} histor) comes :rli\e in the btrilding \shere se\er;rl prrr‘tieipunts in the WM lizrster Rising \ter'e held and t‘\L‘L‘tllc‘tl.

The List alternative

Pub: Irish Film Centre ln n (it) Iinl lueking tor drinking establishments.

this one prmides a trendier. quieter stop-oil right in the heart ot‘ lc‘ltlplc‘ Bilt‘. It'llsltlt't' .S'Il‘t’t'l

Band: The Marbles Hopes are high ltil‘ [his local [lil‘L'L‘-plcc‘c‘. I‘L‘L‘L‘lill}' signed to [IT 'l'heir debut single. ‘ln .\I_\ li_\e' is a ptip[1lc‘l':\\ll. but its B- side '(iot The l’eur'." has a looser Stone Rtisc‘s \lltllllc‘ In it.

Theatre: Andrew's Lane Theatre The .»\bbe_\ and The (late are more lurnous. but the Inn stages here house eorrsisterill} interesting \sork. pzrr'tieulurl} the tin) Studio.

CIUbSI Ri-Ra \Vhllc‘ lltc‘ clubbing \L‘L‘llc‘ in tour] has become rather jaded of

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late. this venue is still pushing the best in hip hop. funk and soull‘ul house mery night ol‘ the week.

Bookshop: The Winding Stair Browse the .seeondhzrnd shL‘ch‘s and sip a coffee \Vhile oxerlooking the't’e_\ and llu'penn} Bridge. ()r for u spc‘c‘lztlisl ill c‘l‘llllc‘. lttit‘l'til‘. sci-ll Ltlltl gener'ull} oll-eentre l‘ietion. tr} The l-‘lying Pig in ('row Street. Getting there

STA Travel ol‘l'er return lures l‘rorn (ilihgtHV or lidinburgh to Dublin for £77 including tax tleaving before 30 June 1909).

The Marbles

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