Cosmopolitan, colourful and over a thousand years old, Dublin presents a fine starting point for visitors to Ireland. This capital city is split in two by the River Liffey, which gives form to the city and has no less than nine bridges spanning it. Central Dublin is easily explored on foot, and presents a wealth of historic landmarks, from ancient cathedrals to gracious Georgian buildings that pay testimony to days gone by. There are many attractions on both sides of the Liffey, ranging from gaols and castles to museums and the birthplaces of famous poets and writers. Dublin is also famous for its nightlife and the Temple Bar area is the highlight for those seeking out a party.
Dublin By Night © LenDog64
Not far from the city, in County Wicklow, are the Wicklow Mountains, where hills, glens, forests and waterfalls attract weekend walkers and nature-lovers. Dublin Bay, which lies between the mouth of the River Liffey and the Dalkey headland, is the site of several small coastal towns and the ferry port of Dun Laoghaire. County Kildare is a region of rich farmland and fine reputation for the breeding of thoroughbred horses, while the similar counties of Louth and Meath have evidence of early civilisations and a wealth of castles and monasteries. With all this on Dublin's doorstep, the city is a great base for exploration farther afield.