The Cool Guide: Dublin, Ireland

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The Independent Travel

WHY DUBLIN?

WHY DUBLIN?

Rocketing house prices are always a sign that cities are on the up and Dublin is no exception. The city is shaking off its status as the capital of stag and hen parties, and is undergoing major regeneration. Work has already started on a dockland development, that will host U2's new recording studio.

EAT

The Mermaid is a perennial favourite, or try the grilled Dublin Bay prawns with chilli at Frank's.

DRINK

The Italian quarter on Lower Ormond Quay is the latest hot spot, where you will find a cluster of small bars and restaurants such as Bar Italian. The Clarendon, a new addition, and the sleek bar at the Fitzwilliam Hotel are popular drinking spots.

SLEEP

The art-deco inspired Clarence Hotel, which overlooks the river Liffey, is still one of the best in town, and boasts its own spa. Number 31, a unique upmarket B&B in the city centre, is part Georgian townhouse, part 70s bachelor pad.

SEE

It's worth seeing the new James Joyce Bridge which crosses the Liffey. Also popular are Trinity College's courtyards and fields, and the National and the Kerlin galleries. The Guinness Store House tells the story of the iconic brew, while its bar, Gravity, has 360 degree city views.

BUY

The newly unveiled Brown Thomas fashion floor is packed with designer labels. Local designers can be found at the Cow's Lane market on Saturdays. For vintage items look no further than A Store is Born in Clarendon Street, which is also open on Saturday.

PLAY

The Village is one of Dublin's premier places to catch live Indie bands. If dancing is more your style, head to The Dice Bar which regularly hosts live DJs. Thursday night is the best time to go.

Travel facts

The Mermaid Café,

69/70 Dame Street, Dublin 2

(00 353 1 670 8236; www.mermaid.ie)

Bar Italia

26 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1

(00 353 1 679 5128)

Frank's

The Malting Tower, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2 (00 353 1 662 5870)

The Clarendon

32 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2 (00 353 1 679 2909)

The Clarence

6-8 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 (00 353 1 407 0800; www.theclarence.ie)

Number 31

31 Leeson Close, Dublin 2 (00 353 1 676 5011; www.number31.ie)

The National Gallery of Ireland

Merrion Square West, Dublin 2 (00 353 1 661 5133; www.nationalgallery.ie)

Kerlin Gallery

Annes Lane, South Anne Street, Dublin 2 (00 353 1 670 9093; www.kerlin.ie)

The Guinness Storehouse

St James' Gate, Dublin 8 (00 353 1 408 4800; www.guinness-storehouse.com)

Brown Thomas

88-95 Grafton Street, Dublin 2 (00 353 1 605 6666; www.brownthomas.com)

The Dice Bar

78 Queen Street, Dublin 7 (00 353 1 674 6710)

The Village

26 Wexford Street, Dublin 2 (00 353 1 475 8555)

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