Ah, Grafton Street...a leisurely stroll
I would definitely believe that a walk along Grafton Street is a must, even if you do not go into any store or other building. We saw a couple of street entertainers while we were there (got lucky, I suppose). It may be that I haven't been to too many places in Europe as of yet, but I'll miss Grafton Street and the fact that us shoppers can mill around, cross the street and back without looking over our shoulders for passing cars.
Go to Jury's Burlington...
Go to Jury's Burlington cabaret night. It was sensational.
Enjoy a pint or three at a pub and chat with the locals. They are just the best people. Night out at Jury's- Noel V. McGinty is just amazing as were the dancers and musicians. We had a great dinner and fabulous show.
Dublin Chimney Stacks
Unlike many other cities Dublin doesn't really have a distinctive skyline. They take pride in not having any high-rise buildings but personally I think they lack a distinctive skyline.
The Chimney Stacks near the harbour would be one of the landmarks in Dublin though. You can see them from many places in Dublin which kind of helps with orientation.
Here is my attempt at an arty picture of them. The picture was taken from Clontarf with the Wooden Bridge in the foreground.
Dublin's Georgian Past
The growth that Dublin saw during the reign of the first three English kings called George was unparallelled until the late 20th century - but with one crucial difference. The Georgian expansion was done with two elements sadly lacking in the later version - style and vision. The cruel irony was that the splendour of Dublin's Georgian architecture remained largely intact, if a little on the shabby side, throughout the lean century and a half following the Act Of Union, which saw a haemhorrage of money and enterprise from the old city on a scale that almost brought it to its knees. However, it was the 20th century property developers, in the name of progress, who mercilessly, and with a brutal finality, ultimately vandalised Dublin's grand and cherished Georgian character, to the extent that a lot of the buildings you can still see owe their survival more to dumb luck than any great plan to preserve the city's unique heritage.
An example of such luck is the expanse of Merrion Square, a public amenity slap bang in front of the Irish parliament buildings. This square was earmarked by the Catholic church as the site of a grand cathedral in the 1950s and 60s, but dodgy accounting on their part and some opposition from an increasingly aware citizenship stalled their plans long enough for the square to be redesignated a public park - and a beautiful one at that. It's ancient gates bear a legend (see photo) which harks back to the days when the square was for exclusive use of the residents in the stately Georgian houses that surround it on three sides and who did not want their lie-ins of a morning interrupted by the clanging of closing ironmongery. Later wags would appropriate the legend as a motto for Dublin itself - prefaced with the words "Would the last person out ..."
. More modern and affluent times have seen a concerted effort by the authorities to preserve the Georgian heritage which has fortuitously survived, and the visitor today can visit many buildings restored to their original glory. One such - Number 29 Fitzwilliam Street - I have included in some detail in my "Must See Activities". Even people with only half an interest in architecture or history would be hard hearted indeed, should they take the time to make such a visit, not to leave the city with redolent memories of such a tangible glimpse into Dublin's rich architectural and social heritage.
Turk's Head Chop House
One of the most interesting looking pubs along the way is the Turk's Head, established in 1760. I admit that I don't know very much about this place and can't personally vouch for it or whether it has been in this same location since 1760. I'll ask around some of my Dubliner friends to verify it's claim and get back to you.