General Information about Dublin, Dublin
There is a bit of 'rivalry' between the North Side and the South Side of Dublin. It's not as serious as it sounds and stereotypical in nature. Let me explain the cliche. The river Liffey marks the 'border'.
North side - Not as affluent as the Southside or as touristy. Working to lower middle class image, the rougher part of town. However, as is usual with this kind of stereotyping - there are of course really nice suburbs in North Dublin, but the lingering image from Roddy Doyle's books of a Northside where everyone gets mugged, knocked up, stoned or whatever are still around.
South side - inhabitants are more bourgeois, prentious, posher and have a rather affected accent. For example a Northsider would say 'I'm getting de Daaart home', his Southside counterpart would say 'Oim getting the DORT' . I guess you need to hear it for yourself.
(yes, boys & girls, you may have noticed I do live on the Northside!)
All around Dublin, you can pick up this free paper called "The Dublin Event Guide" with lots of great interviews, reviews and pub/club/restaurant/theatre/cinema/arts listings. So I'd advise you to check this paper out or check their website if you're looking for some nocturnal action
In general, the Dublin culture is very friendly and open towards other influences. It definitely doesn't resemble that of the traditional Irish countryside. Something you might want to keep in mind is the division between North and South in Dublin. North of the river Liffey is the blue collar area, whereas the areas off the south bank are more posh. These differences tend to disappear with the upgrading of run-down areas, but they're still very clear in this city. Walk from Grafton Street to O'Connell Street and note the difference!
This may be fairly unimportant, but is something I noticed. As far as I can remember, I never saw an Irish person take out a cigarette without offering smokes to every person in the group. Maybe this is a quirk of the particular crowd I made friends with, but I found it very nice. This was also true for chewing gum.
Dublin is an ecclectical Ireland, some sort of catalogue of Irish society in both good and bad senses. While you'll definitely encounter many forms of Irish friendliness - a stranger will greet you when you pass him for a second time - you may also spot the problems like drugs and poverty of some. Just like any other city, Dublin has two faces.
This was St Stephens park, which was the first one we wondered into while walking in the city.
It is relaxing to see the pond with ducks and swans and blue skies.
Keep your eyes open for roving bands of squirrels and/or sheep. This is off-the-beaten-path, semi-rural Dublin, you have to be prepared...