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Non-Drinking Guide to Dublin

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Dublin may be the Guinness capital of the world but there is much more to this vibrant city than pints of the black stuff.

Here's a short guide to Dublin for the non-drinkers, or for those of you who need something to do before the pubs open.

Non-Drinking Guide to Dublin

Dublin is a modern, cultural capital and is home to some of Europe's most accomplished artists and academics.

It is a city that deserves to be taken seriously. And, for those who do, it is a richly rewarding, fascinating place.

Dublin is a great place to spend your time dining in restaurants, pouring over works of art and curious artefacts in the museums and galleries, wandering through meticulously manicured gardens and exploring Dublin’s literary heritage.

Temple Bar

Dublin's Temple Bar is a charming neighbourhood where a walk around its cobblestone streets present the visitor with an abundance of historical pubs and modern bars, art galleries and trendy cafes; housed within red, brick facades reflecting off the more modern, glass-front shopping temples.

The Old City in Temple Bar - Screenshot
Screenshot: Old City in Temple Bar - Temple Bar Cultural Trust.

Dublin's cultural attractions include the Irish Film Institute, Gallery of Photography and the Project Arts Centre.

Dublin Castle

In continuous occupation since its establishment in 1204 AD, Dublin Castle has played a prominent role in Ireland's history.

Dublin Castle Courtyard
Dublin Castle Courtyard

It may not look exactly as a castle ought to but this cluster of fine 18th-century buildings, built on a medieval plan of two courtyards are well worth exploring.

Dublin Castle hosts grand diplomatic and state functions, and occasional performances like concert recitals. The beautiful interior is accessible on a pay-per-view basis, but you can wander freely around the castle.

Dublin Castle on Irish Heritage:
Built on a site previously settled by the Vikings Dublin Castle has functioned as a military fortress, a prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for 700 years.

Dublin’s Grub

Dublin's oldest microbrewery, the Porterhouse, is not just for those who enjoy a tipple or two. Here you’ll find some excellent pub food from Irish stew, and bangers and mash to oysters and fancy desserts without busting the budget.

Fridays are fun times at Peploes Wine Bistro. The 16 St Stephen's Green location is fabulous, and the rooms are decked out with wood, murals and crisp linens. French onion soup and smoked salmon with dill sauce are just some of the dishes to grace this lovely menu. It’s the perfect place to spend a summer evening.

Copper Alley Bistro
Copper Alley Bistro at the Harding Hotel

The Copper Alley Bistro at the Harding Hotel is situated in the heartof Dublin’s Cultural District, on the edge of Temple Bar and right beside one of Dublin’s most famous landmarks, Christ Church Cathedral.

Trinity College

If you want to immerse yourself in intellectual surroundings then Trinity College is the place to go.

Trinity College Dublin
HDR Trinity - Trinity Digital Exhibition.

Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, the college boasts a lofty alumni including the likes of Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. Guided tours are available. Sundays are a quieter time to stroll through the beautiful gardens and ancient buildings.

Dublin’s Music

If you wander into the Cobblestone Bar, on Smithfiled Square, you’ll find a corner downstairs that attracts traditional players showcasing some of Ireland’s finest traditional folk music.

It's cosy and authentic and is the place to go to hear un-touristy and traditional Dublin music.

Shopping in Dublin

Loft Market, a New York-style indoor fashion market, attracts local fashion addicts on the hunt for individual, one-off pieces.

If you love vintage clothes and jewellery you’ll find this place a real treasure trove.

Literary Lover’s Dublin

If you are fascinated with Dublin’s literary history then head to the Writer's Museum.

Located in a tasteful 18th-century town house, you’ll find displays relating to Irish literature from the 10th century to the present day.

The exhibits include paintings, manuscripts, letters, rare editions and mementos of many of Ireland's famous authors. There are a number of temporary exhibits and a stunningly decorated Gallery of Writers upstairs.

There are often poetry readings and lectures too and there's a book shop on site.

By James Cave.

About The Author

James is a travel writer and blogger currently living in Edinburgh.

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Dublin Castle Courtyard - by Michael Foley.

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