Dublin is one of 80 cities battling to get a place on the worldwide Monopoly board which launches this autumn. Vote for Dublin at www.votemonopoly.com and read on for my top five reasons to fall in love with the Irish capital.
The location and layout of the city are pretty much perfect. If you’re coming from elsewhere, you’ll find Dublin really handy to get to; Dublin airport is one of the busiest in the world and we’re just a hop skip and a jump from the UK and other European destinations. If you live here you’ll know the city is compact and easy to get around, which gives it a friendly, accessible feel. Between the Liffey and its bridges, the modern docklands and elegant old Georgian streets, Dublin is such an attractive city to spend time in. If you do want to get out of the city you can just take the DART to a number of gorgeous coastal villages like Howth or Malahide, or head to the Wicklow mountains to clear the head. But you don’t even need to do that - with all of our lovely parks, like Stephen’s Green, the Iveagh Gardens and the Phoenix Park, you’re never too far from green space.
The people: Ireland is known for the friendliness of its people, and Dublin is full of characters, messers and genuine, helpful folks who still say thank you to the bus driver and are always up for a bit of craic. There’s a real sense of mischief and humour, which is apparent when you consider the nicknames we have for Dublin’s statues: in what other city would you find the floozy in the jacuzzi, the stiletto in the ghetto, the tart with the cart and the hags with the bags?! And Dubliners are quietly optimistic, too; no matter how bad things get, we're convinced “sure it will all be grand”.
The food: Whether its high-end or street food, you can’t beat the Dublin food scene – we’ve got fancy Michelin-starred restaurants like Chapter One and Guilbaud’s and, at the other end of the spectrum, the best ‘chipper chips’ in the world at Burdocks. Seafood is a must – Dublin Bay Prawns and crab claws are especially tasty – and we have a well-earned reputation for great local and seasonal produce; our meat, dairy and veg are all fantastic. Our cider is delicious and while we might be most famous for Guinness, the craft beer scene gets stronger by the day. Café culture is alive and well with gems like Bewleys, the Cake Café, Oolong Flower Power and Queen of Tarts. And of course most of our newsagents will do you a great chicken fillet or breakfast roll! Check out some of my favourite eateries.
The nightlife: I don’t just mean Dublin pubs, which are brilliant, but our live music scene, our cafes, our restaurants, they all add up to a city that comes to life after dark. But ok, I mostly do mean our pubs, because they really are special: Kehoe’s on Anne Street, Grogans on South William Street, Mulligans on Poolbeg Street, the Palace Bar on Fleet Street ... surely some of the best pubs in the world, and all packed full of character. Each and every one of them will tell you it serves the best Guinness in the city. The Dublin cocktail scene is also thriving; check out some of my favourite spots.
History: From the Viking settlement days to the medieval and Georgian eras, Dublin is steeped in history which makes it a really interesting place to explore and get to know. There's a wide range of historical attractions from castles, cathedrals and museums to Kilmainham Gaol, the Guinness Storehouse and the Viking Splash tour. As a quirky example, did you know that St Valentine’s remains are actually right here in Dublin, in a casket in Whitefriar Street Church? You can just pop in (respectfully!) and light a candle if you’re so inclined. I also highly recommend a walking tour with historian, Pat Liddy: you'll be fascinated, educated and entertained.
Do you love Dublin, too? Share your reasons in the comments!
Read more about the new global monopoly campaign or vote for Dublin here (already voted? Do it again!).