Ireland's capital is one of Europe's most charming cities, thanks to its small size and elegant architecture. Raise a glass to its literary heroes (Joyce, Beckett, Wilde) and don't miss the fascinating Book of Kells. Most of Dublin's stately homes and castles are just outside of the city, with the exception of Dublin Castle, which is still used for official government functions.
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- Art and Culture
- Dublin Castle was once the seat of British rule for seven centuries. The State Rooms Apartments are lavishly furnished, and Irish presidents are inaugurated here. The Castle Vaults hold an elegant bistro.
- Newbridge House is a showpiece of Georgian and Regency styles. Its Red Drawing Room is perhaps the grandest 18th-century salon in the country, and is filled with dozens of Old Master paintings. There's also a Museum of Curiosities on site.
- The medieval hall in Malahide Castle is the only one in Ireland preserved to its original form. The castle itself combines many styles, and is also home to the Fry Model Railway Museum.
- Stately 18th-century Slane Castle is beautifully situated overlooking a natural amphitheatre, and its Anglo-Irish owner likes to hold enormous rock concerts on the grounds.
- The week around St. Patrick's Day (March 17) is a nonstop festival of parades and events.
- Celebrate Bloomsday on June 16th, the day in 1904 on which all the action of James Joyce's novel Ulysses takes place.
- Marino Casino, 3 mi/5km north of Dublin, is an exquisite Palladian-style Greek temple built in the 18th century.
- Enjoy an hour of peace at the National Botanic Gardens (3 mi/5 km north of Dublin), which has over 20,000 varieties of plants, flowers, and trees.
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