Top 5 Places for Kids to Visit in Dublin and budget hotels.

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The capital city of Ireland and Europe’s current hen and stag destination of choice, Dublin has a lot going for it. There’s the history of the beautiful Georgian buildings, the culture of the world-class museums and galleries. There’s the nightlife with great music, drinks in a vibrant pub culture and the food in Dublin’s burgeoning café and restaurant scene.

But when you’ve booked your room in a cheap and convenient hotel like Travelodge in Dublin and before you plan your trip to the capital, have a look at these ten interesting things about the city so you can impress your friends and Dublin natives alike with your knowledge of Ireland’s capital.

1: Forty Shades of Peat

The River Liffey has become synonymous with Dublin city but it’s only one of an amazing 46 rivers that course through the Irish capital. Ones you may not know are the River Swan which hides underground in Rathmines and the Poddle which gave Dublin the peaty water that inspired its Irish name.

2: St Valentine’s Every Day in Dublin

St Valentine wasn’t Irish, he was a Roman Christian executed for his beliefs by a Roman emperor in the 3rd century and most of him was buried in Rome after his death. However, according to legend, the saint’s heart ended up in Dublin where it remains in a casket in Whitefriar Street Church and where you can bring your roses.

3: Dublin’s Phoenix Park

The Phoenix Park is a favourite for Dubliners and tourists alike and has many attractions like Dublin Zoo, Farmleigh House and Áras an Úachtaráin, where the Irish president lives, but it’s also the largest walled park in Europe and by far. It’s 5 times the size of Hyde Park in London and double the acreage of Central Park in New York.

4: Dubh Linn

No-one’s absolutely sure of the origins of the name Dublin as in Irish it’s both ‘Dubh Linn’ and ‘Baile Átha Cliath’. However, the literal meaning of Dubh Linn is ‘black pool’ and refers to a lake connected to the Liffey by the River Poddle where the Vikings, who founded the city, moored their ships so they have first dibs on the name.

5: Pints of Guinness

If you’ve been to Dublin, you’ve probably tasted a pint or two of Guinness but do you know how many are produced in the home of the black stout beer? That would be 10 million. 10 million pints of Guinness are produced in Dublin every day and explains why you can smell the hops used in production all around that part of the city.

6: Dublin’s Oldest Traffic Light

Even Dublin natives may struggle with this one. Dublin’s most ancient traffic light dates from 1893 and was put in place especially for the very first owner of a car in Ireland, a Fergus Mitchell. The traffic light still works and is working beside the Renault garage in Clontarf.

7: Dublin Mountains or Dublin Hills

Dubliners love to talk about hiking in the Dublin Mountains but they’re not being accurate enough. The so-called mountains aren’t actually high enough for proper mountain status. So they’re hills, the Dublin Hills. Even the famous and beloved Sugarloaf is only 423 metres above sea level so that makes it a high hill.

8: Handel rocks Dublin

Handel’s classical operatic piece and one of the most famous musical pieces in the world, ‘Messiah’ had its first performance in Dublin. First sung by members of the St Patrick’s and Christchurch cathedral choirs in April 1742, Handel’s concert took place at the New Music Hall in Dublin’s Fishamble Street, near Temple Bar, and has been performed all around the world ever since.

9: Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge

Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge has a peculiar claim to fame; it’s a perfect square. The bridge across the River Liffey has the same width as its length and is the only bridge in Europe to have that peculiarity. Still, progress has been made, it was originally a wooden bridge that could only carry one person and one donkey when it was built in 1801.

10: The Dublin Oscars 

Dublin has a claim on the film prize extravaganza held every year in Los Angeles. And it’s got nothing to do with the Oscar winners like Brenda Fricker and Glen Hansard that the city has produced over the past few years. Dublin is actually involved every year as a Dubliner designed the Oscar award statuette. Cedric Gibbons, born in Dublin in 1893, became the head of art direction at fabled studios MGM in 1915 and was asked to design the Oscar in 1928. He even won 11 Oscars himself.

 

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