Dublin city center is the historic heart of this city. The River Liffey cleanly divides it into northern and southern halves, with most of the impressive architecture on the southern banks.
Dublin’s city center hinges on Trinity College, a highly esteemed university on par with any Ivy League institution. This is a popular area to go for walks, with stoic stone architecture lining the quadrangles. This general area is also where the best variety of accommodation in the city center is found, with dozens of hotels and guesthouses following the N1 and N81 as they cut through the center of town.
Near Trinity College is Dublin Castle, an imposing fortress from which the British ruled Ireland from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Archeologists have learned that a Viking fortress predates the castle. The building is open for walking tours, but much of it has been converted into government office space. Oddly enough, the Chester Beatty Library is attached to the castle and has a definitive collection of Islamic and Asian art. St Patrick’s Cathedral and Christchurch are two other important buildings in the immediate area.
Boutiques, book shops and cafés line the medieval streets of the city center, and there’s plenty to keep visitors occupied. Farther south are the Iveagh Gardens, where an hour’s escape is possible. The gardens were first laid out in 1865 and restored in the 1950s. The on-site hedge maze is a favorite with tourists.
Alternative activities for those based in hotels in Dublin city center include catching an exhibition at the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre or playing a round at Hollystown Golf Club.