Cityscape and bridge, Dublin, Ireland (Digital Vision)

St Patricks Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland (PhotoDisc)

Fishing Boats in Dublin, Ireland (PhotoDisc)

Trinity Library, Dublin, Ireland (Irish Tourist Board)

Malahide Castle, Dublin, Ireland (Irish Tourist Board)

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (Irish Tourist Board)

O'Connell Street Bridge in Dublin, Ireland (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Dublin

Dublin hasn’t always been Ireland's biggest draw. Many once thought this eastern bayside town lacked the architecture and cultural vibrancy of other European capitals. Tourists dashed out of town, opting for time-capsule villages and windswept coastlines elsewhere in Eire. But Dublin grew rich during the Celtic Tiger’s 15-year boom, and its new wealth was used to make the city more appealing to visitors. A high-tech tram system made it easy to hopscotch neighborhoods, and a long-neglected warehouse district was transformed into Temple Bar, a slew of galleries and bistros centered around an art-house cinema. Happily, Dublin revitalized without losing its soul: Its theaters, especially the Abbey and the Gate, still percolate with quality productions at affordable prices, with Guinness on tap during intermission.

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