The spirit of a walking trip in Dublin, Ireland is best captured in the words of two men, one a native, the other a visitor. James Joyce, the famous novelist, whose most infamous protagonist, Leopold Bloom was a seasoned Dublin pedestrian, said that, “When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart.”
Dublin is doubtlessly a memorable city, jealously guarded by its natives. Share the sentiments of J.P. Donleavy, and you will find yourself a shoe in: “When I die, I want to decompose in a barrel of porter and have it served in all the pubs in Dublin.”
Dublin’s character is nowhere more apparent in its locals. Befriending one or two will gain you first class seats to what it really means to be a native of the city.
There is nothing that a Dublin native respects more than the visitor who can drink an entire pint of Guinness without seeming perturbed by the idea. You might want to begin your walking trip at the famous Guinness brewery located at St. James Gate, only a few minutes walk from the city centre. The seasoned Guinness aficionado will gleefully tell you that the stout tastes better in its city of origin, so you can’t leave the city without finding out for yourself.
Today’s Dublin evolved from the slow expansion of a medieval port, and the River Liffey remains one of the city’s focal points. Divided into North and South by the river, there are a multitude of bridges old and new to facilitate your crossing from one side to the other, including the famous Halfpenny Bridge. A walking tour of Dublin is not complete without a stroll across its back.
Crossing from the popular shopping district of the North side via the bridge will deliver you to within a short distance of some of Dublin’s most famous landmarks, including Trinity College Dublin, and the National Library and Museum. Crossing back over via O’Connell Bridge will bring you to the city’s main thoroughfare. O’Connell Street at the General Post Office is where some of the city’s most infamous history occurred, during the Easter Rising of 1916. This is where Irish rebels fought to gain independence from the British.
Dublin is a modern city steeped in history, seen to best advantage on a walking trip. So follow in the footsteps of James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, and discover the city on foot. It will be an experience you won’t forget.