While it’s often overshadowed by its posher southern neighbour, Dublin’s Northside is considered by many to be the home of true Dubliners, while boasting all the charm and character Ireland is famous for.
To prove how amazing the Northside really is, we’ve teamed up with DNA (Dublin’s Northside Attractions) to highlight the many important cultural and historical attractions that are worth visiting in 2016.
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The final resting place of more than one million Dubliners, Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum is the first stop on your Northside tour. Often regarded as the national cemetery, the graveyard houses the remains of some of the greatest figures in Irish history, namely, Michael Collins, Éamon De Valera, Daniel O’Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell. Visitors can take one of the museum’s excellent guided tours and learn all about some of Irish history’s more prominent characters.
Directly behind Glasnevin Cemetery you’ll find the National Botanic Gardens and on a sunny day, there’s no better place to be in Dublin. Open all year, the gardens are a treat for everyone and aren’t just for those with green fingers. Housing an array of exotic and home-grown flowers, plants and trees, visitors will be surrounded my beautiful flora and fauna so make sure to bring your camera!
The centre of Irish sporting life for more than 100 years, Croke Park stadium and its adjoining museum are a must-visit for anyone keen on learning more about Irish sporting culture. The GAA Museum celebrates Ireland’s unique national games of Hurling and Gaelic Football.
Through the museum’s impressive interactive games zones, visitors can learn how to hurl, puck the ball and strike a sliotar over the bar – there’s even the chance to walk in the footsteps of legends and take an access-all-areas tour of Croke Park.
The stadium’s Skyline Tour is one of the most unique things-to-do while in Dublin. Those brave enough can climb 17-storeys to the top of Croke Park and take in amazing panoramic views of the city.
This year the capital is buzzing with national pride as Dubliners prepare to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. For those descending on Dublin for the celebrations, nowhere is more associated with The Rising than The GPO (General Post Office). Chosen as rebel headquarters during the uprising, the building and much of present-day O’Connell Street were gutted during the ensuing fighting.
In March, the GPO will launch GPO Witness History Visitor Centre – a brand new immersive exhibition completely dedicated to the 1916 Easter Rising. The attraction will bring to life the personal stories of those involved in the doomed Irish rebellion and is a must-see.
Dublin is famed for its Georgian architecture and Mountjoy Square offers a prime example of exquisite 18th century town planning in the heart of the Northside. Providing ample opportunity for Instagram shots, each of the squares historic houses are fitted with ornate doorframes and also surround a beautifully green park.
Mountjoy Square has also hosted some notable residents throughout its history including famed Irish playwright Seán O’Casey and writer James Joyce.
Discover what genuine Irish whiskey tastes like at The Old Jameson Distillery. Found in the Smithfield area of Dublin, Jameson’s original Bow Street distillery has now been converted into a museum. Here, visitors can take a guided tour and learn all about Jameson’s 200 year history as well as the craft and tradition of whiskey making.
At the end of your tour, you can put theory into practice with Jameson’s comparative whiskey tasting, where visitors will be able to fully appreciate the key differences between, Scotch, American and Jameson Irish whiskey.
The Dublin Tenement Experience offers visitors a glimpse into what life was really like for ordinary Northsiders during the Dublin Lock-out. After a short introductory video, actors movingly portray the everyday struggles and hardships residents faced at number 14 Henrietta Street.
In 1913, the capital was in the midst of one of its biggest industrial disputes which resulted in more than 20’000 people being out of work. At the time the majority of the population were living in squalid tenements, such as those found on Henrietta Street.
The Hugh Lane gallery houses Ireland’s foremost collection of international and Irish contemporary art. Founded in 1908, The Hugh Lane houses famous works from Jack. B. Yeats, Auguste Rodin and Francis Bacon as well as many other artists. Showcasing the best in modern art and with free admission, there’s no excuse for art fans not to visit.
This year the gallery is hosting a special collection entitled Artist as Witness. The inspirational programme presents a diverse series of exhibitions, from paintings to installations, which each piece providing a unique voice – illuminating the artist as a witness to society.
Long regarded as one of Ireland’s most important literary figures, James Joyce is about as Dublin as you can get – despite the fact he spent most of his life on the continent! With the majority of his books based in Dublin’s fair city, fans of the great writer can take one of The Joyce Centre’s excellent and informative walking tours.
Visitors can experience the real-life inspiration behind some of Joyce’s greatest works and retrace the steps of Leopold Bloom’s celebrated journey to buy a pork kidney in the fourth episode of Ulysses.
A brand new interactive museum, located in the bustling Custom House Quarter, Epic Ireland is the brain child of Irish businessman Neville Isdell and aims to promote the unique world-wide journey of the Irish people.
The extraordinary high-tech exhibition captures the global footprint of the Irish diaspora in 21 interactive galleries, which bring together the incredible stories of Irish communities from the past, present and future.
Ok so… we’re guilty. The Guinness Storehouse isn’t technically on the Northside, but St. James’s Gate is at the core of many Northsiders’ hearts. The hallowed halls of the brewery are usually the first port of call for many tourists visiting the capital – The Queen even dropped by – but it’s also a firm favourite with locals and is a must-visit in 2016.
The journey begins at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass and continues up through seven floors filled with interactive experiences that fuse Guinness’s long brewing heritage with Ireland’s rich history. At the top, visitors will be rewarded with a pint of perfection in the rooftop Gravity Bar, which boasts panoramic views over the Dublin Skyline.
The 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour is one of the best tours in Dublin. Informative, engaging, educational and funny, tourists are transported back to 1916 as they retrace the steps of the rebellion leaders during the Easter Rising.
The walking tour begins at The International Bar and takes in many of the Northside’s iconic sites. Visitors can expect to learn all about Ireland’s revolutionary history and its consequences which are still felt today. For those not interested in history, The 1916 Walking Tour allows tourists to appreciate Dublin’s wonderful character and resilient nature first hand.
The Croke Park
Boasting a contemporary design whilst offering classic comfort, The Croke Park is one of the many luxury hotels situated on Dublin’s Northside and is an ideal choice for families looking to explore some of Dublin’s main tourist attractions, like Dublin Zoo and Croke Park.
The hotel’s sprawling Family Suite is fitted with a separate living room and two bedrooms, one featuring a King-size bed and the other with a double-and-single bed. The suite is ideal for parents who want to keep an eye on the little ones, whilst also enjoying some private time.
Centrally located, The Spencer is within easy reach of Dublin’s many tourist sites and is ideal for those who want to explore the capital by foot.
The hotel’s chic style lends itself to contemporary minimalist design, with its crisp white colour scheme and Scandinavian-inspired soft furnishings. The Spencer’s bright and airy rooms are fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, Rainforest power showers, mood lighting and a high-speed Wi-Fi.