Dublin – Explore a City of two Sides! Part One

Dublin Bay Liffey

Dublin, like most great international cities, is divided North from South by a water source that is known to us as the river Liffey.

Ever since the first Viking settlers landed (on the southside!) in their longboats- –  there has been a constant debate about the merits of the South and North Sides of the river.

The debate continues to this day – so when you come to visit – you’ll have to make your own choice of favourite – South or North?

Whichever side of Dublin you visit you’ll be assured of a hearty Irish welcome and a full serving of adventure and fun – but which side will win your heart ? Northside v Southside?

Make sure to sample both but here some thoughts to start your debate!


Historically, the Southside was the seat of British power and control and therefore had close ties to it’s colonial bosses in London.  So it’s on the Southside that you can experience the legacy and grandeur of the remnants of the British Empire. Go visit the former centre of colonial power in Dublin Castle. While you are there you can check out the lovely Chester Beatty Library.

Outside of the Castle a short hop away – You can spend some time wandering down the great Georgian Mile from Baggot Street to Temple Street.  This mile was once the longest unbroken stretch of planned Georgian buildings on these Islands.


The architecture and vistas are remarkably similar to the other great Georgian cities of Edinburgh and London.  The grandeur is of a time when Dublin was regarded as the second city of the mighty British Empire.

merrion-square-buildings-and-lawnsAround Merrion square you can visit the National Gallery of Ireland, there you can view the works of great international artists such as Caravaggio and Turner. Visit the National Concert Hall in Earlsfort Terrace where you can savour some of the many classical musical lunchtime and evening performances.  Behind the concert hall you can sneak into the hidden refuge of the Iveagh Gardens – this was once the luxurious private garden Lord Iveagh of the famous Guinness Family. It’s now a public park. In this area of Dublin local Gaelic styles and culture were never fashionable so the gardens were designed in a cross between “French Formal” and “English Lanscape”  This section of southside Dublin is complete with statues of ancient Greek and Roman figures here you can enjoy a real Classical European feel.


If you have the time you can cross St Stephens Green and browse in the cosmopolitan shopping areas around Grafton Street. This stylish pedestrianized shopping area is complete with a healthy smattering of fashionable international outlets such as Starbucks, House of Fraser, Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie & Fitch or Marks and Spencer.

Learn more about the Dublin – Explore a City of two sides part two

At Adventure Dublin We’d love to hear your Dublin adventure stories – North or South – drop us your tale to adventuredublin@gmail.com