How well do you know the Irish capital?
With almost five million Canadians claiming Irish descent, it’s little wonder that over 190,000 of us vacationed on the Emerald Isle last year. Such high demand has also resulted in the launch this year of additional new direct flights to the country’s capital.
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, Booking.com, the world’s largest online accommodation site with the widest choice of incredible places to stay and 316 bookable properties in Dublin, from luxury hotels to traditional inns, has put together their expert insight on 15 things you probably didn’t know about the Irish capital:
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1. Bono owns a hotel in Dublin
Experience Dublin like an A-lister with a stay at the luxurious Clarence Hotel, located in the heart of the city centre. Owned by Irish superstars Bono and The Edge, both members of the world-renowned rock group U2, it’s not surprising that The Clarence is one of Booking.com’s most requested Dublin hotels (receiving a 8.6/10 on the real guest review scores!).
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2. Dublin has over 1,000 pubs
As a nation that has produced some of the world’s most beloved drinks, from Irish coffee to malt whiskey and the inimitable Guinness; it’s only right that the county’s capital has plenty of drinking holes to house them all.
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3. St. Valentine’s resting place is in Dublin
Romantics might be surprised to hear that the remains of St. Valentine, the patron saint of love, are not in Rome or Paris but rather the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.
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4. Dublin is one of six UNESCO Cities of Literature
In honour of the city’s former resident literary pioneers including Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett as well as its many libraries, literary institutions and publishing companies, Dublin has been recognized by UNESCO for its literary prowess.
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5. Dublin has the largest inner city park in Europe
At 1,752 acres, Dublin's Phoenix Park is five times the size of London’s Hyde Park and twice the size of New York’s Central Park. Home to Dublin Zoo and the residence of the President of Ireland, Phoenix Park should be top of the list for all Dublin visitors.
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6. Dracula was conceived in Dublin
The world-renowned 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula was written by Dublin native, Bram Stoker. It is thought that the name Dracula came from the Irish “Droch Ola” meaning ‘Bad Blood.’ Visitors to Dublin can travel back in time to experience the origination of Dracula first-hand at Dublin’s interactive, Bram Stoker Castle Dracula experience.
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7. 10 million pints of Guinness are produced in Dublin daily at the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse boasts an interactive approach to learning about the history of Guinness in Dublin. The highlight of the trip is always enjoying the beverage in their legendary 7th floor bar with 360° views of the city.
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8. Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin
Music lovers will be delighted to hear that one of the most famous musical pieces in the world was in fact premiered in Dublin’s Temple Bar back in April 1742. Every year, excerpts of this legendary oratorio are performed back at Fishamble Street to celebrate the first ever performance.
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9. Hollywood’s first ‘Leo the Lion’ mascot was a Dublin native
The first lion to be used as the roaring mascot for the newly-formed film studio MGM from 1924-1928 was in fact a lion named Cairbre (or his stage name ‘Slats’). He was born at the Dublin Zoo in 1919. The Dublin Zoo now attracts over a million visitors each year from around the world.
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10. Dublin is home to one of the world’s oldest pubs
Ireland’s oldest pub is the legendary Brazen Head in Dublin, dating back to 1168. A short walk from Christchurch Cathedral, the Brazen Head is not only a historic landmark itself but is also one of Dublin’s best Irish music venues.
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11. Dublin is a city of walkers and pedal pushers
As one of Europe’s most compact cities, the majority of key landmarks are just a short distance apart meaning it’s an ideal destination for those preferring to explore on foot. Cyclists can however also enjoy the 120 miles of city cycle tracks, 450 bikes for public use and 40 bike stations located around the city.
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12. Dublin has its very own secret garden
In spite of its city centre location, Iveagh Gardens remains one of the city’s least known gardens. Filled with grottos, waterfalls, exotic trees and even a maze – Iveagh Gardens is still one of Dublin’s best kept secrets.
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13. You can try over 100 whiskeys from around the world
One of Dublin’s last remaining Victorian pubs, Bowe’s Lounge on Fleet Street, is an authentic Irish drinking hole brimming with old-world charm as well as over 100 whiskeys from around the globe.
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14. Pots of gold can be found
Listen to tales of Irish mythology and folklore and search for gold at the end of the rainbow at the fascinating National Leprechaun Museum in Dublin (one of the top visitor recommendations by Booking.com guests!)
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15. Dublin can also be hot and sunny
For those that want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the sun this year, there are in fact 18 other Dublins around the world. So why not ‘go green’ at La Quinta Inn & Suites in Dublin, California this year instead of the Irish capital?