The capital of the Republic of Ireland is a thriving city, rich with cultural treasures.
The main lane O'Connell Street splits the north-central area of Dublin in twain, past monuments dedicated to such Irish patriots as O'Connell and Parnell, down to the River Liffey that cuts from east to west across the centre of the city. The rejuvenated, pedestrianised Temple Bar area on the south bank of the river Liffey hosts the epicentre of the energetic nightlife scene (though tourists tend to outnumber the locals), while Grafton Street to the southwest teems with eager shoppers.
The Guinness Storehouse undoubtedly draws the largest number of crowds daily. Located in the southwest of the city, the old storehouse has been converted into a museum dedicated to Ireland's famous brew. The process of brewing beer and Guinness' distinct advertisements dating back to the 1950's are on excellent display and visitors can enjoy a free pint of the stuff at the end of the tour, in the bar on top of the storehouse, where circular transparent walls provide an unparalleled panorama of the city below. The Old Jameson Distillery will further entice the alcohol aficionado with a similar tour and taste test of the famous Irish whiskey.
Four hundred years old, Trinity College sits just outside the heart of Dublin. The campus draws regular crowds to see the cobbled courtyard and august halls where Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett once studied. Trinity College also displays the well-preserved, colourfully intricate Book of Kells, an ancient 9th century Bible painstakingly handcrafted by monks. As the city made famous by James Joyce's seminal works, Dublin takes pride in its rich literary tradition. Plaques mark the morning walk taken by the character Harold Bloom from Joyce's landmark novel Ulysses, including the spot where he stopped to take a piss ("He crossed under Tommy Moore's roguish finger. They did right to put him up over a urinal: meeting of the waters").
Besides the Book of Kells mentioned above, other attractions include the James Joyce Museum in the James Joyce Tower, eight miles south of the city centre in nearby Sandycove where the first scene of Ulysses takes place. The James Joyce Centre is located closer within the city, off O'Connell Street. The Dublin Writers Museum boasts an excellent collection of rare books, personal possessions, letters, and portraits of Dublin's famous writers, including Swift, Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, and Beckett. The George Bernard Shaw Birthplace commemorates the place where the eminent Irish playwright was born.