Be Our Guest 2019

Calling all culture fans! Here are 4 attractions to enjoy during your visit to the UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin. If there’s one thing you’ll notice about Dublin pubs, it has to be the conversation. Oftentimes, there’s no background music, no slot machines, nothing to distract from the pressing task of putting the world to rights. It’s why pubs have had both a historic and a current association with writers. As well as appearing in famous literary works, such as James Joyce’s Ulysses, Dublin’s pubs were frequented by some of the world’s most famous writers. James Joyce liked to hang out in Davy Byrne’s; Neary’s was a favourite of Brendan Behan and Flann O’Brien; and Toner’s was the only Dublin pub visited by poet WB Yeats. You can find out all about the literary associations of Dublin pubs with the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which meets at the Duke, just off Grafton Street. The guides are actors, offering quotes, jokes and literary history during the tour, which lasts a little over two hours There are few cities in the world that care so deeply about the written word as this historic capital. Walk down canals, stroll through Georgian squares, cross the river and you’ll find heritage plaques dedicated to famous writers, bridges named after them, and literary place names aplenty. You may even notice a few of our writers lurking on street corners or hidden in parks, so keep your eye out for George Bernard Shaw at the National Gallery; Oscar Wilde in a louche recline at Merrion Square; and Brendan Behan watching over the Royal Canal. 3 LITERARY PUBS 1 LITERARY LEGENDS Picking out one theatre above all others in Dublin is tricky – the Gaiety, the Gate and the Olympia have hugely enriched the city and have been around for longer – but the Abbey is home to the national theatre and helped create modern Ireland. Founded by poet WB Yeats and dramatist Augusta, Lady Gregory, in 1904, the theatre has been at the heart of Dublin’s cultural life over the last century and continues its aim of supporting and promoting new Irish writers and artists. The theatre has served to entertain, provoke and support in roughly equal measure. Other theatres to look out for – Smock Alley, The Peacock, The Project, The New Theatre and Bewley’s Café Theatre. Dublin’s creative outpourings are well documented in excellent museums and galleries around the city. Bygone Georgian grandeur sets the scene at the Dublin Writers Museum, which details the city’s illustrious literary traditions up to the 1970s. There’s a first edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Samuel Beckett’s phone, as well as letters, portraits and books. Nearby, the James Joyce Centre, on one of Dublin’s most beautiful Georgian streets, runs Joycean exhibitions, walking tours and lectures, as well as a permanent exhibition on Joyce's life and work. And to get an understanding of what was behind the actual production of Dublin’s newspapers, books and magazines, head to the National Print Museum, housed in a former soldier’s chapel. 4 LITERARY HIGHLIGHTS 2 LITERARY MUSEUMS