The River Liffey divides North and South Dublin as it travels towards Dublin Bay. These two sides of the city have very distinct features and even the short trip from O’Connell Street into Temple Bar will show you the way the Liffey separates these two sides of this beautiful city. Whilst South Dublin is often portrayed as richer, North Dubliners often claim their side of the river is richer in terms of culture and history. North Dubliners also claim to lead their brothers for Craic and humour. South Dublin City is quite compact, and having a knowlege of each geographical area before you go will mean you’ll be able to find your way round in no time.
Below is a list of some famous central Northside streets.
O’Connell Street is Dublin’s most famous street and is one from which the holiday maker can use to orientate him or herself . The street leads to a bridge over the river Liffey and into the more trendy Temple Bar area. This bridge is the gateway between the ever-competing North Dublin and South Dublin.
The most famous building – and a must for your trip- on O’Connell Street is the GPO. The General Post Office has become something of a shrine to many Dubliners due to being the headquarters of the 1916 Easter Rising and the scene of a bloody last stand.
Whilst O’Connell Street is now awash with fast food joints and shops for tourists, it also has several monuments dedicated to leading historical figures and heroes. O’Connell, who the street is names after, is one of Ireland’s most famous political heroes, and therefore the biggest monument on O’Connell Street is in his name. At the base of the O’Connell monument there are three angels sat on plinths. Because they are closer to eye level and very eye-catching occasionally the O’Connell monument is called the ‘Angel Monument’. Other notable monuments on O’Connell are dedicated to Jim Larkin – a hero of Irish and Socialist history – and Charles Stewart Parnell – a hero of Irish history. On O’Connell Street your break can combine shopping, eating and a good dose of history in one walk. O’Connell Street is an absolute must see on your holiday. O’Connell street is the main stage, where the then big players of Irish history played out the birth of Ireland. As such many of Ireland’s heroes are honoured and remembered on O’Connell Street. A whole afternoon, even a whole day of your holiday will not be wasted in a quiet and slow walk through this, a city which is packed with people, shops, monuments and history.
The newest monument on O’Connell Street is the Spire. This is a long, thin needle that climbs high towards the Dublin sky and still divides opinion in Dublin. For those on a holiday or short break, the Spire is a great place for you and your friends to meet up if you become unintentionally separated.
There is a great Eason’s bookshop on O’Connell Street it sells many books that will act as a guide for your holiday or give you a deeper understanding of Dublin past and present.
Henry Street, which leads on to O’Connell and the GPO rivals Grafton Street for the title of Dublin’s main shopping street. Grafton Street tends to be more upmarket and expensive. Many tourists find themselves shopping on Grafton, when they could find the same things on Henry Street , but at better value. Henry Street has a great selection of shops and is the shopping area of choice for most Dublin folk.
Moore Street is famous for its tradition of hosting Dublin’s famous street traders. Most have gone, but many remain and the visitor to Dublin will get a chance to try and haggle prices down. This street is a great place to buy cheap fruit and vegetables if your holiday accomodation is self-catering, or you are trying to avoid the expense of eating out.
The ILAC Centre, adjoining Moore Street and Henry Street is one of the best places to shop in Dublin. This shopping arcade houses numerous shops (mostly chain) and Dublin’s central libarary. The ILAC Centre is not much different from any other big shopping mall, and wont add any cultural value to your trip- unless you spend an afternoon in the library!
Henry Street cuts through O’Connell Street and on into Marlborough Street, which runs parallel to O’Connell. Marlborough Street does not have O’Connells shops or weight of historical monuments, it also has a a lot of apartment complexes and some unused buildings. However, Marlborough Street does have a lovely Cathedral. St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral is a beautiful place to visit for a service or for a tour. The building is very attractive, particularly inside and has an absolutely stunning dome. If you are staying in Northside Dublin during your holiday then it would be a real shame if you missed this beautiful Cathedral.