University College Dublin

Originally founded in 1854 as part of the Catholic University of Ireland, then reformed in 1880 and declared a university in its own right in 1908, University College Dublin is one of the Republic of Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious education institutions.

The university quickly established a reputation for attracting the best students and faculty in the country, including Fr. Gerald Manley Hopkins and writer James Joyce, becoming one of the most well-respected centres of learning in Europe.

By the 1940s, University College Dublin had outgrown its existing site in the city centre and a move to a new site at Bellfield was proposed. The new campus was located two and a half miles south of the city. Its design incorporated existing Georgian structures along with notable modern buildings, including the iconic water tower.

Today, University College Dublin plays a big part in city life, being home to around 30,000 students and 1,300 staff who add a huge amount to the social, artistic and sporting life of Dublin. Any visitor to the city should pay a visit to the campus and surrounding student areas, where they’ll discover a vibrant, fun and energetic scene.

Particular highlights include the Newman House building at St. Stephen’s Green and The Gardens behind Earlsford Terrace. Former University College Dublin buildings in the city centre have also become home to various government facilities, with one even being home to the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Department.

Explore More of Dublin

Old Jameson Distillery

Dublin is home to two drink brands that have spread their marque, and made their mark, all over the world. And both are keen to share their heritage, induct you into the mysteries of their production and ply you with their wares on guided tours. There’s the Guinness Storehouse where the black stuff is promoted and there’s Smithfield’s Old Jameson Distillery where the rather more potent stuff is celebrated.

The O2

Once you’ve attended a concert at Dublin’s superb O2, there’s no going back to theatre-style venues where the seating is arranged in regular rows. The audience and artist friendly design of the O2 amphitheatre is often likened to that of Rome’s Coliseum, with blocks of seats emanating out like a great fan from the impressive stage.

Aviva Stadium

If you’re heading to Dublin for a rugby or football match at the Aviva Stadium, then you’re in for a real treat. Situated just south of Dublin’s bustling city centre, the Aviva Stadium is a state-of-the-art, four-tiered sports stadium and concert venue, located on the rushing River Dodder not far from Ireland’s east coast.

Grange Golf Club

Ireland is renowned around the world for its incredible golf courses, and they don’t come much better than the Grange Golf Club. This amazing course is located just 15 minutes from the centre of Dublin. Lying in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, there are incredible views and a tranquillity that’s hard to imagine so close to a major urban area.

Clontarf Castle

Head to the centre of Dublin for a hint of the town’s historic past at the picturesque Clontarf Castle. Built in the 1830s, this stoic Georgian country house stands on the site of a much older building. In fact, the history of the area dates all the way back to the 11th Century, when the original medieval Clontarf Castle stood here.

Trinity College

Trinity College is proudly ensconced at the very heart of Dublin and it carries the same mix of medieval beginnings, Georgian architecture and cultural importance as the city itself. There is nowhere finer to enjoy the fading sun of a Dublin summer’s day than in the spacious landscaped grounds of Ireland’s world renowned university. And you are free to do just that: the gardens are open until 10pm so you can gaze as the sun casts its changing colours on the splendid architecture of the university.

Croke Park

Croke Park in Dublin is so much more than an impressive sports stadium. “Croker”, as it is locally known, is in many ways is a bastion of Irish identity that protects the spirit of Gaelic games from forces seeking to dislodge it. If this all sounds a bit dramatic you should take the fantastic Croke Park Experience tour to get a very real sense of just how important and deeply ingrained the GAA and Gaelic games are to Ireland’s sense of itself.

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