Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath, "Town of the Hurdled Ford") is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland. Its vibrancy, nightlife and tourist attractions are noteworthy, and it is the most popular entry point for international visitors to Ireland. As a city, it is disproportionately large for the size of the country (2006 pop. Greater Dublin Region 1.6m); well over a quarter of the Republic's population lives in the metropolitan area. The centre is, however, relatively small and can be navigated by foot, with most of the population living in suburbs.
Dublin is divided by the River Liffey. On the north side of the Liffey is O'Connell Street - the main thoroughfare, which is intersected by numerous shopping streets, including Henry Street and Talbot Street. On the south side is St. Stephen's Green, Grafton Street, Trinity College, Christ Church and St. Patrick's Cathedrals, and many other attractions.
Dublin postcodes range from Dublin 1 to Dublin 24. Odd numbers are given to areas north of the River Liffey, while even numbers are given to areas south of the river. As a general rule, the lower the postcode, the closer the city centre.
A good online map and journey planner is available from the Dublin Transportation Office www.dto-journeyplanner.ie. If you zoom in on the map you can get aerial photography of the city.
The Tourist Board web site is also worth visiting. It has a good mapping section www.visitdublin.com/...maps (powered by Google Maps) which shows the locations of the main attractions, hotels, etc.
If you're already in the city, the main tourist office www.visitdublin.com/...TouristOffices , located in St. Andrew's Church just off Grafton Street in the city centre, is a good place to start for information. You can book accommodation and tours there, as well as find general information on where to go and what to do.
It's also important to note that Dublin saw ,sadly, many of its finest Structures pulled down, especially Georgian, in the 1960's through to the 1980's which to some served only to remind the State of Past British Imperialism over the Country without regarding the beauty and historical significance of these structures. They were replaced with brutalist office blocks, St.Stephen's green being a prime example. The Central Business district as a result is somewhat architecturally mish-mash though it is nonetheless charming. As a result Grafton street has recently been designated an Architectural conservation zone,along with its surrounding environs to restore and re-build its once grand image.
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