48 Hours in Dublin
I wasn't expecting it, but after spending 2 days in Dublin it quickly became one of my favorite European cities. The only decent word I can think of to sum it up is: ALIVE. The city is so alive with vibrant people who seem to always be in a good mood (the Irish really live up to their friendly stereotype), incredible cultural districts with lively bars and restaurants, and an overall vibe in the atmosphere that just feels positively exuberant. I might sound crazy, but I think anyone else who has been there will completely understand my description.
Probably Dublin's most famous location is the Temple Bar district. It gives shape to the Ireland's famous reputation for drinking; bars line the streets for blocks on end, people fill in outside with beers in hand to watch and cheer for live street performers, and it's basically where it all just happens in Dublin. I have yet to go somewhere else in the world that feels so happy and lively in the streets as Temple Bar. It's contagious too, you can't be in a bad mood while surrounded by the incredibly cheerful environment.
Dublin is also home to some impressive castles and architectural masterpieces. I thought Dublin Castle and St. Patrick's Cathedral were the most beautiful of the city. Dublin castle was built nearly a millennium ago and serves as an important cultural and historic landmark of the city. St. Patrick's Cathedral, also nearly a millennium-old, is the tallest and largest cathedral in the country and a worthy stop on a Dublin itinerary.
If you're interested in heading outside of Dublin for some of Ireland's famous natural landscapes, I recommend a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher. I wrote a travel guide about it for more information here.
Overall, Dublin's wildly carefree culture and equally as remarkable monuments made it one of my favorite cities so far in Europe. Next time, I'm going back for St. Paddy's Day!