Merrion square is a great place to enjoy a lazy afternoon on the grass. This city park features lush lawns and a variety of statues, including a monument to Oscar Wilde (who once lived at 1, Merrion Square) and a public art piece by Irish American sculptor Jerome Connor. Come on Sundays to see local artists display their works on the park railings. It is also a great place to spend quality time with your family. Nothing short of an urban oasis, head to Merrion Square to escape the stresses of city life.
An architecturally and culturally iconic venue in the city, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (formerly Grand Canal Theatre) is the brainchild of Mike Adamson, CEO of LiveNation. The need for such a theater arose because numerous international theater groups were yearning to perform in the city, but save for the O2, there wasn't a venue prominent enough to host them, and the O2 couldn't accommodate all of the performances in its schedule. Thus, an initiative for another first-rate theater was taken, and with the approval of the Dublin Dockyards Development Authority, the construction of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre began in 2007. Opened in March 2010, this theater has hosted a passel of cultural events, including ballets, plays, operas, concerts and much more. With a capacity of 2111, this is one of the premier venues for major events in the city.
A short bus ride from the city centre, the splendid Botanic Gardens are always worth an afternoon's exploration. Entrance is free and guided tours are available most of the year. The gardens are divided into different areas of interest, featuring long herbaceous beds, a rose garden, alpine houses, a vegetable garden, an arboretum, a yew-walk along the river Tolka and a wonderful area exhibiting the various natural habitats of Ireland. The great glasshouses full of exotica were constructed in the mid 19th century and designed by Richard Turner, who was also responsible for the glasshouses at Kew Gardens. After all the fresh air, you'll probably need to visit the coffee shop to rest and recuperate.
Designed by Francis Johnston in 1818, the General Post Office (GPO) on O'Connell Street is known as the site of the 1916 Easter Rising. Irish Volunteers seized the building on Easter Monday and for six days held out against the British until the GPO was set on fire. The building was completely restored in 1929. Inside, stands a bronze statue depicting the death of the mythical Irish warrior Cuchulainn, dedicated to those who died in the uprising. The GPO has acquired iconic status; demonstrations and protests are often held outside.
To many, Guinness is one of the most important features of Ireland. Completed at the cost of IR£30 million, the Guinness Storehouse is a fine addition to Dublin's ever-growing list of purpose-built attractions. Set inside a converted 18th century fermentation building, it comprises of six floors linked by a giant atrium in the shape of a pint glass. Although the actual brewery is not open to the public, the storehouse's new exhibition space outlines the 200-year history of the company and reveals many brewing secrets. The models and displays of the exhibition are followed by a short film and a glass of the famous brew! The storehouse is also home to the stylish Gravity Bar. Hours of operations vary seasonally.
First established in the late 1960s, the Project Arts Center was 'the' place to see fringe and visiting theatre performances in Dublin, and was also one of the few organizations brave enough to establish itself in the then-derelict Temple Bar area. The Project was not without its shortcomings, however; it was cramped, acoustics were poor and its infamous tin-roof seemed like it would literally fly off when the wind rose during performances. The four-storey Project boasts two spacious performance studios, numerous spaces for art exhibits, and a cafe/bar, the Project is set to become a focal point for the performing arts in Dublin. See their website for details for forthcoming events.