South East Dublin
This part of the city was not developed until the building of Trinity College in 1592, and it was to be another 100 years before the land to the south was enclosed to create St Stephen’s Green.
The area saw the beginning of a construction boom in the mid-18th century. Public buildings such as the Old Library at Trinity College and Leinster House were built. Many of the buildings in Merrion Square still have their original features. Nowadays visitors are attracted to southeast Dublin by the shopping on Grafton Street and the museums, such as the National Gallery and the National Museum with its displays of Irish Bronze Age gold treasures. The Natural History Museum, referred to as the ‘Dead Zoo’ by the Dubliners has a wonderful Victorian interior.
The area around College Green is dominated by the facades of the Bank of Ireland and Trinity College and is very much the heart of Dublin. The alleys and small streets cutting across pedestrianized Grafton Street contain many of Dublin’s classier shops, hotels and restaurants. Just off Kildare Street is the Irish Parliament and the National Library, once the haunt of James Joyce, and the National Museum, which contains the flag that flew over the General Post Office during the Easter Rising. If you want to get away from the bustle and noise of the city, head for St Stephen’s Green, which is overlooked by very fine Georgian buildings. In St Stephen’s Green you can mingle with tourists and Dubliners alike. Many of the office workers come into St Stephen’s Green to eat their packed lunch and have a breezer before the afternoon session at work.
The north side of St Stephen’s Green is dominated by the Shelbourne Hotel. It is very popular with tourists as well as the locals, who come and have afternoon tea.