Dublin is a fun city to visit with plenty of attractions, restaurants, pubs, and stores to visit. However, how much do you actually know about the city? There are plenty of fun facts about Dublin that will make your next visit even more special, or you can just share them next time you’re at the pub in Dublin with your friends.
I always love to learn about the history of a place before I visit, as it makes the trip that much more insightful. That’s why I compiled these Dublin facts including everything from its history to famous people who come from there to the geography. Whether you’re visiting for 3 days in Dublin or spending St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, you’ll want to know these first.
Here we go – let’s learn 41 new Dublin city facts!
Interesting Facts about Dublin, Ireland’s Capital City
As a fascinating city with a reputation for writing and Guinness beer, there are fun facts about Dublin we simply need to share. As Ireland’s capital city, Dublin has a history filled with triumph notable achievements and even played a role in creating a book of facts. The following interesting facts are all about Dublin and will hopefully inspire you to travel to this beautiful city.
- Did you know that Dublin (pronounced “Dubh-Linn”) is derived from an Old Irish Gaelic word for ‘Black Pool?’ If you are visiting Dublin for the day, you’ll see why the Vikings who moored their trade ships here thought it was a fitting name.
- Dublin is a literature hotspot with a historical and contemporary scene you’ll want to experience. The city won a UNESCO city of literature title for its international standing as a city of literary excellence.
- Dublin has five impressive Michelin-star restaurants. You’ll feel spoiled dining at Chapter One, Liath, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, and Variety Jones.
- The first hospital in Europe dedicated to maternity procedures was founded in Dublin in 1745. The Rotunda Hospital still performs antenatal visits, deliveries, and post-natal care from the same premises since 1757.
- A fun fact about Ireland is the oldest public library in Ireland, Marsh’s Library, first opened in Dublin in 1707. Arrange a guided tour to see the rooms containing 25,000 books spanning from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
- Vikings established a settlement in Dublin in 841, and despite attacks from native Irish, they remained until the Norman Invasion of Ireland in 1169. During the Viking’s reign, Dublin became a prosperous city and hub for western Viking expansion.
- The Great Hall of Dublin Castle was built in 1243 and was the first building in Ireland to have glass windows fitted.
- Dublin Castle has historical elements from the Norse, Norman, and Georgian architectural periods. In the 13th century, the Normans demolished the Norse stronghold and created a chateau-fort in its place. The tower from the Norman period still stands today alongside the Georgian-style brick castle.
- The heart of Dublin is divided into north and south by the River Liffey. Locals used to pay to cross the cast iron Liffey Bridge, known as Ha’penny, and pedestrians were required to pay half a penny at the turnstiles until the toll was removed in 1919.
- The O’Connell Bridge in Dublin’s city center is the only traffic bridge in Europe wider than it is long. It was initially named Carlisle Bridge and was significantly narrower when constructed from wood and granite in 1794.
- Dublin has a maritime temperate climate and, on average, experiences the most sunshine during May and June. The average temperature is coldest in January and February at 41°F (5°C), and you can expect the average temperatures to peak in Ireland in July and August at 60°F (15.5°C).
- Trinity College is located in Dublin’s city center and is Ireland’s oldest University. It is celebrated in Dublin, with many of Ireland’s finest minds passing through its doors, such as Oscar Wilde.
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- Did you know Dublin is home to Ireland’s oldest pub? The Brazen Head was established in 1198, and it is filled with memorabilia and serves beer and delicious Irish stew. Check out some of the haunted pubs in Dublin while you’re at it in addition to some Halloween traditions in Ireland!
- Dublin is said to have the widest street in Europe, O’Connell Street (54 yards wide). The title is contested by Champs-Élysées Avenue (77 yards wide).
- Did you know there is no catholic cathedral in Dublin? Despite Ireland being a predominantly catholic country, the cathedrals in Dublin were converted to protestant orientation by English sovereigns and have yet to be reconverted.
Facts About Stars and Famous People from Ireland
With many of Ireland’s most celebrated figures emerging from the city of Dublin, here are some facts about famous people.
- Dramatist, Critic, and Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw lived in Dublin.
- Writer and poet James Joyce lived in Dublin.
- Oscar Wilde, the world-renown playwright, poet, essayist, and novelist, grew up in Dublin.
- The creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker, was a Dubliner. He wrote the novel in 1897 after a stay in Whitby, England.
- Famous Hollywood actors who call Dublin home include Maureen O’Hara, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne, and Colin Farrell.
- Dublin is always hosting incredible musicians and has played a role in the careers of Shimea O’Connor, U2, The Dubliners, and Thin Lizzy.
- U2 is Dublin’s largest musical success, having sold more than 170 million records worldwide.
- Despite the Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin being demolished in 2015, a ‘U2 wall’ covered in graffiti remains and is a display of love towards the band by fans.
- Dublin has a life-size statue of Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh seated on a public bench. You can sit beside the poet who wrote celebrated Irish poems such as The Great Hunger and Raglan Road. The statue was built as a part of Dublin’s 1991 European City of Culture celebrations.
- One of the more random facts about Dublin is a lion in its title sequence has represented Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) entertainment company since 1924. Slats, the first lion, and Leo, the eighth and current lion, were born in Dublin Zoo.
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Facts About Dublin City Size & Population
What makes Dublin so special? The small county is filled with interesting people and even more interesting facts.
- County Dublin is the third-smallest county in Ireland but is one of the most populous, with 20% of Ireland’s population calling it home. Filled with exciting people from around the world, the population of County Dublin is approximately 1.4 million people.
- The population of Dublin City is estimated to be 544,000. It is a young city with approximately one-third of the population under the age of 25.
- County Dublin has an impressive 130 rivers and streams that appear marked with names, alongside many unnamed tributaries.
- Another Dubiln fun fact is the city is home to the largest park in Europe, and the Phoenix Park is 1,747 acres in size and is Ireland’s version of Central Park in New York. Within the park are the Dublin Zoo and the official residence of the Irish President, which is open to the public on Saturdays.
- Dublin’s tallest ‘mountain,’ Sugarloaf, does not meet the minimum height criteria for a mountain at 423 meters above sea level. Naturally, neither do any of the smaller hills, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go on hikes near Dublin or explore day trips from Dublin!
- Dubliners use the popular Irish term craic (“crack”) when asking for gossip or news. A term often posed by younger crowds is similar to “was last night a good craic?”. If you hear that a ‘craic was ninety’ the evening ticked all the boxes of a good night out. We can all relate to the term ‘Minus craic,’ reserved for nights when something goes pear-shaped.
Facts About the Guinness Brewery
This much-loved Irish beer brand has played a significant role in Dublin’s development. We explored all things Guinness Brewery in the following facts.
- Loved around the world, Guinness Beer was founded in Dublin in 1759.
- In addition to the St James Gate Brewery in Dublin, Guinness is brewed in Malaysia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon.
- Twenty million people have visited St James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin since its opening in 2000. Consider staying for a brewery tour of this famous Irish landmark.
- Guinness Brewery is here to stay. Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease in 1759 for the St James Gate Brewery at an annual price of just £45.
- The brewing magnate, Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, has contributed to restoring and protecting Dublin’s buildings, including the St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Marsh Library.
- Guinness Book of Records came about as a promotion for Guinness Brewery in 1956. Managing Director Sir Hugh Beaver’s idea was to create a book filled with facts to settle any debate that might arise in a pub, such as ‘which is the fastest bird.’
Fun Facts About Dublin
Where is St Valentine buried? Did Dublin have the largest red light area in Ireland? And was MGM’s lion at Dublin Zoo? We share the answers to these questions below.
- The remains of St Valentine, the patron saint of love, rest in the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church. He was a 3rd-century saint who was executed and buried in Rome before an Irish priest gained permission to exhume the skeleton.
- A Love Lane exists in Dublin and is filled with love letters to this incredible city. The walls are adorned with ceramic tiles and words from famous writers.
- Dublin gained a reputation for its nighttime activities in Victorian times. It developed one of the largest red-light districts called ‘Monto.’ Anyone strolling down Montgomery Street before 1920 would have seen the ‘kip-houses’ in full swing. It is known as Foley Street today.
- One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, James Joyce, mentions the notorious kip-houses in his novel Ulysses.
- Did you know in 2021, Dublin’s football team had its first All-Ireland championship defeat since 2014? If you’re in a pub during your visit to Dublin and notice a game being played, you can shout ‘come on, you boys in blue’ to show your support.
Hopefully, you’ve learned some fun facts about Dublin that you didn’t know before and now can share them with your friends!