Orientation in Dublin


Getting to know Dublin is a little like getting to know the back of your hand. It’s really small so you think you can do it quickly. But have you ever tried to draw your hand? 
Does it really look like your hand?

That’s what Dublin is like; a maze of one-way streets, narrow lanes and parks, which are harder to capture than one might think.


The first thing you need to do is dump any ideas of Dublin as a tiny town. Yes, it’s pretty small but if you try to get around map-less you’ll soon find yourself clueless and frustrated. Avoid the large foldout maps, which are not at all suitable for Ireland's wet and windy conditions. Take a trip to Easons, the large bookstore on O’Connell Street and buy yourself a book-map. These fit into your bag or coat-pocket and are easy to take out as you rush to a meeting or date.


The River Liffey runs through the centre of town. If you get really lost it’s a safe bet that following that will bring you back to the city centre; follow the bridges as no bridges means you are heading for the harbour. The riverbank is marked off into Quays (pronounced Keys). Now these all have names but Irish people don’t know them so don’t waste your time asking for Aston Quay for example. Ask for the quay where USIT is.

The Spire

The Spire stands at 120 metres; the highest point in Dublin. And conveniently for visitors it’s right on the main street - O’ Connell Street. You can’t miss it from any angle. Variously known as the Stiletto in the Ghetto, the Rod to God or the Pin in the Bin, it’s a great place to focus on as you walk around the city.

Main Streets

The main street is O’ Connell Street. This is one of the widest streets in Europe with the bridge at one end as wide as it is long. It runs from the historical areas of the north side right down the city centre on the River Liffey.

Jervis Street in northside and Grafton Street in southside vie for the title of Shopping Street. Jervis is within sight of the Spire while Grafton Street means a walk up past Trinity College from the river.

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