We're blushing! Media giant CNN says Dublin is one of the great destinations of Europe, if not the world.
For a relatively small capital city, Dublin punches above its weight in terms of charm and culture.
CNN certainly thinks so, anyway. Two reporters from the outlet have given the metropolis a glowing review.
It's always eye-opening to see what tourist attractions in your native city rank highest for overseas visitors. So if a trip to Dublin is on your agenda, the CNN guide is a fairly comprehensive primer on what to prioritize.
National Gallery of Ireland
Journalists Forrest Brown and Megan Eaves place the artistic haven as number one on their list of things to do.
"Ireland is a country known for its literary contributions, but don't overlook its contributions to the artistic world, many of which are housed here in the National Gallery. It houses a number of works by Rembrandt, Goya, and Monet," they write.
The Merrion Square-based Gallery is also home to iconic works by Jack B. Yeats, brother of W.B. Yeats.
Old Jameson Distillery
What Irish tour would be complete without a sampling of Uisce Beatha (aka, the water of life, aka whiskey!)
Browne and Eaves call a visit to this famous distillery a "Dublin must".
"Instead of a do-it-yourself walkabout, this guided tour opens with a short, informative film and is conducted by guides who really know their stuff. The tour covers the basics of whiskey distilling but also gives you a foundation in what distinguishes Jameson, and it culminates with a free tasting."
San Francisco has the Golden Gate and New York has its fair share of iconic bridges. Alas, the Ha'Penny has an allure of its own.
"This modest cast-iron bridge over the River Liffey has become the symbol of Dublin, with its ornate design and quaint lampposts. The Ha'penny Bridge is so named for the toll of one halfpenny originally charged to cross it," the reporters write.
Indeed, capturing this bridge in all its glory really does make for one of the best photos of Dublin's fair city.
As per the two journalists, "it's hard to resist a good castle!"
As for Dublin Castle, the duo found it to be extra impressive.
"Like all good castles, it has a storied history -- from its start in the 1200s on the site of a Viking settlement to 1922, when it was handed over to the new Irish government after independence from the United Kingdom. A fire in 1684 damaged a good bit of the medieval castle, and in reconstruction, parts of it took on the look of a Georgian palace, making for an interesting mix of styles today."
St. Stephen's Green
Ireland is known for its rolling green landscape, but in the busy city of Dublin, green areas are not as prevalent. Enter St. Stephen's Green, a city park that provides a welcome break from the hustle and bustle.
"A treasured part of the city for centuries, the park has important sculptures of major figures in Irish history as well as exquisitely maintained Victorian grounds in the center. Sycamores and other trees line the perimeter to help buffer city noise, and it's a haven for birds as well as people. Look for robins, wrens, magpies and
even birds of prey," Brown and Eaves write.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Fans of Gulliver's Travels won't be able to resist the charm of the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland.
Divulging some of the cathedral's storied past, Eaves and Brown reveal, "It's believed St. Patrick himself baptized people on the site of the church around 445. Construction of the current cathedral began in the 1200s, and it had a major renovation in the 1800s. The building has withstood windstorms, fire and tumultuous times."
For more must-visit destinations in Dublin, see the original article on CNN Travel here.