Some of Dublin’s best-known sights and attractions are located in The Liberties. You can explore the vestiges of the old medieval city around High Street: the beautiful cathedral of Christ Church Cathedral founded in 1030, the medieval church of St Audoen’s with its connections to the city’s guilds and remaining sections of Dublin’s old city walls on Cook Street.
Going west, you walk down historic Thomas Street with its merchant buildings, elegant churches, former distilleries and the iconic St James’s Gate Brewery and Guinness Storehouse with its spectacular Gravity Bar. Nearby you’ll find the new Pearse Lyons Distillery. Housed in a former church, it now features an iconic glass spire and tells the fascinating story of whiskey in this area of the city. The catholic church of St James opposite is a stop on the world-famous Camino. From here it’s only a short walk to Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, housed in the renaissance elegance of the Royal Hospital.
South of Thomas Street, take a wander down Francis Street, with its quirky antique shops and galleries and wind around to St Patrick’s Cathedral, whose 19th century restoration was paid for by the renowned Guinness family. The beautiful park alongside is the perfect resting point to visit on a sunny day, while the curious Marsh’s Library nearby holds a treasure trove of ancient books – its Dublin’s oldest public library!
Also south of Francis Street, across The Coombe lies Newmarket and the Blackpitts, an area fast regenerating as a centre of craft food and drink in Dublin. The Teeling Whiskey Distillery on the square is the first new working distillery in the city for over 100 years. Newmarket also boasts daily food markets and the regular Dublin Flea market on various weekends throughout the year. Market-life also dominates nearby Meath Street: its rough and ready, but for many its the soul of Dublin.
There’s so much to discover and enjoy in the historic heart of Dublin!