Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 26, 2010

UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin, Ireland

ANZ LitLovers is especially delighted that UNESCO has just honoured the city of Dublin by designating it as a UNESCO City of Literature because it won’t be long before I am there in the city myself!  Melbourne is a  UNESCO City of Literature too, so I shall feel right at home. 

I will, of course, be visiting the James Joyce museum and you can expect to see photos of me with every literary statue I can find. (Mind you, I have not yet worked out the intricacies of blogging from overseas.  Lo-Tech Lisa has no idea how to do it by phone except that I think I’d be cross-eyed trying to type anything of any substance on a little phone.  As for adding photos, how do you edit amateur snaps so that they look presentable, on a phone?? And how on earth do you do it without it costing a fortune???)  

Can I, in a mere four days, visit:

The Book of Kells  

Chester Beatty Library 

The Chester Beatty Library at Dublin Castle  

Dublin Writers Museum   

The Dublin Writers Museum

James Joyce Museum

The James Joyce Museum in the Martello Tower

National Library of Ireland

the National Library of Ireland

The George Bernard Shaw Birthplace

George Bernard Shaw’s birthplace

The Long Room, Trinity College

The Long Room, Trinity College??

Are there are Dubliners who read this blog?  What’s open in Dublin on a Sunday morning? I’d love to hear from you!


  1. You can see them all in four days but would need to plan it out. The Long Room is open on Sunday mornings from 9.30 in the summer (and includes the Book of Kells) and The Writers’ Museum opens at 11 on Sundays. The Shaw birthplace is open the least and is closed Sundays and Mondays.

    Dublin is very excited about joining Melbourne as a City of Literature. Here’s some of the more excited children’s writers and illustrators at the launch this morning!/album.php?aid=200550&id=137934348937


  2. Hi
    If you have a laptop, the easiest way will probably using wifi in hotels.
    If you don’t, forget about cell phones : it probably costs more than caviar with your foreign cell.

    Have a nice trip ! Do tell me if you plan to come to France one of these days.


  3. hope yu have a nice time ,I use go with grandfather in youth to antique market in dublin as he was a dealer ,all the best stu


  4. And don’t forget a visit to Hodges Figgis

    And just around the corner is the Davy Byrnes pub where Leopold Bloom has his gorgonzola sandwich! (If I remember correctly, you can still order them off the menu.)

    Oh, and here’s my thoughts on my visit to the Long Room — take your credit card!!

    So excited for you… you will love Dublin!!


  5. Thanks, BookAround and Stu, I’ll check out if the market’s open.
    We will be in France this trip, but (alas) not Paris. We fly from Dublin to Bordeaux before travelling by rail to Spain and Portugal.


  6. Wow, Samantha – that’s a great initiative, Children’s Books Ireland, I (wearing my schoolteacher’s hat) will be browsing those articles about choosing children’s books and exploring what Ireland has to offer. (We have Eoin Colfer already, the kids love his books.)
    Unfortunately, Summer opening hours are over by the time we are travelling. We like to avoid the crowds by travelling in the cooler weather, but the downside is that some venues have limited hours.


  7. Don’t worry, Kim, I had pencilled in Hodges Figgis
    as a pitstop to top up the book supply before heading off for Bordeaux and Spain where books in English may not be so easy to find. I have promised The Spouse not to fill up a backbreaking suitcase and will have the Kindle, but I have to have some real books too in case I have trouble charging it.
    Can you email me privately so that we can make a time to meet that fits around your work commitments? We’re staying in Bloomsbury…


  8. Will send you an email in the next week or so…


  9. Ah you’ll have a magnificent time Lisa. I went to Hodges Figgis as well. It’s a very handy location just a block down from Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse, which I really do recommend- it was fantastic. I’m sure you’ll work up a hunger or a thirst in the bookshop. There was also a magnificent cheese shop very near there too. As a few people have pointed out The Book of Kells and The Long Room are both in the same place, and it’s the same admission fee. Do be very careful with Sunday planning, as I think you realise. Most things aren’t open in the morning, and the churches are off limits. I didn’t get to the writer’s centre but wanted to. You haven’t even mentioned Oscar Wilde’s house! And my DK guide had a great literary guided walk. So much to do….


    • Yes, I’m going to have to plan it very carefully, perhaps a self-guided walk on Sunday morning when nothing much seems to be open? Can you recommend a really nice restaurant, Louise?


  10. How exciting. Rail travel is such a great way of getting to know a country. I envy you and your husband this tour which I am sure will go to places I don’t know myself.


    • Yes, we were delighted with how easy it was to travel by train on our last trip. The first time we went (in 2000) we hired a car and oh! Those roundabouts in England were a nightmare, and then there was driving on the wrong side of the road in France, all too stressful so in 2005 we went everywhere by train. We had heard so much bad press about British rail but honestly, it was excellent. Everything was on time, it was clean, quick, and reasonably priced, and there were helpful staff. We loved the concept of the ‘quiet carriage’ where we could read in peace, but it was also so nice to be able to relax, have a cup of tea and enjoy the scenery! On the continent it was just as good, the Chunnel train is so much less hassle than flying, and those high speed intercity trains in France and Italy are brilliant. If all goes well, Tom, you will be able to read about this trip on my travel blog at – if you RSS it now you’ll pick it up once I start blogging on it later this year. I’m going to take my little netbook and use hotel wifi, and will investigate buying a pay-as-you-go connection for when we’re staying in B&Bs.


  11. Lisa, Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse was amazing. We went for lunch. Craig is still raving about the liver and bacon. They did have plenty of nonsteak options though if that’s what you’re after.

    There were lots of really nice places to eat.

    When you’re searching for wifi in France all the museum/national building type places had free wifi in the lobbies. I didn’t ever use it, but saw lots of signs. The flat that we stayed at in Paris had free wifi so we didn’t need to bother searching elsewhere.


    • I’ve looked up them up online, Louise… and it looks very nice but…(not surprisingly since it’s a steakhouse LOL) they don’t have anything vegetarian. Though I’d rather not, I do eat a little meat, but only if I feel confident that it hasn’t been intensively farmed or trucked for days and days across a dry and dusty continent (which I object to on animal welfare grounds). So I’ve pretty much lost a taste for lamb, beef and pork…


  12. Lisa, you might get a kick out of this article:

    When I read it the only response I could come up with was Jesus wept! LOL.


    • Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I don’t know which is worse, the responses of the people interviewed, or the attitude with which the journalist reports it…


  13. I had an (almost) vegetarian meal at MPW. I had a cauliflower and smoked salmon soup, then a magnificent beetroot and goats cheese salad. (You can imagine how impressed Craig was with my choices- such a girlie soup and salad combo) So you might find something to tempt, it’s not just a carcass lovers playground.


  14. Well, that does sound nice, Louise. I wonder why they haven’t got that or something similar on their online menu.
    We’ll check it out when we get there!


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