The increasingly cosmopolitan streets of Dublin have had a tumultuous time recently. As both the greatest benefactor of EU membership and – aside from Iceland’s bankruptcy – and one of the worst suffering nations in the recent recession (as the locals tell it – What’s the difference between Ireland and Iceland? Six months…), Dublin nevertheless remains stoutly characterful, and rightly draws countless tourists. The Temple Bar district is at the heart of it. The Irish are a vivaciously sociable bunch, and the cobbled streets of Temple Bar host parties night after night, locals energised on Dublin Bay seafood and slurping pint after pint of the ‘The Black Stuff’ (Guinness) whilst listening to the twanging sounds of traditional Irish music, and joining together in the search for a late night ‘lock in’ to keep the revelry moving until dawn. Dublin city center has a number of architectural gems, with cathedrals, castles, universtities, churches and some fascinating examples of modern style also. They’re all highly picturesque, great examples of the towering architecture that still props up the city centre; head for Halfpenny Bridge to hunt down the historical heartland, or sample some of the excellent museums (the National Gallery is particularly noteworthy) for a taste of a fascinating past.