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The Spire of Dublin, also known as the Monument of Light, was installed in 2003 and has since become a symbol of the Irish capital. (Photograph by National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy Stock Photo)

Claudia’s Dublin

Claudia Rodríguez lives to explore Dublin—and to share her insider intel on Spotted By Locals.

The Bogotá native moved to the Irish capital (by way of New York City) more than seven years ago with her husband, who hails from Portland, Oregon. “We both come from colder, rainier, and forever-green cities,” Claudia says, “so Dublin’s the perfect match [for us] here in Europe.” The couple has plenty of fodder for comparison; In the past two years alone, they’ve ticked more than 17 countries off their travel list.

But no matter how far Claudia roams, she’s always happy to be back in Dublin. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.

Dublin Is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to Merrion Square, one of Dublin’s five Georgian squares.

Any time of year is the best time to visit my city because there is always something going on, regardless of the weather or season!

You can see my city best from the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse.

Locals know to skip the Temple Bar area at night and check out South William Street, located a few blocks away, instead.

Irish Design Shop is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like writers Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, and singer-songwriter Bob Geldof have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is Kilmainham Gaol because it illuminates the Irish struggle for independence.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that it’s very walkable. Also, Dublin’s public bus system and bike-sharing scheme are great ways to get where you want to go.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is Phoenix Park.

My city really knows how to celebrate creativity because it puts on scores of events and festivals highlighting the arts and sciences.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they can tell a southsider from a northsider, a reference to which side of the River Liffey a person hails from.

For a fancy night out, I would head over to Chapter One for a swanky meal. Tip: Make sure to book reservations well ahead of your trip.

Just outside my city, you can visit the fishing village of Howth and sample the freshest seafood you can imagine.

My city is known for its pub-crawl culture, but it’s really a city of—and for—writers, musicians, and artists.

The best outdoor market in my city is the Temple Bar Food Market, which takes place each Saturday at Meeting House Square.

The Fumbally is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Bobo’s on Wexford Street is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Totally Dublin, the Dublin Event Guide, Lovin Dublin, and Le Cool Dublin.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to Herbert Park or stroll the free galleries of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA).

To escape the crowds, I head south of the city to the Wicklow Mountains for some fresh air.

The dish that represents my city best is bangers and mash, and Guinness is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at The Winding Stair and Grogans, respectively.

Whelan’s is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Workman’s Club, The Grand Social, or The George.

Bloomsday, an annual celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses, could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should appreciate the flowers at St. Stephen’s Green and Herbert Park.

In the summer you should attempt a dip at the Forty Foot or give the Taste of Dublin festival a try.

In the fall you should definitely make plans to attend Open House Dublin or Culture Night.

In the winter you should explore the city center and soak up the Christmas cheer.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the National Leprechaun Museum, The Ark, the National Museum of Ireland’s Natural History Museum, Airfield Estate, or the Dublin Zoo.

The best book about my city is Ulysses by James Joyce. It’s said that Dublin can be rebuilt, brick by brick, using the descriptions found in the book.

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