When James Joyce uttered the iconic words, “When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart,” those who have also visited this fair city couldn’t help but agree that such a romantic phrase is the only thing that could accurately speak of its wonder. Dublin is simply captivating. From the lively cobblestone streets of the Temple Bar area to the calm oasis of St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin has a way of stealing your heart — and only giving it back once its name has been engraved in its memory.
Any BUCKiTDREAMER lucky enough to have read any of Joyce’s work will already have a vivid impression of Dublin, sculpted from his magnum opus Ulysses and given voice from his masterpiece Dubliners. Allow the dulcet tones of the Moore Street fruit sellers to fill your ears as you skip along the hallowed path taken by Leopold Bloom on that fateful June 16, 1904, and immerse yourself in the infinite cultural delights that Dublin offers.
If you’re to take in every Joyce-affiliated sight in Dublin, you’re sure to have a BUCKiTDREAM planner that would rival even Ulysses in volume! Instead of attempting that daunting task, take a look at some of these Joycean treats, which will allow you to take in the whole of Dublin as you go. It won’t be long before you discover the truth: “The longest way round is the shortest way home.”
Exorcise Michael Furey in the Gresham Hotel For your stay in Joyce’s Dublin, you can only stay one place: the Gresham Hotel, the setting of Joyce’s final work, The Dead. Centrally located on O’Connell Street, you’ll be able to trace the steps taken by Gabriel and Gretta Conroy on that fateful night — but hopefully without any ghostly visitors!
Address: 23 Upper O’Connell Street, North City, Dublin, Ireland
Pick Up the Soap in Sweny’s Pharmacy Described in sumptuous detail in Ulysses, Sweny’s Pharmacy is where protagonist Leopold Bloom buys his beloved Molly a bar of lemon-scented soap. The pharmacy has been beautifully maintained by a group of volunteers dedicated to keeping it looking exactly as it did in Joyce’s time. They sell beautiful secondhand books whose history holds as many stories as that which are contained within their pages. A soap identical to Molly’s can be bought here too for just €3.50.
Address: 1 Lincoln Pl, Dublin 2, Ireland
Stare the Death Mask in the Face in the Little Museum of Dublin The Little Museum of Dublin is just about the cutest, quirkiest museum in all of Europe. With a weird and wonderful collection of ephemera from Ireland’s history, the piece Joyce fans might be most bemused by is his death mask, which is on display in all its morbid glory.
Address: 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland
Get Merry in Dublin’s Joycean Pubs When in Dublin, you do as the Dubliners do and get well and truly merry on a never-ending stream of the black stuff. As Joyce’s immortal words tell us, “Ireland sober is Ireland stiff.” Although this is definitely not true — Irish people are great craic regardless of their state of inebriation — it’s no harm to imbibe in one (or three) pints with the local lads down at the good ol’ Irish pub. If you were to visit every pub mentioned by Joyce throughout his entire body of work, you would be guaranteeing yourself a hot date with a stomach pump at one of Dublin’s metropolitan hospitals. Instead of drinking yourself into oblivion, hit up notable places from some of Joyce’s best works such as Davy Byrne’s, Mulligans, the Brazen Head, O’Neills and the International — all great centrally located pubs with authentic Irish vibes.
Brave the Waters in Sandycove Take the DART (Dublin’s train system) out to the coast until you reach the beautiful seaside town of Sandycove, the weeklong home of Joyce and the setting for the opening scene of Ulysses. The looming Martello towers where Joyce once lived now house the quirky James Joyce Tower and Museum, which is a treasure trove of his letters, photographs, and personal possessions. If you’re feeling brave during your trip to Sandycove, take a dip in the Forty Foot, a favorite swimming haunt among locals. Avid swimmers can be found here year-round, which, if you’ve ever been to Dublin and experienced its weather, you’ll know is no easy feat.
Address: Sandycove Point, Glenageary, Sandycove, Co. Dublin, Ireland
As you make your way through Dublin’s labyrinthine streets, you can’t help but empathize with Joyce’s unending love of the place. Having given flesh to his wondrous writings, you’ll know that the memories you’ve made here will too be forever written on your heart. Although cardiac inscription is one thing, if you want to do some more likable writing, be sure to solidify yourself as a new true Dubliner and share your Joycean experience on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.