Dublin

– OK, you already know that Dublin is Ireland’s capital city, that you can fly there daily with Ryanair from Prestwick in 45 minutes and that the pubs are really rather good. All true but hardly rocket science. So here are 16 things about Dublin you might not know…oh, and one of them is total mince.

– Dublin covers a land area of some 45 square miles. The average winter temperature is 4oC while the summer average is 19oC. There are over 1000 pubs in the city. 50% of the city’s residents are under 25. Conclusion – dress warm, party hard and don’t miss your flight home.

– The name for Dublin in the Irish language is “Baile Atha Cliath”, which means “Ford of the Hurdled Reeds”. No, we don’t get it either.

– The Vikings founded Dublin in 988.

– Guinness was founded in 1759, the same year as Robert Burns was born. 10 million glasses of Guinness are produced daily around the world. Burns wrote Tam o’ Shanter after enjoying five pints of that sterling stout in 1790.

– The oldest pub in Ireland is Dublin’s Brazen Head. There has been a pub on this site since 1198.

– Quentin Tarantino was once refused a pint at the Stag’s Head because he pitched up after hours. “Don’t you know who I am?” didn’t work. He probably yelled “Inglourious Basterds” as he was shown the door.

– The Commitments used several Dublin pubs as filming locations including The Hairy Lemon and Whelan’s.

– U2 recorded a number of their albums at Dublin’s Windmill Lane Studios. The band were given the freedom of Dublin, which means, among other things, that they can graze sheep for free in St. Stephens Green.

– Dublin is twinned with Barcelona, Liverpool, Beijing, Matsue and San Jose.And there are 46 rivers in the city. Oh, and O’Connell Bridge is the only bridge in Europe which is as wide as it’s long.

– The city has over 120 miles of cycle tracks, a public bike scheme with 450 bikes for general public use and 40 bike stations around the city.

– There are over 50 golf courses in Dublin City and County.

– The phrase “chancing your arm” originated in St. Patrick’s Cathedral where you had to put your hand into a hole to open the Medieval Chapter House door.

– The remains of St Valentine are contained in a cask in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Aungier Street.

– The “Oscar” statuette used at the Academy Awards was designed by Dublin-born Cedric Gibbons, no relation to ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.

– ”Dracula”, written by Clontarf-born Bram Stoker, comes from the Irish words “Droch Ola” which means “bad blood”.

– There are no snakes in Dublin because St. Patrick banished them.