or the gay traveler, Dublin’s LGBT presence has grownexponentially since Ireland’s decriminalization of homo-sexuality in 1993. Martha Whyte, Manager of
(Dublin’s LGBT community resource center), says,“There has been a huge increase in self-confidence of the LGBT community over the past number of years. This is evi-denced by the large increase in the number of people marching in theannual Dublin LGBT Pride Parade (22,000 in 2011 up from 12,500in 2009).” Whyte says marriage equality has sparked the LGBTcommunity and resonated with the general public. “The work of Marriage Equality (a national grassroots advocacy organization) and LGBT Noise (an independent non-party political group also cam- paigning for civil marriage for everyone) has resulted in all political parties endorsing full marriage,” shares Whyte. A poll conducted this year on behalf of the government indicates that 73 percent of voters believe that same-sex marriages should be allowed in the con-stitution. Even so, Whyte admits, “This type of success can lead peo- ple to think that being LGBT in Ireland is no longer a problem, butthe reality is that on an individual basis the process of coming outcan be devastatingly painful, awkward, and slow.” For the gay travel-er, Outhouse offers comprehensive “information, referral, and sup- port service” by phone, e-mail, or in person to assist in arranginggay-friendly travel plans.On a broader scale, Ireland’s capital city is home to just over 1 mil-lion people, with lively streets where most residents rely on publictransportation or travel by foot. Getting around couldn’t be easier and there are a number of options depending on which direction you’reheaded.
is perfect for traveling around the city center and cost only 60 cents (although you need exactfare and it stops running at midnight).
isDublin’s light-rail system that offers efficienttransport with varying cost depending onzones traveled. Longer journeys rely on
, and if you plan on doing a significantamount of long-distance exploring, consider purchasing a
. This prepaid travelcard can be ordered in advance and used for all of your transportation options.If the weather is in your favor, as it waswith me, consider reducing your carbon foot- print and using
, the city’s public bike rental system. With 44 stations posi-tioned throughout the city, I ride my waythrough my shortlist of destinations whilehaving a chance to take in the local flavor along the way. When the day is done, I dropoff the bike at a station near my hotel, and itcouldn’t be easier. A three-day ticket is only
plus travel time with the first half hour free. There is a
150 guarantee, but it is onlydebited in the event of theft or failure to returnthe dublinbike within 24 hours.
hile accommodations are plentiful,Dublin possesses a number of exquisite hotels that will further enhance your experience. I choose to stay atthe
, where my room over-looks the lush
St. Stephens Green
, a 22-acrecity park designed by William Sheppard. The popular urban oasis was a favorite of QueenVictoria, who suggested after the death of her husband Price Albert that the park be renamed in his honor. This request was denied and rep-resents another feather in the well-plumed capof Ireland’s expression of independence. The park, along with nearby
, a pedestrian shopping district overflowing withretail stores, pubs, and cafés, provides the per-fect backdrop for my stay.The Fitzwilliam offers numerous ameni-ties worth experiencing. The superior and deluxe guestrooms were recently renovated
P h o t o : C h r i s H i l l
Trinity College Dublin