Dublin has been at the heart of Ireland’s phenomenal (often double-digit) growth of the last 15 years—by 2008, it was the world’s fifth-richest city. The Irish economy is contracting now, but Dublin is still home to traditional industries, like brewing (Guinness), as well as companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo! and Pfizer, which flocked here during the so-called Celtic Tiger years.
The Anna Livia Business Lounge (Departures, +353 1 814 4779) is the place to get work done while waiting for your flight. For €25 per person for up to three hours, you can enjoy wireless, newspapers, free refreshments and meeting facilities.
Built in 1824, the Shelbourne Hotel (27 St. Stephen’s Green, +353 1 663 4500) played a unique role in Irish history: The country’s constitution was drafted here. Take advantage of the hotel’s superb location and all the modern facilities you’d expect, plus a touch of old-fashioned glamour.
The place for a leisurely full Irish breakfast is undoubtedly Bewley’s Oriental Café (78 Grafton St., +353 1 672 7720), a Dublin institution dating back to the 1920s.
At Les Frères Jacques (74 Dame St., +353 1 679 4555), you’ll find excellent French food made with the finest local ingredients and served in a handsome interior.
Take a lesson in branding from one of Ireland’s foremost icons at the Guinness Storehouse (St. James Gate, +353 1 408 4800)—you might just wind up in the same seat once filled by Bill Clinton, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, who have all raised a glass here.
If you’re in a pub with colleagues, it’s usual for each person to buy a round of drinks for everyone (this goes for the U.K., too). Make sure you participate in this ritual without being prompted.
• Irish films: There were 15 at Cannes this year, including Wide Open Spaces, Triage and Ondine.
• GAA or Gaelic football. It’s also popular in New York and other North American cities where a lot of Irish players have migrated due to the recession.
• Local writers, such as James Joyce: Ireland has a great literary history, and many Irish are avid readers.