Dublin is the capital of and largest city in the Republic of Ireland, located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey. The city has been Ireland's capital city since medieval times.
The name "Dublin" is said to be derived from the Irish "Dubh Linn" meaning Black Pool and comes from the River Liffey, which runs through the centre of the city. The Liffey divides Dublin in two - the more working-class Northside is known for its colourful markets and street traders, while the more chic, fashionable Southside has a certain reputation for snobbery.
Dublin City covers an area of approx 115km squared and has a population of about half a million. Shops are generally open from 9am to 6pm every day, with late opening on Thursday, usually until 9pm. Many city centre shops also open on Sunday, between 12pm and 6pm. There are also a number of 24-hr shops, generally found outside the city centre.
In spite of its relatively small size, Dublin still has the feel of a European capital. It provides the hotels and restaurants to be expected of a large city, excellent facilities for shopping, and entertainment facilities including the famous Abbey Theatre, founded by W. B. Yeats and his patron, Lady Gregory. Dublin is a city of pubs, churches, grand buildings and fine museums, and has some of the finest original Georgian architecture in the world. The best way to get around the city is on foot, and nowhere is really too far to walk. The city also boasts wonderful parks, including the largest enclosed urban park in Europe - the 712 acres of the Phoenix Park.
Dublin enjoys a mild, temperate, oceanic climate - average temperatures during the summer range from 5°C to 20°C, generally staying between 10°C and 15°C in June. Rain is common, even in the summer, but generally brief and light.