Situated on Dublin’s Northside, O’Connell Street is one of the city’s main thoroughfares. As well as being home to shops, bars, and restaurants, this broad boulevard is also the setting for several statues, the 390-foot-high (120-meter-high) Spire monument, and the bullet-pocked General Post Office (GPO)—a key site in Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising.
One of the main streets in Dublin’s center, O’Connell Street is included on many city sightseeing tours. Walking tours, history-themed tours, bus tours, and bike tours all pass along parts of the thoroughfare. Most tours offer information on the various monuments and statues dotted along the street and stop at the GPO, which was occupied by rebels during the 1916 Easter Rising, an event that set Ireland en route to independence.
Things to Know Before You Go
- O’Connell Street is a must for shopping enthusiasts, history buffs, and sightseers.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes as this street is best explored on foot.
- With wide, paved sidewalks and a central pedestrianized mall, O’Connell Street is easy for wheelchair users to navigate.
How to Get There
Given its centrality, visitors would be hard-pressed to avoid O’Connell Street. It’s a 10-minute walk north of Trinity College, or you can ride the Luas Red Line tram to Abbey Street, O’Connell GPO, or O’Connell Upper station. Many Dublin buses stop on O’Connell Street.
When to Get There
O’Connell Street is pretty much always bustling, and you’ll never find it totally deserted, no matter when you visit, though it’s best to explore by day. Weekend afternoons during the run-up to Christmas are when it’s most crowded, while Sunday mornings you’ll find it at its quietest.
What to See on O’Connell Street
Though the Spire and the GPO are O’Connell Streets best-known landmarks, they are far from its only notable sights. At the south end of the street, look for the O’Connell Monument, which pays tribute to the 19th-century nationalist leader Daniel O’Connell. Near the Spire, you’ll find a statue of favorite son James Joyce, the author of Ulysses. Charles Stewart Parnell, an Irish nationalist who campaigned for home rule, is honored with a monument at the north end of the street. For shopping, swing down Henry Street off O’Connell Street: It’s lined with high-street shops, malls, and stalls.