The River Liffey is a significant feature on the map of Dublin. Most directions you will receive during your trip to Dublin will have some reference to the river to help guide you. The river divides Dublin in half, into the south side and the north side. If you’re wondering about those strange Dublin post codes, the river is responsible for that as well. Even-numbered post codes are used for the south side of the river, while odd-numbered codes correspond to the north side. Therefore, if you’re looking at the address of an attraction in Dublin and it says Dublin 1, it is located north of the river. If it says Dublin 2, it is south of the river.
There are many important landmarks along the River Liffey. Four Courts Dublin, the main courts building for the Republic of Ireland, is located on the banks of the river. O’Connell Bridge is a large bridge, for both cars and pedestrians, that connects the wide boulevard of O’Connell Street to the south side of the city. The Ha’Penny bridge is a favorite landmark of many visitors; this attractive pedestrian bridge provides a picturesque stroll across the River Liffey. The famous area of Temple Bar is also located just along the south side of the river.
O’Connell Bridge is a bustling area at the heart of Dublin. If you’re looking for a taxi or bus to almost anywhere in the city, it is possible to catch one from O’Connell Bridge. Crossing the bridge to the north, you will continue walking to see some of the top attractions including the General Post Office, the Gate Theatre, and the Dublin Writers Museum. If you choose to walk along the quays instead, this is a pleasant stroll along the river. One annual event along the quays is the Liffey Swim. This traditional sporting event takes place in late August and athletes swim one mile from the bridge near the Guinness Brewery all the way to Custom House.
Four Courts Dublin is one of the most famous attractions along the stretch of the River Liffey. The Supreme Court and High Court are located in the building, and some of Ireland’s most fascinating court decisions were made here. Built between 1786 and 1796, the Four Courts Dublin was seriously damaged during the Irish Civil War, in the early 1920s. They opened again in 1932. If you have a particular interest in getting out on the waters, look into Liffey River cruises. These 45-minute sails operate daily from March through November. A relaxed ride along the River Liffey could be just the way to rest your feet after exploring the city.
Many visitors wonder where the Ha’Penny Bridge across the River Liffey got its name from. The story goes that before the cast-iron bridge was built, small ferries were in operation to bring people across the river. However, the status of the ferries declined over time, and the city put pressure on the ferries owner to fix them or build a bridge. He decided to build a bridge in 1816 and charged a toll of a half penny to anyone who wanted to cross. From 2001 to 2003 the bridge underwent renovations, and it is now once again a favorite element of the Dublin city landscape.