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Dublin is ...
• The capital city of the Republic of Ireland.
• A one-time Viking settlement known in the Irish language as black pool (dubh lind).
• A city with the sea on one side and mountains to the south.
• A city with colourful history spanning 1,000 years, which celebrated its official millennium in 1988.
• The city that gave the world Guinness, Sinéad O'Connor, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, James Joyce and U2.
• Venue for the European Qualifiers draw on 2 December 2018
Where is it
Dublin stands on the east coast of Ireland, in the province of Leinster, and at the mouth of the Liffey, with the Wicklow Mountains to the south. It is around 800km from Paris, 5,000km from New York and more like 17,000km from Canberra.
• With an all-seated capacity of over 50,000, the Dublin Arena has been home to the Republic of Ireland's football and rugby union teams since it opened in 2010.
• The venue stands on the site of the old Lansdowne Road ground, which had been, for the most part, the Irish football team's stadium of choice since the 1980s.
• Ángel Di María's 20th-minute strike in Argentina's 1-0 friendly win over Ireland on 11 August 2010 was the first international goal at the new arena.
• There was also only one goal scored when, in 2011, the Dublin Arena staged the all-Portuguese UEFA Europa League final, Radamel Falcao getting Porto's winner against Braga.
• Top musical acts to have played at the venue include Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and AC/DC.
Matches at the Dublin Arena
15 June, time tbc – Group E match
19 June, time tbc – Group E match
24 June, time tbc – Group E match
30 June, time tbc – Round of 16 (1D v 2F)
Getting to and around Dublin
A compact city best explored on foot, Dublin is served by Dublin Bus, the DART light rail system and LUAS trams, while the Dublin Bikes hire scheme gives another option for visitors. A destination for regular flights from 41 countries, Dublin Airport lies to the north of the city, while regular ferries run from the docks to Holyhead and Liverpool, linking up with the UK's national rail network.
Where to stay
Ireland was visited by a record ten million tourists in 2017, with Dublin well-equipped to welcome visitors with its range of hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and hostels. See useful links below.
What to see
For culture: From the world famous Guinness Storehouse to Trinity College's Book of Kells, Dublin is steeped in history. The Dublin Discovery Trails are recommended, such as 'Dubline', which traces the spine of the old city, taking in Kilmainham Gaol.
For atmosphere: Temple Bar is the destination of choice for beery tourists, though bustling O'Connell Street, lined with monuments commemorating heroes of Ireland's struggle for independence, has a more dramatic sweep.
For fresh air: Phoenix Park - Europe's largest -, Stephen's Green, Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square offer green space in the city, and a different view of Dublin can be taken by kayaking on the River Liffey or the Royal Canal or kitesurfing along Dollymount Strand.
Eating and drinking
Dublin has an exceptional, diverse dining scene, but be sure to sample some Irish delicacies. Dublin is famous for its prawns, not to mention Molly Malone's cockles and mussels, and you can try an Irish Stew while enjoying a pint of the black stuff – Guinness – at the panoramic Gravity Bar atop the Guinness Storehouse or sample Irish whiskey at the Jameson, Teeling's and Pearse Lyons distilleries.
Football in the city
Football is the biggest participation sport in Ireland, and Dublin has plenty of clubs in the national top division. The big local rivalry is between Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers, though a Shelbourne-Bohemians north Dublin derby and a Shamrock Rovers-St Pats game south of the Liffey are also eagerly anticipated. The students of University College Dublin are also an established club, with Cabinteely an up-and-coming local side.
Get out of the city
The charming coastal villages of Howth and Dun Laoghaire are a short train journey from central Dublin, while hill-walkers, mountain bikers and nature enthusiasts should head south to the Wicklow Mountains. Malahide Castle, Dalkey Castle and the James Joyce Tower and Museum are other great locations to visit, though nature lovers might prefer to take a 4km walk from Malahide to Portmarnock, both UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, with the option of a paddle in the Irish Sea to cool any grumbling feet.
Visit Dublin: http://www.visitdublin.com/
Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/ireland/dublin
Dublin City Council: https://www.dublincity.ie/
Dublin Stadium: http://www.avivastadium.ie/
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI): http://www.fai.ie/