Dublin defies the stereotype of quaint old Ireland. The vibrant, modern capital embodies the nation's fast-changing fortunesIreland's GDP has nearly doubled in the past decade. And Dublin manifests the change with contemporary culture: In the Temple Bar district, you can wander cobblestone lanes to discover art galleries, bars, and clubs. Then escape the urban and stroll the Wicklow Way, about 30 minutes from downtown. The 80-mile trail meanders through forest wilderness and sheep-spotted hillsides. It takes up to ten days to complete, but with so many pickup points, hikers can do an abridged version. www.wicklowway.com
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