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Guide hails Dublin's literary past

Dublin's literary draw has secured the city a place among 75 great escapes by leading travel experts.

A new guide from the Lonely Planet stable has listed the city as a must-see destination for culture vultures and one of dozens of out-of-the-ordinary trips for tourists.

It lists six essential experiences in the capital, including the Book of Kells, a play at the Abbey Theatre, the Chester Beatty Library and the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl.

It also suggests "pondering Oscar Wilde's rise and fall" at his memorial statue and following Leopold Bloom's footsteps with a "gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of burgundy at Davy Byrne's".

The guide claims it is hard to separate writers from pubs in Dublin, but also notes there are other literary spots worth checking out.

"The city is - to be frank - not one of Europe's most spectacular to look at. But maybe that's the key to escaping into Dublin's literary heart," the guide states.

"A rainy city on the western edge of Europe, with a history tinged with tragedy and a rich culture of folklore and storytelling was destined to turn inwards - to the pubs, the libraries, the galleries, the soul - and thus produce grand stories."

The guide praises Marsh's Library behind St Patrick's Cathedral, Sweny's Pharmacy which was mentioned in Ulysses and the most successful horror novel, Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The book looks at 75 handpicked escapes over 10 themes including culture, luxury, food and drink, romance, city, chill-out, shoestring, family, wild and party.

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