For the last few decades, the population of Dublin city-proper has hovered around 500,000. Today an additional million people live in the metro area. Recent years have seen unprecedented growth in Dublin and throughout Ireland, known as the 'Celtic Tiger'. Between 1995 and 2008, the economy grew quickly, at rates approaching 10% annually. Unfortunately, the recent economic crisis has ravaged Dublin and the rest of Ireland. The near future seems bleak.
Nevertheless, Dublin remains one of Europe's hippest tourist destinations. The Temple Bar neighborhood has become the city's hottest spot for nightlife. The city center is filled with pubs, art galleries, and trendy restaurants. Throughout the years Dublin has been home to many icons of literature, including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Jonathon Swift, Samuel Beckett, and George Bernard Shaw. That artistic tradition continues today, as the city is filled with art galleries. Live music is also commonplace in pub and other venues.
Ireland's economic woes should not be a turnoff for perspective visitors. If anything, it could prove a boon to tourists, as hotels and retailers try to attract visitors. Dublin still boasts trendy cafes, exotic restaurants, tons of pubs, and interesting shopping. All this in addition to Ireland's rich cultural heritage, including castles and rich Georgian architecture.