July 2015 and August 2016
Dublin is a city alive and full of energy in the best way possible. Wherever you go at whatever time of day, there always seems to be something fun going on, whether it's an art exhibition, music at the pubs, or just people out and about enjoying themselves despite the weather. And I do not mean to give the impression that it is full of energy in the stressed out, money driven. type-A frenzy way like Manhattan. Dublin isn't in your face like that. It is much more of a laid back energy, if that makes sense. There is never a dull moment.
On top of that, its a beautiful city as well. There are no high rise sky scrapers bearing down upon you, and the views near the Liffey in the center are incredibly picturesque. It is definitely a happening capital city, but I never felt that big impersonal feel. The city is pretty easily walkable, as there are a lot of pedestrian only streets, and nothing seems too far. And, unlike most big cities, Dublin has a fair amount of greenspace, which it used quite often for film screenings, concerts, and a variety of other events.
Best of all though, Dublin has a certain welcoming feel to it. To this day, it is still the only major city I've ever been to where random strangers would walk up to me and start up a conversation as if I were a life long friend. And no, this was not just at the bars, occasions like this seemed to happen anywhere at anytime.