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Dublin to the beat of U2

Wall of Fame in Dublin
U2 museum piece
The Clarance Hotel

©Turismo de Irlanda Turismo de Irlanda ©iamacosmonaut ShelleyC28 via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

This legendary band’s journey has always been closely connected to the city from where they emerged 40 years ago. Let’s follow the footsteps of Bono and company along the streets of Dublin.
The group most representative of the Irish music scene in recent decades is undoubtedly U2, and Irish culture has always greatly influenced these four musicians. U2 formed in 1970s Dublin. Two of its members, Bono and The Edge, are Dubliners and have always felt very close to the capital (both men are recipients of the Freedom of the City of Dublin award). The band continues to perform all over the world, with devoted fans willing to follow them wherever they go. Many come to Ireland to see for themselves where it all began. If you’re interested in learning more about the origins of Bono and company, have your pen and paper ready to take note of a lot of places.

The famous Temple Bar district is one such place: its Wall of Fame pays tribute to successful Irish artists, both past and present. Not surprisingly, U2 take pride of place. Dublin even has a Rock ‘n’ Stroll Trail, with commemorative plaques fixed to buildings all over the city. Two are dedicated to U2, one at Windmill Lane Studios, where they recorded their earlier albums (the studios have since moved), and the other at Dandelion Market, the venue for the group’s first gigs. However, the pilgrimage to see all of U2’s Dublin doesn’t stop there. You can visit the locations where they filmed some of their most iconic music videos (Fitzwilliam Square or the roof of The Clarence Hotel). Other interesting spots include places where they rehearsed or which starred in the band’s early promotional photos, as well as the house where Bono grew up.
Thanks to their fans, U2 have their own Dublin exhibition. Entitled ‘U2: Made in Dublin’, it’s on at The Little Museum of Ireland. This fan-curated exhibition charts the band’s journey over the last 40 years, featuring treasured photos and souvenirs. It’s a definite must-see for all U2 fans visiting the Irish capital.

Another essential stop is the Hard Rock Cafe Dublin. Inside, U2 memorabilia graces the walls and display cases of this establishment. A true tribute. Standout items include handwritten song lyrics and one of the cars from the Zoo TV Tour, which took them halfway around the world between 1992 and 1993.

U2’s Dublin by bike

See Dublin by Bike organises enjoyable themed tours around the city, including a special tour, U2’s Dublin. This excursion lasts two hours and costs €30. Stops are made at landmarks related to the band’s story, from the legendary to the most curious, such as the school that expelled Bono.

Bono’s hotel

It’s every fan’s dream to stay at The Clarence Hotel in Dublin, owned by Bono and The Edge. It started out as the group’s meeting place, until the duo purchased it in 1992 (reopening in 1996). Located in the heart of the city, the website describes it as ‘Dublin’s original rock ‘n’ roll hotel’. The perfect place to stay if you’re looking for an experience that’s 100% Irish and 100% U2.