Grafton Street is the central shopping area of Dublin hosting a range of brands, from designer fashion to affordable style, along one of the busiest and most vibrant streets in the city. It extends across the centre of Dublin from Saint Stephen’s Green to College Green and is one of the most expensive shopping districts in the world. Visitors can relax in the cafes and restaurants or enjoy the street musicians that perform on the road, making Grafton Street an experience for anyone, not just shoppers.
For any shopping style, from cheap vintage clothing to exclusive designer brands, Grafton Street has it all, particularly, as a promotional platform for Irish and international labels, the newest fashions and products. The area is equally busy in the evening when the pubs welcome visitors to enjoy a standard Irish pint of Guinness, or try a classy cocktail. The street has a strong creative spirit with the street performers that play in its busy centre, and many of these buskers have gone on to become famous artists. Grafton Street holds a cultural spark, as well as creative one, by hosting the National Gallery of Ireland and the Little Museum of Dublin, both significant buildings of national culture.
Dublin does not have a metro system, so the best way to navigate the city is by foot or via the extensive bus routes. Most the city buses travel to Grafton Street, and the closest train stations of Pearse and Tara Street are still only a ten-minute walk away.
The history of Grafton Street as a fashionable district dates back hundreds of years, but it was in the 1980s, when the Street became a pedestrian zone, that its shopping facilities received proper attention. More boutiques and stores moved into the historic buildings and popularity rose, fuelled by the similarly growing success of the buskers and street performers. The street retains its local roots, and in 2004, there was a public campaign, supported by the Mayor of Dublin, to save one of the streets first local businesses, Bewley's Oriental Café.