Dividing Dublin into north and south, the River Liffey is the subject of stories and songs by everyone from James Joyce to Radiohead. Entwined in Dublin's cultural identity, let's just say that some of the stories surrounding the Liffey are more than a little mythical: so if any Dubliners tell you that the capital’s Guinness tastes so good because the water comes from the Liffey, let them know that Guinness water is actually piped from the Wicklow mountains.
A popular spot for a river cruise or for a spot of canoeing, in recent years, the Liffey has had its riverbanks' developed so that you can stroll the overhanging boardwalks and visit the riverside parks which run alongside many parts of the river. Most Dublin attractions are near the river, and there are plenty of bridges to help you get from side to side, including the famous Ha'penny Bridge, built in 1816, and the modern Samuel Beckett bridge which is shaped like a harp. Around O'Connell Bridge in particular, there are plenty of coffee kiosks. To really get to know the water, join in the The Liffey Swim. First held in 1920, the annual race is held every September and over 300 people take to the challenge.
Cruises along the river generally last around 45 minutes, and while onboard a tour guide will detail the history of the city. The Guinness Storehouse is just a few streets away from the Liffey on St James’s Gate.