Last week I wrote about my favorite vintage shops in Dublin but this beautiful town is perfect for a lovely and funny weekend even if you are not a vintage addict. I am sure that you’ll love it and that you will be amazed by the incredible Georgian buildings, the amazing historical pubs and the lovely and friendly people.
I walked a lot in town and I had the chance to see a lot of things so I thought I could give you a couple of tips if you are planning to stay there soon, even if for a short weekend. You can easily walk around and see everything without even taking a bus (which is not the easiest thing to do there!). But if f you plan to stay more make sure you get a Leap card and the Dublin transportation app on your phone as you will definitely need it!
Let’s start from the must-see: you cannot say that you have visited Dublin if you haven’t spent time at the famous Trinity College with its stunning campus and the immense library (you can see the Book of Kelly there). Walking around the campus will be a great and suggestive experience!
Make sure you also visit the beautiful Castle and all the area around as it is worth a long stop; if you like libraries you must definitely visit the Chester Beatty Library in the Castle area.
I am not a fan of churches but the Christ Church and Saint Patrick Cathedral are really magnificent: you pay entrance for both but it’s well spent money! If you can have a look at the first one during nighttime just do it as it is even more appealing with night lights!
Must-see places are important but one of the best things to do in Dublin is getting lost and wandering to discover incredible things: from the fantastic buildings around Merrion Square (don’t forget to see Oscar Wilde’s statue in the park!) to the high-street shops in Grafton Street and the lovely shops in all the little streets around the area.
This is how I found the loveliest buildings, areas, art (for example Joyce characters’ statues) and The Little Museum of Dublin, one of the most interesting surprises of Dublin. It is a small museum where everything was donated by Dubliners and with a special room dedicated to U2!
Of course Dublin means also Guinness: the Guinness storehouse is worth a visit even if you will need to get a tram to get there and even if the ticket seems a bit pricy (20 euros). It is a tour that will involve your five senses and it will end up with a pint of Guinness (included in the ticket) on the rooftop of the building where you can admire a 360° view over the city! Make sure you get there early enough to avoid the crowd and to fully enjoy it!
Speaking of beer I can’t remember another trip where I drank that much! Guinness in Ireland has a different taste and I couldn’t help having at least a daily pint of pleasure! There are loads of great pubs, many of them have also great history but let me give you a few tips about my favorite ones (also advised by locals!): I loved The Palace Bar, The Stag’s Head, The Mercantile and The Long Hall for their history hanging on their walls but I also adored Anseo (in Camden Street), the O’Donoghue’s and the Brazen Head (famous for being named in Joyce’s Ulysses). If you want to try other local beers the Porterhouse has a great choice. Temple Bar area is full of pubs (and vintage shops!) but they are not all the same so ask to locals if you are in doubt. One of the loveliest thing in Dublin is that people love to help tourists and you are often asked if you need help when they see you a bit lost!
My favorite place for eating in town was The Winding Stair, a lovely independent bookshop that has also an adjacent restaurant with great fish. Don’t forget to book your table because it is often very crowded. If you also want to try a great fish and chips make sure to head to Leo Burdock: they have more shops in Dublin but the one in Temple Bar has also tables and seats (try also a take-away if you can: eating fish and chips while walking on Ha’Penny Bridge is priceless!).
If you love rugby you can try to get tickets for the Six Nations if it fits your dates: I was there during the competition but not when Ireland played in Dublin so I had to watch the match in one of the abovementioned pubs and let me tell you that this is another experience that you shouldn’t miss!
Last but not least, if you have time try to reach the sea, especially in winter: I visited Howt (less than 30 minutes by train) and I was amazed by the cliffs and the lovely atmosphere of this fishermen’s village. While observing the nature here you can’t help making deep thoughts about life and enjoying the solitude in front of the sea.
Well, it was a very short guide but I tried to give my best advices; let me know if they were helpful for your trip!