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A Guide to Dublin, Ireland

Warning! Spend a weekend in Dublin and you just might want to pick up and move there. The people are so kind and always up for a good time. Outside of the city in just under an hour you can be in the Wicklow Mountains National Park and really experience the beauty of the Irish countryside. So long as you're okay with leaving a piece of your heart in this beautiful Irish city, I've compiled all the best places from my experience, recommendations and research. See my article on fora here.



CATHEDRALS & HISTORICAL MONUMENTS

St. Patrick's Cathedral: Entry is €9. Our group elected not to go inside, but did walk by it and snap a picture. It is next to a beautiful park. There is a small cafe inside the park and when we were there on Sunday (March) there was a small market of trinkets and things. The cathedral is open 9:30AM-5PM Mon-Fri, and 9:00AM-6PM on Saturdays. Their hours on Sunday are a little different, so make sure you cross check.

Christ Church Cathedral: Super pretty, at least worth a walk by. Funky little Viking ship in a glass dome to the left too.

Dublin Castle: We saw this during our walking tour, but did not go inside. There is a pretty garden square right by it too. It is technically a helicopter landing pad too, and has been used as such by a couple U.S. presidents. While you're here checkout our the Bedford Tower.




MAIN ATTRACTIONS

River Liffey & Half Penny Bridge: There is no way to miss the river, it runs through the city, we stayed at the Jacob’s Inn Hostel on the North Side, and Temple bar district is on the south side. We were within walking distance of everything 1-1.5 mi to most attractions on the southern side.

Grafton Street: This street is filled with shops, and there are street musicians too that were quite good! It reminded me of Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona, Spain. There are restaurants off the side streets as well.

Guinness Storehouse: THIS is a MUST, especially if you like Guinness/Beer. The experience of the "self-guided storehouse walk through" is well worth the money. We elected to do the "Stout-ie" ticket upgrade for an extra €8, so we were able to have our photos printed in the foam of our first pint, and then with these tickets we also got an additional pint in the 360 view Gravity Bar on the top floor. The standard experience is €26, and the "Stout-ie" experience is €34. The other option is for €38 where you can learn how to pour the perfect Guinness. You can also get a student discount on pricing when you purchase your tickets. It is best to buy them online, and you should do it ahead of time because they cap the time slots.

Temple Bar District: There are lots of restaurants and little shops. Check out Dublin Vintage Factory, it's a super cute thrift shop where you pay by the kilo. I ended up purchasing a coat since it was chillier than expected.

OTHER CITY ATTRACTIONS

St. Stephen's Green Park: This is within walking distance of the St. Patrick's Cathedral (.5mi or so). You could spend plenty of time wandering around this park. It's beautiful, with fountains and green grass, and the admission is free. The park opens at 7:30am Mon-Sat, and 9am Sun. They close at dusk daily. Kilmainham Gaol Prison Tour: This fills up, but I have been told it is worth the visit, just get your tickets online in advance. Wicklow Mountains/Glendalough: We did the morning tour for €33/person. They offer an afternoon option also. The entire excursion was about 5 hours long and started at 8:00am (for the morning tour). It was well worth the time.The views and hike to the upper lake were beautiful. Trinity College & Book of Kells Library: We didn't fit this in, but I have heard it's pretty cool. The admission tickets for the library are available here.


Places to eat & drink in Dublin, Ireland


Quay’s Irish Restaurant: Great fish and chips.

The Boxty House: Brunch, mimosas, gluten free option for fish and chips.

Black Forge Inn: Connor McGregor's Restaurant, can take train 20 min. You need a reservation, and ask to hold the belt. Try the Forge Stout, similar to a Guinness, but it's McGregor's.

O'Donoghues: Great food located off Grafton St.

Brazen House: Oldest Pub in Dublin, great food too!


PUBS

Whelans: Wexford St, supposed to be more traditional Irish.

BadBobs: Club/bar like 4 floors (temple bar district).

Oliver St John Gogharty: Live music, 8/9€ beers (temple bar district).

Norseman Pub: Live music (temple bar district).

Old Storehouse: Live music, try their red Irish lemonade (temple bar district).

Temple Bar: Super touristy and typically busy, worth a pic in front.

Patty Mac's: Great music, pricey drinks.

The Cobblestone: Supposed to be more local and reasonable prices.

J&M Clearly: Supposed to be more local and reasonable prices.


OTHER CITIES Howth (City): This is a coastal port city outside of Dublin, I heard good things, but we didn't go. You can take a bus from Dublin for €5-6/person, and it runs every 30 min. The ride is about 30 minutes. Highlights in Howth: cliff walk, Howth market, Balscadden Bay Beach, Harbour and shops/restaurants.

Galway: This is easy to do in combination with the Cliffs of Moher. Things to see if you trek up toward Northern Ireland: Giants Causeway & Cliffs of Moher, (message me for transportation or excursions from Dublin.)

DAY TRIPS Trip to Wicklow Mountain National Park, Trip to Cliffs of Moher & Galway.


Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, A Guide to "Czeching" Out Prague.

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