“The truth is that I am in love with Dublin. I think it is the most beautiful town that I have ever seen, mountains at the back and the sea in front, and long roads winding through decaying suburbs and beautiful woods” – George A. Moore
Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, holds over 1,000 years of history. This vibrant city is the largest city in Ireland, yet compact and charming. Dublin is home to over 750 pubs and some of the friendliest people in the world. We could have easily spent our trip in Dublin seeing nothing more than the inside of pubs, but there are plenty more things to do in this city than just drinking pints of Guinness. We spent three nights in Dublin and were able to experience many of the historic sights, since they are within the city center.
Here are my recommendations on top things to do while visiting Dublin along with where to stay and a few tips.
WHERE TO STAY
I would recommend staying in the city centre, as you will be within walking distance of just about everything! The city centre has hotels, hostels and even Air BNB’s for any budget. We chose to stay in this fabulous Air BNB situated in the Trinity College neighborhood. It was the perfect location to get to all the main sights that we wanted to see. We were surrounded by great restaurants and pubs, like Mulligan’s. The apartment itself was clean, modern, fully equipped with a kitchen, washer/dryer and much much more. Our hosts were always accessible via telephone and communicated before, during and after our stay. I would recommend this particular Air BNB for two couples, a family or even friends that want their own bedroom space.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Getting around Dublin is pretty easy. I would not recommend renting a car unless your planning to drive outside of Dublin during your stay. The bus system is one way to get around Dublin, as well as their electronic train, The Dart. Both options stop near all major sights throughout the city. The Dart runs approximately every 15 minutes.
There is no Uber in Dublin, however they have their own ride sharing company called My Taxi. We personally used this when needed. I suggest you download the app and plug in all your information before arriving in Dublin so you can use it to get into the city. The airport ride cost us about 40 USD, however rides in the city centre were usually less than 10 USD. We pretty much walked to the majority of the places during our visit, but My Taxi was perfect when we didn’t feel like walking at night after having some pints. Whichever option you chose, you shouldn’t have a problem getting around Dublin.
TOP THINGS TO DO
I suggest always doing a Free walking tour in any city that offers one! I typically do it on the first day of arrival since its an awesome introduction into the city! It’s a great way to see the most important landmarks and sites and to even meet people if you’re traveling solo. The Dublin Free Walking Tour offers tours at 11 AM and 3 PM daily!
Trinity College is rated as one of the best schools in the world. You should take a look at this magnificent campus and buildings while in Dublin. On a nice day, it is the perfect place to take a stroll. Don’t miss the guided tour by students of the historic library and the Book of Kells! The current cost is about $13 per person.
If you drink one beer while in Dublin, Ireland make sure it is a pint of Guinness! Guinness is THE Irish beer and Dublin is the very heart of where it is made. You can smell the hops throughout the city and that’s because 10 million pints of Guinness are brewed EVERY DAY! Not only do I suggest you visit here, but also pay alittle extra for the Gold Tour, which includes a tasting of over 5 different types of Guinness. At the end of you tour, you receive a gift and a pint of Guinness to enjoy while taking in 360 degree panoramic views of the city on top of their brewery. Sounds awesome right? Taste, enjoy and experience Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.
At some point make sure you stop by Temple Bar, it’s one of the most popular pubs in Dublin and is super touristy, but you just have to do it! Go in and grab a pint and take in the entire experience. Temple Bar is also the name of the street, which you should also explore as it worth a stroll! After you think you’ve had enough, pub crawl to some less touristy spots.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. The present Cathedral building, in terms of shape and size, dates from 1220-1259. With over 800 years of history and Ireland’s oldest Cathedral, Saint Patrick’s should not be overlooked during your visit.
The Irish Whiskey Museum will take you on an interactive guided tour through the history of Irish whiskey. At the end, you get to do a tasting of whiskeys. I suggest you opt for the upgraded package, which offers some additional aged whiskeys too.
Dublin Castle is an amazing piece of Irish history. The castle dates back to 13th century and was originally developed as a medieval fortress under the orders of King John of England. It had four corner towers linked by high curtain walls and was built around a large central enclosure. Today, one original corner tower still stands.
If you want an authentic Irish experience in Ireland then you must do at least one pub crawl! I suggest trying to find places that have some traditional Irish music and history. Here is a list of a few joints we visited and really enjoyed:
I really love a great looking door! I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true! Colorful doors give me life! The story of these doors dates back to the 1700’s during the Georgian Dublin time period (1714-1830), an era of architectural style of the city’s buildings and also marks the beginning reign of King George I to the death of King George IV. New chic Georgian homes were being developed and given strict architectural guidelines. At that time, each building maintained the same look and lacked any originality. Eventually, residents began adding their own personal style to their doors. Colorful painted doors with ornate knockers and elegant knobs was a result of what you see today! No need to schedule any specific time to do this, just simply keep an eye out while walking around the city of Dublin during visit. If you are in Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square, Baggot Street or Leeson Street you will be able to easily spot these beauties!
One thing I definitely like about Dublin is how close it is to some of the most beautiful areas of Ireland. Ireland isn’t big, and within no time you’ll be standing face to face with the ocean, overlooking the cliffs of Ireland. I recommend you go on an excursion to the Cliffs of Moher! Wild Rover Tours offers an excellent day tour which also includes the Wild Atlantic Way and the city of Galway!
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