Ireland

(36 Hours in Dublin)

A few years ago, I spent the better part of a weekend in Dublin en route to the United States. Many of my friends had always raved about Dublin — and they were right — it lived up to my expectations! While I only got a quick flavor of this city, I was able to hit several highlights and I hope to explore more of Ireland in the future.

Dublin

Dublin

I stayed at the Trinity City Hotel, which was a stately building with a boldly decorated interior. It had great service, comfortable rooms, and was centrally located, so I recommend it as a great hotel option.

Inside the Trinity City Hotel

As I arrived in the evening, most tourist sites were closed, so I ran out for a quick bite to eat at a local pub. I opted for Fitzgeralds on the south side of the Liffey River, a narrow pub that had great food (fish and chips), upbeat live music, and a cozy / convivial atmosphere. Even though I was travelling solo, there were plenty of people around ready to strike up a conversation between songs. As a result, I ended up staying much longer than expected — which is always a welcome outcome when you go into a pub and order the dreaded “table for one.”

Downtown Dublin

The next morning, I had breakfast and then headed to the famous Trinity College, with its sprawling campus and impressive architecture. The most famous spot is the ornate Old Library, an impressive, multi-storied building, with its wooden-paneled Long Room. The key sights here (other than the Harry Potteresque room itself) is the Book of Kells, a 9th Century manuscript of the Gospel in Latin (two of the four books are on public display).

Trinity College

Afterwards, I wandered down to Dublin Castle, dating back to around the year 1200, which features museums and majestic interior. I then walked over to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, a massive, gothic structure dating to around 1220.

Dublin Castle
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Audoen’s Church

I contemplated going to an art or history museum, but by that point I’d had my fill of history, so I headed to the Guinness Storehouse — which features a fun / interactive tour outlining the history of Guinness and beer brewing.

Once you get through the tour, you get to the good part — the rooftop bar with a 360 view of Dublin, serving up fresh Guinness on tap! I’d always heard that Guinness tastes better as you get closer to Dublin — and while I admit I didn’t notice a difference from the Guinness drafts I’ve had elsewhere, it was still fresh and delightful!

Guinness Storehouse
Fresh on tap!

Afterwards, I headed to the Phoenix Park for a bit of fresh air and exercise. The park is massive and has several monuments, gardens, and a zoo. I only went to the Saint James portion, but it was enough to get my fix of greenery!

For dinner, I went to the cobblestone old quarter south of the Liffey River, which is packed with pubs and restaurants. I opted for Temple Bar, which is a truly classic pub with great atmosphere (no wonder Irish bars have become world famous!) Even though the Temple Bar was bustling, I was able to grab a table pretty quickly. I got the Shepard’s pie, which tasted great after a day of walking around– and it seemed like a good choice while in Ireland (I think I had bangers and mash at a pub for lunch). (While in that area, don’t miss the Molly Malone Statue, built in honor of the fictional fish monger).

Temple Bar

Afterwards, I headed back to my hotel to get a few hours of sleep before my flight the next morning. All in all, it was a fantastic stopover in Dublin!

Apparently Dublin has a National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland — and while I didn’t go here myself — it sounds like it might be a good family-friendly option! Also, if you’re into Irish whiskey, there’s the Jameson Distillery and the Teeling Distillery in town.

Something for Next Time: I hope to get back to Ireland and visit many of the famous cities like Killarney, Galway, and Limerick.

4 Thoughts

  1. I am happy to see Dublin again, I lived there for several years. For such a short time, you have seen the essentials. For a quick tour of the city centre, my advice for the easiest way is to follow the Liffey River from the docks, which have been transformed into a modern business district, to Heuston station or even Phoenix Park. On the way back, walk to Temple Bar and then cross the Liffey to O’Connell Street. Of course there is more, that will be for another time 🙂

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