For my boyfriend’s Christmas / Birthday present, I surprised him with a trip to Dublin so that we could spend some good quality time together, whilst drinking a lot of Guinness, before he went back to uni at the end of the month. On 22nd January, we woke up at ridiculous-o’clock (4.15am to be precise) and made our way to Luton Airport.
After fearing we would miss our flight and subsequently googling what happens if you miss your flight, we eventually got to the airport and jumped on the plane after dropping my car off in one of the nearby airport car parks.
From the airport, we took a bus into the city centre to O’Connell Street, which was extremely easy thanks to the Airlink Bus Service (no. 747 if I remember correctly!). I had booked the Jury’s Inn Hotel on Parnell Street in a deal on booking.com, which suited us perfectly for our short 2 night stay. If you’re staying in a hotel in Dublin, I would definitely recommend getting breakfast included because Dublin is one of those cities that is quiet in the mornings and really comes to life from about midday onwards.
Once we had taken our bags to the hotel, we went back to O’Connell Street to purchase the 48-hour Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour tickets. Despite the city being small and almost everything being in walking distance, this was 100% worth it because there was so much information given about the city and it’s history. The tour guides are all really comical and light-hearted, sharing fun facts as well as historical, so it’s an ideal way of learning the culture of Dublin for those who perhaps aren’t interested in museums. The buses run every 15 minutes, which is great as you can get off where you want, then hop back on without having to spend a long time waiting.
Things to do:
- The bus tour mentioned above, you can get off where you want or stay on the whole route to listen to the tour guides and find out all about the city and main attractions.
- The Guinness Factory – if you follow us on Instagram (@allureofagirl), you’ll already know I HATE Guinness, but this is an experience for everyone!! It’s crazy how much the locals and tourists love the ‘black stuff’ and it’s pretty impressive finding out about its history and how it’s produced in St James Brewery. Plus, the 360 view of Dublin from the bar on the top floor is pretty cool!
- If you fancy shopping, Grafton Street & Henry Street are the locations you want!
- The Little Museum of Dublin. Awarded “Dublin’s Best Museum” by the Irish Times, this is the most unusual but fantastic museum experience. Set in a Georgian house within the Georgian area of Dublin City Centre, this 30 minute tour features a overview of Dublin’s history era by era throughout the 1900’s.
Places to see:
- Oscar Wilde home & memorial – just one of the world’s most influential writers who was born and raised in Dublin. I’m a massive bookworm and loved studying English Lit, so I find things like this really interesting. Since his childhood home is now owned by the American College Dublin, you can no longer take a tour inside, but it’s worth seeing and especially his memorial just opposite the house in Merrion Park. His statue is the only coloured one in the city, and is surrounded by his famous phrases and quotes.
- The Old Library, Trinity College. By doing the Book of Kells tour, you’ll be able to experience the beautiful, majestic, medieval library situated in the heart of Trinity College.
- St Stephen’s Green – the most beautiful park in the middle of a city and perfect for when the sun is shining.
- Phoenix Park – the largest enclosed park in England. Home to Dublin’s president, the USA’s Representative’s house, Dublin Zoo and a herd of wild deer, this park is crazy big! Don’t fancy walking around the whole park? Grab tickets for the Hop On Hop Off bus tour, it will take you through the park.
Places to eat / drink:
- The Old Storehouse, Temple Bar. Dublin is quite an expensive city, so drinking in the traditional pubs in Temple Bar can cost a small fortune. This turned out to be one of the most reasonably priced and had fantastic live folk music, which provided a great atmosphere amongst the whole audience.
- Elephant and Castle, Temple Bar. We were desperate to go here for dinner but they didn’t have a table and were fully booked, so we went for lunch the next day instead. Delicious and constantly busy, this place is so popular with the locals as well as the tourists!
- The Boxty House, Temple Bar. THE place to go for the best Irish Stew of your life. If you can’t decide on which stew you want, why not go for all of them! They have a stew platter on the menu, which features a smaller portion of each stew (Irish, Beef & Guinness and The Dublin Cobbler).
- Brick Alley Café, Temple Bar. It’s super quick here and they do a beautiful brunch!
- Metro Café, William Street South. Perfect, cosy café for a bite to eat at lunch. The service was good and very good value for money.
All in all, I would definitely recommend a trip to Dublin. Whether you’re there for the pubs and Guinness or there to learn about the history, there’s plenty of culture to suit everyone!
I hope you enjoyed reading, and if you’ve been to Dublin before please comment your experiences, I’d love to hear them!