If you like bars, eating and history then Dublin is the ideal place to visit for a short city-scape. We popped over with the intention of drinking our body weights in Guinness, however, we found a lot more to do in the city than purely bar hopping. Ireland has a sad and interesting history and Dublin is the place to learn all about it. Our approach to this was a self-guided walking tour around the city whilst googling the places we stopped at. The city centre is quite small, so this can easily be accomplished in a half day.
Accommodation costs are pretty dear, especially when there is a public holiday on the Monday! We found that the cheapest places were on AirBnB and booked a place right near the Kilmainham Gaol. This area was pretty close to the main centre of town which made it an ideal spring board for exploring the city. If you are in the area I would recommend visiting Kilmainham Gaol as it has a lot of historical significance and is home to a great museum. However, the first thing we did when we arrived in the evening was head straight to the nearest pub called the Patriot’s Inn for some live music and Guinness.
Also in this area is a fabulous brunch spot called Storyboard that do really good food and coffee, especially great after all those Guinness’s the night before! And afterwards, the Irish National War Memorial Park is a lovely, green place to go for a stroll or a picnic.
Our self-guided walking tour of the city took us past many of the top historical sights including the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral, the famous Temple Bar and nearby Ha’penny bridge. We enjoyed walking over the River Liffey to check out the North side of Dublin, stopping at the historically significant General Post Office and checking out The Spire.
We then headed back over the river to visit the gorgeous Trinity College, which I recommend taking a bit of time to walk around, as well as seeing the Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament’s Lower House) and the Molly Malone Statue (famous Dublin song/story). We finished our walking tour with some pastries and a rest in St Stephen’s Green. The calm before the storm of Irish pubs we were about to descend upon.
Right near St Stephen’s Green were two of our favourite pubs in Dublin. The first one we visited was called O’Donoghues which embodied your imagination’s imagining of an Irish Pub. The next was Toners where we sat outside and ordered delicious pizza from the nearby Cirillos. These pubs are all along a street called Merrion Row, which provides a great place for an afternoon pub crawl.
No trip to Dublin is complete without a visit to the Guinness Factory. It is worth booking your tickets in advance as they are a bit cheaper and you avoid the queue (approximately 20 Euro per person). I didn’t have high expectations for the factory but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. It is well set out and very interesting and informative, plus you get a ‘free’ pint of Guinness at the top and are rewarded by some fabulous views of Dublin.
Finally, your visit to Dublin is not complete without a night out in town. We started off at a fun place for dinner called 777. It doesn’t have a great name and does not look very inviting from the outside, but boy it is a different world when you walk inside. If you don’t like loud music then it probably isn’t the place for you. This place is loud. But it’s also quirky with incredibly delicious food. With our bellies full we then partied the night away at The Stag’s Head (for some live music) and then a place called Berlin (more of a club vibe).
Overall our time in Dublin was great. It is definitely the kind of place you only need to spend a couple of days in, but there is plenty to do, see, eat and drink. We were lucky with the weather and had plenty of sunshine so maybe my opinion is a bit biased. Cost wise it is expensive though, Yikes!
Here is a breakdown of our costs for 2 people over 3 days:
Accommodation – E275.50 (NZ$468)
Food/Drink – E368 (NZ$626)
Transport – E95.50 (NZ$162)
Activities – E42 (NZ$72)
Total spent – E781 (NZ$1,328)