As you may have read in other posts I had to spend a few weeks working in Dublin which meant quite a lot of time away from home so one weekend we decided rather than me having to travel back to London again, Euan would come over for the weekend and we could get the chance to explore Dublin together!
I had been to Dublin as a child but we had such a great time there for a weekend. It is big enough that there is lots to do but small enough you can see a lot of the city in a short weekend. To get our bearings we headed on a free walking tour (check them out here) with our hilarious guide Lisa who really made our day. She was friendly, funny and told really interesting stories from Irish history from ancient times right up to recent years and could also recommend places for us to visit and things to do with the rest of our weekend. We started at City Hall and went through Dublin Castle and Dublin Gardens…
We then headed into the famous Temple Bar. This is the area in Dublin where all the tourists go and you will probably get charged an extortionate amount for a Guinness. However it is also the cultural quarter of Dublin – cobbled streets filled with galleries, independent stores, coffee shops and of course pubs. Our guide pointed our great places to go that aren’t overpriced which included the Porterhouse Brewery, a pub that has its own microbrewery. Unfortunately I didn’t take a note of other names but she did say that a Dubliner would never pay more than €5.50 for a pint of Guinness so if you are being charged more than that, chances are you are being ripped off!
We had a wander through the ground of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s equivalent of Oxbridge. It is where Oscar Wilde studied and currently where King Joffrey studies, well the actor that played King Joffrey. We didn’t manage to spot him but I’m sure he is sick of Game of Thrones fans staring and throwing an insult or two!
After our walking tour finished we grabbed some lunch and then went for a walk around St Stephen’s Green, the park in the centre of Dublin that is a little oasis from the city. Luckily the sun came out for us – I had forgotten how changeable Irish weather can be so all day it had veered between hot sunshine and rain showers. One piece of advice for Dublin is bring a jacket and carry an umbrella, no matter how the day starts out!
Our afternoon was topped off with a visit to the famous Bewley’s coffee shop on George Street where I indulged in some delicious carrot cake and a coffee. We then had a wander around the Chester Beatty Library, a fantastic free museum filled with religious artifacts from Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and more. So interesting and is just beside Dublin Castle if you are in the area!
There is so much more to do in Dublin than we managed so a few things that I would like to do on my next visit are:
- Visit the Guinness Factory
- The National Library allows you to trace your surname to see if you have any Irish heritage. Even for me who is from an Irish family, I thought this would be pretty cool!
- Gallery of Photography
- Kilmainham Gaol
- National Museum of Ireland
The rest of our weekend was pretty chilled and mainly involved eating, drinking and general lazing about. We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel which is a few miles from the city centre (about ten minutes in a taxi) which has the major advantage that it has a pool area where we could just chill out – especially in the jacuzzi! The rooms were luxurious as well and absolutely enormous! This is one of the few hotels in Dublin with a pool and the area it is in is filled with nice restaurants so if you want to be out of the city a little or explore a new part of Dublin, I recommend this area!
On a side note you may notice the badge I am wearing in a few of the photos. When we were there it was the in the run up to the referendum on legalizing equal marriage for all in Ireland. I was delighted to see how many people were proud to wear Yes to Equality badges and so many shops, cafes and restaurants were openly supporting it! Also happy to say the Yes vote passed with a 62% majority!! It is time everyone just had the right to be who they want to be and love who they want to love and not have to worry about the reactions of other people or feel that they are less of a person or citizen. A proud day in Irish history!