Usually I’m a fan of the ‘Off the beaten track’ style of travelling. I’d rather spend an entire day lost wandering hidden side streets than following some bloke waving an umbrella around, pointing out every nook and cranny. This trip however I thought I’d embody the ‘tourist’, ironically choosing the one country I could possibly pass as a local…
My original plan was to head to Dublin for new year but with flights being over £200 I scraped that and bagged myself return flights for £45 a few weeks later, thanking you RyanAir!
With my feet on Irish soil I hopped onboard the 700 Bus, which leaves every 15 minutes with multiple stops in the city centre. Easiest and cheapest way of getting into the centre in my humble opinion, unless of course you have loads of money, then hop in a taxi... because, well you can.
With backpack, trainers and map in hand it’s time to explore the city. So what’s the Craic?
I shan’t bore you with the nitty gritties of my weekend, instead here’s 8 things I’d suggest doing.
1. The Guinness Storehouse
Feck it, let’s broach the subject. The Guinness Storehouse. You know it was going to make the list at some stage, so just go. At 20 euros it comes in as one of the most expensive attractions, that being said it does include a pint of guinness, so swings and roundabouts. Head to the gravity bar for sky views.
2. Kilmainham Gaol
Since you will obviously be going to the Storehouse you may as well walk the extra 15 minutes to Kilmainham Gaol - the prison. At €4 each it’s far cheaper, and also very popular with slots booking up quickly. So get there early. This tour gives you a real insight into the history of Irelands justice system, if that doesn’t thrill you with excitement how about seeing scenes where The Italian Job was filmed?
3. Irish Museum Of Modern Art
If you aren’t museumed out stop at the IMMA (Irish Museum Of Modern Art), situated just across from the prison. The majority of the exhibitions are free, making it worthwhile. That being said I have no doubt you will have seen better art museums in your life. So don’t rush, just good for a rainy day activity.
4. Grafton Street
Shopping was bound to make an appearance. Stroll Grafton Street but don't forget the hidden side streets with many a gem to be found. I'd suggest grabbing a hot choc from Butler's (it comes with a free chocolate, just saying). Once you've finished your retail therapy head into St Stephen's Green, if you're feeling nice, grab some bread and feed the birds.
5. Elephant & Castle
I don't doubt you've taken up my advice and fed those birds, so now reward yourself. Head over to temple and find the notorious Elephant & castle it's busy so either get there earlier or go at an awkward hour of the day. Sorry vegetarians but this really is for the meat eaters. Chicken wings. I'd just like to point out I have never once ordered chicken wings on a menu but here it is a must! Just order 'Spicy chicken wings in a basket' €13, you will be not regret it. Trust me.
6. Trinity College
Time for a bit more sightseeing I think. Just a short walk away you will find Trinity College Dublin, think Oxford and Cambridge style. This is Ireland's top university and is also ranked in the worlds top 100. So it's pretty special. If nothing else scenes from Educating Rita starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine were shot here, so go have a look.
Make an evening of it and catch a show. Dublin has an array of lovely theatres, from local performances to touring productions. I opted for a trip to Mary Poppins at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. I'll be honest with you, my whole trip was actually centred around catching up with friends, three of whom were performing in this show, so managed to get a sneaky backstage tour.
Drinks. I mean, it's a must. You're in Dublin, which means you must do as the locals do. I managed to catch a quick visit with one of my best pals Leah, who also doubled up as my tour guide, or shall we say bar crawl companion... I'd love to say I remember every place I went, but I'd be lying. One that sticks in my mind however is ironically 'The Bar With No Name', much like drinking in a strangers front room. All the fun.
So Dublin was a dream, the perfect weekend getaway,
That's all from me,