Dublin is a fantastic city. The people are friendly, the food is hearty, the beer and whiskey are great, and there is so much charm you just can’t help but fall for it. The biggest problem? It’s impossible to navigate. The roads are tiny and not a single one is straight. Thank the gods for a bar on every corner, otherwise it’d be unbearable.
If you’re looking for the foodie version, check out must eat food in Ireland. There are A LOT of things to do in Dublin here are a few of my favorites.
Take a walk through literary history at the Long Room
Dublin has quite a collection of books and libraries, but the Long Room at Trinity College is so incredibly impressive. Most have seen photos of it, but to be there in person with these world-changing books, in the midst of so much history is downright amazing. The entire place is made of about 1 million trees, from the intricate bookshelves, to the wood panels going up the entire wall onto the ceiling, to the books themselves. This is a case where I wish I had smell-o-vision, so you could experience the smell of all of these ancient books. March’s library, although smaller (and it’s not allowed to take photographs – boo!), is also very worth a visit.
Take a break from the city in Stephen’s Green
I love parks in big cities, and St. Stephen’s Green does not disappoint. There were loads of families feeding the ducks and happy couples walking hand in hand. It was like a Utopia. I spent hours walking through the park snapping photos of all the birds (for some reason I love photographing birds). The best part? Walking around the corner for a Guinness…
Grab a Guinness (or two or more, hell grab one with every meal).
I love stout beers, so I was destined to gain a thousand pounds by drinking Guinness instead of water at every meal. It’s true, and I don’t regret it. Dublin also has a great craft beer scene, so if I wasn’t drinking Guinness, I was drinking that. Yes, I was a little dehydrated.
Eat your weight in soda bread
Speaking of gaining a thousand pounds… I have no idea how the Irish do what they do to a simple soda bread. But I LOVE it, and I’m bound and determined to recreate this at home (stay tuned!). Or go back to Ireland for more… actually, I can’t decide which one would be better!
Get creeped out at the crypt
St. Michan’s church on Church Street is built on the site of a Danish church from 1095, even though the current structure was built in the 1600s. The crypt of the church is made from limestone, which creates the perfect condition for preserving mummified remains. Some of the bodies are over 400 years old!
Grab a drink in church
Dublin has this super old church that someone purchased and turned into a bar. Now this is the type of church I’ll go to. The atmosphere is (obviously) different, with the high ceilings, stained glass and old pipe organ. Thankfully the pews have been swapped for more comfy seats and tables, and no kneeling is ever required. Good luck finding the bathrooms, though!
Stroll down the pedestrian only Grafton Street
It’s always nice to walk through the pedestrian section of any city. I practically had my face plastered to all the pastry shop windows. There will almost always be some type of performance or musician, and I adored the flower stalls that set up along the alleys.
Visit as many pubs as possible
My favorite part about visiting the pubs was striking up conversations with the Irish people over a pint. The Irish are very warm, talkative and friendly!
Get wonderfully lost
I love getting slightly lost in a city, and Dublin is perfect for it. I found some of the most quaint and adorable pubs, restaurants and shops by making a wrong turn. It’s actually difficult not to get to lost in Dublin, with it’s short and windy streets that seem to change names every block.
Visit the Old Jameson Distillery
There is no shortage of whiskey in Ireland, but Jameson might be the best known name. The original distillery dates back to the late 1700s, and even though it is not longer used as a distillery, if you like whiskey, you’ve got to try their whiskey tasting!
Visit Dublin Castle
This thing is like a city in itself, with a history over 800 years old. It’s pretty much been the center of every political event in Dublin’s history. The Norman Tower was great to photograph, and is an in tact medieval tower.
Drinks at Temple Bar
Yeah, there’s a lot of drinking in Dublin. The Temple Bar area is touristy, but it’s a must for first-time Dubliners. The buildings are old and just gorgeous, oozing old charm. The area started out as a medieval suburb of Dublin, which fell to shambles in the 1600s and then was a known area to pick up prostitutes in the 1700s. Now it’s a touristy spot to grab a drink. Go figure.
Accommodations in Dublin Ireland
Dublin can be an expensive city, although there are quite a variety of places to stay. Here are some of my choices, from quaint guest houses, to swank upscale and a party-central hostel.
A fabulous family-run option. A little far away from the town center of Dublin, but charming and quiet and close to a bus stop. The perfect place to really get to know Dublin from a residential perspective. And easy on the wallet too! If you’ve rented a car, this might be a fabulous option since they offer free parking!
Price Range: $90/night USD
Not easy on the wallet, but it’s definitely easy on the eyes. Super luxurious and elegant, with an old warm charm. Even with all that, the best part about this hotel is it’s convenient location in the center of Dublin.
Price Range: $450++/night USD
Great location in the touristy (but lively) Temple Bar District, with a fabulous price point. Both dorm rooms and private rooms are available, and it’s still within walking distance to major Dublin attractions.
Price Range: $70+/night USD
Great location, close to Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better value this close to the center of Dublin.
Price Range: $180+/night USD
What are your favorite things to do in Dublin? Have you been?
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