My favourite City in the world. Ok so I haven’t been to that many, but it’s still my fav.
Having visited 5 times now I consider myself a bit of a pro, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite places with you and give you a bit of a low down on what’s worth the money and where really isn’t.
You’re bound to of heard of Temple Bar. It’s literally the heart of Dublin if you’re a tourist. And it’s a fun place to be. After always staying close to Connelly Station on the other side of The River Liffey, we chose this time to stay in an apartment in Temple Bar itself, which is great for exploring the city but also pretty noisy, and you should bear in mind if you do this, that it is a tourist attraction and you’re sharing it with other tourists. Culturally though, you miss out on some of the City’s authenticity if you spend your whole trip in Temple Bar so make sure you venture across town too.
One of the most infamous pubs in Dublin’s Temple Bar, aside from The Temple Bar, is Oliver St John Gogarty’s. It’s a huge bar that hosts live music from about 12 lunchtime, all day everyday and is definitely worth a visit if just for photo op value. However, they are specifically aimed at the tourist industry and because of that fact you’re looking at around €8 a pint and €7.50 for a shot of your favourite spirit, then add €3 on top for a mixer. It’s also often aimed to target hen and stag doos so expect a lot of those. Whilst it is a great pub and the music is good it gets very busy and the wait for a drink and food can be long!
However just along the road you’ll find The Auld Dubliner and The Old Storehouse, both of which are great bars with real Irish singers and bands, smoking rooms, and a cracking pint of stout. A little further again and you’ll find The Porter House. One heck of a bar, with a whole menu of its own brewed stout and ales, bear in mind they don’t sell Guinness (I know) but they do do a fab Porter which is just as good. And what’s even better is if you buy 6 you get one free so if there’s a group of you it’s a great place to indulge. They also have live music every day, and for me, that’s what Ireland is all about.
Further up on the main road away from the hustle and bustle is Peadar Kearney’s, a typically traditional Irish pub, with the sport on, a singer and a slew of friendly locals happy to welcome you. On Saturday night we visited and they had an Irish Singer who sang everything from The Dubliner’s to Oasis and The Beatles, and even ABBA, all round great entertainment.
The Guinness Storehouse should 100% be on your list of MUST visit places. It’s amazing, the worlds largest pint glass. Even if you don’t like Guinness, the view alone from the gravity bar is a good enough reason to visit. It looks out over the whole city. St James Gate should be on the top of your list of places to see at least once in your lifetime.
The Jameson Distillery is also another must visit if you like an Irish Whiskey of course. While the home of Arthur Guinness is a whole day out, with bars and booze on every floor, not to mention the shop, the Jameson distillery will only take you an hour to walk around and you’ll come out three sheets to the wind.
It’s not all bars, whiskey and Guinness though, although obviously that’s a big part. Dublin has some really great places to visit on foot. Dublin Zoo, is set in Phoenix Park which is the largest green space in any Capital City in Europe. It has a huge collection of animals set in an ‘African Plain’ style environment, even elephants are free to roam here at Dublin Zoo.
Trinity College is a great building to see if you’re an architecture fan and it also houses the book of Kells. An interesting artefact if you’re a history fan.
Whilst you’re sat enjoying a Guinness, you’ll have heard ‘Molly Malone’ sung by one of the many Irish singers you’ve heard on your trip. The Molly Malone statue sits in Dublin’s shopping quarter on Grafton Street. Another one to tick off the bucket list.
St Stephens Green which is a stones throw from Trinity College, is a beautiful park to wander around during a winter morning, and feed the ducks whilst you’re at it.
A few things to remember when travelling across the city, if you’re on your own or in a couple, The Luas is your best friend, use it. Taxis are cheap though so if there’s 4 or more of you, you can travel by car for small change. Another thing to remember or if you’re on a budget, is Dublin can be walked on foot too, the Liffey has a canal path and of course if you’re part of a couple you’ll be wanting to put your lovers lock on the Ha’penny Bridge.
One of Dublin’s most iconic landmarks and here’s a fun fact for you: The Ha’penny bridge was actually cast in Shropshire England in 1816.
So I’ve rambled on about places to visit and drink, but you’ll be wanting to line your stomachs too so, for breakfast, I’d recommend pretty much any of the hotel’s as they all do a fab Irish Breakfast, we’ve stayed in The North Star, opposite Connelly station several times and their breakfast is fantastic.
Boxty’s in Temple Bar do a great American/Irish breakfast with Boxty’s special potato pancakes.
Lunch in The Guinness Storehouse is also great, any of the cafes or restaurants serve good hearty Guinness inspired food.
But our favourite, and it was our third visit this time, is Ciao Bella Roma’s. THE best Italian I’ve ever tasted and that’s not an exaggeration. Authentic, huge portions, the meat is something else and it’s not too expensive.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not cheap but for the quality of food it’s good value, also all the Italians eat there so that tells you something. The service is great too.
Do feel free to message me if I’ve missed anything. Don’t forget to Visit Carroll’s whilst your there and pick up some tacky souvenirs, the Irish love them, and everyone needs a fridge magnet of the Ha’penny bridge.