It’s that time of the year when people are enjoying the weather and contemplating a last minute trip away. Last year I had the pleasure of visiting Ireland’s capital city for the first time. I made sure to try and experience everything in Dublin, but I was only there for a long weekend which made doing that virtually impossible. So here I have comprised a list of 10 things I thoroughly enjoyed in Dublin and 10 reasons why you should too.
It’s true what they say, the Guinness in Ireland certainly tastes better. It’s fresher and crispier and leaves you feeling more satisfied than Guinness elsewhere. Even if you’re not a fan it’s worth grabbing a pint to try the ‘black stuff’ in Ireland, even if it’s just to tell your friends you tried a pint in Ireland. It would be criminal not to.
The Irish are a friendly bunch. They are extremely accommodating and welcoming. I remember one man walking his dog, who approached us as we looked slightly lost and asked us if we needed directions, a small act of kindness which I still remember a year on. You may end up finding yourself a new best mate as the Irish are always up for a chat and a laugh.
It’s no secret how amazing the pubs and bars in Dublin are. The atmosphere is always electric whether it’s a Tuesday afternoon or a Friday night. The Temple Bar is a must do for any tourist, it may be slight more expensive, but the live music, atmosphere and scenic views inside are well worth splashing out a few more pennies.
The weather in Dublin is pretty awful, but like most places it brightens up in the summer, making it the best time of the year to visit, so you can enjoy some hot Dublin sun and blue skies whilst walking around. Of course, it is still Ireland and therefore nothing is guaranteed. Last year we had to endure torrential rain in August, but we did have our spells of beautiful sunshine. But it would certainly brighten up your trip to go during the Summer.
If you’re from the UK, there is the same joints you have at home like Pizza Express, Nando’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. But if you want to make the most of your trip you will want to try out all the different cuisines on offer and experience some traditional Irish foods. If you want World cuisines then there is an excellent choice around the Temple Bar area. My personal favourite was a small Italian restaurant opposite the City Hall called ‘Toscana’, I absolutely recommend it.
There are several attractions in Dublin such as The Dublin Zoo, The Wax Museum and Old Jameson Distillery. But none more so than the magnificent Guinness Storehouse, Dublin’s top attraction year in year out, the trip ends at the Gravity bar where you can have a free pint whilst getting a breathtaking view of the beautiful city.
The Historical Landmarks
There is the stunning Dublin Castle built in 1204. There is St. Patrick’s Cathedral founded in 1191. There are beautiful parks like St Stephens Green, which has a beautiful waterfall and ornamental lake and Phoenix Park, which hosts Dublin Zoo. There are some fantastic sculptures and statues like the Famine memorial and the Oscar Wilde statue. But my personal favourite by far was the fascinating Kilmainham Gaol, a prison where political prisoners were held which has now been turned into an impressive museum.
In the summer there is an array of live music events and festivals in Dublin. The one that really caught my eye is the Longitude Festival in Marlay Park, which is well worth a visit this Summer. There is also a great line up of art festivals for those who love their art and culture. Great artists like Arcade Fire and Paramore are also paying a visit to the capital city this year. There will also be some great sporting events over the Summer, with a special trip from the great Manchester United lined up in August. And let me tell you from experience, if Conor McGregor is fighting whilst you’re in Dublin, make sure you head down to a bar that’s showing the fight and soak in the crazy atmosphere, you’ll have never seen anything like it.
The Transport Links
If you’re from the UK then getting to Ireland couldn’t be any easier, you have the options of both cheap and quick flights and ferry trips. And Dublin airport is only a 20 minute drive from the city centre, there are plenty of taxis and Ubers available, but there is also a shuttle bus available which comes as part of your Dublin Pass, if not it’s less than 5 Euros. In the City Centre most attractions are within walking distance, but there are plenty of hop on hop off buses which will be circling the city centre all day, visiting all the popular attractions.
The nightlife in Dublin is exhilarating. Whether you’re chilling in Temple Bar or going to one of the city’s funkiest clubs, there is something for everyone. Whether you fancy a quiet one or a big party, there is something for every mood. The Dublin nightlife has a special personality which can not be re-created by another city, so I suggest you check it out.
Last but not least is the fantastic selection of shops. If love to shop, you will love Grafton Street, there is an incredible amount of variety, which ensures there is something for everyone. There is also Henry Street, Henry Street offers the best choice in high street fashion and popular Irish chain stores and is the home of Arnott’s department store. And if you’re looking for souvenirs then you check out Carroll’s, there you will find all the little gifts needed for your loved ones and a momento or two to remember the best trip of your life.