Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a city rich with history and culture. From the architectural marvels to the bustling little pubs and shops around every corner, Dublin is a divers and happening city. There is so much to explore and see in Dublin that the little time I spent there was not enough to cover it all, but it was more than enough time to understand and appreciate the historical significance of this alluring city.
Where to Stay
Upon arrival in the early morning to the airport, my family and I rented a car and drove to our hotel. Across from the well-known Trinity College on Pearse St, inside an old Georgian style building, is the Trinity City Hotel
. With its elegant decor, beautiful hues of purple, and gorgeously furnished bedrooms, this hotel is one of a kind. The most obvious and interesting part of this hotel is the large round mirrors and strangely shaped couches all in varying shades of purple. Just a few minutes walk from shopping centers, museums, theaters, and some of the best pubs and restaurants, this hotel is in a brilliant location. It is also conveniently close to a Europcar Dublin City, for those who need a rental car. Though a bit pricey for some, you're sure to have a fabulous experience in a hotel like this one.
A Casual Outing
A Meal In One Of Dublin's Quaint Pubs
As my family and I were excited to get out and explore the city, we headed out before even seeing our rooms, and simple left our baggage at the desk. Walking along the streets in the cloudy overcast weather, with the small cars swiftly driving by, and all the people going about their day, it was easy to be taken back by the captivating city. Before we could embark on an exploration of the city, however, we were extremely famished and had to eat. The first place we entered was called M.J.O'Neill's Pub & Kitchen
on Suffolk Street. This pub and restaurant had a very interesting layout, antiques fittings and a rooftop beer garden. They have the standard Irish dishes like shepherd's pie, carvery, and Irish stews, as well as many other foods, and of course great beer. If you are looking for a classic Irish meal experience this quaint corner pub is the way to go!
Walking Through the Streets of Dublin
Promptly after finishing our meal we went out on the town. Walking through the streets, we saw all manner of small boutiques and clothing stores, street performers, musicians, and artist. Dublin is a very large, lively city with a high population, so the streets were crowed with tourists and natives alike. The natives of Dublin were particularly fun to interact with. They are a friendly and cheerful bunch, proud of their city and love talking about the best places to eat, drink and enjoy a classic Irish experience. Some of the most popular and well known pubs/restaurants include, The Brazen Head, The Temple Bar, and FX Buckley. The Brazen Head
is one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. It has a busy venue as well as live music every night. However, the most capturing part of this city for me, was not the pubs, food, or the live music, but the beautifully uneven cobble stone streets, and the varying colored doors and buildings.
What to See and Do
Dublin has numerous tourist sites, monuments and old church worth seeing and exploring. As I am from the states, and Dublin was my first experience out of the country, I was pleasantly surprised by the difference in culture and lifestyle. Some of the most popular and well known places include St. Patrick's Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse, National Museum of Ireland, and the Christ Church Cathedral.
Visit The Medieval Cathedrals St. Patrick's Cathedral
was on the top of our list of places to see. This medieval, and historic church building is definitely and interesting visit. It's the largest church in Ireland with its tall windows and long, wooden pews there is an abundance of history packed into this building. Dedicated to Saint Patrick, this church dates back the 12th century and is at the heart of Ireland's history. To insure the survival of this vital piece of history much of the church was rebuilt in the 1800s, so much of the decor is actually dated back to the Victorian era. However little is known of how much of the church was rebuilt, and how much of it is original, due to a lack of record keeping. But whatever the case, this church still holds great importance in Ireland's history and in the hearts of the Irish. During the tourist season it can be very crowded, but it's definitely worth the time.
We also toured Saint Andrew's Church, and Christ Church Cathedral. Saint Andrew's Church (just across the street from M.J O'Neil's Pub) is a Roman Catholic Church, constructed during the 18th century, for worship. Though smaller in comparison to some of the cathedrals in Dublin, Saint Andrew's Church is still a beautiful structure. Christ Church Cathedral
is another famous architectural construct in the heart of Dublin. Also known as The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, this church is the other medieval cathedral in Dublin (the other being St. Patrick's Cathedral). Also renovated during the Victorian era, it is also difficult to know exactly how much of the building was rebuilt and how much of it is original. This Cathedral is large in size with even more rooms than St. Patrick's Cathedral. There is much to read inside of this church, with loads of history and an amazing crypt, there is a lot to explore and see inside this building. Often times there are choirs singing inside, and the voices can be heard through the entire cathedral. If you enjoy old architecture and history this is definitely a place to visit!
Visit The Guinness Storehouse
Another place that must be on the top of everyone's list to see in Dublin, is the Guinness Storehouse
of course! Inside this massive, 7 floor brewery you can taste and learn about Ireland's most famous beer, as well as enjoy a rooftop bar. Our experience was amazing, with the knowledgeable workers who take pride in their world class beer and its history, to the fantastic layout of the brewery itself, this isn't a place to skip on a trip to Dublin. Throughout the tour they show you the full order of production, from seeing the grain processed to seeing how it's transported. As they lead you through the different mazes and halls, you can actually notice there is barely being grown on the walls! They also teach you how to pull your own pint! Even if beer isn't your preferred beverage, this attraction is a must. You are welcome to spend as much time in the brewery as you want, and you'll want a few hours at least. At 20 euros for adults the price is right and more than worth it for everything you learn and the free beer at the end of the tour! Dublin is a place I could spend days on end exploring and learning about its history and culture. I could talk the natives for hours about their home and why they love and what makes it unique. It was easy to get swept away by this charming city, and I certainly hope to be back soon…