Dublin at night. Photo via Flickr.
Ireland is fast becoming a place to visit. I only relocated here to live with my husband in 2012 but since then, I noticed the surge of tourists visiting this country especially during the “nicer” months of summer. Even my husband who’s living here close to 10 years now tells me that it wasn’t like this when he first got here! Visiting Dublin regardless of the season is still nice. The only problem is that you need to get ready for the chilly gust of wind and rain should you come over to visit during the shoulder seasons (or if you were unlucky it rained at the time of your visit). Of course, there are a number of indoor tourist attractions to visit such as the Book of Kells and Little Museum of Dublin – but enjoying a walk outdoors is definitely nicer, isn’t it? There are a lot of things to see and do in Dublin – especially during the few weeks of summer. I am not a local but these are just some of the things I personally enjoy when the sun is shining brightly and no chance of rain is in sight!
Take a leisure stroll in a park
Fusilier's Arch at St. Stephen's Green
If you just arrived and wanted to take things slow, a visit to a park filled with blooming flowers is definitely a great way to catch a glimpse of what Dublin has to offer. In the city center alone, you can drop a visit at the St. Stephen’s Green Park to have breakfast or to chill a bit. Inside this close replica of a Victorian Park, walk around to see the huge collection of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants on display. Walk towards the lake and you can see various species of ducks and swans warmly welcoming you (and probably waiting for some bread) as you pass by, too! Apart from these, there are other tourist attractions waiting for you such as the Fusilier’s Arch, the monument of Arthur Guinness, and Yeats memorial. If you have a smartphone (which is very likely), visit St. Stephen Green Park’s official website and download the free audio guide you can use while walking – sweet! Apart from St. Stephen’s Green, Phoenix Park is another famous tourist attraction you have to visit when the sun is shining brightly. It is a great way to walk in a park for a while and then move on to other famous attractions such as the Dublin Zoo or the Papal Cross. The park area is massive and you might need some help to be able to go around. Luckily, there are Segway Tours conducted around the park area that you can look for additional details through the park’s official website.
Book a hop-on/hop-off bus ride or better, the lively Vikings Splash Tour – raa!
When my parents visited for the first time, I knew that walking around is not an option. They were staying for a couple of months and even if I wanted to, I can’t always tag along to show them around as I recently gave birth and was still a bit “iffy” to walk around too much. I don’t want them to stay indoors as I felt it would be a waste but they didn’t want to go around by themselves either for fear of getting lost. So I decided to buy them tickets for the hop-on/hop off bus. Looking back, I can say that it was the best decision I made at the time because it allowed them to see (or at least pass by tourist attractions) such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Kilmainham Gaol. Or, to just be able to capture scenic views of Dublin while sitting conveniently in a bus! It was a good thing that the ticket for this is valid for two days, too. So my parents sat for the entire trip for the first time, marked where they wanted to “hop-off”, and did that for the second day the ticket was valid. Apart from the traditional sightseeing tour bus, there is a “quirky” version called the Vikings Splash Tour. I haven’t tried this myself (some of my friends did) but I plan to do so when my son is bigger simply because it looks like fun! Apart from going to Dublin by land, the bus is an amphibian so expect it to make a splash when it hit the water around the Docklands area. If visiting with a baby, I don’t think that this is such a good option as the guide highly encourages making tons of noise during the entire trip and the driver can crack a lot of jokes, too! The only downside to this is that this is not a hop-on/hop off tour so you just see the places as you pass by, get a bit of a laugh during the ride, and go to the separate attractions on your own.
Grab your cold drink outside or have a drink in a pub with a “view”
The Boat Bar and Restaurant. Photo via Flickr.
You haven’t been to Ireland if you didn’t grab a pint in a local pub – that’s for sure! In the city center alone, there are a lot of options where to go to grab a drink. Especially if you dropped by the Temple Bar area, the pubs are within close proximity to each other. Apart from simply dropping by to grab a drink with friends, you may want to consider doing a “pub crawl” to experience how it is to truly drink like the Irish! If you happen to be in Dublin at the time it is a sunny day, grab your pint and drink it up outside! It is very common for locals to stay outdoors when the sky is blue and no rain clouds around. While outdoors, share a chat with your mates or watch people as the time pass by. Most pubs allow you to take your drink outside but sometimes, drinking with a view is a better option especially if the weather permits you to see it. So if it is the peak of summer, drop a visit to The Boat Bar and Restaurant where you literally need to get on a boat (MV Cill Airne) while docked along the quays. Or, visit the Rooftop Bar and Terrace at the Marker Hotel to try their famous cocktails. Both options allow you to make the most of the fantastic weather not to mention it gives you scenic views of the docklands area, too.