It was so exciting to drive into Dublin, a city I’ve heard so much about and where anyone that has visited enjoys and loves. To me, it promised to be the Irish equivalent of New Orleans in the USA, and it certainly did not disappoint. It even had its own dedicated pub/bar ‘party’ area of Temple Bar, similar to the New Orleans’ renowned French Quarter area (although definitely a little more ‘British’). And we wanted to make sure we stayed in the thick of things so the Temple Bar Hotel was our hotel of choice.
From the moment we stepped outside the hotel into the bustling but quaint streets, we knew we were in for a treat. The Irish atmosphere immediately struck us with streets lined with pubs, music pumping, and there were people everywhere even though the weather was drizzly and cold. Recommended spots to check out for dinner and/or drinks are:
- Oliver St. John Gogarty’s Pub (for the ragers!)
- The Quays Temple Bar (for a fantastic meal)
- The Brazen Head
But it’s not all about the pub scene! There is so much to see and do in this wonderful city.
Our first major tourist stop was the Guinness Storehouse – Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. The Storehouse has seven floors, introducing the history of the making and advertising of this infamous stout, ingredients used and also features inter-active displays where you can learn how to pour the perfect Guinness amongst various other activities. The seventh floor is a bar which overlooks all of Dublin and is the perfect place to sample a pint of Guinness whilst taking in the amazing 360 degree views.
After exiting the Guinness Storehouse we headed back to the Temple Bar area by horse and carriage, a really nice touch and a great opportunity for us to savour the sights along the way.
As I mentioned before, there is so much to see; the stunning Christ Church Cathedral, Whitefriars Street Church (home to the relics of St Valentine), the old Jameson Distillery, Dublin City Hall, the National Wax Museum, Dublinia, St Patrick’s Cathedral… the list goes on! We also had a great couple of hours in the National Leprechaun Museum which was a bit of fun. An easy to way to get around so that you can easily take in the sights is to jump on one of the Hop On Hop Off buses, although much can be done on foot.
Speaking of museums, there are a host of museums and galleries for those that are interested. Dublin is renowned for its literary writers, so check out the Dublin Writers Museum and the James Joyce Centre if writing, poetry or literature are one of your passions. And don’t forget to stroll along the River Liffey which meanders straight through the city centre.
Dublin is also famous for its music and musicians such as U2, The Script, Sinead O’Connor and The Cranberries (to name a few) and you’ll find their music pumping in all pubs. The Irish are proud of their heritage, their people, their history, their sport and their traditions and you cannot help but be caught up in the same atmosphere.
I really have not begun to scratch the surface on this amazing city. Dublin exceeded my expectation by far and was a fabulous and unique country to visit.
Ireland was exactly what I had hoped it would be; a land of tradition, magic, leprechauns, spectacular scenery, green, rolling hills, old medieval buildings, stunning churches and cathedrals. It is also a land of pub grub at its best, fun, frivolity, Guinness and people with a glint in their eye and a spring in their step – what’s not to like? I shall definitely be back to visit again one day, and that’s a promise!