Recently I went on a 5-day trip to Ireland, everybody asked me: What are you going to do in Ireland in March, it is freezing! We were lucky with the weather, we even got a slight tan! I can highly recommend going to Ireland, no matter the weather. I will give you an overview of the do’s and don’ts in Ireland.
We flew with Ryanair from Eindhoven to Dublin for only 67 euro, so a trip to Ireland doesn’t have to be that expensive. The flight to Ireland only takes up 1 hour and 40 minutes. From the airport it is very easy to travel by bus, or as they call it ‘coach’, to Dublin city centre.
We had booked a Bed & Breakfast in Dublin via Booking.com. Easy as it is, there is plenty of choice. We were located just outside the centre, which is perfect otherwise your hotel is located where the bars are and you will have a lot of noise outside your hotel/B&B.
Things to do in Dublin and surrounding area’s
Ireland is a bigger country than the Netherlands, but the country has only 6 million citizens.
1 million people live in Dublin, the city is easy to walk around in. Don’t go on the hop-on-hop-off bus only if you’re not able to walk a lot. In around 30 minutes you can walk from one side of the city to the other.
We went to Trinity College, this is the highlight of the things you can see in Dublin. The college is very old dated from 1592 and still in use as a college for bachelor and master studies. The long room will take your breath away, so many old books and history lies there. I found it very inspirational, a must see!
After going to Trinity College we fancied something relaxing and a beer so we went to the Guinness Storehouse. In the storehouse you can walk around 6 floors to learn everything about Guinness beer, how its made, where its made from and you learn a little bit about the history of Ireland. At the 7th floor you will enter the Gravity bar which has a 360 view over the City.
If you fancy a stroll around the park you must go to Phoenix Park close to the Guinness Storehouse, it is one of the largest parks in a city in Europe. The park is very clean and has lots of benches you can sit on.
For shopping Ireland has plenty to offer, you can go to Grafton and O’Connell street for the most regular shops like Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Or you can go to the streets on the side of the above mentioned main streets and you will find some cute little boutiques and a Chanel & Louis Vuitton store.
A day trip to Howth is a must do when you are visiting Dublin. It takes up to 20 to 30 minutes per DART (kind of a mix between a metro and train) and costs around 6 euro for a retour ticket. Howth is beautiful and well-known for its cliff walks. You can choose how long you want to walk, we choose to purple road. It said 10 km. But in the end it was around 15 kilometer, it took us 4,5 hours of climbing up-and-down a mountain but the view was worth every sour muscle in my body! I highly recommend a trip to Howth. A don’t in Howth is eating at the ‘famous’ fish & chips place, the food was rubbish and super fat. Instead of going there I recommend going to a real restaurant in the area.
Another trip that is a must if you are in Dublin for more then three days is a trip to the Wicklow Mountains. You can easily book it at the Information Centre (for tourists) in the city. It costs around 28 euro’s and you have an entire tour through the Wicklow Mountains including a 2 hour walk, visiting the Guinness lake and seeing the P.S. I love you Bridge.
For the record, P.S. I love you and many more films and series are shot in the Wicklow mountains, also my favorite series at the moment Reign! Make sure you have a good night rest before you go on this trip.
Last but not least you have to visit a pub when you are in Ireland. I grew up with listening to Irish music because my parents love it so much. The vibe in the pubs is amazing and you will start dancing when the live music starts to play, no matter if it is on a Monday afternoon or an a wild Saturday night… Some pub recommandations are; the Temple Bar, the Auld Dubliner, O’Donoghues pub, the Celt and Stags Head.
Where to eat
I have a few recommandations where we have been to go out for food.
For Breakfast go to Kilkenny on Nassau Street. For lunch Elephant & Castle in the Temple Bar area is delightful, order an omelet after a night out with to many pints of Guinness and you will feel human again. KC Peaches has more than one restaurant in Dublin and serve delicious & healthy food. I also recommend Chopped for on the go salads.
For the best tarte or pie you have to go to Queen of Tarts which is a pastry shop with a few seats. Try the Baileys cheesecake and you will taste a little bit of heaven in your mouth.
For dinner we sometimes skipped dinner, because we were so tired of walking around and just ate a bag of popcorn and then fall asleep. But we can highly recommend eating at Crackbird. The restaurant only serves dishes with chicken but we honestly ate the best chicken wings ever, but then in a restaurant with super awesome side dishes. For an easy and cheap quick bite you can go to Bobo’s Burgers, good burgers and not to expensive. For other restaurant recommandations I recommend you to go on to tripadvisor because there are soooooo many (good) restuarants in Dublin. There is to much to chose from!
I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and I wish you all a good day!
Thanks to Jantine for giving us tips for going to Howth and going to Queen of Tarts!
With love, Irina (& Mike)