Several weeks ago, I decided that I was in desperate need of some adventure, so I made an impromptu trip to Dublin for the weekend. I’m not entirely sure why I chose Dublin of all places, but I can certainly say that it left me wanting more. Beautifully designed, the city is not only ideal for a fabulous pub hopping scene, but is rather better known for it’s rich history and charming personality. Though I was exhausted after an action-packed weekend filled with a seemingly endless supply of Guinness, stunning medieval architecture, and lush green landscapes, I was blown away by the amount of fun I had!
When I travel, I usually try to experience a bit of a unique adventure by going off the beaten path. But, with only three days, there was no time to stray from the path!
Here’s how I spent 72 hours in Dublin:
Trinity College: Probably one of the most popular sights in Dublin, and in my opinion, the most interesting. I spent a couple of hours meandering the grounds of Trinity College, which somewhat resembled the set of a Harry Potter movie. An absolute must when visiting Trinity College is to take a tour of the Library to see the coveted Book of Kells. The Library was unlike anything I had ever seen before, so needless to say I spent quite a bit of time gazing at the floor-to-ceiling collections of books.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral: As the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland, it’s no surprise that St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the most frequented church in the city and also a major tourist attraction. I was particularly fascinated by the architecture, which made me feel like I was stepping back in time.
Kilmainham Gaol: Visiting this jail was a stark contrast to all of the other sites I had seen in Dublin. As I toured the jail, the Irish cheerfulness from my morning slowly faded away and I was overcome with darkness as I learned about the somber history dating back to 1796. Although I left the gaol feeling a tad eerie, it was still worth the visit.
Temple Bar: Most locals warned me to stay away from what they call the tourist trap of Dublin, but I couldn’t bring myself to be in the city and not spend some time in Temple Bar. In all fairness, they do a good job of luring in tourists – the district is lively at night and has a collection of great bars that are appealing to almost anyone. I spent some time hopping in and out of a few spots where I experienced live music (fiddles and all!), traditional dancing, and fresh pints of Guinness.
There are several day trips that can be taken from Dublin, and I decided to check out the Cliffs of Moher. I was pressed for time and didn’t really do my research before going, so I chose the easy option and booked a coach tour. The Cliffs of Moher are a couple of hours away, which makes for a very long day on a coach bus if you consider the unnecessary gift shop stops along the way. If I could do it again, I would hire my own driver because one of the best parts of the trip is driving through the rolling hills – I would have loved to stop to take photos, but the tour bus doesn’t permit unscheduled stops and certainly wouldn’t entertain my personal request!
Guinness Storehouse: Even if you don’t like beer (or just Guinness), you should make time to visit the Storehouse for the sheer fact that it’s an incredible building. I’ve toured breweries several times before, but
this was definitely a cut above the rest. The displays and exhibits were larger than life, which made me feel like I was brewing the beer myself. Ticket admission gives you a free tasting lesson and pint of Guinness, which you can learn how to pour for yourself like I did. The icing on the cake is that the top floor of the brewery has a killer view where you can look down on the entire city!
St. Stephen’s Green: This is where I found peace in the city. This lusciously green park is situated in the middle of the city, and it’s vast array of towering trees seemed to mute all of the noise to create a very calming atmosphere. There is a paved path that runs along the inner perimeter of the park that many use for walking, running, and cycling.
Relaxing at the Fitzwilliam Hotel: As I mentioned before, I topped off my trip with a luxury stay at the Fitzwilliam Hotel. It was the perfect way to end a hectic weekend. Check out my review to learn more about this fabulous hotel!
As you can see, I didn’t let a minute go to waste, so I think it’s safe to say that my weekend jaunt to Dublin was a success!