Dublin, Ireland is the town I lovingly called home for 2015. Cozy, vibrant, good craic- it’s highly underrated and I’m obsessed with it! It’s an exceptional place filled with some of my best memories, and everyone should visit. Of course, I’m not biased…
Places to eat: Gerry’s, a greasy spoon on Montague Street, is filled with locals so you know it’s a great place to get an Irish breakfast. You get all the goodies, tea / coffee, and toast for €7! It’s on the south side of town (near St. Stephen’s Green), but well worth the trek. Beanhive is one of my faves for an Irish breakfast, but it’s tiny so seating may be hard to come by! For brunch I really like Brother Hubbard which serves the best coffee in town (3fe), as well as yummy brunch alternatives such as Morrocan pancakes. I also like hittin’ up Queen of Tarts on the east end of town by Christchurch Cathedral. They have great sandwiches and scones! For a quick midday treat, I love Lemon for their crepes and tea. Dinner time rolls around, and you know what you should try? Irish burgers. I know, I know, they have burgers back home in America.. but Irish dairy and cows are the best. Try Bunsen (their menu is on a business card… that’s how you can tell they ain’t playin’) or Bobo’s, both in the Temple Bar area. For a more traditional meal, the Mercantile has great Irish options (such as shepherd’s pie), and O’Neills does it cafeteria style… which can be great if you have a big party in tow. On the flip side, if you’re missing Texas, there’s a huge burrito movement in Dublin right now- which makes it the perfect time to try out Boojum just north of the Liffey river, or Pablo Picante in Temple Bar.
Places for sippin’: Dublin has a huge tea and coffee scene, and they take it quite seriously. While there are NINE Starbucks within 950 feet in the city center (including a set of Starbucks right across the street from each other on Westmorland st.), it’s always fun to expand the horizons a little to try the different vibes of the other coffee shops in town. My favorite is cozy Accents, which is known for their hot chocolates, but I personally love it for their scones. There’s also modern Kaph, and lively Clement & Pekoe. My favorite cafe in all of Dublin is actually homey Woodstock, but it’s a 15 min trek from the city center… it feels like home! And they serve Clement & Pekoe tea without the busyness that Clement and & Pekoe usually has.
Places for drankin’: Dublin has an interesting relationship with pubs in that it comes in excess and never stops. There are Victorian pubs, pubs as old as America, and the smallest pub in Ireland. The Globe, The Long Stone Pub, and Pyg are also good places to check out! At the expense of being judged for trash taste, Dicey’s is also cool if you’re into €2 drinks… you’ve been warned. You’ll notice none of the places I mentioned to grab a drink are in Temple Bar. This is because TEMPLE BAR IS DUBLIN, EPCOTTED. It’s overpriced and gimmicky, and if you insist on drinking here to get a “genuine Irish experience” where you’ll hear “traditional Irish music” blaring through the pub… then at least go at the beginning of the night because the price for a drink here starts at €7 and only gets more expensive the later into the evening it is. Temple Bar is not traditional or genuine… it’s an overpriced facade but it does have a great energy to walk through at night, so who am I to judge?
Places for seein’: There are plenty of free museums in Dublin, though they’re not really as large as those in places like London or Paris. There’s the National Museum of Ireland, the National History Museum (sometimes referred to as “the Dead Zoo”), and the Chester Beatty library. One of my favorite sites in Dublin is Kilmainham Gaol, which was used to incarcerate some of the leaders of the 1912 fight to Irish independence. There are several outdoor spaces which I really enjoy as well- Phoenix Park, which is the Central Park of Dublin, is a great spacious place to ride bikes and also is home to the Dublin Zoo. It lays on the north-east side of town, but is worth the trek if you want to escape the city buzz! St. Stephen’s Green is hands down my fave spot for an outdoor picnic, or even to read a book when the weather is nice. It was opened in the 1880s, and has remained a city fave since! It’s located right at the of Grafton Street, which is one of the main pedestrian shopping streets in town. There’s always busking (street performers doin’ their thang), and plenty of shops to wander in and out of! If you must go to Starbucks while in Dublin, trek into the one off of Grafton Street on Chatham Row. It’s tiny and cute and doesn’t have the same vibe of any of the other Starbucks. I love it when I have to get my Pumpkin Spice Latte fix.
- If you want to catch a glimpse inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral or Christ Church Cathedral, check out one of their free evensong services!
- Cute thrift shops can be found on Capel Street near Brother Hubbard
- If you have a free day, checking out the nearby seaside village of Howth is a great way to spend an afternoon! You can wander the Saturday market, sit on the sea wall, and have a fresh basket of fish and chips.
- If you don’t make at least one trip to Penneys while in Dublin, you’re doing it wrong
Easy day trips from Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Glendalough, Belfast, Cork