Thinking about going to Dublin? Hell, if you aren’t, you should…flights are cheap enough nowadays! You can score a flight from the East Coast to Dublin for under $400 if you time it right. That’s exactly what happened back in February when I took a long weekend trip to Dublin.
I loved Dublin and can’t wait to go back. Of course, when you visit a city for the first time you’re bound to learn some things. If I had to do it all over again, here’s how it would go down…
When you arrive in Dublin from the U.S. it will likely be early morning but have no fear. If it’s your first time, you’re surely going to want a pint of Guinness. Don’t be ashamed, it’s exactly what I wanted so as soon as you get off the plane there will be bars open selling pints.
Mornings in Dublin can be hit or miss. Typically you’ll see clouds and fog, a marine layer that will eventually burn off. Sometimes, though, you’ll wake up to bright sunshine and blue skies!
Once you arrive at your hotel or Airbnb, you’ll most likely be hungry. Just like the US, Dublin is big on breakfast food so you’ll easily find a place to grab a bite to eat, though if you’re looking for a Guinness, you’re out of luck until 11AM.
Sights and Tours
First thing’s first, whenever you’re in a new city it’s always a good idea to get the lay of the land, and the best way to do this, aside from getting lost in the streets, is by taking tours.
Look I get it, most tours suck but they are a great way to get the general idea of a city’s history, especially in a place as historic as Dublin.
I found myself quite often saying “what is the significance of this [insert random church here]” and “Oh! What’s with the quirkiness of this neighborhood?”
A couple of big time touristy sights I’d recommend checking out include the Guinness Storehouse…
Followed by Trinity College and The Book of Kells where you will absolutely want to do the student-led tour…
Food and Bars
First thing’s first, tons of people told me that the Guinness in Ireland is better than in America. I found this to be patently false except if you’re drinking it at the Guinness Storehouse, in which case the Guinness was delicious and better than any other Guinness I’ve had. And if beer’s not your thing, be sure to check out one or all of the great whiskey distilleries in Dublin such as Jameson Distillery and Teeling Whiskey Distillery.
With that said, the food in Dublin is good, which shocked me. Aside from the typical fish and chips fare, I had the best burger I’ve had in my life at Gallaghers Boxty House. It’s amazing!
If burgers aren’t your thing, you’d be well off by checking out The Winding Stair where you can get delicious soups and tasty sandwiches, especially on a cold day.
As far as bars go, we had a great time at The Palace Bar. Downstairs is busy and crowded, but if you take the staircase to the second floor you’ll find a dark, suede-lined lounge with a bar. Though, if you want a more lively experience, go to The Brazen Head, which is Ireland’s oldest pub (and sure looks like it, too!).
We had exactly four days in Dublin, but we definitely wanted to check out Howth while we were there. Howth is located about 1 hour east by train and is an absolutely stunning fishing village…
With some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever eat…
When you’re in Howth, make sure to make the Cliff Walk hike up to the top of the peak!
I love Dublin. The people are friendly, the sights are pleasant, and the food and drink are top notch. My ideal vacation means moving at a slower pace, being aware of my surroundings, and taking the time to absorb the environment around me. This is why my long weekends aren’t packed with a ton of side excursions or an over-the-top amount of tours. I’d rather take a long walk, pop into a pub or a coffee shop, and learn about the local culture. I found that the above itinerary was perfect for four days and I can’t wait to get back again!
Have you ever been to Ireland?