I absolutely LOVE Christmas, anyone else? The minute December starts, the christmas tack is out, Michael Buble is on and the festival treats are in the oven! To add even more to the festivities, one of my awesome uni housemates Molly has her birthday this month. So last year to celebrate her 21st she wanted to visit the city of Guinness, and of course its an offer I couldn’t refuse and one I just HAVE to share with you!

We flew from Gatwick which was pretty cheap, costing around £40/50 for a return. RyanAir are known for being strict with their hand luggage so you have to be careful because they will charge for bigger bags! On arrival we travelled into the city centre with Airlink bus, a return costing only 10 euro. Our home for the trip was MEC Hostel , we had a private bunkbed dorm with an ensuite for the 4 of us. Costly around £20 each per night, located just round the corner from O’Connell Street, making it easy to find and travel to Dublin’s hotspots. It was clean and cosy, as well as offered a good cheap breakfast. The room had a lovely view over the rooftops however it was on the top floor, which was a few stairs too many after a couple of pints…

In our 4 days we discovered ALOT of this beautiful city and here are my top choices for you:

  • Explore the main streets and bridges

535294_10201321554437334_1128346327275470028_nGrafton, Henry and O’Connell are the main ones. All vary in shops, bars, restaurants so have a look around for what you want and sneak into the back streets too, never know what you could find. 1234963_10201321556597388_5053742763473651907_n

  • Have a wander around Dublin Castle and the parks

969048_10201321566317631_7680831671147935942_n12346472_10201287981358028_1287714089308953255_n10525718_10201321555517361_6347725462397626188_nWe loved St Stephens Green in the winter sun, a little bit of peace within the city. Phoenix Park is HUGE and also included the Zoo. Also recommended is Iveagh Gardens and Merrion Square but they are many more to find, so go for a walk!10584058_10201321566117626_6617726046311194901_n12366312_10201287962437555_1471028383381647393_n

  • Educate your mind in the museums and galleries

12376225_10201287966557658_5774441212477498448_n12373204_10201287965557633_5250838311000504509_nNational Museum is next door to the stunning Library (which unfortunately you can’t take photos of but is worth seeing). Also visit the Natural History Museum (admission is free). We enjoyed the artwork in Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane but unfortunately we missed out on going to The Little Museum of Dublin which is highly rated!11206023_10201287963917592_1503754129331816365_n

IMG_0180.jpgAdmission is 11 euros but its highly worth it for this fascinating bit of history and the famous, beautiful library! 12347807_10201287968837715_922989663452633443_n12373271_10201287968357703_8183645191917279053_n

  • Enjoy the nightlife, of course!

12373297_10201287986798164_2393754954912742191_n10245452_10201321557917421_456507632461441349_nFrom events on the street, underground bars to FANTASTIC live sing-a-long performances at the pubs, its a unique atmosphere and one you will love! Be aware that prices will range within Temple Bar District pubs and some only allow 21+ in. But make sure you check out our favourites; Bad Bobs and The Liquor Rooms! Also The Marker boasts a good rooftop bar, if you’re a sucker for a view with a cocktail…like me!12341609_10201287977357928_4799394061103359066_n580366_10201321564517586_3976127824334566071_n

  • If you’re lucky enough to go in the festival season, check out the Christmas lights and Market stalls

1621937_10201321557957422_2191309961389463360_nWe discovered one next door to the Custom House, and it had a merry-go-round! There are stalls and lights dotted everyone, you’ll be sure to find them. 1914612_10201321567637664_2700219218681151911_n

10414612_10201321569357707_2613598026920902295_n

  • One easy way to get around is a Tour Bus, I recommend CityScape Sightseeing (yellow bus). Best price and also gave us loads of discount vouchers as well, SCORE.

1622816_10201321560037474_2627054533734248492_n

  • Visit the Jameson Distillery and Guinness Factories

10261977_10201321562957547_7116599790625108683_n1930499_10201321571037749_4708248084390046703_nBoth ticket include pints/drinks. If that doesn’t persuade you, the view from The Gravity Bar is pretty good! The whole experience/education in both Guinness Factory and The Old Jameson Distillery is one you MUST NOT MISS!

*The Jameson Distillery is currently being re-vamped but opens again in March 2017*

11046711_10201287994558358_8888145618838222770_n12345518_10201287993638335_8454596200170945792_n10414493_10201321561997523_8096625165688758736_n

  • Go and see Kilmainham Gaol, we ran out of time but I wish we could have gone. Its meant to be fascinating!
  • And of course have some yummy food and drinks! Highly recommend The Bakehouse for Brunch but Hippetys Cafe Gallery for breakfast. Otherwise there are small street restaurants such as Saburritos or ‘pub restaurants’ like Murrays. You’re spoilt for choice!

10251_10201321561677515_3338980861108678013_n12391884_10201288007238675_7551592292568526521_n

One thing to be aware of is that pickpockets are a threat within the city so (as always) keep an eye on your belongings!  I can’t pin point what it is exactly that makes Dublin so loveable. The people? The food and drink? The history and park beauty? The atmosphere? Well all of it will ensure you love your visit. I can’t wait to explore more of Ireland!

RoR

Xxx

Have you been to Ireland? I would love some of your recommendations as I am dying to go back! Comment below 🙂
Come join my adventures: Twitter & Instagram : @runningonrain

 

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