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
Grafton, 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.
- Have a wander around Dublin Castle and the parks
We 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!
- Educate your mind in the museums and galleries
National 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!
- Pretend to be a student at Trinity College and venture into The Book of Kells
Admission is 11 euros but its highly worth it for this fascinating bit of history and the famous, beautiful library!
- Enjoy the nightlife, of course!
From 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!
- If you’re lucky enough to go in the festival season, check out the Christmas lights and Market stalls
We 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.
- For a slightly different but fun experience, definitely check out the National Leprechaun Museum!
- 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.
- Visit the Jameson Distillery and Guinness Factories
Both 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*
- 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!
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!
Have you been to Ireland? I would love some of your recommendations as I am dying to go back! Comment below 🙂
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