Rain, hail or shine, the capital city of Ireland is sure not to disappoint. Good vibes, welcoming faces, and streets loathing in historical significance and downright beauty is what Dublin is all about (the fact that you can have whiskey for breakfast, lunch and dinner without judgement, is also pretty cool and ‘cultural’). Fortunately, I had four absolutely wonderful days here wandering the cobbled streets, basking under the willow trees in Europe’s largest city park and filling my very forgetful brain with some Irish history. Without further to do, here are my absolute must see’s for Dublin.
Kilmainham Gaol: The Kilmainham Gaol held some of the most well known political and military leaders in Irish history including Robert Emmet and Charles Stewart Parnell. Since closing down in 1924, The Gaol has reopened as a museum, with half-hourly and hourly guided tours taking place every day of the week. This is the only way you can access the gaol, but is definitely worth it to be able to step back into very dark times and see just how the prisoners lived their lives. Tip: definitely book online before you go as it does become very busy during the summer and holiday seasons. Luckily, there was a few spots remaining on one of the 30 minute, highlight tours so I was able to jump in on that, but without that Irish luck, I would have missed out on a brilliant insight into what shaped Ireland as a country decades on.
Phoenix Park: Oh my. This place is just basking in natural beauty. My Irish luck didn’t last long, with the weather literally raining on my parade every single time I tried to make a visit here. From what I did see though, was absolutely breathtaking. To be able to walk less than an hour from the city, to find 707 hectares of greenery, wildlife and pure beauty was just unreal, incomparable and simply perfect. You can easily allow half a day to wandering through the park, or if you fancy, you can hire out one of the city bikes, cruise along the paths and try to spot wild deers along the way.
The Temple Bar pub: Even though it is classified as a tourist destination and for the right reasons, The Temple Bar Pub is a great way to unwind after a day of touring the streets of Dublin. With live Irish music, dozens of local whiskey’s to choose from and unlimited Guinness Ale, there is no way better to get into the pub tradition. If you do want to try (keyword: try) and get a seat or even stand without feeling claustrophobic then I would suggest that you stay away from visiting once it hits evening, especially on the weekend. Putting this behind, it is the best way to get into the Irish spirit and relax after a long day of adventuring.
Grafton Street: The famous shopping street in Dublin; lined with historical buildings, talented buskers and dozens of flower stalls. On a sunny day, this street comes alive and shoppers alike take to the surrounding malls to bag a bargain. Grab a freshly squeezed juice and perch yourself on one of the benches, this is a great spot to pass time by people watching and admiring all of what Dublin has to offer.