I hold an Irish passport so I’m pretty embarrassed to admit that earlier this year was my very first trip to Ireland. However, it turns out that I haven’t been missing all that much! Although everyone is lovely and makes you feel “most very welcome”, and it’s a small and easily walkable city which I like, and there is a vibrant nightlife scene, and, at least when I was there, the weather was rather pleasant (although I realize that this is not something typically associated with Ireland), I have to admit that by the end of my seven night stay, I had run out of things to do. I found Dublin to be underwhelming with nothing notable about it. Not even the food or the architecture was particularly special and the skyline is completely nondescript because I believe that all buildings in the city are limited to 14 stories.
However, if I take the highlights from my week in Dublin, you end up with a pretty good three day itinerary. So, if you find yourself in Dublin (for your sake I hope it’s for no longer than a weekend), take my advice and skip the awful hop-on, hop-off buses that have taken over the city (I have always thought those to be for the laziest and most boring of travelers) and follow my itinerary below.
Start with breakfast at Alma. Wander to Iveagh Gardens and then onwards towards St Stephen’s Green. Spend some time in St Stephen’s Green before heading up Grafton Street, making sure to stop by Anne’a Lane with all its umbrellas and Powerscourt Center with its cute shops and cafes. Make your way to Trinity College Dublin to see The Book of Kells and The Long Room before heading back towards St Stephen’s Green to Hatch & Sons for lunch. Spend the afternoon wandering around the National Gallery of Ireland before finding a suitable Irish pub to grab a drink and relax!
Enjoy breakfast at Meet me in the Morning then wander along the Grand Canal before heading to St Patrick’s Cathedral. Keep heading west to the Guinness Storehouse (its rather pricey at €25 and the view from the top is somewhat disappointing but I still enjoyed the experience and even the Guinness). If you’re feeling up to it, pop into Christ Church Cathedral before retiring for a glass of wine at Piglet Wine Bar and then wandering through Temple Bar to take in the evening vibe. End your day with a meal at Delahunt (if possible, grab the table right in the window).
Start your day at Grand Canal Square. Cross the Samuel Beckett Bridge, which is shaped like a harp, and head to Bear Market Coffee for something warm and tasty! Wander along the north side of River Liffey towards The Spire. Browse the shops on Henry Street and stop for lunch at Brother Hubbard before crossing Ha’penny Bridge and making your way to Dublin Castle. Enjoy a guided tour of Dublin Castle followed by a glance around the Chester Beatty Library. End your day with a drink and live Irish music and dancing at The Church followed by dinner at Terra Madre.