When I thought of Ireland I pictured pasty pale men, orange hair and ridiculous accents – in a nutshell, I thought of Conan. Little did I know that four days in Dublin would not only change my stereotyped view, but allow me to experience a wonderful weekend in one of my new favorite cities. Chloe, my travel partner/pun guru was keen on going to the UK area, but I was dreaming of sun and a pina coladas to escape the Paris rain. And yet, my golden-tongued temptress nevertheless managed to convince me to spend my Spring Break in Dublin. We spent our days leisurely strolling the streets and doing what the locals do best, constantly drinking at various pubs and talking to strangers. We spent four days relaxing listening to live music, walking around Trinity College, and trying to find the best fish n’ chips in town (you’ll have to ask Chloe for more on that subject…).
Because pubs are the Dublin staple, we felt it was necessary to not do just one pub crawl, but two. The first was a typical pub crawl around the temple bar area/Grafton st. area and lots of fun (link at bottom of blog) and our second pub crawl would be what I consider an educational activity that involves alcohol — a literary pub crawl of sorts. This was a two-hour tour around the same area that centers on Irish writers and poets, bars that they frequented and two tour guides/actors that provide Oscar worthy performances (ok, maybe not Oscar, but at least a VMA award). On Sunday we decided to get outside of Dublin and took a 25 minute train ride to Howth, a fisherman town. It happened to be the only time it rained but it was still adorable. Overall the best part of our trip was talking to the charming people of Ireland; they are sincere and welcoming and as ‘yoncé would say, flawless***.
Trinity College Library: This is the literary enthusiast dream spot and is home to the Book of Kells.
The Liffey runs across the center of Dublin and Liffey means Life in Irish.
Guinness Storehouse: The Guinness Museum is the largest tourist attraction in Dublin and is entertaining, to say the least. Not your typical museum as it ends with a beer in hand overlooking a panoramic view of the city. Worth the visit, but I was told the Jameson museum is better. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to make it over there so I can’t confirm!
Howth cemetery: I get that it’s morbid, but this cemetery is beautiful as it overlooks the port and sea.
Pub crawl: 12 €, fun bars and the night ends in a club (not my thing but others seems to like what I would consider a steam room with techno playing). http://www.hostelspubcrawl.com/dublin/pubcrawl.php
Literary Pub Crawl: Great time learning and drinking while visiting the city. Highly recommended http://www.dublinpubcrawl.com/
The Church: An old church that now serves as a posh bar/lounge/restaurant/club (basically the opposite of what it was built to do). It’s chic and trendy so not exactly where the students of Trinity hang, but worth a cocktail.
Whelan’s: Happens to be where “P.S. I Love You” was filmed, so obviously a must. They have great music and a fun vibe, all ages and all types are welcome.
The Dawson Lounge: Dublin’s smallest pub behind tiny red door, it is very cute!!
Kilmainham Gaol: An old prison that is a bit out outside of Dublin and very cool. Don’t make it a priority if you only have 2 days but still a cool place to visit.
Howth Market: Open Saturday and Sundays with delicious food and quite local trinkets.
Isaac’s Hostel: We didn’t visit any other hostels but this one was nice for the price. Maybe something a bit closer to the center would be better, but the staff was super friendly and helpful.