Well, I hoped you packed them as walking is “just what you’ll do” in the glorious, welcoming, fair city of Dublin. Lying between Howth in the north and Dalkey to the south, the iconic River Liffey divides the city in two.
Wandering along the streets and banks of the river crisscrossing the bridges such as O’Connell Bridge and the Ha’Penny Bridge (pictured above) is a joy.
Make sure you find a few hours just to meander, stopping at one of the many specialty coffee shops that have sprung up across the city in recent years.
Irelands capital is a UNESCO City of Literature and is renowned for its literary figures such as Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and WB Yeats. With that in mind, a great place to start any tour of the city is at the Trinity College Library.
The Long Room Library contains over 200,000 old manuscripts including the Book of Kells – an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels of the Christian New Testament, which dates back to the 9th century.
A visit to the somewhat hidden Dublin Castle, is well worth it.
For a handful of euros, you can tour the magnificent staterooms, the Viking Excavation, and the Chapel Royal as well as relax and unwind in the Dubh Linn Gardens that gave Dublin its name.
Dublin has two cathedrals dating back some 800 years. St Patricks Cathedral is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland and offers visitors the chance to enjoy not only its grandness and opulence but also if you time your visit right, the beautifully haunting choir.
Christ Church Cathedral is smaller. It may not be to everyone’s taste but on display in the shrine, you will find the embalmed heart of a 12th-century Archbishop of Dublin as well as a mummified cat and rat amongst other more welcoming attractions of course!
If you are interested in Ireland’s history then take the short 15-minute bus journey out of the city centre to Gallows Hill and the site of Kilmainham Gaol. Opened in 1796, Kilmainham became a place of punishment for political prisoners and convicts from Ireland’s uprising and civil war.
Other sites that are well worth considering are the Irish Museum of Modern Art located on the grounds of the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham. The National Gallery of Ireland has works by Picasso, Monet, and renowned Irish artist Jack B Yeats. Then there is the Little Museum of Dublin which tells the story of the city.
If the weather is kind and you are looking to enjoy some outdoor spaces then head over to St Stephen’s Green, which was once simple farmland, as well as the location for public executions and witch burnings. Today this is a beautiful park and a great place to relax, set up a picnic and people watch.
In the Grand Canal Dock, those looking for water sports can try paddleboarding, kayaking, and windsurfing courtesy of Surfdock.
Perhaps you are visiting for sporting reasons with Croke Park and the Aviva Stadium both world-class stadia for Gaelic football, Hurling, and Rugby.
Dublin is, of course, famous for its pubs and you will not be disappointed. Temple Bar with its cobbled streets, buskers and lively atmosphere is where the crowds will congregate for good times, Since 1840, the Temple Bar Pub has been the iconic Dublin pub and today populates the Instagram feeds and provides entertainment, a beer garden and of course the black stuff!
Also, try the Porterhouse which opened in 1996 as Dublin’s first pub brewery.
The Dawson Lounge on Dawson Street is Dublin’s smallest bar and is full of character and charm.
The Shelbourne Hotel’s warm and intimate Horseshoe Bar is well known for attracting politicians, journalists, and local celebrities.
Served in every bar will be that Irish black and white icon – the Guinness. To learn the craft of brewing you can take a tour of the popular 18th century Guinness Storehouse. Be sure to book ahead and take advantage of a discount on your entrance ticket. Your tour is completed with a pint in the modern 360-degree Gravity Bar which is perched on top of the building.
Another beverage to sample whilst in Dublin is Irish Whiskey and a tour is possible at the Jameson Distillery.
While sampling that beer and enjoying the bars it’s highly likely you will also be entertained with some live Irish music.
The Brazen Head is 800 years old and the oldest pub in all of Ireland, or so they say, and a popular haunt for those seeking traditional music, great food, and fun times.
Enjoy the Craic
Whatever the reason for your visit, I am sure that once you take off those boots at the end of the day your feet may be aching but your heart will be smiling from the warmth of the legendary Irish hospitality.
Enjoy Dublin and enjoy the “craic” as they say in these parts!
Till next time…