Every trip, I promise myself I’d write about it within a week max and yet I probably have at least 10 still waiting to be written. So not to have any excuse, I am writing this down now while you’re sat opposite me totally engrossed with your phone, while we’re both waiting for our delayed flight. (Again.)
Hoping you don’t sleep on me on the tube home,
I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland. And surprisingly, even with it being so close to London, it took me about four years to finally do it.
The flight from London takes about an hour which is easy peasy. We flew with Aer Lingus which lands in Terminal 2. There are so many ways to get to the city and we chose the 747 bus which takes you right in the center of the city. It’s €7 single and €12 return.
We got an AirBnb that was really central which made going around the city very walkable. But if you had to catch the bus, I recommend downloading the Moovit app for bus/train times and we also downloaded MyTaxi because it’s cheaper than Uber. We had to take a taxi once because it was pissing down in rain and we were tired. (Tip: Always bring an umbrella- their weather is more unpredictable than London!)
It is almost impossible to decide what to do anywhere when it’s pressed with time but somehow Sam and I always manage.
The first thing we planned was to watch a show at the 3Arena. Because we were celebrating something, we thought it would be nice to book a show. Cirque de Soleil was on for the weekend so we nabbed tickets for that and we loved it. (If you haven’t watched any Cirque show yet – I highly recommend you should!)
After, we met up with our friends in a restaurant called Trocadero. Service and food was good- restaurant had a nice traditional vibe to it. One thing about Dublin, different to London, is that they don’t have service charge so tipping is at your own discretion. Cost of food is almost the same or slightly more expensive than London. Alcohol, however, is definitely more expensive. Apparently it’s to try and stop people from drinking too much, but I’m not sure that’s working.
Sunday’s weather was a lot more pleasant. Beautiful blue skies perfect for a day trip to a little town by the coast. We were torn between Howth and Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dun-Lee-ree) but because I love Sunday markets so much and didn’t want to be too far from the city for too long, we opted for the latter. Return tickets from the city are €6.25 and you get a great scenic view of the coast on the ride there.
The market has over 50 vendors and it attracts crowds every Sunday with its wide range of products from hot food, art, baked goods, artisan food products, seasonal produce, etc.
After eating our lamb kebabs, vendor hopping and dog watching, we made our way to the waterfront for a nice stroll. The smell of the sea reminded me of home.
Another toss up that we had was deciding between the Guinness factory or a whisky factory. We just had to ask, which one’s more Irish? So obvs in the end, ended up at the Guinness Storehouse. Some may argue €25 would be a lot to pay but all in all, I thought it was a great experience. (You get to pour your own pint and receive a certificate at the end!)
The place itself is massive. Apparently it’s the biggest pint shape building you will ever find and if they, for whatever reason decided to fill it up, it will be enough to make 14.3 million pints of beer!
There are 6 floors (5 + rooftop) and each one brings its own unique experience. My favorite one was the tasting floor where the guide really breaks down all the different flavors you should be finding for when you take a sip of the famous stout. They also give you a baby Guinness glass which is pretty adorbs.
For dinner, I chose Zozimus which turned out to be an excellent choice. (Back pat) The place is a mix of a dimsum place and a cocktail bar. (A classy Ping Pong mixed with the Mondrian Bar) They were having their soft opening that week and didn’t even properly launched their menus yet so some we got to try first—like dessert!
We ended the night with a couple of pints at the Hairy Lemon– a good ol’ traditional Irish pub.
The next day was our flight back.
We capped our trip by going on a free walking tour. The tours go on every day and we chose the South Side Tour where we got to see all the classics – Trinity College, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, etc.
I always encourage people to go on these tours because it’s so authentic and you get to bank a lot of fun facts. I learned on this one is that the famous St. Patrick is not even Irish – ha!
All in all, I would say a long weekend in Dublin is enough to go around and see pockets of what makes the city awesome.
You might even get lucky and spot a leprechaun like we did!