Dublin was the last city of our trip, and I know I already 'recapped' but really I just shared photos which is great for me, but not for those who might be looking for info on what to do, see and eat in Dublin. I know when I was planning, I loved reading about what other people recommended. See the recommendations for Paris here and the recommendations for Rome here, if you'd like.
We stayed at the Harding Hotel which is located right in the heart of Dublin. Just like our other hotels, it's a place to sleep, nothing more. Clean, safe, cheap and in a good location. This was by far our biggest room and it was super centrally located.
The one thing I'll say is that when I booked it, I didn't realise it was pay upon check-in, which I try to avoid at all costs. So I shot them an email and filled in a form to pay for it immediately, which was no problems. Also, we arrived close to midnight and there was someone at the desk and it was no issue at all.
Right next to the hotel is a pub called Darkey Kelleys, and on the other side there is a restaurant. I was worried that it would be too loud but we didn't hear a thing. Actually, scratch that, we did hear the bells from the nearby cathedral. Wasn't the end of the world.
Like our others, I researched a ton on TripAdvisor, and it had great reviews and I am super happy with our choice, we would absolutely stay here again. I left a review on TripAdvisor and they responded with a 5% off code (for everyone, not just me!) which is pretty awesome, right?
Should guests provide the code REG52014 they will receive an automatic 5% discount off their room rates whether it is B&B or Room Only.
Getting Around & Airport Transfers
So, Paris had the great metro and Rome was pretty walkable with the metro coming in handy for the further away places. Dublin is small. So small. I don't mean that in a bad way, just that everything is very, very walkable, especially if you are staying in the heart of it like we did. If you are staying a bit outside of the city, the Luas is great and relatively cheap (Megan and her husband used it a lot when they went).
One thing I will note - if you are flying back to the US from Dublin, get there super early and no I am not exaggerating. We arrived at 6am and our flight was at 9:30am. We were running to meet our flight and were the last on board. This is because they do the whole customs immigration thing in Dublin, which is great because you skip it in the US, but it takes a really long time in Dublin.
Also, FYI, if you are an Australian married to an American and your green card is expired, your Australian passport doesn't match the name on said green card, and you have nothing on your person to prove that you applied for a new green card.. well, it will take even longer, and you get to go through the back of the airport and be terrified that they are going to charge you a huge fine and not let you back in the country. So, like, I hope that doesn't happen to you, because speaking from experience, it wasn't tons of fun.
Things to do
Okay, now that we have that stuff out of the way, lets get to what we did in Dublin. Because we'd been go-go-go in Paris and Rome, Dublin was lot more go with the flow and take 2 naps a day kind of city. Kidding about the naps, but we were definitely more laidback and it was great.
We still did tons of things though:
Trinity College - fun to see, free to walk around.
However, the Book of Kells in my opinion, is overpriced and not worth it... just my opinion. The library was cool but if you're on a budget, skip it.
St Stephen's Green - absolutely beautiful. We grabbed a hot drink and relaxed for an hour or two, people watching.
Kilmainham Gaol - so interesting, highly recommend.
Temple Bar - fun, vibrant area to wander and grab a drink or have a coffee.
Dublin Castle - free to walk around outside and who doesn't love a good castle?
Viking Splash Tour - this was fun, albeit a bit silly. I wouldn't do something like this again, but I thought I would mention it because it would be so great for kids.
St Patrick's Cathedral - beautiful!
Arlington Hotel Celtic Nights dinner & show - I booked this on a whim. It included a 3 course meal. It was a lot of fun, seriously. We were laughing and singing along and seriously, super entertaining - such a good time. Unfortunately, the food was not as good as the show, but I still recommend it. Tip: book and arrive early to get awesome seats. We were right in front of the stage.
and of course the Guinness Storehouse. We just did the regular tour, not the fancy (expensive) one.
Out of all of these, I really recommend the Guinness Storehouse. I am not a fan of Guinness. KC is, though, but even if he wasn't, we'd still have had fun. It is very interesting, it's a great tour and Dublin loves their Guinness. It's not like Australia where all the outsiders think we like Fosters but in reality no-one drinks it.. Outsiders think that the Irish love Guinness, and in my opinion they really do. It's not just the drink though, it's the history and it's really fascinating.
Shops to shop
Dublin was by far my favourite shopping city! Is it terribly opposite-of-fancy of me to say that? I don't care, there was topshop and Penneys (Penneys!!) and there were so many Australian (English) goodies that I could hardly handle myself. Grafton Street is probably the most well known shopping area and I made quite a large dent in my bank account. No shame. Highly recommend you at least walk down the street, even if you're not a shopper.
I went into every bookstore we passed, and in one I found these two. KC said only one, I bet you can guess which one I bought. Funnily enough, the one on the right was on netgalley when I got home, woo-hoo.
Food to eat
I was excited for the food in Dublin because I thought we'd eat lots of pub food, aka food that reminds me of home. KC was not looking forward to that at all. Paris and Rome were surprisingly cheap, so when we got to Dublin, the prices of the meals gave us a bit of sticker shock. It's not like we couldn't afford it, I just have no desire to pay $30 for one person's meal. We still had some good meals, though.
Our favourite places where we ate:
Every morning we stopped at a little store and KC had this weird sandwhich and I had sausage rolls. If you've never had a sausage roll, I'm sure that sounds a bit weird.. But it was amazing. and chocolates, okay, I ate a lot of chocolates.
Ok, now for some real recommendations:
Bull and Castle - at first glance we thought this place was too expensive, but they do a 2 course lunch for 16 euro, which wasn't bad. It was super close to our hotel.
Brazen Head - this is the oldest pub in Dublin so of course we had to stop by. It's reasonably priced and the food was very good.
Queen of Tarts - um, amazing. Definitely stop by for a bad-for-you-but-so-good cake or tart. Delicious.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen - holy mother of Zeus these burgers were AMAZING. Why didn't I take a photo? I was too busy shoving it in my gob, that's why. There's a review on their website that says 'stunned that something so simple can be so good' to which I wholeheartedly agree. Very well priced, delicious burgers, fries are good and they have all these fancy sauces and I had the most amazing garlic mayo of my life and I would go back to Dublin just for that sauce. Yum. We ate at the Temple Bar location.
Darkey Kelleys - this was right next to our hotel and one night we couldn't be bothered going back out and I am so glad we decided to eat here. We ended up staying for several hours, the live band was great, the drinks were delicious, the staff were so friendly. We would absolutely go here again if we ever return to Dublin. Food & drink were both very reasonably priced.
What I wish we had done:
I didn't have a 'what I wish we had done' section for Paris or Rome because I really felt like we did all that we wanted / could have without going crazy. Though I loved our time in Dublin, I wish we had had just a wee bit more so we could have ventured outside of the city.
I would have loved to visit the Cliffs of Moher, Giant's Causeway, Blarney Castle.. I mean, honestly, the list is endless. Basically I wish we would have seen more of Ireland.
Oh well - looks like we'll have to go back, right?
Linking up with the girls for Wanderlust Wednesdays.
I hope this helped if you are planning to go to Dublin. Did I leave anything out that you are curious about?