First off, let me just get this out out there. I love Dublin.
I’m not sure if it’s being constantly surrounded by drunk people at all hours of the day, eating incredible food, or just the relief of having people understand me and thus my absurd gesticulating is for the first time in a while, unnecessary.
Also, I think it’s really sad that so many travelers decide to put Dublin on the back burner and go to London instead, hence I made a little list for you all…
Reasons why Dublin kicks ass:
1. Ireland (except Northern..but let’s no go there) is part of the European Union, hence, much cheaper than anywhere in the UK with their god damn pounds. If I sound hostile it’s because my money was cut in half thanks to UK currency, not to mention London has the most over-priced….everything.
2. ALL MUSEUMS ARE FREE.
Mother of Pearl, this was the coolest thing about Dublin was how not only could you walk into any museum and get unlimited knowledge, but almost all other attractions within Dublin offered student discounts that would significantly cut the cost in half, if not more. Did I mention that we got a hop-on hop-off bus tour for two days for 16 euro. Unbelievable, and to put that into perspective, ONE day of hop-on hop-off tour in London cost 28 pounds, aka 36 euros. #getoutofhere
Favorite Museum: National Museum of Ireland–Archaeology
3. Easy to Navigate
Dublin is much smaller than I was expecting, and Trinity College is the central p0int to easily walk around to a bunch of different places–you just need a map! However, if you want to do some of the classic touristy things (Guinness Factory, Jameson Factory, Dublin Zoo, and Phoenix Park) these are the only things that are out of the way, hence I highly recommend getting the hop-on hop-off bus pass, which will drop you off right in front of all of these places.
4.. Almost everyone there loves beer and whiskey, no matter what time or place. No one passes judgement no matter how hard you hit the floor!
5.. Everyone is so incredibly friendly. Drunk or sober, the Irish have won my heart!
Speaking of drinking..
Good. God. Just. Go.
Student prices were 12 euro, regular admission is 17 euro. This factory far exceeded my expectations, granted I was only expecting pictures of beer and then a free pint. However, the entire process of Guinness is broken down from the hops to the barley to the yeast; I was blown away by the artistic and electronic creations they used to tell their story.
One of the perks of the tour is your free pint of Guinness at the end. Please do yourself a favor and make sure you go to the Gravity Bar on the top floor. Not only is the view incredible, but you actually get your pint, whereas the ‘Pour-It-Yourself’ Floor is half a pint.
Keep in mind I do not drink beer–no need for the lectures, I have tried many, many different kinds and I just don’t like the taste. Hence, this picture is a BIG deal:
Notice the spectacular view..which further emphasizes my point of drinking on the top floor.
I’m delighted to report I finished the whole pint.
Food, Folklore, and Fairies at The Brazen Head
I won’t give anything away if anyone decides to go to this magical night at The Brazen Head, but here’s a random little story I remembered:
Fairies in Ireland are never the cute, Tinkerbell-like magical beings we think of, but were actually thought of as dark, most often wicked beings that usually led to misfortune. Fairies were very mischievous creatures that would sometimes act as humans to trick them for the fun of it. Usually, if you shook your hands with one on a deal, they would take your money and when you checked your wallet, you would find nothing but dust. Fairies are said to be extremely clean (and apparently OCD) and hate germs and dirt. So, whenever you make a deal, always spit in your hand before, and if they refuse to shake it, they are no doubt a fairy!
40 euro for students/44 euro regular admission–Pricey, but so worth it!
Here’s more information if anyone is interested in intending: http://www.irishfolktours.com/index.html
Swing by the pub downstairs if you have time for a drink (or 2..or 3..or 8). Check out the walls decked out in money signed by all the visitors from around the world. Of course we left a little piece of us behind..
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Color me Jesus!
A very, very cool cathedral with a spectacular garden and fountain outside.
Note: Admission was €8
€2 for students/regular was €4
Magical. Just Magical. Luckily, we swung by the zoo a little less than two hours before they closed and the weather was lightly raining on and off—aka THE ZOO WAS OURS!
Shockingly, this was the most expensive activity we paid for on the whole trip: student tickets were €15. The weird part was the gift shop had nothing but kids toys and candy, which was depressing since we wanted a t-shirt very badly.
Pub food is hands down the cheapest, most delicious meal you can get in Dublin (I really liked O’Neils). Our entire stay, we only ate at one restaurant. It just so happens that this restaurant was actually a gift from god. The food was all very fresh, organic vegetarian and vegan foods, which after a few days of only meat and potatoes, is beyond refreshing. It reminded me so much of yummy California grub, which made me like it all the mroe! It was hands down the best meal I had during our trip through Ireland and the UK. CORNUCOPIA: http://www.cornucopia.ie/
Please do yourself a favor and eat there!
Nightlife is pretty fantastic for pub crawls. I suggest staying in the Temple Bar area and whenever you get tired of one place, go across the street, or next door, or diagonal from where you are. Either way, you are guaranteed a good time in Dublin. My favorite part about the pubs was that they always have incredible live bands playing everything from traditional Irish tunes to acoustic version of pop songs (Call Me Maybe was done..’nuf said).
Dublin Castle + Chester Beatty Library
The Dublin Castle was I believe around €4 and the library is free. Make sure you head to the rooftop garden to get birds eye view of the gardens!
Remind anyone of Harry Potter? I think yes!
Merrion Square Park + Oscar Wilde
Ohhh Oscar..you’re just so unattainable.
The only thing we didn’t have time to check out was the Jameson factory.
Fun Fact: Whiskey was invented by Irish monks. God bless.
Otherwise everything I listed we were able to do through the hop-on, hop-off tour and made our lives much easier since it dropped us off in front of all of these locations!
Moral of this post, go to Ireland. Immediately.
Cheers & Hearts