So it’s been ages since we took our Ireland trip. I got home, edited photos, and wrote some blog posts sharing our experiences in small Irish cities. But somehow life got in the way and big city DUBLIN’s blog post got lost in the shuffle!
Let’s revisit one of my favorite cities and go over some of the highlights of spending two days in Dublin, Ireland.
As many of you know, I completed an internship in college centered here in Dublin. Revisiting this wonderful city was always a dream of mine, especially to show off my favorite spots to my husband Brad. It did not disappoint!
A must-see when spending time in Dublin is of course the Guinness Storehouse.
A ticket gains you entry into a seven story Guinness museum and several half pints of different Guinness varieties to try! I am not a beer drinker. Nor am I super interested in distilleries, wineries, or the like. But the Storehouse is an exception! Even for someone uninterested in the industry, this museum is SO interactive that it keeps you entertained and engaged for 3-4 hours!
Each floor goes over the ingredients and the process of brewing their famous beer. You are overwhelmed by the smell of the barley, the loud crashing of the water, and the heat of the roasting rooms. You walk through millions of bubbles, you stand inside giant barrels and pint glasses, and you learn about what makes this process special.
My favorite part of the Guinness Storehouse is revisiting the old advertisements throughout the decades. #Nerd. I know. But it’s really interesting and amusing!
You end your self-guided tour in the Gravity Bar, overlooking Dublin, with another free pint in your hand!
After the Guinness Storehouse, make sure to sober up with a delicious Cottage Pie or Irish Stew. We got these yummy lunches from a pub right down the street!
Another stop that is an absolute requirement is to Trinity College, the Book of Kells, and the Long Room.
Founded by Queen Elizabeth I, way before America was even a country, Trinity College is a prestigious university in central Dublin. Every 30 minutes or so, current students in stylish black wizard-esque robes will tour you around the campus and teach you about the traditions. It’s really interesting, the architecture is BEAUTIFUL, and it’s free! If you have already graduated, go ahead and walk under the famous bell tower.
Although I can’t share any personal pictures from the Book of Kells section- just take my word for it- DO IT. The Book of Kells is a stunningly beautiful illuminated manuscript created around 800AD. There are many pages on display in the exhibition, and sections are blown up into wall-sized representations so you can see the immaculate detail. I have included a google image here. It’s amazing!
Cue my favorite spot. I literally have a poster of the Long Room on my wall, and couldn’t wait to get back to this stunning place with Brad. This insane library is huge, long, and overwhelmingly pretty. If you have ever watched the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory smells the books at Yale and raves about the smell of old books…you know what I’m talking about here. You just HAVE to go. Enough said.
Highlight #3: Christ Church Cathedral
Another landmark in the middle of Dublin, this was a wonderful rainy day activity for us. It was founded around 1028 and currently serves as the seat of the Church of Ireland. We aren’t super religious people, but taking in the central houses of worship in the city we are visiting is usually a must for us. The intricate architecture is so beautiful we can’t pass them up.
This Gothic Cathedral has 19 bells, the tomb of the famous ‘Strongbow’, and a crypt open to visitors. It sits right in the center of the city, just off the River Liffey.
When you’re done visiting the cathedral, pop on over to Dublin Castle. We didn’t take the tour of the inside this time, but had fun walking around the beautiful grounds!
When you’re done with sightseeing for a bit and ready for some craic, head on over to Temple Bar. It is an area of town totally designed as a tourist trap, but it is lively and fun nonetheless. Be prepared to pay a little more for food and live music in this area of town, and to run into a lot of Americans, but it is definetly worth a visit.
Temple Bar is full of color and life. It is packed with music, restaurants, souvenir shops, and cascading planter boxes.
Be a little more aware of your surroundings in this area, as pickpockets love tourists distracted by souvenir Tshirts and claddaugh rings, but I will begrudgingly admit that it is one of my favorite areas of town to walk through.
A visit to the Boxty House was on our list for sure!
We also scored some sticky-toffee-pudding-ice cream! 🙂
We LOVED our two days in Dublin, and really packed in the activities to end our trip right!
Planning a trip to Dublin? What are your must-do activities? We hope our list helps you plan some fun stops in this fun Irish capital.