When two travel bloggers go on a trip, you better expect a detailed blog post.
Co-authored by Roop Gill
If you are a student with innate wanderlust, you take opportunity of every free weekend. Naturally when studying in London, going to Ireland is a must especially when 1) It’s only an hour away by plane, 2) RyanAir and Aer Lingus offer competitive flight deals, and 3) Guinness tastes better at its source.
So, we found a free weekend in November and hopped over to the land of leprechauns.
Our first stop was the cute capital city of Dublin. More pints of Guinness are poured annually in Dublin than anywhere else in the world. From street performers on Grafton Street to Gaelic football fanatics, Dublin is brimming with all kinds of quirky characters. In all honesty, 24 hours is probably not enough to get a full flavour of the city, but we tried and this is how we did it.
Dublin travel guide: 7 am Getting from the airport to the city
Hop on the convenient 747 bus that runs regularly between the airport and the city. Costing £6 one way for students, the bus has several drop off options in the city. But, make sure you press the stop button ahead of time because our bus driver just sped past our stop. Luckily, Dublin isn’t too big so it was easy for us to just cover the distance by walking.
Dublin travel guide: 8 am Breakfast & Buskers
Since one half of our travel team is Canadian, we are naturally drawn to bagels. We grabbed bagels from Bagel Factory on Harcourt Road and headed over to check out the famous street artists on Grafton Street. It’s one of the main shopping streets in Dublin, running from St. Stephen’s Green to College Green. It’s usually lined with impressive buskers. Likes of Damien Rice and Academy Award winner Glen Hansard kickstarted their careers here.
Dublin travel guide: 10 am Get in line for jail
Kilmainham Gaol is often hailed as one of the best off-the-beaten-path touristy spots in Dublin (yes, we recognise the irony in that sentence). The bigger irony is that when we showed up to enter the jail, the line up was over an hour long so we decided to skip it. While it’s a regret of ours, you should schedule enough time to check out this historic prison that was actively used until 1910.
Dublin travel guide: 12 noon Explore Irish art
Just down the street from Kilmainham is the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Probably the most impressive part of this museum is the grand walkway that leads to the exhibits. It is the country’s leading institution for collecting modern and contemporary art.
Dublin travel guide:2 pm Trinity tour
Usually, neither of us are big fans of guided tours, but the Trinity College tour was actually quite awesome, mostly thanks to our quirky tour guide. The historical context, vivid anecdotes and personal accounts put life into the magnificent buildings of this campus. The tour costs €10 and includes a visit to the library which houses the Book of Kells.
Dublin travel guide: 4 pm Guinness Factory
Disclaimer: We don’t love Guinness and we were completely knackered by the end of this busy day, so we didn’t make it to the Guinness tour. However, they say that Guinness pints taste better at their source than anywhere else in the world, including other bars in Dublin. The tour including tasting samples costs €13 for students.
(While we are recommending that you check out the Guinness Factory, we are proud to admit we were sneaking in a nap to prep for a fun evening ahead)
Dublin travel guide: 6 pm Get crackin’ over dinner
Crackbird is the hipster, upscale version of KFC. You get your drinks in mason jars and meals in red metal baskets. We got a basket of soy garlic chicken with unique side dishes. It’s located close to the Temple Bar company and is surrounded by other restaurants that might interest you more.
Dublin travel guide: 8 pm Mandatory pint at Temple Bar
Yes, it’s touristy and overpriced, but totally worth it! It’s a neighbourhood packed with Irish bars, serving mouthwatering pints and often playing live music. While you’ll pay much less for a pint elsewhere in town, it’s often of many bucket lists to chug back a Guinness in Temple Bar.
Dublin travel guide: 10 pm Lounge away, indulge in cocktails or put your dancing shoes on
There are so many ways to have a fun night in Dublin! In fact, we both split up and pursued different late-night adventures in Ireland’s bumping capital city. Here are some of our suggestions: order a shisha/hookah at the Pygmalion bar and blow off some smoke underneath a heated patio in a bustling alleyway. Or sip on some strong cocktails at Liquor Rooms – a dimly-lit, 50s-inspired bar with rouge overtones. If you are itching to show off your dancing skills, hit the Workmans Club next door. Open until 5 am, the three-floor club looks like an old villa with a rooftop terrace to satisfy the smokers. When we went, it played electro music mixed with oldies and blues.
Like we said before, a day is probably not long enough to enjoy everything that Dublin has to offer, but one day is better than none.