8 Days in Ireland: Part 1

About a year ago, I traveled to Ireland with my friend Megan for spring break. I’ve been wanting to put a few posts together about our trip and suggestions of places to go if you’re traveling to Ireland… and with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner I figured now is the right time!

Dublin

Flights to Ireland are great because most of them are overnight flights, so ideally you’re supposed to sleep to offset the jet lag. Megan and I were really excited for obvious reasons, so sleeping didn’t really happen… For future, I’ll definitely be taking melatonin.

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We only spent two days in Dublin. Having been to Ireland before, I loved the other areas of the country more, so we spent the least amount of time here. Dublin is a cool city, but if you only go to Dublin, you’re missing so much of the rich culture of Ireland!

Guinness Storehouse

Who knew I liked Guinness so much? Guinness in Ireland is infinitely better than Guinness in the states. Just is. AND there are so many more brews than the normal Guinness Draught that we have in the states! The self-guided tour of the storehouse is quite impressive. We didn’t prepurchase tickets and I would recommend doing so for anyone planning to go. However, the line was worth the wait and they had performers keeping us entertained.

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Guinness Storehouse

At the end, you get a free pint either at the Gravity Bar, which is the top floor and offers a 360-degree view of Dublin, or while learning how to do a Perfect Pour.

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Gravity Bar – Guinness Storehouse

Exploring the city

We got to explore a good deal of the city while we were there! We wandered around St. Stephen’s Green, through Temple Bar, past the colorful Victorian doors of Merrion Square, in and out of shops on Grafton Street and north of the River Liffey to the Old Jameson Distillery. Neither of us like whiskey so we passed on the tour, but our parents do so we stopped for souvenirs.

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Temple Bar

We happened to be in Dublin on Easter, but not just any Easter. We were there on the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, a prominent event in Irish history. There were parades, reenactments and incredible crowds.

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Essentially their version of our Declaration of Independence

What We Missed (But I saw previously)

In 2010, I travelled to Ireland with my high school choir. On that trip we visited a few more spots that I would recommend to anyone visiting Dublin:

  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christchurch Cathedral: These are both absolutely gorgeous cathedrals worth visiting, regardless of faith. However if you are Catholic, both offer services you can attend.
  • The Book of Kells at Trinity College: The Book of Kells is actually four volumes, each one of the Gospels, and is an illuminated manuscript. This means it is ornately written in Latin, supplemented with calligraphy and illustrations. It is believed to have been created in 800 A.D.!

What I Wish We Saw

Obviously, we only had a short amount of time in Dublin, but here are a few things I wish we got to see:

  • Kilmainham Gaol: This former prison held Irish revolutionaries from the Easter Rising, many were also executed here. It is now a museum.
  • Dublin Castle: Built in the 1200s, many influential events in Irish history have occurred at this site. However, this castle has served as government building for most of its recent past.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Galway!

Have you been to Dublin? What were your favorite places you visited? 

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Just another 20-something trying to figure out this whole adulting thing.

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