My first plans of visiting Dublin go back a long, long while. Early 2012 to be precise.
And then my entire bag, including every form of ID I had got stolen and I couldn’t go. There was also the family trip for my brother’s 18th birthday I couldn’t attend because of work obligations, and the aborted trip because of poor weather conditions.
Fast forward 5 years almost to the day and there I was, finally stepping foot into the Emerald Isle’s capital. And it was totally worth the 5-year wait and anticipation.
A city in full reconversion where Celtic history meets the latest tech innovations, Dublin is a fascinating destination.
This means there’s something for everyone, from hipster designer goods to fine dining, from little community cafés to wow-inducing libraries. And then everything else.
It also means planning a trip to Dublin can feel rather daunting –especially for the most FOMO-prone amongst us– so I’ve gathered together the things we prefered from our short trip in case you need inspiration for a trip!
Trinity College Library’s Long Room
The largest library in Ireland, permanent home to the famous Book of Kells and acting as “copyright library”, the Trinity College Library comes at the top of every list of things to see in Dublin.
I’d usually run away from that sort of place, but its Long Room, panelled with wood, then covered in books from top to bottom is the real-life version of my Beauty & The Beast dreams and truly worth seing.
Book your tickets online and try to go early to avoid touristy crowds though.
“It may have ‘science’ in the title, but each exhibition at the gallery proves it to be the most creative, innovative and artistic venue in Ireland.” – Shane Hegarty, Irish Times, April 2011
The current exhibition, Humans need not apply, looks into the collisions between automated world and consciousness and looks into the consequences on work and society of machines being incresingly able to do everything better, faster and for longer.
Build-your-own whiskey tour
Whisky is to Dublin what wine is to Bordeaux – the water of life. Quite literally for the former, as the gaelic spelling of whiskey, uisce beatha, translates to “water of life”.
While the Irish capital lost all of its distilleries and most of its international trade following the two world wars and the American prohibition, the spirit of Dublin is nowadays coming back to the city, with distilleries such as Teeling producing and trading in the historical Liberties quarter and the brand-new Irish Whiskey Museum drawing on centuries of shared history.
Seasoned whisky drinkers will also enjoy the incredible Irish and international selection available at the Dingle Whisky Bar.
Get off the beaten track
Forget the never ending list must-visit places, forget the maps, tourist buses and the recommended itinerary. Instead, take the small streets, go ’round in circles and explore.
There’s no better way to discover what a city really is like and find true local gems in the process.
With plenty of gorgeous buildings, carefully curated designer stores (above is my favourite, Scout Dublin) and incredible street art, Dublin will throw plenty of good things your way!
Make it to Hoath for the sunset
Because no matter how much I love cities, nothing beats a sun-kissing-the-sea sort of sunset (and the fresh-off(the-boat seafood doesn’t hurt either)!
A locals’ favourite for great coffee, some of the best eggs in town and an unbeatable, laid-back atmosphere. Go early, especially on weekends, to avoid the (long) queues.
Financial Times-acclaimed neighbourhood dining room run by passionate husband and wife team, turning truly excellent seasonal ingredients into simple-yet-spectacular modern dishes.
The Winding Stairs:
After a browse through the little downstairs library amazing selection of weird and wonderful books, make sure you pop upstairs for a generous plate of their bread and butter pudding.
It’s golden, moist, drenched in salted caramel sauce and the absolute best pudding I’ve ever had. Absolutely life-changing.
4 words. Brown bread ice cream. Simply divine.
What’s your favourite thing to see, do or eat in Dublin? Any tips for my next trip?