Exploring Dublin – My Personal Picks!

I’m going to give a huge shout-out to Passport Overused, who has been writing up about their explorations in Dublin! I’ve been looking back over to when I was last in Dublin, and for some strange reason, I’ve never actually written about it, until now anyway! So thank you so much P.O. for coming over and enjoying the content!

Here are my top picks for going to Dublin that I experienced while I was over there. I may miss some things, but we did only have three days to explore, not to mention Storm Doris blew its way over as well.


The Hotel

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We actually went with the Staycity Aparthotels Millennium Walk for our trip, as we’d booked it as a package deal via Ryanair at the time, and it only cost us around £330 for the entire lot, including seat reservations and extra luggage (we’d booked eight months in advance). We went with a 1-bedroom apartment, which can sleep up to three adults. And it was so gorgeous! The hotel staff were amazing on check-in, and they gave us a map with all of their recommended activities and amenities highlighted, and that helped us a lot. They offer super-fast WiFi in all of the properties at no extra cost. I think the benefit was that the location was so central to everything else – it was so close to the River Liffey and close to Henry Street.

I don’t think I could have picked a better spot. Not even when some drunk dude was butchering I Will Always Love You right outside at night. That was some quality entertainment!

Getting To and From the Airport

I highly recommend using the Aircoach to get from Dublin Airport to your destination. It gets there so quick, and it’s really luxurious, too. We went to O’Connell Street, so you’re guaranteed to get very central. According to the online booking, you’re looking at €12 for two adults on a single trip. You can also buy tickets from the stall at the airport or any shop.

There is also the Airlink Express, which does a similar thing but goes around a little bit more. It has a section on the bus dedicated to luggage, and it’s also very inexpensive, coming in at €6 per adult.

The Food

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The food is a highlight of any trip for me, and Dublin is no exception! The benefit of staying at Millennium Walk is that right below our apartment was the wonderful Lemon Jelly Cafe. It’s a small yet cosy cafe with an amazing selection of food and drinks, not to mention the opening times – 7.15am on weekdays, which I adore! When I’m on holiday, I love a good early morning. In the picture, I had a mini breakfast, while Connor had the brekkie crepe – and don’t worry, that crepe was apparently a lot more filling than it looks. If you’re looking for a later meal, they have you covered. They have so much on offer, you’re spoilt for choice!

And speaking of crepes, we keep raving about Gino’s Gelato, which also has branches in the UK. But Gino’s does amazing crepes and gelato which I was always giddy to try and enjoy.

Another must is Pitt Bros BBQ – there used to be a branch on Millennium Walk, but now you’re looking to go down to George’s Street Upper to try the beautiful BBQ offerings that they offer. And they provide free soft-serve ice cream with every meal. I remember having the brisket bun, which I still think about to this day if I’m completely honest.

If you really want to go to a touristy-like pub, go for The Brazen Head. It’s Ireland’s oldest pub and the atmosphere inside is great, like that warm, homely feeling (it kinda helped that I was sat next to the fireplace though). We both went for the Irish Stew with a pint of cider each, and I tell you something – the grub was amazing! It was genuinely hearty, and I could go back for more right now. And if you’re in the mood for live music and entertainment, they have that covered too!

Vicar Street

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If you want to go see a band or a comedian live, there’s no place quite like Vicar Street. It’s very unassuming from its exterior, but it has a seated capacity of 1,050 and a standing capacity of 1,500, making this venue rather intimate. The bar is really nice as well, and the bar people there were super-friendly. It’s the right kind of atmosphere to have a couple of drinks before the show, and meet some new people while you’re at it!

This was the venue where we went to see Russell Howard live for his Round The World tour. The tour was announced just over a year in advance, which gave us the perfect opportunity to plan everything. We’d reserved seats not quite at the front but at a good distance, and it turned out we were super-close to the stage.

Irish Whiskey Museum

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This is a must for anyone who loves a bit of whiskey. This one was pretty much for Connor, as he loves his whiskey – I’m not a huge drinker of whiskey, but it’s always worth having a look around and taking in the history of whiskey in Ireland. Before the tour, you can have a drink in the bar (the sign does say “Keep off the fecking ladder”), or have a look around the retail store.

There are three different tours you can take: the Classic, Premium and Blending Experience. The Classic takes you round the guided tour, and you can taste three perfectly crafted Irish whiskeys. For a typical adult, the price is €20. The Premium offers the same as the Classic, but an additional fourth whiskey and a unique souvenir whiskey glass, and this comes to €23 per adult. The Blending Experience is adults-only and comes at €30. This tour runs twice a day later on and offers the same as the Premium, but you also craft and blend a whiskey to your own taste, and you can take that sample home with you.

A newer option is the Whiskey and Brunch Experience, where on a weekday morning, you can have the same Classic experience, followed by a brunch which includes Irish smoked salmon (with a vegetarian option available on request).

For the kids and non-drinkers, there are soft drinks included with the Classic so you don’t feel left out!

We went for the Premium, just for that little bit extra. We still have the whiskey glasses, just for souvenir purposes, and the extra whiskey we tried was my personal favourite – it was a 12-year aged Tullamore Dew, and it’s probably the only whiskey that I can drink straight. We both really enjoyed the tour, and it is something I’d wholeheartedly recommend to others.

Trinity College

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Across the road from the Irish Whiskey Museum, you have Trinity College, where you’re able to take a guided tour to see all four quarters of the campus, as well as taking a look at the Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition. Adults just need to pay €15 per person, but I find it cheaper to buy the Guided Tour Only option for €6 per person, and then the Visit Upgrade option for €4 each.

At the time we went, we were able just to explore the central grounds of the campus, as we still had quite a bit to do. My favourite picture with Connor was taken here, and one of the buildings is also today’s featured photo!

Temple Bar

I can’t talk about Dublin without talking about Temple Bar. Unfortunately, we’re not the kind of people that go out bar-hopping, but on the exterior, the area was lovely. But if I’m honest, we were either too exhausted from travel or busy with another activity that we just kinda bypassed it, except for in passing. But I’ll still talk about it.

The Temple Bar pub is iconic with its red exterior and is the go-to place to have a couple of rounds. Be aware of the prices, though, as I talked to a local who said that because of tourism, the prices can be around  €8 per pint (this was back in 2017).

Shopping

There is so much to shop for in Dublin, and I could have done this in separate categories, but this post is getting hella long! So I’ll take you down to Jervis Shopping Centre, which is a great place to shop for a variety of items – they have your typical name brands, as well as a great food court providing you with a great KFC.

A shop that was my favourite was Butler’s Chocolate Cafe – I still crave their white chocolate truffle bars to this day. They are so good, and it’s a shame I haven’t had one since I bought a few to take to Lisbon with me.

You want souvenirs right? Carrolls Irish Gifts has you covered, and more so. There are so many stores in Dublin, so you’re spoilt for choice to get something that may just be a bit silly. The sheep soft toys were my picks, but then I found novelty condoms.

Also to note that Primark there is called Penneys. It’s actually because Primark originated as Penneys in Ireland, but is called Primark everywhere else but.


There is so much to do in Dublin, I can’t even describe it all. But I hope that gives you a good idea of what to expect!

 

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