Wednesday, February 22, 2017

One Day in Dublin

It may have a reputation as a city known for being grey, rainy, and cold, but Dublin is a fun, bustling city full of energy, with lots of history!

I recently came across a super cheap flight into Dublin, and having never been to Europe, jumped on it immediately. I decided to spend a night there as the gateway to Europe, and on the way to the rest of my itinerary (5 cities in 10 days, oh my).

Dublin is an easily walkable city, with most of its major attractions within a mile of each other, so it is easily seen in a relatively short period of time. Of course, I definitely wish I had more time there (had to skip the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery), but I made the most of what little time I had.

Here are some must-dos in Dublin:

St. Stephen's Green
This is a big historical park located right in the center of the city. I imagine that it would be an awesome place for a nice picnic during the warmer months. Unfortunately, I happened to be in Dublin in February, and it was rainy, windy, and cold, so I only took a quick stroll through there. Super pretty, though!

Eat an Irish Breakfast
There are a number of places in the city that serve a delicious Irish breakfast, but I chose Hatch & Sons, which is right next to St. Stephen's Green. It is a super cute place, and the breakfast was delicious! If you've never had Irish soda bread before, you are definitely in for a treat.

Trinity College
This is Dublin's main university, and it has a gorgeous campus with beautiful old buildings. Worth a stroll around, but again, it was cold, rainy, and windy, and so it wasn't really strolling weather. But the real reason we were there...

The Book of Kells/The Long Room
The Book of Kells is a Latin manuscript of the 4 Gospels of the New Testament and is known as one of the most influential texts in the world. It was completed in 384AD, printed on vellum, and the text is surrounded with intricate illustrations. After seeing the Book of Kells, you will go into the Long Room of the Old Library, which houses 200,000 books and will be the most magnificent library you have ever seen! (*insert heart eyes emoji here*)

Stroll through Central Dublin
Central Dublin is full of charming buildings, and cute shops, cafes, and restaurants to hang out in. You can also walk along the river, or walk across the Ha'penny Bridge.

Dublin Castle
Built in the 13th century, this is a centrally located castle right in the heart of the city. I know there are more spectacular castles in the Irish countryside, but I thought it was cool that there was a castle right in the middle of the city. I didn't go inside, but if you do, it offers a great insight into the history of Dublin. There is also a garden located right across from it.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
One of the things that struck me most about Europe in general was the abundance of intricately designed old churches. Built in 1191, it is one of the most visit attractions in Dublin, and it is gorgeous throughout.

Christchurch Cathedral
A short walk away from St. Patrick's is the Christchurch Cathedral, which was founded in 1028 by the Vikings. It was closed when I was there, but I still admired it from the outside.

Hang out in Temple Bar
Temple Bar is a colorful, energetic district lined with lots of pubs! I loved Dublin's pub culture, and stopped by several pubs, but the iconic Temple Bar Pub was my favorite, with a lively vibe, friendly bartenders, and amazing live traditional Irish music. Definitely stop in for a pint of Guinness, or an Irish coffee.

Grub on some pub food
Speaking of pubs, I also stopped in The Brazen Head, which is also Dublin's oldest pub and also a great spot! It is also a great spot for dinner, with all the traditional pub favorites, like bangers and mash and Guinness stew. Perfect comfort food for a chilly, rainy night.

Have you ever been to Dublin? If so, what were some of the highlights of your trip?