Yes, No, Maybe: What (Not) To Do in Dublin
Thinking of dabbling in Dublin? Do it! Tickets are often cheap and it’s a great city for a quick weekend getaway. Plus, I have some things you should do, some things I do not recommend and some things that I missed out on or weren’t for me, but that might be for you…
The only place for breakfast and lunch you need to know is Brother Hubbard. I usually love to try different places in a new city, but I went to Brother Hubbard and tried 75% (not even exaggerating here) of their menu at the time. It’s pretty much everything you want and need from a café: it comes with delicious breakfast, great service and a gorgeous interior. The menu offers a wide range of salads, toasts, sandwiches and hot pots. And if you just feel like coffee and cake … don’t hesitate and go try them all. There’s nowt they don’t do right, except maybe giving me food for free…but nobody’s perfect right?
Got time for a day trip? About 15 minutes from Howth’s East pier, you can get a little boat to take you across and spend as long as you like taking in the scenery on the uninhabited island of Ireland’s Eye: a bird sanctuary, and if birds don’t get you squawking with excitement, well it’s also the perfect spot for a summer picnic (if you get lucky with the sun that is)
Like anywhere else I highly recommend you start with a (free) walking tour to get a general idea of the famous sites of the city and which ones you’ll want to visit during your stay. They cover everything from Trinity College to Dublin Castle and even the origins of U2 – sadly my theory that Bono is a space alien with no eyeballs was disproved.
Oh yeah, it may be tourist destination number one, but the Guinness Brewery is an absolute must. The tour is done beautifully and best of all, you have the option of finishing your tour with either learning how to pour the perfect pink or having a drink at the Gravity Bar upstairs. Though you can kill two birds with one stone and sneak your freshly poured pint upstairs to the Gravity Bar and enjoy the view – though I don’t advise trying to kill any birds on the rooftop, regardless of how drunk you are.
Generator Hostel great and the Dublin location is fab, but they were so rude there, I know everyone can have a bad day, but I don’t know what they are doing to their staff as everyone was miserable. Furthermore it was dirty, the sheets was full of stains, the bed made SO much noise with the smallest movement, I can barely imagine how loud it would be if someone was actually rocking the bed, but maybe that’s how the stains happened…
If there is one place I would avoid it’s Temple Bar, really, avoid it like your life depends on it, there are way too many places there that only survive on attracting tourists. Skip, skip, skip!
Not sure if it was the fact I had a free ticket or that I had a whiskey tasting at 11 AM but, the Old James Distillery tour was actually interesting and the guide was really really passionate. You get some history background and are shown the different processes involved in creating the whiskey. And at the end, you get to taste the difference between different types of whiskey. I’m not sure I learnt much beyond ‘this one feels stronger than this one’ though.
Book lovers probably already have The Forty Foot on top of their list. The most famous swimming spot in Dublin is immortalised by Joyce in Ulysses. Dare devils (aka crazy folks, not to be confused with Matt Murdoch’s alter ego) traditionally take a dip at the Sandycove institution on Christmas, but visiting it any time is as charming. And, yes the name refers to the depth of the water. That’ll save you a Google session.
Kilmainham Gaol is well worth a visit to this place learn about its grim history. It’s one of those places I wish the walls could speak, but thankfully the guides were able to tell some stories. Don’t forget to go to the museum upstairs after the tour.
Have you been to Dublin? And do you have any additional recommendations or things to avoid?
I’m headed to Dublin at the end of June, so I’m glad to hear some things to skip! Any recommendations on other hostels? I had been looking at Generator Hostel because it has such a high rating on HostelWorld, thanks for the heads up!
Brother Hubbard YUUMMMM and now they provide delivery service… not to mention their hot chocolate is the best ever. Thick as fuck. I also love Howth, for the market, seals and seafood. Cliff porn too.
I used to work in Temple Bar and those crowds instigated the fear of god in my homicidal persona… Can’t say I miss it. Bleedin’ tourist trap, overpriced, loud, dirty, stagparty central. Nice oysters in KLAW though. And Vintage Cocktail Club speakeasy is quite cool as well. There’s this new Teeling Distillery I usually tell people to visit, it hosts flea markets every saturday.