“A vibrant and diverse town”
I had such high expectations for Ireland- For some unknown reason I have always loved Ireland without ever visiting. So naturally, I was very excited to get the chance to explore the capital city.
I first visited Dublin on the tour I was doing and we were warned by the tour manager that Dublin may not meet our Irish dreams. I think to some extent he was right- some parts of the city are dirty and made me feel a little uneasy- but other parts were full of the Irish charm.
The famous temple bar was oozing with character, the cobbled stone streets filled with traditional Irish pubs were definitely a highlight.
The river that runs through the middle of the city is picturesque, particularly a night! There are many bridge which provide perfect photo opportunities.
There are so many cafes and restaurants to choose from (from any cuisine you could possible imagine). So many of them have colourful and unique facades, and I found the food and coffee tastier than in other parts of Ireland and Scotland.
Overall, it is not that Dublin is a bad city, it is just that for me it was not my favourite Irish city. If I am ever lucky enough to visit Ireland again, I would skip Dublin and spend extra time in Galway. Galway stole a piece of my heart and made all my Irish dreams come true.
Top five Dublin tips (beyond the typical ones you find on Tripadvisor):
Jurys Inn- I stayed at the Jurys Inn on Parnell street. It was a great hotel, really comfortable and I had a great view over the busy road (again a people watchers dream). It was only a 10 minute walk to Temple Bar- which I actually preferred as it meant it was a little quieter at night. https://www.jurysinns.com/hotels/dublin/parnell-street
The National Leprechaun Museum- If you visit Dublin make sure you visit the National Leprechaun museum. It is a unique and random experience, but well worth it. A guide (who is hilarious) will take you through funky rooms and tell you Irish Mythology stories. Even better you get to climb up on giant furniture. http://www.leprechaunmuseum.ie/
The Book of Kells (may not be worth it!)- Trinity College is one of the must do sights in Dublin. I got huge university envy when I was exploring the stunning campus. Exploring Trinity College is free, however to visit the old Library and the book of Kells is 10 Euro (for students; 13 for adults). The book of Kells is an extremely old book (believed to be created in c.800 AD), and you can visit the exhibition in the Old Library. Whilst I really enjoyed having a gander through the stunning library, for people not into literature and old buildings I would not recommend spending the money.
Vintage shops- The vintage clothes shops in Temple Bar are amazing! There are so many unique stores filled with one-off fashion pieces.
Temple Bar (is expensive)- Temple Bar is famous for its Irish pubs. I had such a great night out there as the pubs are filled with character and the live Irish music was amazing. However, it was expensive- like really expensive (11 Euro for a Vodka & Soda water), and it is also filled with tourists. I would definitely recommend spending one night there- but maybe look beyond Temple Bar also.