As I’m sure many of you saw, I was in Dublin yesterday for the first time and it was wonderful. Although it was dark, rainy, windy and freezing when we arrived it turned out to be a much nicer day and we saw tons. We do a lot of day trips because you’d be surprised how much you can get done in a day, but also because it’s much more cost effective when you don’t have to pay for a hotel night. So today I’m going to discuss the highlights to see and do in Dublin in just a day. This city has awesome architecture, history and some great beer.
Our first stop was taking a bus into the city to O’Connell Street. This has the Spire of Dublin (which I sadly have no photo of because it was pouring rain and I was afraid for my electronic devices) and the General Post Office, which were the headquarters for the Irish Easter Uprising in 1916.
Since it was raining we went straight from the center to the Guinness Storehouse, which I was insanely excited for seeing as I absolutely love Guinness (it’s that Irish blood in me). It’s located in the heart of St. James’s Gate, where Guinness is brewed, and is a museum/exhibition that tells you all about the brewing process, facts about Arthur Guinness and his family and even has a whole section on Guinness advertising over the years.
The best part for me was the Guinness academy, which is where you’re taught to pour “the perfect pint” and then you get to drink it. The Guinness is included in the entry price (€18 for an adult if you buy online) and then you can take it and enjoy it on the top floor which has lovely aerial views of the city and hills.
We easily killed 3 hours at the Guinness Storehouse, but you can do it much quicker or longer if you fancy. I’m more of a wanderer when it comes to seeing cities, especially ones I’ve never been to before, so the next stop was making our way to Ha’penny Bridge. This is the most commonly photographed and viewed bridge in Dublin, and although it’s no London Tower Bridge it fits really well into the city landscape and the white of the bridge can look gorgeous in the (admittedly infrequent) sunlight.
The area around the river is lively and nearby begins the Temple Bar District, which has some of the coolest and best bars around Dublin. Although we weren’t there to experience these bars, the area itself has got a cool vibe and also houses the Science Gallery. It’s more of an art exhibit that focuses on science-related subjects with a nice cafe downstairs.
The last two things we did for the day before the sun went down (which is ridiculously early in Europe if you ask me) was Dublin Castle and Grafton Street. Dating back to the 1200s, Dublin Castle originally housed the UK’s government administration in Ireland until 1922, when it became a government house for the Irish government. The castle itself it’s huge, but has a large courtyard and can be enjoyed from all angles for free. Not having many castles in the US, I always find them a really exciting thing to come across.
Grafton Street is the main pedestrian shopping street in the city and has lots of options for shopping and food, but also great architecture. I love pedestrianized streets because there’s something nice about not having to worry about traffic and having all that space to spread out. By night it’s lit by lights strewn between the buildings and is a must-see for a quick stop in Dublin.
Dublin is the kind of city where just wandering the streets can give you the sense of the city, without doing anything in particular. With tons of shopping and dining options, to fantastic architecture and beer, what more could you want? I’m definitely looking forward to going back now for a proper trip in the future.