To celebrate our friend’s birthday, we planned a trip for the four of us to Dublin. How exciting! For a cultural immersion no country’s better than Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. To give you a tip though: it’s the busiest time of the year in Dublin, and we booked our trip in November to be money-wise… and at least to get somewhere to sleep!
I’d been to Dublin in 2017 as a solo-traveler, but going back with Salty and our friends was amazing! It is lovely to share moments altogether when traveling, and the second time you tend to discover new treasures.
As a cool surprise, our friends got us St Patrick’s head boppers which we wore the whole weekend to match the local vibes!
Welcome to Dublin
From Leeds, it’s so easy to get to Dublin. A 45-minute flight. We’ve booked our tickets with Ryanair, for a total of £75 for two persons. Sweet! When you arrive in Dublin airport, it’s also really easy to get to town as there are plenty of options and the cheapest one is the Dublin City Bus, twice cheaper than the Aiport Bus service.
Eternal Irish showers welcoming us… Being already a bit late, starving and soaking wet, we wanted to get to our accommodation asap to change and go for a Guinness. Our friends had booked a Bed & Breakfast a while ago at the North of Dublin Centre, in an area full of… B&Bs and close to THIS thing:
Lovely walk in the rain to our guesthouse
Once we found ours, the host talked us through loads of details. Keys, drinks, keep it quiet at all times… We were tired and hungry, so an expedite check-in would have been much appreciated. Overall he was warm and very (very) dedicated.
Don’t expect a modern furniture around here. Mostly, you’ll find traditional guest houses and the whole place reflected that. In spite of being clean, everything looked and smelled old. However, mattresses felt comfy.
Never lie down on a bed if your plan is to go out again and drink a Guinness.
So now, where to eat? We’re hungry!
We were craving fat food like hell. So hungry. The closer the better but it seemed there weren’t too many options nearby. We’ve been recommended by our super host to Supermac’s, apparently a must eat in town which we headed to. Indeed, not cheap but so good! I think I had a kind of Philly Cheese Steak sandwich with beef and onions, and it was heaven. Salty got a big fat burger. Once we were done, we walked to Temple Bar and got a Guinness in a live music bar.
The Long Room Of The Old Library At Trinity College
Next morning, we got a 8-euro breakfast each at the guesthouse and it was delicious and filling. Then we headed to Trinity College through the narrow Irish streets of Dublin. We realized it’d be a busy weekend just seeing tourists everywhere. We penetrated in Trinity College Campus and admired the architecture.
Then we decided to visit The Old Library. Count 14 euros per person by the way, for the exhibit and the Long Room, but totally worth it. Beware of the queue and the 30-minute wait which can be a pain in the rain.
Follow our walk from our entrance in Trinity College to our visit of the Long Room with a few pics below…
This ball reminds you of Quidditch? In fact, it’s called Sphere Within Sphere, “a bronze sculpture by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. Versions of the sculpture (diameters vary) can be seen in many settings worldwide, including Trinity College, Vatican Museum, Berkeley University, (…).” Source
These Library 200,000 oldest books are carefully organised by department, shelf and alphabetical order. You can’t access them. The Long Room is dark enough to protect the books from the natural light that could eventually fade them.
The Long Room, built between 1712 and 1732 is long of 65 metres.
We continued our walk, and surprise
After leaving our philosophy mates, we continued our wandering through Dublin, and I wanted to check a small cute shop. Actually, it ended up being a beautiful shop center in a breathtaking architecture and antiques, designer shops, jewelers, coffee places and restaurants.
Contemplate this hidden gem hereafter…
George’s St. Arcade is another highlight of our trip
In this place, they sell everything from art to second-hand clothes, which makes it so typical and famous. We enjoyed having a break there while it was raining outside.
3pm, we’re hungry. Let’s try the famous Irish stew!
And for that, let’s go back to The Quay’s Bar in Temple Bar. They serve the traditional Irish stew, which in sum is a thick soup made of meat (usually lamb as they have a lot of sheep there) and veggies. It tastes so good! We had to wait quite a lot though as again, busy time in Dublin, but it was totally worth it.
The down side is that the waitress rushes you as soon as you’re finished, which is a bit frustrating but understandable as it’s annoying to be waiting until a table gets available.
The famous, the star, the delicious Traditional Irish Stew and its bread and butter… Take us back!
Continuing our exploration to Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle is surrounded with a lovely park and another library and I thought Salty and my friends would enjoy it. We found a free exhibit of design (it’s always better when it’s free) and we visited the Library where they also had a free exhibit on writing techniques. Finally we had a break in the Library coffee shop. We walked so much that Saturday! We definitely eliminated the Irish Stew, too.
A typical end of the day in Ireland
After our long day of discoveries, we came back to our guesthouse, changed and went to a Vietnamese restaurant. Then we headed to Temple Bar again, had a few drinks in a fancy bar with a French name (can’t remember), tried to dance on a poor DJ set and ended up going to a 10-euro entrance gay club. And there the music was amazing! We finished our day in the early Sunday morning, ready for St Patrick’s Day Big Parade starting at 12pm.
St Patrick’s Day Parade after hangover
We split in two groups for breakfast and found each other afterwards, in the Parade’s crowd who was waiting for the event to start. Lucky us, sun was with us which helped overcome our hungover heads.
We took so many photos of the show, I’ll just share the best ones…
Last hours before going back to the airport
Once the Parade was over, we walked along the bank to enjoy sunny Dublin and went passed The Guinness Factory which we haven’t photographed, but Salty wanted a souvenir.
Then we arrived to this park, relaxed a bit and enjoyed an Irish Coffee on our way back to the guesthouse, before picking up our bags, checking out and going to Dublin airport.
What a great experience, we hope you enjoyed reading through our discoveries and travel anecdotes of Dublin. Share your reactions with us by leaving a comment!