Last time I visited the Emerald Isle it was booked in an attempt to over-come post-break-up blues back in 2015. It was super refreshing to head back to the lovely city of Dublin with a little less baggage and plenty more time.
Four nights is a great amount of time to visit this lovely city. Especially at this time of year when it’s pretty gusty and grey. Visiting a friend meant accommodation was free and flying with Ryanair was dirt cheap as one would expect.
However I did manage to spend plenty of pennies on grub and beer.
My recommendations, and the things that filled my days this time around:
Where to Stay
Stay in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. There aren’t an hostels that I know of in this area but some affordable Air BnBs. This neighborhood is super close to the Luas tramline, one of the best ways to get into the city fast. I recommend grabbing a Leap travel card from the station or the local Spar to save on fares. Alternatively there are buses on the high street leading in every which direction, and an Air Coach straight to the airport from Upper Leeson St, just a couple of blocks away (7-8.50 euros each way, approx 25 mins Tickets are available on the coach or can be booked in advance).
Neighborhood highlights include:
Lidl, sounds silly but you’re gonna need to cook at home pretty frequently if you’re on a budget and Lidl is as cheap as it comes.
Hobarts Cafe: Low-mid range prices. Go there breakfast-brunch time on a weekday and you should be able to nab yourself a comfy booth. The menu offers american diner style delights. I’ve had the french toast every time I’ve been there. No regrets. Servers are TOP NOTCH lovely gals.
For Next Time: Kinara Kitchen. A Pakistani kitchen I’ve heard amazing things about.
The Abbey Theatre is a delightful smallish theatre and it just so happens to be The National Theatre of Ireland. I saw Fire Below (A War of Words). 20 Years on from the Belfast Peace Agreement, this play sees a Catholic and Protestant middle class couples side by side putting the world to rights. They’ve lived through conflict at arms length and presented me with an interesting reflection on the state of the nation. Pretty sure this show was presented originally in conjunction with Belfast Theatre Fest and there was plenty of Northern Irish in the audience. Such a great experience. If you visit this city please go see a show like this and learn a little more about the conflict this country has seen.
National Gallery of Ireland, admittedly this wasn’t as much of a learning experience. More of pretty shallow aesthetic pleasure. I didn’t read up on as many of these Irish artists as perhaps I should but nonetheless the building is beautiful and I really like the variety this gallery offers. One of my favourite things about the place was the noise. I hate galleries to feel like libraries. There was a lary-ness to some of the rooms that I really loved. To hear excited people talking about the work around you is great. And it wasn’t all full of art jargon either. Just everyday people having their animated debates – lovely stuff. My favourite was Harry Clarke‘s stained glass windows. There’s some beautiful notecards and books in the shop that would make great gifts. Some of his work can be found across the city I recommend having a search.
Pubs Far and Wide, Obviously if you are a beer drinker you should go and sample some Guinness in various spots across the city. Get yourself a little way away from Temple Bar and you’re on the right tracks. Georges Street has some great old pubs. Kehoe’s, 9 South Anne St was a quaint old spot with tiny table and chairs and winding staircases. It reminded me of a place they might like to have meetings in Peaky Blinders. Mulligan’s on 9 Poolbeg Street was less cute but definitely more local. The prices were about the same and the bartender shared a jaffa cake or two with us girls too. Win win.
The Sugar Club, seemed a pretty trendy well kept secret 😉 So I shan’t give away too much. This night spot on Leeson is an absolute treasure if you enjoy live music. Be wary though, drinks are mad-expensive and queues are long.
The Forty Foot. Finally, one of Irelands most famous swimming spots just outside the city. I wasn’t bold enough to brave the icy waters this time but loads of locals do it every day of the year. This seaside spot is just outside the city and has a great food market on Sundays to warm your bellies after that freezing cold plunge
Eh-volia. Dublin Take 2 was pretty sweet. Nice to be back on the move after a couple of months back on the grind.