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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Diaz

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Dublin, Ireland

Let me share the magic of my unforgettable journey to Ireland with you! From the very first moment I set foot on the Emerald Isle, I was captivated by its breathtaking landscapes and awe-inspiring vistas. Dublin, the vibrant capital, marked the beginning of my adventure, and what a beginning it was! Exploring the city's charm for a few days was just the start of an incredible journey.


Dublin, with its distinct personality and endless attractions, felt like stepping into a whole new world within Ireland. Every corner held a new delight waiting to be discovered, ensuring that there was never a dull moment exploring its streets.


Whether diving into the city's rich history or venturing out on day trips to explore the surrounding beauty, each moment spent in Dublin was a treasure I'll always hold dear. And I loved Ireland so much that I'm actually planning to have my wedding there!



Believe me when I say that visiting Dublin is an experience you won't regret—it's a gateway to the heart and soul of Ireland. In this guide, I'll share my personal tips and favorite spots to help you create your own unforgettable Dublin adventure!


Getting to Dublin, Ireland

We flew from Orlando with Aer Lingus, and the excitement was palpable. After hours in the air, we finally descended into Dublin. Stepping off the plane, I felt the warmth of Irish hospitality in the air. The airport buzzed with activity, and I couldn't wait to start exploring the city. It was the beginning of an unforgettable adventure. Plus, Dublin Airport is the biggest one in Ireland, handling loads of international flights and airlines, so snagging a reasonably priced ticket to Dublin shouldn't be too hard.


Once you arrive at the airport, you have a couple of options for getting into the city center. You can hop on the Airlink Express bus, which departs frequently from Dublin Airport. Alternatively, you can grab a taxi, with fares typically ranging from €20 to €30, depending on your destination within Dublin city center. We chose to rent a car because we wanted the flexibility to explore more places at our own pace.


Once you're in the city, you'll see that getting around is a breeze. Dublin is super compact and easy to walk, so you probably won't need public transportation much during your stay.


Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland



Dublin Castle and Gardens

My Dublin journey kicked off with a visit to Dublin Castle, right in the heart of the city. As I wandered through its historic halls and lush gardens, I couldn't help but feel transported back in time. Learning about Ireland's struggle for independence within these walls was truly eye-opening. Whether you opt for a guided tour or simply stroll the grounds, Dublin Castle offers a captivating glimpse into the country's rich heritage.





Trinity College and the Book of Kells

Next on my list was Trinity College, a renowned institution steeped in history. The grandeur of its Georgian buildings and the tranquility of its green lawns left me in awe. But the highlight was undoubtedly the Book of Kells, a masterpiece of medieval artistry. Standing before this ancient manuscript, I was humbled by its intricate beauty and the stories it holds within its pages.





Grafton Street

No visit to Dublin would be complete without a stroll down Grafton Street. The bustling atmosphere, the eclectic mix of shops, and the tantalizing aroma of fresh coffee drew me in. I spent hours exploring the quaint boutiques and treating myself to some Irish treasures. And of course, a stop at Bewley's Café for a cup of their famous brew was a must!


St. Stephen’s Green

In need of a peaceful retreat, I found solace in St. Stephen's Green. The tranquility of this urban oasis was a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. As I wandered through its verdant pathways and admired the James Joyce Memorial Sculpture, I couldn't help but feel a sense of serenity wash over me.



St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Even though I'm not religious, stepping into St. Patrick's Cathedral was quite an experience. The towering spires and the sense of history that enveloped the space left me in awe. The cathedral's stunning stained glass windows and interior are definitely worth a visit, regardless of your beliefs.


Here's a fun fact: St. Patrick's Cathedral is Ireland’s largest cathedral. Legend has it that over 1500 years ago, Saint Patrick baptized people from a well on this site. Records trace a wooden church back to the year 890. St. Patrick’s gained cathedral status in 1191, with construction on the stone cathedral beginning between 1191 and 1270. Interestingly, Jonathan Swift, the renowned author of "Gulliver’s Travels" and a former dean of the cathedral, is laid to rest within its walls.






Ha'Penny Bridge

Once you're back in the city center, whether by hopping on a bus or taking a leisurely stroll, make your way to the iconic Ha'Penny Bridge. This charming pedestrian bridge, spanning over the River Liffey, has quite the story to tell. Built back in 1816, it earned its name from the toll of a "ha-penny" that pedestrians had to pay for crossing, a tradition that lasted until 1919. As you step onto this piece of history and traverse its arches, you'll find yourself transported to another time. Crossing the bridge marks the beginning of an adventure on the North side of town, where the atmosphere takes on a whole new vibe compared to the bustling South side.



The Guinness Storehouse

One of my Dublin highlights was visiting the Guinness Storehouse, located next to the historic St. James's Gate Brewery. The self-guided tour took me through Guinness's fascinating history and brewing process. The Gravity Bar on the seventh floor offered stunning views of Dublin, the perfect backdrop for enjoying a fresh pint of Guinness. It's a must-see, so I recommend buying tickets online to save money and skip the lines.





Where to Eat in Dublin, Ireland

It might come as a surprise, but Ireland has truly embraced the foodie scene, and Dublin is no exception. Let me tell you, the culinary landscape here has undergone quite the transformation. From cozy cafés to upscale restaurants, Dublin offers a smorgasbord of options to tantalize your taste buds. No matter what you're craving, you're sure to find something that hits the spot in this vibrant city.


Exploring Temple Bar

End your exploration of Dublin with a visit to the renowned Temple Bar district. Situated just south of the Liffey River, this area is an essential stop on any Dublin itinerary. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, Temple Bar boasts a unique collection of thrift shops, an array of restaurants catering to all tastes, and an abundance of pubs where live music and pints of Guinness are the norms. While it's true that Temple Bar has a touristy vibe and you might find the drink prices on the higher side, its charm and energy make it a worthwhile visit.


The Temple Bar Pub

During my adventure through Temple Bar, I made sure to swing by the iconic Temple Bar Pub, a spot that’s absolutely unmissable. There's something about the buzz in the air here; it feels like the heart of Dublin's spirited culture. I couldn't resist ordering the 'Irish Christmas Classic' - a mouthwatering ensemble of Irish roast chicken, honey glazed ham, and onion stuffing, all piled high on a piece of crusty sourdough bread. Every bite was a delicious nod to traditional Irish flavors, truly a highlight of my culinary experiences in Dublin.



And of course, what would a visit to an Irish pub be without a pint of Guinness? It's practically a rite of passage. Holding that dark, creamy pint in my hand, surrounded by the lively chatter of locals and fellow travelers alike, I felt I was truly embracing the Irish pub experience. That Guinness was more than just a drink; it was a key part of immersing myself in the warmth and welcome of Ireland. Trust me, if you're in Temple Bar, you've got to stop by the Temple Bar Pub and dive into this experience; it's an absolute must for anyone looking to capture the essence of Dublin.


Piglet Wine Bar

For a change of pace, I ventured to Piglet Wine Bar on Cow’s Lane. This cozy spot charmed me with its selection of affordable wines and delightful small plates. It's a must-visit for anyone looking to share a relaxed, flavorful meal with friends.


Bunsen Burgers

And let's not forget about Bunsen Burgers—a place that's become a bit of a legend for its simple, yet utterly delicious burgers. It’s the ideal choice for those times when you crave something quick and satisfying.


The Woollen Mills

Sitting charmingly on the edge of the River Liffey, The Woollen Mills has become a staple in my Dublin dining diary. This historic building, once a fabric factory, now serves as a delightful eating house that pays homage to Irish culinary traditions with a modern twist. Their menu, rich with locally sourced ingredients, offers a contemporary take on classic Irish dishes. I still dream about their slow-roasted pork belly, served over a bed of creamy colcannon, and their delectable homemade breads, which are a must-try. The ambiance, mixing the old-world charm with a touch of industrial chic, adds to the overall dining experience, making it a must-visit for anyone looking for a taste of Dublin's gastronomic heritage.


Cloud Nine

Nestled in the heart of Dublin, Cloud Nine is a haven for ice cream enthusiasts like myself. Their artisanal approach to crafting creamy delights results in a range of irresistible flavors, each more tempting than the last. Whether you're craving a classic cone or a decadent sundae, Cloud Nine delivers on both taste and quality. I still reminisce about the velvety texture of their gelato and the burst of flavor with every spoonful. It's the perfect spot to indulge your sweet tooth and beat the heat on a sunny day in Dublin.



Bakehouse

As a self-proclaimed lover of baked goods, stumbling upon Bakehouse felt like discovering a hidden gem in Dublin's culinary scene. This quaint bakery exudes warmth and charm, drawing you in with the aroma of freshly baked treats. From flaky croissants to indulgent cakes, each creation at Bakehouse is a testament to craftsmanship and passion. I found myself unable to resist their selection of artisan bread, which paired perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee for a cozy morning ritual. For anyone seeking comfort in the form of baked goodness, Bakehouse is an absolute must-visit.



The Sweetest Thing Chocolate Cafe

Nestled in a picturesque corner of Dublin, The Sweetest Thing Chocolate Cafe lives up to its name, offering a haven for chocolate lovers like myself. Stepping inside, I was greeted by the enticing aroma of rich cocoa, promising a decadent experience ahead. I couldn't resist indulging in a cup of their signature hot chocolate, which surpassed all expectations with its velvety texture and rich, indulgent flavor. Each sip was a moment of pure bliss, transporting me to chocolate heaven with every taste. The cozy ambiance of the cafe, coupled with friendly service, made it the perfect spot to unwind and satisfy my sweet cravings.



The Boxty House

Tucked away in the heart of Temple Bar, The Boxty House has been my go-to for a truly authentic Irish dining experience. Specializing in Boxty—a traditional Irish potato pancake—the restaurant crafts a menu that celebrates this unique ingredient in the most delicious ways. The Gaelic Boxty, filled with tender beef in a rich whiskey and mushroom sauce, is an absolute delight. The warm, rustic decor, coupled with the staff's genuine hospitality, makes you feel right at home. Their commitment to showcasing the best of Irish cuisine, along with a carefully selected list of Irish craft beers and spirits, ensures that each visit is both a culinary adventure and a warm embrace of Irish culture.


Each of these establishments, from The Woollen Mills with its rich historical backdrop to The Boxty House's celebration of traditional Irish fare, has offered me not just meals, but memories to cherish. Dublin's culinary scene is as diverse as it is delicious, and these personal experiences highlight just a fraction of what this incredible city has to offer.


Where to Stay in Dublin, Ireland

Even though my path led me towards Belfast, preventing me from staying overnight in Dublin, I dedicated myself to uncovering the city's top accommodations through detailed research. For those planning a Dublin getaway, here are the standout places I discovered, arranged to cater to a range of preferences and needs.


Jacob’s Inn 

For budget-conscious travelers, solo explorers, or those looking to connect with fellow travelers, Jacob’s Inn is an excellent pick. Its central location means you’re never far from Dublin’s must-see attractions. Offering a variety of dormitory and private rooms alongside inviting communal areas, it’s the perfect spot for making new friends while exploring Dublin.


Kilronan House

Situated in the scenic Georgian quarter, Kilronan House encapsulates the essence of a traditional Bed & Breakfast. Guests can enjoy plush, immaculate rooms and wake up to a hearty, delicious breakfast each morning. Its convenient location makes it an ideal base for delving into the historical and cultural sites of Dublin.


Hotel 7

In the bustling heart of Dublin lies Hotel 7, a boutique hotel that offers a tranquil retreat from the city's energetic pace. This hotel is ideal for those seeking comfort and convenience, with a range of cozy rooms and breakfast options available. Its central position ensures that Dublin’s main attractions are easily accessible.


Whether your preference leans towards the social atmosphere of a hostel, the homey charm of a B&B, the intimate setting of a boutique hotel, or the unique local experience of an Airbnb, Dublin has accommodations to suit every type of visitor. Each of these options provides a unique way to experience the vibrant culture and history of this captivating city.



Best Time to Visit Dublin, Ireland

Based on my personal experience visiting Dublin in November, I found the city to be incredibly beautiful during that time. However, everyone's preferences vary, so it's essential to consider what suits you best. Generally, the shoulder seasons, from March to May and September to October, are recommended for a visit to Dublin. These periods offer the advantages of smaller crowds and more affordable accommodation prices, all while still enjoying pleasant weather.



While the idea of visiting Dublin in the summer might be appealing, it's worth noting that the city can get quite crowded with tourists during this time. Attractions may be bustling, and accommodation prices tend to be higher. Similarly, around St. Patrick's Day on March 17th, Dublin becomes a hub of festivities. While it can be busy, the vibrant atmosphere and celebrations make it an experience not to be missed if you have the chance.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Dublin depends on your preferences and what you hope to experience during your trip. Whether you're seeking quieter streets and lower prices or vibrant celebrations and bustling attractions, Dublin offers something for every traveler.



No matter how much time you have to explore Dublin, there's always an abundance of incredible activities to fill your days. Whether you're young or old, an adrenaline junkie or a history buff, Dublin caters to every type of traveler and guarantees an unforgettable experience! Thinking about a trip to Dublin? Got any questions about what to do or where to go? Feel free to drop a comment below! I'm here to help make your Dublin adventure absolutely amazing!


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Hi, Thanks for stopping by!

I'm Samantha! A photographer and I believe that every picture has a story. As a blogger, I share my travel stories with everyone. I think it's important to document my travels and share my experiences with others. I've been to some amazing places and I've seen some incredible things. I want to share my stories and photos with the world.

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