Recently I spent some time in Dublin, the oh so charming capital of Ireland. And although there’s a lot of information available on this city (information that I used as well), I wanted to tell you something from personal experience. Today I’ll be sharing my hits and misses of Dublin.
First of all I have to tell you I was in Dublin in February, which isn’t the best choice, weather wise. I knew that before, but due to my job I can’t leave whenever I want. And although February is a great time to see Ireland – Irish nature is very interesting in winter – Dublin becomes too cold and windy to actually enjoy being outside. Therefore I didn’t visit most of the parks and other highlights you would normally seek out. Let’s get started!
Early bird dinners
Early bird dinners are like late lunches. Most restaurants offer them between 4 pm and 7 pm. Early bird dinners are usually much cheaper than the regular menu and since Dublin is a bit on the expensive side, we love that!
The. Best. Pub. Ever. O’Donoghue’s on Merrion Row is one of my happy places. Although crowded, this pub has a great atmosphere. The audience is very friendly and talkative and together you can enjoy the wonderful Irish music played by musicians who come there for fun (and tips).
I was introduced to this place by friendly local Michael, who I met just an hour before we got to O’Donoghue’s. According to him this is the best pub to go to if you want to experience a relaxed and authentic atmosphere. I can only agree.
If you ask me what my favorite memory is of Ireland I’d have to say meeting so many super friendly Irish people. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a pub or just waiting for the bus, the Irish love to chat.
Dublin is no exception. I remember being a bit nervous about going to the pub alone but I really shouldn’t have. Within 5 minutes I made 3 friends. Okay, one of them was deaf (and drunk), but the other two were by far the loveliest people I’ve ever met. Eleanor and Paul, if you’re reading: Thanks a bunch! 🙂
A cheap way to get a good foundation before (or during) drinking. Pub food is usually cheaper than eating in a restaurant and you get a lot of food as well. Also, because you’re sitting in a pub (and eating in a pub is usually a self-service) you don’t have to tip. My favorite is Guinness stew.
My favorite place to go when traveling through the UK and now Ireland too! If you’re into cosmetics, you’ll like it.
Not a great fan of their coffee, however their interior is way too cute! With a mix of retro furniture and (hopefully fake) animals on the wall, this is a great environment to get creative. I spent many afternoons working there. Mary’s is located upon Grafton street.
The tourist information center
Your eyes are not deceiving you, I’m recommending you to pause your own creativity and visit the tourist information center. Why? Not only do they have very capable staff, they give out free travel guides (big, proper ones!). A great way to save on travel advice!
Stephen’s Green shopping center
It’s just beautiful!
The Bald Barista
Amazing coffee for a fair price. The Bald Barista is a bit like Starbucks, as they sell different kinds of coffee and cakes, which is fine I you don’t have to spend €4 on a cup of coffee. The Bald Barista understands and although it’s certainly not the cheapest coffee I’ve ever had, I found it to be fair for the amazing quality products they sell.
The Avalon Café
Cheap breakfast here we come! €4 for a large portion of scrambled eggs, 2 slices or brown bread and butter is okay when you compare it regular breakfast prices in Dublin. Also, they serve coffee from The Bald Barista.
Unfortunately Dublin is quite expensive, so you should be aware of your budget when you go out to dinner or shopping. Grafton street, the most famous shopping district in the city, is nice to see once but don’t expect to be able to afford much.
I spoke to so many locals who told me I shouldn’t be walking around with my valuables in my hands. This seems like old news since you have to be careful wherever you go, however EVERY person I spoke to mentioned it to me. Especially smartphones (they love your Iphone!) are stolen quite often by using tricks like asking people what the time is. Be careful!
Walking the streets of Dublin during the night is no problem, waving your phone around is.
Although I know many people LOVE Temple Bar, I wouldn’t recommend to spend more than an hour there. Yes, it’s very famous and therefore we have to go and see it, but when you’re looking for just a fun pub, go to O’Donoghue’s instead. Temple Bar is very touristic and sometimes not so pleasant at night.
First of all, Dublin transport seems confusing because most of it is written in Gaelic. Lucky for us there are translations available at some places, yet not all. The most frustrating thing about Dublin’s transport is the fact that the trains aren’t connected within the city. Although they are working on it now, it’s very annoying to have to get out of the train and walk for ages to the next station. Why, Dublin? Why?