A Day in Dublin
Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and is located on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey. Its historic buildings include Dublin Castle (dating back to the 13th century) and imposing St Patrick’s Cathedral (founded in 1191). I found the city to be very navigable. We walked just about everywhere or took the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour to get some narrative and historical references along the way. For being the largest and most populated city in Ireland it was both safe and clean. I was surprised how most of the buildings in the city didn’t exceed 4 or 5 stories. It really gave it an old-world feel which is part of the appeal for me when traveling to Europe.
The airport is about 30 minutes from city center. We took a cab, but private transfers can also be easily arranged. Most flights from the U.S. get into Dublin in the morning. Check in at most hotels isn’t until 3 or 4 p.m. The hotel would hold your luggage until your room became available, but a suggestion I make to my clients is that if you feel like you will want to rest when you arrive you should book the hotel for the night prior to your arrival. I notify the hotel in advance of the late arrival and the room will be ready when you get there. I’ve noticed that I’m usually running on adrenaline that first day from the excitement of being in a new city so the jet lag doesn’t seem to kick in until later in the evening!
Things to see and do in Dublin:
- Guinness Storehouse: Most visited attraction in all of Ireland. In 1759, at the age of 34, Arthur Guinness signed a lease for the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. He leased the brewery for 9,000 years at an annual rent of £45. That’s less than $60 USD! The original lease can be seen on display although it’s no longer valid since the brewery has since purchased the land.
- Jameson Whiskey Distillery: Scotsman John Jameson began to manage his wife’s family’s distillery in 1786. In 1805, he bought it outright, and five years later, he and his son of the same name officially founded the John Jameson and Son Irish Whiskey company. At the time, Jameson was the world’s number one whiskey, and the distillery was producing one million gallons every year. By the late 19th century it had spread over five acres!
- Book of Kells and the Long Room at the Old Library at Trinity College: Book of Kells is a compilation of illustrations created around 800 AD of the 4 Gospels of the New Testament. It’s regarded as ireland’s finest national treasure. Admission also includes a visit through the Long Room at the Old Library at Trinity College. This towering library includes a copy of every book to have ever been published in the United Kingdom. Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland, founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592.
- Pubs! Brazen Head Pub claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland (1198). I love how you have to duck to get through the doorways! Lots of rooms with little nooks to cozy up in or several bars to belly up to. Woodburning fireplaces throughout and an eclectic mix of décor and old photos cover the walls.
- Great restaurants. We ate at The Bank which actually is an old bank converted into a restaurant. All kinds of cool crown molding and marble floors. We had a traditional Irish supper at Gallagher’s Boxty House. A boxty is a traditional Irish potato pancake served with a variety of different toppings or fillings that can include meat, vegetables or a sweeter version with honey, butter, and sprinkled sugar. An old Irish rhyme: “Boxty on the griddle; boxty on the pan. If you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man!”
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Founded in 1191, features a 141 foot spire
- Relax! Sometimes the best plan is no plan. Stroll through the city at leisure.
Ask me about my other experiences in Ireland. I can also tailor the Ireland trip of your dreams!