There was little lingering on my 5 day trip to Dublin. The past few summers, during my long travels, I’d find myself in a coffee shop or park just letting the hours pass. But when you only have 5 days to see what there is to see you must do, do, do. The on-going theme of the week was “We can sleep Monday”.
Planning a trip to to Dublin? Here were the highlights:
1. Trinity College— The Long Hall is really all its cracked up to be. Books on Books on Books, If you love the written word this is your Sistine Chapel. Not to mention they also have the Book of Kells, and a lovely exhibit teaching you all about it.
2. Science Gallery—Also located at Trinity College this places merges my two favorite things, art and science. I saw their “Grow Your Own” exhibit—a highlight of which was cheese grown with Micheal Pollans own body bacteria The cafe would be a delightful place to while away an afternoon of people watching if you had the time.
3. Day Trips— Since we were on a crunch for time, we did a couple planned day tours rather than DIY. I had heard the roads were narrow in the countryside, combined with driving on the other side of the road it would be a task to navigate for a day. Additionally, who doesn’t want to drink a Bulmers at lunch?
No stress for us, because this company did great! Each tour left early in the morning, giving you have a couple additional hours on the road before the sun comes up to sleep. We took the Giants Causeway and Cliffs of Moher tours, I would recommend each. Since it was near the first weekend of December we got the additional delight of stopping in the Belfast Christmas market on the way home from the Causeway. My friend Emily wanted to see a european Christmas Market, so this was a delightful surprise to us.
4. Temple Bar Food Market—This place felt full of tourists more than locals—-but there was a great array of food so that gave it a thumbs up for me. A cheese farm had little sample boxes of their cheese perfect for the tourist without a fridge in mind. The oysters also made for a perfect breakfast. This place is adjacent to the Gallery of Photography, which had an awesome Tom Wood, as well as the National Photographic Archive which had an amazing exhibit on work life in early 20th century Ireland. Both were free and well worth the visit. Some good shopping is nearby too. I would recommend Indigo and Cloth for your designer good desires (I got my awesome Antrim poster here!) , and Cow’s Lane Designer Studio for a great piece of locally made art.
Some more details:
Where we Stayed: Kellys Hotel. Great location. Very clean and stylish. Radiators for heat (I LOVE radiators). This isn’t a scene-y hotel, so if you are looking to meet people in the lobby it isn’t going to happen. However, it is above the bar Hogans so you might meet someone there, but if sleep is your aim then you might try elsewhere. But who goes to Dublin to sleep?!
Eats: I was traveling with my friend Emily who has Celiacs and Dublin turned out to be rather friendly to those with food allergies, most of the menus were well labeled. We enjoy a couple interesting meals here:
Cameleon —A Dutch/Indonesian Place
Rustic Stone--Cook meat on a stone! Sounds campy, but it was actually very nice.
We also did some grocery shopping at the Mark and Spencers on Grafton Street, which we thought it was better than the well loved local Fallon and Bryne.
So thats a wrap up of Ireland. Things you don’t have to pay for but will see all over are christmas lights and people kissing in the streets. Its so festive you can’t help but join in. The end of November and beginning of December really is the perfect time to go.