It’s been 3 years since I started working for FieldAware, a Dublin based company. During this time I’ve been travelling quite often to the Irish capital.
So, If you are planning to visit Dublin, this is a small guide with tips and places I liked… Mostly food & drinks, I know :D.
You’ll probably arrive to the airport. T1 if you are travelling with Ryanair, T2 if you are travelling with AerLingus.
AerLingus is pretty much the same price than Ryanair, you can check in bigger bags and the crew is usually nicer.
If you arrive late and you want some dinner, there are one McDonalds open on T1.
A taxi to the city centre costs around 25€, so it’s a good option if you are a group… or if you just don’t want to wait for the bus.
There are two main bus lines to the city centre, the Airlink 747 (ticket is 10€ with return) and the Aircoach (price depends on your destination). Line 16 is the cheapest option, but takes ages.
Going for a walk
I’m not really a monument guy, but a visit to Trinity College is mandatory.
The old and private University of Dublin. If you take a guided tour, one of the students will guide you through the buildings. It’s the best way to discover small traditions, legends and history. Guides aren’t paid by the university, so remember to tip him at the end.
Once you are on Trinity college, it’s good to visit the Book of Kells in the library. It’s one of the best New Testament books from the medieval era. Also, the library in the Harry Potter movies is inspired on Trinity’s one. There’s usually a big queue here, so befriend a university student and trick him to have priority access.
If you are lucky and it’s a sunny day, don’t hesitate and go to the bar next to the cricket field. You can buy some drinks there and have them lying on the grass.
Grafton Street and St. Stephens green.
If you want to go shopping, take a walk down Grafton Street. It’s a pedestrian street that starts on trinity college and finishes on St. Stephens green park.
It’s the centre of the shopping area south of the river. It’s not only shops you can find there, but good restaurants, and live music. You can find smaller, bohemian places in the streets around.
At the end of Grafton Street you will find St.Stephens green shopping centre. The top floor has amazing views, and you can get a tatoo, some paintings or maybe buy some other art stuff.
St. Stephens green is a big park, ideal to take a walk and lie on the grass (if you are lucky and it’s sunny). It’s pretty common to find lots of people sunbathing and having lunch there on summer.
¡Beware the swans! and the seagulls, they will fight for your food.
Leeson Street, the canal and docklands.
The area around St. Stephens green is full of offices and embassies. The buildings may look old, but as the facades are protected they are kept and everything else is usually built from scratch. It’s nice to walk around the typical Irish houses.
Curious fact, you’ll find a metal bar next to almost every door. I challenge you to guess what they are for :D.
From Stephens green, you may walk Leeson Street or Baggot Street to the Grand Canal.
There are several canals in Dublin, they are a nice place to take a walk. In summer there are lot’s of boats there and if you are lucky, you may see them crossing the floodgates. Also ¡you can find ducks! and very few seagulls… ¡I hate seagulls!
Walking the canal towards the east you will find Grand Canal Dock. The old port neighbourhood which once was full of industry is now a renewed area with nice buildings. One of the cool things to do there is look for the headquarters of the IT companies, like Google, AirBnb, Amazon…
Walking North from Trinity and crossing the river, you will find O’Conell street. Named after Daniel O’Connell, defender of the Catholics in Ireland.
There are some interesting buildings there, like the Eason building or the general post office.
The streets west to the Spire are another big shopping area.
The moment you cross the river to the North side you start seen strange people, so beware the drunks, the pick-pockets, the traffic and the seagulls. Just always beware the seagulls.
The street in front of Trinity is Dame Street. Between Dame Street and the river you’ll find Temple Bar. The neighbourhood with the most typical Irish pubs and restaurants. So typical, that you will find very little Irish people there.
Anyway, it’s another mandatory stop. You haven’t visited Dublin until you had a drink on Temple Bar.
There are two typical pubs there. The Temple Bar gives the name to the neighbourhood and it’s always full of people; and The Porterhouse, one of the first pubs to brew their own craft beer. Both have live music, although you’ll find it easier to sit on the Porterhouse.
¡¡Beware the chicken wings!! That’s a warning from now on. I don’t know what’s wrong with this people, but they really like their chicken wings spicy.
Pubs, bars and restaurants
The best thing in Dublin are the Pubs. Shops closes pretty soon, so there isn’t much to do after work… but to have a drink in a Pub, with friends.
Galway Breweries has some great crafter beer, also there are a couple of Pubs from them you will want to visit: Against the grain and Alfie Byrne’s.
Both are pretty similar, have LOTS of tap and bottle crafted beer. If you want a Guinness, this is probably NOT the place you are looking for… you can get much better here.
Against the grain is pretty much the old classic Irish Pub
Meanwhile Alfie Byrne’s is the pub under a 5 star hotel, so it’s somehow bigger and modern.
The butcher’s Bar
The butcher’s Bar is the typical bar for students, with some crafter beer as well. You’ll find it up the stairs, next to the Bull and Castle restaurant.
It’s kind of a different place, as it’s rather big and has very long, shared, tables.
Café en seine
The Café en seine It’s a great Parisian café, worth to visit on the inside. Really classy and has live music from time to time.
The bar with no name
Check it on Google Maps. It actually has no name, all you’ll see are some stairs and a snail sign. But fear not, upstairs you will find a very classy bar with a huge terrace.
The Market Bar is just in front of the bar with no name. It’s a bar inside the old market, a perfect place for a drink or some tapas. If you don’t mind the crowded places…
Fade St. Social
So you are in Dublin with your loved one and you fancy a romantic dinner. Fade St. Social might be your place.
It’s owned by Dylan McGrath, judge on the Irish version of Masterchef. So don’t expect it to be cheap, not too expensive either.
The place is split in three areas, a cocktail bar, a tapas bar and the restaurant. You want to go to the restaurant.
Here you can find really good meat accompanied with some delicious sides. Don’t forget to order the Banoffee for dessert!
As his name states, this is a cafe-restaurant… inside a church!
It’s usually crowded, so try to reserve in advance.
You can find the old graveyard stones on the square next to it.
Big yummy burritos… no need to say more. If you want room to eat them there go to the one in Clarendon Market
So, John Gogarty is the typical place for tourists I agree, but, it’s also one of the few places where you can get traditional Irish food. One of the famous dishes is the Guinness stew.
I love Food Markets!
Just food, of different kinds, to take away, in the middle of the street. Lovely!
You can find whatever you like, falafel, german food, thai, sushi, burgers… just don’t try the paella. Beware! They close rather early, between 12:00 and 13:00.
They are a nomad business, so check the schedule on their website
Hanyang Corean Market
Hanyang is not the fanciest place, but is one of the weirdest place you can find.
It’s a supermarket with corean products, but there’s a restaurant on the back. Try the daily special (around 5€), a huge dish with rice and three sides to choose; or a special dish. I challenge you to finish everything!
Ok, I’m missing a lot of places, just trying to fit some personal favourites.
Don’t forget to check the internet for seasonal events, like the christmas market or Sant Patrick celebrations.
Hope you liked it, don’t forget to add your favourite places on the comments!