Ireland the place where Guinness was invented. I was only able to visit Dublin for a couple days during my time  but stumbled upon many interesting events including a gay pride parade! The town itself is based on one big main street and there are many things to try. The main street is full of tourist restaurants that aren’t worth your time or money but a great walkway to see views along the river and into the other walking areas of Dublin. Overall I was actually impressed with the locals that I met there, they were so nice and offered to drink with me non stop!

img_6261 What a great way to start my first day!

Transportation

I ended up coming to Dublin through train and Ferry. If you are coming from the UK there are a few ferry stops that you can depart from to Dublin. My train was actually late and I ended up missing my designated ferry time. Key tip here is that you can request a full or partial refund from Virgin trains (UK train company) if your train is late for any reason. Since I missed the ferry and took one at 3 in the morning, another good tip is to be the first one on the bus going into the ferry. By being the first one on the ferry you have dibs to the limited sleeping spots on the ferry (restaurant booths and long chairs) or else you will sleep in the kid’s play room (pretty big mat) or one of those plastic chairs. Once you get to Dublin you have to pay for a bus from the ferry into the city center so make sure you have some money but they accept both euro and pound.

img_6395 The views from the ferry were gorgeous during the sunset!img_6232The ferry itself was nicer than I expected. img_6230You can even eat a decent meal on the ferry!

Things I Did

  1. Chinatown (kind of) – My hostel was actually located in the heart of a Chinese area with a lot of Korean and Chinese restaurants. For some reason there were a bunch of asian themed casino’s as well. I tried one of the Chinese restaurants and it was bleh by L.A. standards. There really are no monuments around this area so only come if you have some supreme cravings for asian food.

Time required:  30 minutes  Price: Free  Rating: 2/5

  1. Guinness Brewery Tour – You can’t go to Dublin and not go to the place where Guinness is made from. I really liked this tour because of the second part where the tour is more interactive. The first part covers how beer is made, which if you don’t know just google about barley, hops, and water. The second part of the tour actually included the different types of advertisements that they used to advertise Guinness with back to the 1960 commericals. Also they have a Guinness pouring teaching lesson where you can go in a group and learn with other people and then have a picture taken. This was a great way to meet people while I was there. On top of the brewery is the sky deck with a full view of the city. Like any tourist attraction it was full of people with no seats and no ability to read all of the captions on the windows describing the city. Definitely looks nothing like what it does on Conan (don’t know why I thought it would be). The tour is definitely worth it and you get to see some cool things like a 9000 year lease and how to properly drink a Guinness.

Time required: 3-4 hours (depends if you’re a slow or fast reader) Price: 18$ Rating: 5/5

img_6273 Best spot to take the picture is right at the beginning!img_6287 Entire ships were built for Guinness at some point!img_6271 The crazy 9000 year lease that was signed for the Brewery!img_6308 The view from the top floor of the Brewery!

  1. Museum of Ireland – This is a cool little museum that showcases the history of gold stashes and the battle of Clontarf. The gold treasures are actually being found buried in random farmlands all over the country instead of in like an old stash. I though it was interesting to see that the wealth was distributed all over the country instead of at an ancient castle like most medieval kingdoms. The upstairs talked about the importance and the true history between the dukes at Clontarf. Great piece of war history if you are into those topics but I just ended up staring at some of the weapons that they used during those fights. There were some other exhibits about Irelands geographical history but overall the museum is worth a quick visit.

Time required: 1 Hour   Price: Free  Rating: 3/5

img_6358 The 2 story museum has a bunch of great gold hoard stashes!

  1. Temple Bar – This area consists of the famous party street in Dublin that houses some of the oldest bars and culture around in Ireland! Definitely bring some good shoes as the paths in this area were ridiculously uneven. I ended up going to the actual temple bar (same name as the area) and proceeded to try an experiment that another Irish person told me. I asked a couple of Irish people for recommendations on good beer and it ended up in a shouting match that made all of us drink more beer (surprisingly no fight). Definitely a fun and crowded area during the night life but recommended to try the party scene at least once while in Dublin. Make sure to say “Slange” to cheers with everyone at the bar.

Time Required: 1-7 Hours (however long you like to party) Price: ~4$ per beer  Rating: 4/5img_6370 One of the original areas to drink at!

  1. National Library, Trinity College, and Dublin Castle – Dublin provides plenty of walking spots but none of them super special. The dublin castle is currently being remodeled and is part of their government building. There are plenty of informational signs located in the walking area of the castle to learn about the history. The National library is worth a quick walk around but nothing compared to some of the other library’s seen. The trinity college has a couple of cool architectural pieces and I ended up joining a tour pretending to be a student. Trust me it is so fun to pretend to be in a group.

Time Required: 2-4 Hours    Price: Free      Rating: 3/5

img_6251Part of the renovated Dublin Castle in Ireland!      img_6369 One of the grand cathedrals in the area! You can go in as well for 5$!img_6330 The architectural delights of Trinity College!img_6260 Gorgeous arch walkway between churches!

What to Eat

Fish & Chips at Fish Shop – I know that Fish and Chips are considered an English dish but I really enjoyed the dish at this restaurant. This tiny restaurant is located outside of the main area across from the back of the Guinness Brewery. The Hake fillet that they used for the fried fish was perfectly tender and pretty much broke into smaller pieces as I tried to eat the dish with the fork. The dish also comes with salad which is a nice healthy mix to all of the fried food. The finisher though was the tartar sauce that came with the fish, the sauce is actually prepared fresh every morning and it tastes totally different from any type of tartar sauce I had at any other restaurant before. There was a freshness to the chives or ingredients that completed the meal as a whole. I would definitely go here again when I’m in Dublin.

fish-and-chips I got 2 extra servings of tartar sauce!

Irish Stew – One of the more classic dishes of the Irish cuisine here. The dish contains mashed potatoes with beef and carrots in a slow cooked brown broth. The dish wasn’t particularly heavy for me but pairs really with a stout beer. The beef itself wasn’t as tender as I thought it would be in when meat is cooked in a stew! This traditional dish can be found in many of the pubs around town. Most of them are similar quality.

irish-stew The stew broth was like a good light gravy for the mash potatoes!

New Friends

I met some cool people here including Shawnyce who was backpacking through Ireland through hitchhiking on the coast. I had mad respect for her and she introduced and taught me what it was like to hitchhike from location to location. The conversations we had definitely opened my eye to a different way of traveling. I also met a brother and sister traveling throughout Europe with last name Sterlings who had a completely pre planned trip. They gave me their low-down about how cheap transportation to different parts of Europe can be especially the airplane tickets. Key tip is that planning your flights 3 months ahead of time can reduce your costs about 80% on transportation. I ended up drinking with all of these people at a bar called Oreilly’s which is the place to be on a Monday night (1$ shots and 2$ drink specials).

Summary

Spending about 3 days in Dublin was perfectly enough. This amount of time gives you the ability to go to a few big museums as well as experience the nightlife and recover accordingly the following day before moving onto the next destination. I definitely enjoyed the party vibe and culture in Ireland as well as the different walking areas. In addition to the walking areas above there are plenty of small gardens and parks as well as a cathedral to visit. If you want to visit all 3 of the big museums in Dublin or take a day trip to the nature side of Ireland I would recommend about 5 days total in Dublin.

img_6317 Towering memorial perfect for a time away from the city!img_6348Cool fire lit memorial in the small gardens around Dublin! img_6337 Cool shopping mall design that gives an older feel!