Guinness StorehouseKiss Me I’m Irish! Okay, maybe I’m not, but when in Dublin…
Dublin dates back to the 8th and 9th centuries when the Leprechauns began to settle on the south side of the mouth of the Liffey, named Dubh Linn (Black Pool) after the lake where the Danes first moored their boats. Wait, maybe it was the Vikings that settled in Dublin, not Leprechauns. Eh!
After discovering how much Irish car rentals cost, Brady and I booked two train tickets from Killarney to Dublin and impatiently waited for the day to come. Fast forward two months and we are sitting on a train bound for Dublin on a rainy day. Four hours later our train pulled in to Heuston Station. The most convenient and cost effective way to reach the Temple Bar District (where our hotel was located) is by taking the Luas. This is a tram that makes several stops throughout Dublin and costs €1.90 one way per adult for a zone 1 ticket. We bought our tickets from the kiosk outside the train station and 3 minutes later the Luas arrived. We took it to the Jervis stop (for all you people taking the Luas from Heuston Station to Temple Bar District) and were within 1/4 mile of our hotel.
We checked in at The Parliament Hotel, huffed and puffed our way upstairs, and began unpacking. While unpacking, I made the joke to Brady that I wanted him to plug in the voltage converter so I wouldn’t get shocked. I laughed, plugged the converter into the outlet, plugged a charger into the converter and “POP!!!!” I yelled, got shocked, yelled again, and all the electricity went off. I looked at Brady who was staring at me wide-eyed and said, “I was just kidding about getting shocked! Oh my gosh I almost burnt down the hotel!” After this escapade, we thought it would be best to find a pub and have a beer.
We found ourselves at the bar in our hotel – Legend’s Bar. After the rowdy soccer-watching English crowd left the bar, a local musician came on stage and played music for a few hours. It was quite a treat. Come to find out, Legend’s Bar has live music and dancers every night of the week! They also have a great food menu if you’re looking for something more than drinks.
The next morning we walked (in the rain) down to the Guinness Storehouse, about a 30 minute walk from our hotel. Brady could barely contain his excitement as he is a huge Guinness fan. While making small talk with one of the employees, we were told that some 8,000 people toured the storehouse the day before (Saturday). He told us that Sunday is their slowest day and they were expecting about 5,000 to that day. The storehouse opens daily at 9:30. We arrived at 9:45 on a Sunday morning and there were no lines at all and the longest wait we had the entire time was 5 minutes. It took us about 2.5 hours to go through the storehouse, including pouring lessons. We spent about 30 minutes at the Gravity Bar drinking our free pints and taking in the Panoramic views of Dublin.
That night for dinner, we decided to try the Brazen Head, the oldest bar in Dublin dating back to 1198! The bar had a fun atmosphere, ample seating both inside and outside, lots of beer, and a good menu! The bar is broken up into several different areas and the room we were seated in was actually the part that was built in 1198! It definitely had an old feel to it!
Our third day in Dublin was my absolute favorite. Back in March, we had booked a Cliffs of Moher day tour with Paddwagon Tours. We walked to our pickup location (again, in the rain) and waited for our big green bus to appear. We were met by our guide and driver, Paul, and whisked away. This was a big group tour with 55 of us altogether. Paddywagon offers smaller, private tours for a higher price if you’re looking for something more personal. We wound our way through the Irish countryside and made our first pit stop at Ballyvaughan Pier. After another hour of driving, we stopped for lunch in the fishing village of Doolin before making our way up to the Cliffs of Moher. We had battled rain the entire way and as we ascended the hill to the cliffs, heavy fog set in. We literally could not see 20 feet in any direction. Walking up to the cliffs, it began to downpour. Here we were at the edge of the cliffs, some 700 feet above the water, and all we could see was fog. Eventually the fog lifted and we were greeted by the most incredible landscape ever! After spending two hours wandering around the cliffs, we boarded our bus back to Dublin. Our guide made this tour one of the best we have been on. Paddywagon Tours is a MUST for tours in Ireland. As an added bonus, their fleet even has free WiFi and a breathalyzer just in case your guide has 15 pints the night before like ours did, or so he said!
On our last day in Dublin, we wandered around the city taking in as many sites as we could. Trinity College was our first stop hoping to get to go in the library and see the Book of Kells. With an hour-long line snaking around the building, we didn’t feel like waiting. We also saw the Famine Memorial, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Spire, Dublin Castle, and stopped in Temple Bar to have a few pints!
Dublin did not disappoint in the least. There was always something to do and more than enough beer and food options to please even the most picky people. What would we have done differently? Added more tours and brought a good pair of rain boots!
Check It Out!
The Parliament Hotel, double room from €259
Food & Drink
Things to see/do (from our experience)
Guinness Storehouse Tour, from €16 per person (adult)
Trinity College & Book of Kells, Fast-Track from €14
Cliffs of Moher Day Tour w/ Paddywagon Tours, from €40 per person
Dublin Castle Tour, guided tours from €8