We had a lovely weekend in Dublin last weekend and I wanted to share with you some of the best bits and tips if you’re travelling to Dublin in the future. We travelled from Friday – Sunday and flew from Stansted with Ryanair.
Where to stay
Of course, I’m a little biased, but I think we stayed in the best hotel in Dublin. The Marker is a fairly new hotel and already has the Leading Hotels Of The World stamp to its name. For me, it was the cleanliness and the attention to detail that really struck me. As mentioned in my post about The New York Edition, the design of a hotel draws me in. I was interested to find this hotel was designed with the Irish landscape in mind, also taking into consideration the urban feel of the Docklands area of Dublin, where the hotel is based.
Go to this hotel if you’re looking for the best hot chocolate of your life and a little bit of luxury! It is a 5 minute bus journey or a 20 minute walk into the centre of Dublin, so it is very conveniently located as well.
How to get around
We were given a tip by our friends who had previously visited Dublin. They said the best thing to do was to buy a bus pass on arrival at the airport. We went to the information centre, which is easy to find as you’re on your way out of the airport and bought a 3-day bus pass each. These were around £30 each. This pass got us to and from the airport and on all buses and hop-on-hop-off buses for free. This is a great way to get around for tourists. The hop-on-hop-off (which can be pre-booked here) takes you round to all the key tourist attractions of Dublin including the iconic must-sees like the Guinness Storehouse & Jameson’s Whiskey Distillery. The drivers are extremely knowledgeable and give you a real sense of Irish heritage and life.
Places to see
We packed our three days out with some fantastic tours and a lot of drinking (you can’t possibly get away from it in Dublin!) I’d wholeheartedly recommend all of the places we went to visit, so I’ve just summarised them underneath.
This is just a fantastic place to visit. Find out the history of Guinness, all the marketing and advertising that goes on behind the scenes (which I found particularly interesting), take part in a tasting where you’re told how to taste the different flavours of a Guinness and finally learn how to pour your own pint. The tour finishes in a sky bar that overlooks the whole of Dublin. What I particularly liked about this was you were left to your own devices to wander around and discover things for yourself. I love tours in certain environments, but I felt it really worked that we weren’t guided around this particular attraction.
Online price: €14.40 | Door price: €18
For me, The Book Of Kells was incredible. I appreciated it more than the average person, but even if you aren’t a writer, the architecture of ‘The Long Room’; a giant library full of classic old books, is enough to keep you interested. The Book Of Kells is part of the library at Trinity College, so you walk through the University before arriving at the library. It’s a beautiful University and worth a look even if you aren’t interested in visiting The Book Of Kells. Perhaps my favourite part of this was seeing some handwritten notes by Samuel Beckett.
Online price (including queue fast-track*): €13 | Door price: €10
*At around 2pm on Saturday we queued for around 10 minutes, so there’s probably no need to pre-book.
This is a great place to learn about whiskey and do some tasting too. The Old Jameson Distillery, as its name suggests, is not a working distillery anymore. If you’re looking for a working one, I’d recommend the Teeling Whiskey Company. You can find this as one of the stops on the the hop-on-hop-off bus. The Old Jameson Distillery is managed by a tour guide and when we arrived at around 2.30pm on Sunday, there was a 50 minute wait for our tour. It’s not a bad wait as there’s a bar and a shop to keep your occupied. I found the way whiskey was made very interesting and at the end there was a whiskey tasting plus a free whiskey cocktail. That’s a lot of whiskey if you ask me, and I don’t even like the stuff! A great experience nonetheless.
Old Jameson Distillery – Online ticket price: €13.50 | Door price: €15 Teeling Distillery – €14
We learnt a lot about the history of Ireland and how it became a republic. It was shocking to see the conditions they lived in. I found it particularly interesting to learn that so many people chose to commit crimes during the potato famine just so they could get one meal a day in prison. For me, this is a must-see. It gives you such an in-depth look into Irish heritage.
Ticket price: €7
Eating and Drinking
There’s no shortage of places to eat and drink in Dublin. The streets are always buzzing with people and there’s just something about Irish music that gets people up and dancing! Our favourite bar in this area was called The Old Storehouse, we didn’t eat there but we went for a pint of Guinness (ok, I had a Gin & Tonic, or two!) after our meal. But, there’s so many options in Temple Bar and further afield that you’ll never be short of somewhere to go. We found alcohol generally quite expensive there. It’s no different to London, but when you’re doing the tourist thing, it does add up.