Ireland is known for it’s friendly people, live music, Irish dancing, mythical creatures and Guinness. And a weekend break to Dublin – the Republic of Ireland’s capital City – doesn’t disappoint.
My first encounter with this charming City was on a weekend break with my cousin, back in 2008. My second, was for a reunion with all the lovely fellow backpacker’s I met during my first year living in Australia; a lethal combination of English, Scottish and Irish ladies and gents, getting up to some mischief in Dublin town!
On both occasions, I was after the full experience. As budgets would allow back then, we slept in hostels in the City CBD. Infamous Temple Bar, the main shopping strip, and many other attractions were all within walking distance of our humble abodes. Next time I pop over for a little Irish jaunt, I’ll be sure to sample some of Dublin’s more upmarket options for a place to rest my weary head. So until then, leaving the accommodation aside for now, here’s my recommended hit-list for a quick City Break in Dublin. Enjoy!
The Leprechaun Museum
This place is SO MUCH FUN to get you into the Irish spirit! Here, you get to pretend that you’re the little Leprechaun, making your way around rooms with oversized furniture that you and your friends can clamber up onto for a photo op with oversized chinaware and accessories. The museum is very modern and interactive, nothing like the thoughts you’re currently associating with the word “museum”. Definitely worth a visit!
The Guinness Factory
Like marmite, you either love Guinness or you hate it. Either way, no visit to Dublin is complete without a day trip to the Guinness Factory. Making your way up each level, through the ‘History of Guinness’ where you get to see lots of memorabilia, re-runs of old adverts, all the things that make you go “Oh Yeah! I remember when they did that!”. Through the factory to see the “Making-Of” (and sampling some pretty disgusting ‘raw’ stout), and finally ending up in the top-floor bar, where you can sit back with a pint of the finished product, fresh from downstairs, with 360 degree panoramic views of Dublin. I’m personally not a fan of the stuff myself, but I had a great time anyway!
Granted, this place looks and feels like tourist-trap Central, and part of you can’t help but think you’re just being herded through the tourist-mill and you’re not getting a true experience of the “real Dublin”, but then the other part of you just doesn’t care because you’re having too much fun! With the look of a proper pub, lots of live music and Irish dancing to entertain you, opportunities to get up on the stage for a quick dance lesson, and always a busy and electric atmosphere, it’s a necessary visit for anyone wanting a little Irish jaunt in the big smoke of the City.
Infamous Temple Bar is the Entertainment district of Dublin. By day, the streets are filled with amazing street performers (I don’t usually stop to gaunt at street performers, but these guys are worth standing around in the cold for!), and by night you’ve got your pick of the best entertainment Dublin has to offer, with all of the bars and pubs in the area to choose from. You’ll find something for everyone here, but be prepared to spend significant amounts of your evening unintentionally (or intentionally, if you’re into that kind of thing!) finding yourself in the middle of a dance circle with a large group of bolshy Hens or Stags!
World’s Smallest Pub
Dawson Lounge is officially Dublin City’s smallest pub (and some believe it to be the World’s smallest pub). Having become quite the institution, you can hop off the tourist City bus explorer and pop straight in here for a pint or two. It’s small and unassuming entrance means you’d be forgiven for passing this place by on the street, but your local travel guide or any nice fellow on the street would be sure to point you in the right direction!