Top of the mornin’ to you,
This past weekend I took a trip to Dublin, Ireland with my friend Sarah. We had a marvelous time and got to explore the beautiful city of Dublin as well as Galway, Ireland. We flew from Brussels international airport on Aer Lingus to Dublin’s international airport, which is the only airport in Dublin. Aer Lingus was an extremely nice airline and I would recommend you consider it when travelling in Europe. We found inexpensive round trip tickets on the website “Fly Me Anywhere”. I suggest using this website for your future adventures.
In Ireland they speak English and Irish Gaelic. Ireland’s currency is the euro, but Northern Ireland’s currency is the pound sterling because it is a part of the U.K. just as a reference for future travels. We stayed in the nicest hostel ever!!! It is called the Gardiner House Hostel and it has only been open for about one month. We took “Airport bus 747” to get there and you can also take the 757 depending on where your accommodations are located. Tickets were six euros and the bus runs 24/7. The hostel was extremely nice and my friend and I stayed in an all female six person dorm that had its own bathroom (which was fabulous). Everything was brand new and it was very comfortable. Over our three night stay we met college travelers from South Korea, France, Canada, and the United States. It was really nice to get to know them during our short visit. This was the first time I had gotten the true social aspect of a hostel. The hostel also contained free wifi and free breakfast which is not always customary in a hostel. Here is a link to the Gardiner House Hostel.
~NOTE: A cab from our hostel to the airport was 20 euros and it was a 20 minute car ride, so it was worth it to us to use it on the way home from Ireland.
Cliffs of Moher Walking and Boat Tour
On the first day, my friend and I went to the Cliffs of Moher which is located on Ireland’s west coast in Galway Ireland, which is about three hours from Dublin. We booked a bus tour through “Darby O’Gill Tours” that picked us up in Dublin’s city center at 7:30am and we returned that evening about 8:30pm. It was quite a long day but I slept on the way there and back. The whole experience was worth it. Our bus was extremely nice and our tour guide was very informative. It cost about 30 euros for the whole tour, which I thought was well worth our money since the tour took us to four different tourist sites. The tour allowed us the opportunity to enjoy the 40 shades of green that are sprinkled across the beautiful countryside of Ireland while driving there and back. The tour provides about an hour and a half at the Cliffs which is the perfect amount of time to relax and just observe the beautiful scenery and take pictures. Once we left the cliffs we stopped by the little fishermans’ town of Doolin for lunch. Then we headed to the Cliffs of Moher boat tour which is actually about a 10 minute drive from the cliffs. WARNING, if you have any slight problems with seasickness, DO NOT TAKE THE BOAT TOUR. I personally went on the tour and I have never suffered from motion sickness, but the North Atlantic near the cliffs consists of very rough and wavy waters. It is worth going if you can handle the motion. For our fourth segment of the day we visited an area with fossils right on the shore of the North Atlantic and it was quite beautiful. The boat tour was not included in the initial fee so it is an additional 15 euros if you decide to brave the rough sea.
~INTERESTING FACT: At least one person a month dies from falling off the 700 foot Cliffs!!! This is very sad, but it happens way too often. Most of the time it is from people trying to get crafty with their pictures and they get a little too close to the edge. The death last month was a women doing a handstand on a rainy day and it was too slick and she fell. Therefore, PLEASE BE CAREFUL and walk at your own risk!!!
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
This is a MUST SEE!!! St. Patrick’s Cathedral is located about 10 minutes from St. Stephen’s Green. Admission is 6.50 euros for adults and 5.50 euros for students! The cathedral is of a Gothic style architecture and is the tallest and largest church in Ireland. The church was built in 1191 and it is the official Church of Ireland. Definitely go visit this beautiful cathedral and indulge in its architecture and magnificent stain glass windows!
This is a beautiful university!!! The main attraction here is the Book of Kells and admission is between 10-13 euros for adults, it depends on what day you attend. We unfortunately did not have enough time to see the book of Kells, but Trinity College was definitely somewhere I recommend walking around.
THIS IS A MUST!! You can’t go to Dublin and not go into the Guinness Storehouse! Even if you don’t like beer or Guinness you must go in!! This is part of the Dublin experience and a large aspect of their culture. I have been in a few breweries and this storehouse by far has the best exhibits and neatest tasting room. When you go in you can buy the adult ticket for 20 euros (18 euros if you are a student) and that includes a voucher for a free Guinness from the “Gravity Bar” that overlooks all of Dublin at the end of the tour! It is quite a fun experience. As you make your way through the seven floor storehouse, the first two floors are all about how they make the beer and it includes beautiful water fountains, glass exhibits, and exquisite technological features. As you continue to go up the escalators in the building there will be tasting rooms, stores, pubs, and restaurants to stop in on your way up to the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor. Once I got to the seventh floor I got my free bar (which to be honest, I didn’t like very much) and enjoyed the beautiful views of the city. I think this is definitely worth doing no matter what your preferences are when it comes to beer, plus they make a cute little shamrock shape out of the foam on top. It is quite unique!!:)
St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is the beautiful public park located right in the city center, which consist of quaint stone bridges connecting the park together, little ponds filled with ducks, and gazebos to add a little fairy tale effect. This is a lovely park and it is very very green. I suggest taking a stroll through the grounds to enjoy its’ beauty. Also, don’t forget to check out the striking arch at the main entrance of the park.
Merrion Square Park
We actually made our way into this park because we mistakenly thought it was St. Stephen’s Green until we found out otherwise. It is also a nice park, but much smaller than St. Stephen’s Green. It contains a very pretty Oscar Wilde statue and an assortment of elegant flowers. I suggest walking through the park if you have time! It is located near Trinity College.
If you go to Ireland, you MUST got to a pub!!! You will have all the beers and ciders in the world and a menu with your typical pub food!! I highly recommend the Merchants Arch for great live music and a fun atmosphere! It was my favorite pub of the whole trip! The Oval Bar is also a nice choice as well and it is located near O’Connell Street, which is one of the main streets in Dublin!
The Brazen Head
This is Ireland’s oldest pub!!! It opened in 1198 and I definitely recommend checking it out! It is about a 10 minute walk from the Guinness Storehouse.
For all of you golf fanatics out there if you go to Ireland, make the time to go play golf!!! If I had time I would have loved to play while I was there, so take advantage of your time in Ireland, do your research on some courses, and get those handicaps down!
Wishing you lots of luck!
P.S. “Keep calm and get your Irish on”