Dublin, capital of the Emerald Isle, home to a meal in a glass (GuinNess) and known as a place where people really know how to party!
This was a trip with a bit of a difference. I left my husband at home and headed out to Ireland for a girly trip to celebrate my best friend’s 30th birthday, along with her two sisters. We had a brilliant time!
The best way to get to Dublin from much of Europe is to fly. We flew Ryanair which is usually the cheapest option with flights from about £60 per person return. CityJet, Aer Lingus and British Airways all fly to Dublin from the UK as well.
From the airport, there are two options to get to the city centre. You can either catch a bus or take a taxi. I favour taxis as you get to chat to the driver and learn a little about the city you are in, from a local’s perspective.
Once at your hotel, much of the city is great to explore on foot, while everything else you might want to see is on the route of the ‘hop on- hop off’ bus. As it was a wet and windy weekend, the bus was a life saver. It meant we didn’t have to wonder around in the rain, getting lost and wet, but we could still explore.
Where to stay
On this occasion we were looking for a hotel that was pretty central with nice decor but one which wouldn’t break the bank. We opted for the Jury’s Inn Christchurch. Right opposite Christ Church Cathedral and just a short walk from the city centre’s shops, bars and restaurants, this was the perfect location for our stay. The rooms were modern and the staff were friendly and helpful. At night the hotel would lock the doors but a night porter was on hand to check key cards and let any late nighters back in.
Top 5 things to do in Dublin
1/ The Guinness Factory
Guinness – it is probably what Dublin is most famous for so you really have to go and check out where it is made! The factory is an excellent day out, even if you aren’t a Guinness lover (which I have to admit, I’m not). You will learn all about the process of brewing it, the history behind the Guinness family and at the end you get to drink the perfect pint of Guinness in the beautiful bar over looking the city.
2/ Drink in Temple Bar
This is the area of Dublin that is know for its night life and cultural attractions. Several museums are located there along with numerous bars and pubs. The cobblestone streets and old buildings provide atmospheric surroundings for a night out. Unfortunately when we were there it poured with rain, but I can imagine that on a summer’s night it would be a lovely place to wind down after a day’s sight seeing.
3/ Eat a burger at Bobo’s
I’m not too sure how we found out about this place, I think it was a recommendation from a local and it was a recommendation worth taking.
Generally I am not a huge fan of the burger – it is just way too much meat for me in one meal. But even I have to admit that these burgers were excellent tasting and even better value for money. I’m used to London, the home of what must be the most expensive burger in the world (who wants to spend £15 for a slab of meat?), but Bobo’s burgers ranged from about €8 up to €12 – that’s about £5.50-£8! What a bargain!
4/ Visit Christ Church Cathedral
Are you a fan of the Tudors? That’s the BBC TV drama based upon the Tudor era, not the actual Tudors! If so then you have to check out Christ Church Cathedral and the surrounding area as it is where the TV series is filmed. Even if you aren’t a fan, you still have to check out the Cathedral. It is said to be founded some time around 1028- that makes it pretty old!
5/ Visit the Houses of the Oireachtas
The Houses of Oireachtas is the home to the government of Ireland and it is a beautiful building. Guided tours take place daily from Monday to Friday but sadly we made a bit of an error and went on a Saturday so only got see it from the outside.
Still, it was a beautiful building that I’m pleased we saw. Quick tip – there are lovely public toilets in the library to the left of the Houses of Oireachtas. It is worth checking them out as well.
Would I visit again?
Yes, in fact I’ve already started to plan my next trip in November. I will be visiting Ireland for a friend’s wedding and spending 48 hours showing my husband the sites.
Total cost of the trip
We booked a combined flight and hotel deal through Expedia and the cost came to £242 per person. This included cabin luggage which meant I could over pack to my heart’s content and even bring bottles of beauty product over 100ml (an exciting rarity nowadays!)
Including a very nice meal on the night of Fiona’s 30th, I spent about an extra £150.
Total cost of the trip: £392/person
This was at the higher end of the cost band for a power trip, but it was worth it to spend an excellent couple of days with my best friend and her sisters in a beautiful city.
Check out some more photos and tips on my Dublin Pinterest board.