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top five guide: dublin, ireland

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

The Temple Bar Pub Dubin Ireland Flowers Lights

We spent a few days in Dublin before embarking on a campervan trip of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way on the western coast. Perhaps it is a bit cliché to say, but my biggest takeaway from this cheery capital city is that Guinness really, truly does taste much better here than in America. Be sure to pencil in a few pints for your visit to more thoroughly enjoy the signature wit and hospitality of the Irish people.

here are my top five tips for a trip to DUBLIN:

Banks of the River Liffey Overcast Day Dublin Ireland

1: where to stay

The city of Dublin is split in half by the River Liffey, and it was a bit confusing for us to decide whether to stay on the north or south side. We used points to stay in a new Hampton (Hampton by Hilton Dublin City Center), which was just a two minute walk from the river on the northern side. While it was a decent and comfortable enough stay, I felt the center of action in Dublin is a bit further south and would stay there instead on a future trip. Look for lodging closer to the Temple Bar or St. Stephens Green areas. The Westin Dublin and The Westbury Hotel both are great choices based on location and reviews.

Two Pints of Guinness at Guinness Storehouse Dublin Ireland

2: guinness storehouse

Is it touristy? Without a doubt. Is it worth it? 100%. Guinness isn't just an Irish stereotype: it truly is part of the country's culture. To fully appreciate everything this iconic stout stands for, you simply must visit the massive Guinness Storehouse. This is more like a beer museum than a standard brewery, with seven floors dedicated to exploring all aspects of the beer making, marketing, and distribution process throughout its over 250 year history. Of course, there are plenty of opportunities for a pint, too. Be sure not to miss the rooftop bar, which offers panoramic views of Dublin on clear days.

The Temple Bar Pub Flowers Dublin Ireland

3: pubs

Pub culture is particularly strong in Dublin, which you are probably already aware of since Irish pubs seem to be the one of the largest cultural exports of Ireland to the US (behind St. Patrick's Day and Catholicism, perhaps). If you want to get a taste *pun intended* of what it means to be a Dubliner as well as connect with the friendly locals, then you need to spend a fair bit of time in the pubs. The Temple Bar pub (pictured) is the most famous and has probably been spotted on your feed given its beautiful Instagram-able exterior. That said, it is definitely built for tourists, so try to explore more local places as well like The Ginger Man, Hogan's, and Idlewild.

Street in Temple Bar Neighborhood Dublin Ireland

4: temple bar neighborhood

Not to be confusing, but Temple Bar is both the name of the pub mentioned above as well the name of the historic neighborhood in which it is located. Situated just south of the River Liffey, the picturesque and mostly pedestrianized streets here make this one of the most pleasant neighborhoods to wander in Dublin. It gets especially busy in the evenings, with live music and people spilling out from the bars and restaurants.

Drury Street on a Sunny Day Dublin Ireland

5: drury street

Another fantastic area to wander is Drury Street. This was my favorite street in Dublin, with a distinctly more local yet still tourist-friendly feel. It is lined with trendy cafes, pubs, restaurants, and shops and is the perfect place to spend any time of day. Grab a coffee from Kaph, linger over wine and cheese at Loose Canon, and do some shopping of local artisan goods at Powerscourt Townhouse Centre before winding down your evening at one of the many bars and restaurants lining the street, many of which have patio seating.

you can't always do it all, so one thing I WISH I had done:

See the Book of Kells and the Long Room at Trinity College. We had no idea how huge an attraction the Trinity library was and encountered some serious crowds (and serious wait times) when we arrived to explore the campus. This picturesque and vast library includes the Book of Kells, a 9th century manuscript and one of Ireland's greatest cultural treasures. This. is at the top of my list for a future visit to Dublin.


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