Last week, I flew across Dublin, Ireland for the first time. My Mum managed to find us an incredible deal on Expedia for a hotel and flight package for only £80! The hotel we stayed in was called The Temple Bar Inn and I was super impressed as it was a lovely little hotel considering the price. As you can imagine, judging by the name of the hotel, we were located in the Temple Bar area, right on Fleet Street but not right in the middle of it. However, it was in a great location to just wander back after a couple of drinks.
Our flight from Leeds Bradford was at 6 am, so I’m not going to lie. The whole of my first day in Dublin, I was literally a walking zombie. I fell asleep on the bus, in the hotel lobby until I finally gave in and went for a pre-dinner nap! The advantages of a 6 am flight were that we were in the city centre by 8.30am. As I said before, our hotel was very centrally located and a perfect walking distance to all the main sights. We headed down Fleet Street towards the famous Temple Bar Pub. Obviously, it was closed as it was only 9 am but I managed to get some good photos without it been too busy early on.
We then crossed over the River Liffey over the Ha’penny Bridge. This is actually a really famous bridge in the city with thousands of people crossing each day. It’s the oldest cast iron bridge in the world but it’s been recently refurbished so it doesn’t look old at all. The name comes from the fact it used to be a Ha’Penny toll to cross the bridge!
After crossing the bridge, we spent the afternoon exploring the shopping area. There are a couple of shopping centres with all the popular shops we have back home. Although Primark is actually called Penneys here – Say what?! There’s also a pretty great department store called Arnotts. It’s rather like Selfridges and they had a great beauty hall with brands such as Huda, Anastasia Beverly Hills and IT Cosmetics. I also was very excited to try out the Dyson Air Wrap in Arnotts and I was actually really impressed. I was convinced that with my long and quite thick hair, curls wouldn’t stick very well but they actually did. I’m not sure what it would be like on wet hair though.
Around 3 pm, I completely crashed and ended up napping back at the hotel for a few hours. Once I was re-energized, it was time for pizza. You’ll all know by now that I’m the total pizza queen, always hunting down the best pizzerias and I even have a Pizza bible! I was actually recommended PI and they didn’t look half delicious on Instagram so we headed over to South George Street to see what all the fuss what about. The pizza was really delicious, the dough was absolutely perfect but there was something about the cheese, it wasn’t the best. Still happy we went and we also discovered a BBQ joint which we visit later on the trip.
Along Temple Bar, it’s absolutely buzzing on an evening, no matter what day of the week it is. Live music is on in every pub which is just amazing. It’s a great atmosphere but the drinks aren’t cheap! The actual Temple Bar Pub is always insanely busy, I actually preferred one called The Auld Dubliner. The music was on point and it was a really cosy place.
Day Two in Dublin and it was our main sightseeing day. My Mum and I were kindly provided with the 24 hours Dublin Pass to check out some of the best attractions in the area. Everywhere you really need to be visiting is included on the card including the Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus. We started off the day with a quick coffee break at Caffe Nero and headed towards the Dublin Castle. We used our passes on our phones so on arrival to an attraction, we would just scan the barcode and away we go! All the attractions mentioned below are included in the Dublin Pass.
The Dublin Castle is in the heart of the city and a short walk from main sights. It was here that we activated our Dublin Pass for the next 24 hours. This gave us access to tour the state apartments within the castle. There was also an exhibition going on with precious metals by Rudolph Heltzel. In the exhibition were some stunning pieces of jewellery! The Dublin Castle is actually now used by the government but there are some absolutely gorgeous rooms in the castle. It’s definitely worth a visit although you can get around it fairly quickly.
Included in the Dublin Pass are two incredible Catherdrals. We decided to pay both Christ Church and St.Patricks Cathedral as they were only a short walk away. They were both really impressive but personally preferred Christ Church Cathedral as I found the historic artefacts tucked away in the crypt really interesting. Also in the area of the Christ Church area is Dublina which is an attraction where you can discover the medieval and Viking era of the city.
After lunch, we headed to a store called Avoca’s which Lucy recommended to me. It’s seven floors of beautiful interiors, clothing, books and food. It was a really lovely shop and apparently the café there is amazing too! I’m so glad we visited as it’s just one of those lovely shops that are a joy to wander around. The store is located on Suffolk Street and there are some other lovely shops in the area and just around the corner is the Molly Malone Statue.
We actually randomly decided to check out the Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Experience. It wasn’t on our original plan for the day but we are so glad we ended up going as for me, it’s a must visit in Dublin. The Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Experience is just located off Temple Bar and is home to its own bar, live venue, rehearsal space and their very own recording studio across the street. Every hour or so, there are guided tours around the building and it’s also included in the Dublin Pass. We had a guy called Alan who was really knowledgeable and full of stories from all the bands who had visited. There was a lot of memorabilia from U2 who frequently use the rehearsal space, Thin Lizzy and even Michael Jackson who was planning to move to Ireland.
Across the street is their very own recording studios. Many famous faces from Kanye West to Rihanna have recorded here. We were shown this crazy piece of recording equipment which would be worth millions as there’s only five in the world. I’d definitely recommend booking a tour as I really enjoyed it!
You can’t visit Dublin and not visit the Guinness Storehouse. I’m pretty sure it’s the cities #1 tourist attraction. Located on the west side of the city, you can walk from Temple Bar in around 25 minutes but we got a Taxi back for around €7. I was really impressed that the Guinness Storehouse was included in the Dublin Pass as entry is usually €25. To tell you the truth, both myself and my mum don’t actually like Guinness but I was still rather excited about visiting.
The Guinness Storehouse is seven floors high! It covers everything from how the beer is made to the marketing campaigns. Everyone gets a free glass of Guinness but I decided to pour my own pint. This is an optional complimentary activity but it’s rather fun and you also get a certificate. Turns out I’m pretty great at pouring a pint of Guinness, just look how happy I was. You can then go enjoy your pint on the rooftop 360 bar which has insane views over the city. I’d definitely say the Guinness Storehouse is 100% worth visiting, even if you aren’t a fan of it. I found it really interesting and there were some fun interactive things to do too. I’d also leave at least two hours for your visit here as there is a lot to get through!
Just next to our hotel was a restaurant called Thunder Road Cafe which is a typical American themed restaurant. The service was pretty slow to be honest but the food was delicious. There’s also a Hard Rock Cafe across the road but we decided to switch it up and go somewhere a little bit different. I’ve got to say the menu was on point, I spent forever trying to decide what to go for. In the end, I got a Chicken Burger with cheese, bacon and pineapple. Afterwards, we stayed in the Temple Bar area and checked out a few more of the local bars. We also went to one called Buskers. They had a huge gin selection and the music was a great mix of modern and classic covers with an Irish twist.
The next morning, we headed over to the EPIC Emigration Museum which is also included in the Dublin Pass. This is all about the different stories of people emigrating from Ireland around the world. It also was a celebration of the Irish influence such as art, music, sports and much more. I really enjoyed our visit as it was quite interactive. As we made our way around the museum we got to tick off each area with a stamp in our EPIC passport. Also at the end, we even got to send our own interactive postcards.
After our trip to the museum, we headed to Grafton Street which is the main shopping area in Dublin. Also, on the way, we walked past Trinity College but I forgot to get some photos. This is the main university area and I can imagine it’s a buzzing hub to hang out in Summer. Back to Grafton Street, you’ve got your huge Brown Thomas department store and plenty of other shops to explore.
Once it was lunchtime, we made our way back to that BBQ joint I discovered on our first night. Pitt Bros and we were really lucky as they had a lunch deal which included a sandwich, drink and ice cream for €10. I went for the beef brisket sandwich and it was just delicious. There was so much on the menu that I could’ve just eaten from the Beef Dripping Fries to all of the Mac and Cheese. The great thing about this place is no matter what you order, the self serve ice cream is free!
Before it was time to head to the airport to go home, we had another wander around the shops and Temple Bar area. No matter when you come to Temple Bar there are always people about and live music in the pubs. I thought I should also mention that it’s really easy getting to and from the airport. There is a 747 Aircoach which departs really frequently costing €12 for a return.
Although it was a quick three day trip to Dublin, it was great to explore the city. I’ve wanted to visit for such a long time. You can find some really affordable deals for city breaks to Dublin but it can be quite an expensive city. It is possible to each quite inexpensively too, both PI and Pitt Bros were really reasonably priced. The Dublin Pass is a great option if you are planning to visit some of the attractions. A massive thank you to Dublin Pass who provided us with two passes for this purpose of this post.
Have you ever been to Dublin?
*The Dublin Pass was gifted for the purpose of this blogpost.