Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Dublin, Republic of Ireland (6/19-21/2016)

Ha’penny Hapenny Bridge River Liffey Dublin Ireland
Ha’penny Bridge Over  
River Liffey - Dublin, Ireland
Dublin has lots of charm for a capital city and the warm of the Irish people is often revealed. Many of Dublin’s major attractions are located within short walks of each other.

Gogarty's Pub in Temple Bar Dublin Ireland Gogartys
Gogarty's Pub in Temple Bar - Dublin
Arriving by train from Belfast, we first headed over to the Temple Bar area. HOW FUN is this area of Dublin! Walking along the cobblestone street, traditional Irish music pours out of the centuries-old pubs afternoon and nighttime. We stopped in Gogarty’s pub (see photo) and listened to some foot-tapping music and had a Guinness (Wayne) and Pimm’s with lemonade (Pat).

Unknown Whiskey Man Dublin Temple Bar Ireland
Unknown Whiskey Man 
in Dublin's Temple Bar
Another afternoon we walked into The Temple Bar for a lovely afternoon of more laidback traditional Irish music in a wonderful setting including an outdoor Beer Garden in the center of the pub. It is free to walk in and hard to leave. The food is good with 100 gourmet sandwiches offered – try #15, we loved it. Ask about the Unknown Whiskey Man (see photo). If you are ready for some traditional fun Irish pub action, don’t miss Dublin’s Temple Bar area.

Pat Enjoying Irish Stew & 
Guinness and Beef Pie 
at Murray Bar & Grill
Dublin, Ireland
Temple Bar Fleet Street Dublin Repblic of Ireland
Temple Bar on Fleet Street - Dublin, Ireland
Dublin’s Temple Bar (see photo) area is along Fleet Street between Westmoreland Street and Enstace Street including the alleyways on both sides. You can walk across the River Liffey on Dublin’s famous Ha’penny Bridge to get to Temple Bar (see photo above). On the other side of Enstace Street in Meeting House Square, you can visit two interesting sites – the Gallery of Photography and the National Photographic Archive (both free). On Saturdays there is a food market here.

Irish School Children Dublin Ireland
Irish School Children - 
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
We were glad we did a hop-on / hop-off bus tour of Dublin giving us an overview of the city. We purchased a combination ticket for the tour and Guinness Storehouse tour to save some money. We choose the local Dublin Sightseeing, although the CitySightseeing Dublin tour also offers a similar tour and is recommended by people.

Map Dublin Attractions Ireland
Map of Dublin Attractions
On the hop-on hop-off tour running every 8-15 minutes, we received a nice narrated overview of Dublin’s center of town (see below for more) as well as some attractions further out like the beautiful Phoenix Park - Europe’s largest city park more than twice the size of New York’s Central Par). It is nice to jump off to see the Guinness Storehouse because it is a few minutes walk. Many other tours (both bus and walking) are available in Dublin.

Guinness Storehouse Dublin Republic of Ireland
Guinness Storehouse - 
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Dublin is home of Guinness beer and we had a good time on the Guinness Storehouse tour (see photo). This is where 3 million pints of Guinness are made every day. You can learn how to do the perfect Guinness pour (should be done in no less than 2 minutes) and be certified that you have “crafted The Perfect Pint of Guinness” (see photo of Wayne being certified). 

Wayne Dunlap Certified Crafted the Perfect Pint of Guinness Storehouse tour Dublin Ireland
Wayne Now Certified - 
"Crafted the Perfect Pint of Guinness"
on the Guinness Storehouse Tour
On the Guinness Storehouse tour, you will also learn how this unique beer is made with multimedia presentations and how guides will show you how to best taste its wonderful characteristics. Of course, an included pint of Guinness is your reward or if you don’t fancy beer, other drinks are available from Arthur’s Bar. Take your drinks up to the Gravity Bar for a beautiful 360-degree panoramic view of Dublin.

Beer drinkers: It is not a myth that Guinness beer tastes better in Ireland. It most certainly does! Although a wonderful beer anywhere in the world, a slightly different process is done for the beer made for export. So, drink up and enjoy.

Trinity College Dublin Republic of Ireland
Trinity College - 
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Ireland’s premier college, Trinity College (free - see photo) is worth a quick visit for a view of Georgian architecture. The Science Gallery (free) on Pearse Street is highly rated for its unique and interesting displays of the relationships between science, art, and the world we live in – it was closed when we visited setting up for the next exhibit so you should contact them to be sure something is going on. For a fee, you can visit the Old Library and the famous Book of Kells. If this is of interest to you, you should be aware you will only see 2 pages of the Book of Kells and waiting in line is standard.

St Stephen's Green Park Dublin Ireland
St Stephen's Green Park - Dublin
For upscale shopping, take a walk along the pedestrian Grafton Street to St Stephen’s Green park (free - see photo), where you can have a very nice walk around the beautiful tree-lined lake and sit in the center surrounded by flowers and water fountains.

Downtown Dublin Republic of Ireland
Downtown Dublin - 
Republic of Ireland
Within blocks of each other are many attractions... For a bit of history, you can drop into Dublin’s City Hall for The Story of the Capital presentation. For lovers of rare books, the Chester Beatty Library (free) has an amazing selection on display. Dublin’s two major churches (Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral) and the Dublin Castle are all available for viewing. Dublin’s Castle is mostly reconstructed with sparse furnishing and we were told that it was not very interesting to view – you can walk into the courtyard and gardens.

Oscar Wilde Statue Merion Square Dublin Republic of Ireland
Oscar Wilde Statue in Merion Square - 
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Dublin is very proud to be the home of so many famous literary giants. Fans of Oscar Wilde will enjoy his reclining statue in Merion Square (see photo), one of the most elegant parks in Dublin.

Map of Republic of Ireland
Map of Republic of Ireland
For museum lovers, Dublin has several very goods one such as the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology (free) and Museum of Natural History (free).

We enjoy going to live theatre performance and Dublin has some nice ones such Abbey, Gate, Ambassador, and Gaiety. Check with IrishTheatreOnline.com to see what is playing.

Nice day trips from Dublin are offered by bus companies to the pretty port village of Howth as well as local Coast and Castles and South Coast and Gardens.

Dining Room Wynn's Hotel Dublin Republic of Ireland
Elegant Dining Room 
at Wynn's Hotel - 
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
We enjoyed staying at Dublin’s historic Wynn’s Hotel  - a bit of luxury in the middle of downtown Dublin. It is a well-priced elegant hotel with a very central location just minutes walk to many of Dublin’s main attractions (Temple Bar, City Hall, Dublin Castle, Grafton Street, Trinity College, theaters, and public transportation to the airport). The rooms are updated and modern in this historic hotel and the staff is very friendly and helpful. The cooked-to-order breakfast is done elegantly in a beautiful room (see photo) with good service.

Beautiful Irish Countryside
Beautiful Irish Countryside
Travel advise about visiting Ireland: While visiting Ireland, we learned a few important lessons. The beauty of our Ireland experience was more about the genuine Irish people and beauty of the countryside and less so about how many important sites and buildings there are to visit. We found the best pub experience in the world in Ireland. So, slow down, enjoy the vibrantly green countryside, the Irish people, and visit a pub or two when you ‘fancy a pint’.

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