Happy St Patricks Day!
For this St Paddy’s day, I’ll be sharing with you how we spent 48 hours in the wonderful Irish city of Dublin! 48 Hours was not nearly long enough to spend in this great city, but if that’s all you have, check out my ideas for things to see and do! Our visit was a surprise birthday present for my dad’s 60th, so our main focus was the Temple Bar District and the Guinness Storehouse as he does enjoy a tipple or two, but there was still plenty of time to enjoy some of the other main sights!
So, how to spend 48 hours in Dublin? The main sights we visited included: St Stephens Green, Dublin Castle, obviously The Temple Bar District, and then, of course, the Guinness Storehouse! Although I’d love to go back and visit the arts and cultural attractions such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery, and the Natural History Museum.
Check out my breakdown below for the full low down.
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- Safety – always keep up to date with your local foreign travel advice service for relevant news and information. I felt completely safe in Dublin, although adopted usual common sense when in any major city, being mindful of my belongings and whereabouts.
- Currency – Euro
- Language – English/Irish
We explored the different flight options, dates, times and carriers by checking Sky Scanner. London to Dublin is a very short flight, so we were happy to find the most reasonably priced flight available. After a quick search, we found Ryan Air came out as the best option for low cost, as well as offering excellent timings, meaning we would arrive in Dublin in the morning and then leave the next day late afternoon.
Once we arrived in Dublin we decided to grab a taxi from the stand outside to get straight to our accommodation so we could check-in and start exploring as soon as possible. The taxi fare was around €30 which felt reasonable between four of us.
Where to stay
We booked our accommodation through booking.com and chose the modest ‘Harcourt Hotel’ for our overnight stay. The Hotel is located in the St Stephen’s Green area which I found to be a great location for seeing the highlights of Dublin we had on our agenda. St Stephen’s Green is located just down the road, Dublin Castle half a mile away, and Temple Bar just under a mile stroll. Finally, The Guinness Factory situated a little further away from the city centre just over a mile away from our hotel.
Aside from using a taxi to get to and from the airport, we didn’t need to use any public transport during our stay in Dublin. Everything is easily accessible by foot and also gives you the opportunity to experience the Irish city on the ground. Like this little gem, I found. Being so used to seeing red post boxes in the UK it was great to see an Irish bright green post box!
Dublin is very much an artistic capital with so many different sculptures and outdoor installations, as well as museums and galleries. One of which we stumbled across is the ‘Children of the New Millennium’ statue by John Behan. Situated just outside Peace Park, the statue was commissioned by the child care agency Barnardos and supported by Tipperary Crystal. The Sculpture is made from bronze and is meant to signify hope for the children and families of Ireland, for the new millennium.
Park – St Stephens Green
Just a short walk from our hotel, St Stephens Green was first on our itinerary. We strolled through this beautiful park, meandering across the bridge, over the lake and admiring the artwork. The park is quite sizeable at 9 hectares and has been maintained in the original Victorian layout with extensive trees, shrubs, and Victorian planters.
One of the sculptures we found was Edward Delaney’s Famine Memorial. The sculpture is quite abstract in style, which is typical of Delaney’s other works. The sculpture has received some criticism in that by abstracting the forms, this detracts from the reality of the horror that was the Irish Famine, where a million people are said to have died of hunger in Ireland in the late 1840s.
Next up was the Dublin Castle, located just off Dame Street in Dublin. The Castle complex has changed and evolved throughout the years, with different architectural changes as well as amendments to the property use and function. The Architecture displays both Medieval and Viking style as well as grand Georgian features. Unfortunately, there was a great fire in 1684 which caused severe damage but also afforded the opportunity of renovating and installing grand reception rooms and state apartments.
Dublin Castle is arguably one of the most important buildings in Ireland. The castle was originally built in 1204, as a medieval fortress under the instruction of King John of England. The Castle was first under English rule, then later the British, with the monarch’s Irish representative, the Viceroy of Ireland.
In 1922 the last ever Viceroy of Ireland then handed the castle over to Michael Collins and the government of the newly-independent Irish state, following on from the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence. Successive Irish governments have continued to use the castle for important events, such as state dinners and commemorations. We were able to wander the grounds of the complex for free however if you would like to enter the castle or any of its buildings you can purchase tickets. Please visit the Dublin Castle official website here, for more information.
Temple Bar District
Located on the South Bank of the River Liffey, you’ll find the lively Temple Bar District. It is one of the oldest parts of Dublin, and you will see plenty of examples of Georgian architecture lining its cobbled streets. You won’t only find several excellent bars and pubs in this area either, the Temple Bar District is also home to lots of cultural and artistic activity, as well as great venues to listen to traditional Irish music!
The Guinness Storehouse was one of the highlights of our visit to Dublin. Every part of this immersive experience is well thought out and beautifully structured. I would highly recommend booking tickets in advance to ensure you are able to visit, especially during peak times such as during holidays. You can visit the official Guinness Storehouse website and order tickets online here.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn all about the processing of the hops, the distilling process and the barrels, as well as how technological advancements have developed and changed their practices over time. Next up you’ll learn a little more about the history of the famous black stuff! As well as learning about how gallons of Guinness is transported all over the world every day.
Continue up the floors of the storehouse and you will be able to go back in time looking at the many different advertising techniques from the Guinness marketing teams over the last eighty years, including groundbreaking print, digital and TV campaigns. Next up you’ll be able to take part in a taste experience where you will be guided through the flavours and aromas of this velvety smooth drink by an expert!
Of course, no visit would be complete without learning to pull your very own pint of Guinness! You’ll be taught the six-step ritual of the perfect pour, and receive your very own certificate. Then once you’ve obviously mastered this for the first time take your pint with you up to the Gravity Bar at the very top of the Storehouse and marvel over the views of Dublin with your cold refreshing Guinness!
I hope you’ve got some ideas for your own trip to Dublin. This is just a small snapshot of what you might pack in with just a couple of days. There is plenty to see and experience in Dublin though so if you are able to try to visit for a few more days instead!
For more detailed information and advice why not check out these useful guides and books, check out The Lonely Planet Dublin (Travel Guide), Top 10 Dublin (DK Eyewitness Guide), The 500 Hidden Secrets of Dublin and Dublin Marco Polo Pocket Guide.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experience in Dublin.
What have been your experiences so far? What’s the best things you’ve seen and done in this beautiful part of the world, share your experiences in the comments section below I’d love to hear about them!
Before I go, I also want to give some love to my fellow bloggers who have worked on a collaboration this March with me. Thanks to Molly from Maybe Miss Molly we’ve all come together to create interesting and engaging content for every day of March 2019, check out their blogs for the latest spring inspired blog posts!
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