I recently got an opportunity to travel to Dublin on a work related trip so together with two other colleagues, we took the opportunity to mix business with pleasure by adding three days to tour this city and have some fun. One of the things that you probably synonymous with Dublin is the quality of Guinness that they manufacture. Even then, the short time that I was in Dublin helped me discover that there is so much more than Guinness. In fact, it is a great destination for couples, teens, youth and families alike as there are numerous attractions that these groups can visit and enjoy their time here like we did.
We began exploring Dublin on a rather low note after quickly putting together an itinerary. Our first stop was the Dublin Zoo that is also among the oldest in the world even though it has a modern design. The zoo holds more than 600 animals and requires about two to three hours but we rushed through so as to be able to visit as many attractions as possible. The zoo is generally informative and the staff is lovely. We took photos of some of the animals that we were able to see before heading to the little museum of Dublin. It was amazing to see history come to life here. This museum is a little gem that houses both new and old object that gave us an insight to the history of Dublin’s fair city. The varieties of exhibits found at this magnificent Georgian House are amazing and the guide made it even more exciting because he was not only informative but also witty. This museum is definitely worth visiting.
Another place that we visited that I recommend to you is the National gallery of Ireland that is at Merrion Square. This an unexpected find with beautiful paintings that include the works of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso and Brueghel that are all beautiful. The Dublin Bus Tour is another exciting experience that we had because we not only had the opportunity to see major landmarks but we also were allowed to hop on and hop off especially if you are interested in having an up close view of specific attractions. There was also a recorded entertaining commentary that gives insight into the surrounding areas. In addition we were also given a free map that you can use to get the actual bearing of the particular place you are. The driver was also fun and personable. This is a trip you must take especially if you have little time to explore Dublin. Some of the attractions that we passed by include Old Jameson distillery and Kilmainham Gaol among others. If you have a feeling that you may not see the entire city in a single day, you can go for the tickets that are transferable to the next day.
As lovers of Jameson Irish Whiskey, we could not miss a tour of The Old Jameson Distillery where we learnt so much about the Angels share, Tripple distillation as well as the Jameson Whiskey. There is no better way to make the presentation than using the audiovisual presentation. Our journey through this distillery ended at the Jameson Discovery Bar where we were all offered a complimentary glass of Jameson. We also passed by the Jameson gift shop, bar and restaurant where we made a few purchases. You also need to try the mouth-watering lunch at the Jameson 3rd Still restaurant. This is definitely a tour you must take while in Dublin.
The Guinness storehouse is another place that is worth visiting as it concludes with a pint at the Gravity bar that is at the top floor overlooking the mountains and city. This tour is worth the every penny as it also includes a free coupon that entitles you to a pint of their stout lager. Staying with the drinking theme, we also went to Temple Bar that is also a popular tourist attraction. The music here was brilliant and the people were quite friendly. The bar also doubles up as a vibrant nightspot.
Away from the tours to the whiskey and Guinness makers, we also went to Trinity College whose design is credited to Theodore Jacobsen. Walking through the area was thrilling as we came into contact with history. This college is truly a beautiful place that is encapsulated by beautiful buildings. The Book of Kells is another must see attraction for the simple reason that it is famous for being an illuminated manuscript written in Latin. What is amazing about this book is that it was hand written and illustrated by monks. Amazingly, the historic explanations have been done in such a way that they are not boring. If you love books, art and history then this is an attraction you must visit when you travel to Dublin.
My colleagues and I also made a brief stop at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral whose architecture is quite impressive. We paid a small admission fee that we were told is directed towards catering for the upkeep of the building. This is worth it as the structure is well maintained. Not only does this structure offer great emotions because of its detailed history but also an opportunity to communicate with God.
We also took a walk down Grafton Street that is also the main shopping street in Dublin. Although we had not planned on doing any major shopping, we popped into some of the boutiques to sample some of the designs from the trendy designers of Dublin. We also picked up a few souvenirs from some of the gift shops. A word of advice from our experience is that you need to look out for bargains as some shops are highly priced. You can also cross over to George’s Street Arcade that is another little gem where you can find just about everything. We purchased several old postcards and also enjoyed some great Italian food. Even then, you need to be on the lookout for hawkers that can really be a nuisance.
We also settled at the popular yet old-fashioned Bewley’s Oriental Café where we enjoyed some good quality food and drinks. What is amazing about this place is that the atmosphere will make you feel like you have stepped back in time. Consequently, you should not expect to find any Wi-Fi that is now a common phenomenon in most modern restaurants. Most importantly, the service is excellent. We also went to Brazen Head on our last night in Dublin for an evening of food, folklore and fairies. It was such a brilliant evening as we enjoyed some great music, great stories as well as a good laugh. In addition, the food was good and the bar offered the drinks at very pocket friendly prices. Although I am not into flowers, one of my colleagues insisted that we pass by the National botanic gardens that turned out to be such a wonderful place. The gardens are peaceful and have numerous sculptures besides the beautiful flora and fauna. We also made a last minute decision to go to the Phoenix Park even though we risked running behind schedule but it was rewarding. This park is not just beautiful but it has running trails that we walked through as we enjoyed the green atmosphere, the sunshine as well as the smiley faces. There is also a zoo and a presidential residence that we did not manage to see because we ran out of time. However, as we left Dublin I was certain that I want to travel to Dublin on my own or in the company of my wife in future, as this is such a great destination with so much to do and see. Therefore, if you are still thinking of whether or not you should go to Ireland I encourage you to make that bold move and travel to Dublin because as you are guaranteed of having a great holiday experience.