Ireland has been at the top of my list of places to go for years but just didn’t have a chance to get over there. I’ve heard so many great things about Ireland and there are quite a few rom-com movies about girls finding their dreamboats there (I’m looking at you Leap Year and PS I Love You!). My friend and travel blogger Hannah has visited so often that she has a whole website dedicated to Ireland aptly named Ireland Stole My Heart. Last year I was determined to make it happen! I went for 4 days and hit up all the hot spots. It lived up to all the hype and I will be back!
This is the Disneyland of pubs. It’s a well-known area that is well attended and open late. Not one for the late-night bar scene, I ventured out in the early morning to witness the aftermath. As expected, the streets were quiet with pedestrians, but busy with all the beer trucks out at 7 am replenishing beer drunk the night before. No joke, the famous Temple Bar, Bar had ~30 Kegs outside waiting to be replenished. A lot of beer is consumed in these quarters!
I was super excited to take the Jameson distillery tour as I heard they go into detail on different whiskeys and even do a taste test against their competitors. This is a guided tour that gives you a free drink ticket to use. At the bar before you start the tour. I bellied up to the bar and got an Irish coffee, because when in Ireland… The tour itself was just long enough and informative. It ended in a taste test where they discussed the difference between the 3 tasters (Scotch Whiskey, Jameson Irish Whiskey, American Whiskey).
GUINNESS STOREHOUSE TOUR
Not a lover of beer, I still decided to go on the reviews alone. I’m glad I did because I absolutely loved this self-guided Guinness tour. It was so great; I could have written a blog post just on this tour alone. The place is just massive! It’s 7-stories high and each level is dedicated to telling the story of Guinness from how they pick the grains, to how they ferment and even a level just to showcase all of the marketing materials they’ve done over the years. They even have a Guinness academy experience where they teach you how to pour the perfect pint. I winded up. spending ~3 hours in there.
TRINITY COLLEGE LIBRARY
Home of the Book of Kells (the 4 gospels of the bible – written in Latin and illustrated by artists). They rotate the books and only present one book at a time to limit exposure to light and elements. The book itself is small but absolutely stunning with all the colorful artistry and calligraphy. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed, but there are many photos of the books on-line. But more impressive than the book is the Library itself. The room is filled with old and new books. They are not filed by alphabetical order but by the weight of the book. The large and heavier books are placed on the bottom shelves where the lighter books are on top to not collapse the old shelves. Students at the college are allowed to check out the books, but they can only be used in a dedicated room while wearing white gloves with a proctor keeping guard. No pens, pencils or photos allowed, meaning you can’t take notes.
LISTEN TO LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUBS
It would almost be impossible to go to Dublin without heading into one of the many pubs on the street. And I’m not talking about pub crawling (which is of course, ok if that’s what you want to do) but I’m talking about music crawling. Most of the pubs I walked into had live acoustic music going on. There was a pub (The Cobblestone) next to Jameson that I was told to head to after my tour where there was a group of 5 men playing Irish music. While in the pubs I got to try the famous Irish dishes (Fish and Chips, Traditional Irish Stew and Guinness stew) and washed them all down with a local cider.