Our final leg of the trip was for 1.5 days in Dublin. Strangely enough, when we told anyone that we were heading to Dublin after Galway, their reaction was always “noooo, don’t go to Dublin!!!”. We started to doubt whether we made a bad choice by including Dublin in our itinerary, but can you go to Ireland and not go to Dublin?! No. All of those nay-sayers were pure-blood Galway people, but any foreigners told us that, yes, Dublin is worth seeing. After a couple days in Galway, I was ready for a change of scenery!!
We took an early morning bus (we booked through gobus, but I also recommend using citylink, which is what we used from the airport to Galway). First thing we did was drop our bags at the hostel (Isaacs hostel if you’re curious- recommended, but it’s very very large and wasn’t my favorite hostel ever, but it was good enough).The building sure was nice, though!! After dropping our bags and getting a map, we immediately set out to find FOOD! We were starving and after some back and forth with deciding, we settled on Boxty because they had a lunch menu that offered yummy-sounding Irish stews. As you can see below, that’s exactly what I had- beef stew with brown bread. It was good, but certainly not out of this world. I was just happy to have more brown bread (love).
With (semi) full bellies, we started exploring Dublin! Dublin didn’t feel very “Irish” to me, in that, I felt like it could have been just about any city. Lots of stores and restaurants and PUBS. Pubs everywhere! I’m definitely more of a city girl, so I thought Dublin was great, but I missed the lushness that you find in Galway and the country.
After the castle, we walked all the way over to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Shannon and Teresa wanted to check out the inside, but since I’ve been in probably 8,000 cathedrals in the last year and a half, I opted to soak up the sunshine in the beautiful gardens next to the cathedral.
They said the inside was nice, but not worth paying for (just to keep in mind if you want to visit…)
After that, we headed back towards the main part of town (Temple Bar) and then crossed through and visited Trinity College, which was founded in 1592!
It actually reminded me a little bit of West Chester, with it’s big open quad and beautiful stone buildings. Oooooh, how I miss college sometimes.
We were there only for a few minutes and then headed over to St. Stephen’s Green Park, which I had read is absolutely beautiful, especially in the summer when you can have a nice picnic.
^^^Shannon, it says Don’t Walk on the Grass”
We made our way back to the hostel after all of that walking, picked up some dinner and some beer, and then quickly ate and headed out for a pub crawl!
It was fun, but Monday’s in Ireland just aren’t that wild 🙂 Also, something to keep in mind- when a pub crawl says that “drinks are included at every bar”, be sure to ask if that means included with the purchase of ANOTHER drink. Smh.
A visit to The Guiness Storehouse, which is the #1 recommended attraction in Dublin. To be honest, I was pretty hesitant to go to the storehouse since I didn’t find The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam to be anything special and it sure isn’t cheap. Butttt Teresa really, really wanted to go, so we headed over—and I’m really glad we did!
While I still think the ticket was pricier than it should be, I thought the storehouse is really well done. It is a good mix of information on how the famous Guiness beer is made, as well as entertaining.
They teach you how to properly sip a Guiness beer, in order to detect the multiple layers of flavor, and they also teach you how to properly pour a Guiness beer. (Funny story: at one of the pubs we visited, Teresa ordered a Guiness and after the bartender filled it about 90%, he left it on the bar and walked away. Thinking it was ready, Teresa took it and was drinking it and then less than a minute later, the bartender came over a snatched it out of her hands and said, “it’s not ready” and proceeded to add a bit more to the pint. We later learned that a proper Guinness is poured almost to the top and then it rests and then a bit more is added.) We opted out of doing the self-pour, since we didn’t have time, but we still were able to enjoy the complimentary pint in their rooftop bar that overlooks all of Dublin.
So, all in all, if you were to ask me if I think the Guinness Store House is worth the price, I would say, yes- if you have time and you’re interested in how beer is made, then yes, it is worth it. It’s very interactive and interesting and be sure to leave time to enjoy your pint of beer over-looking the city of Dublin. The views are beautiful and that, in and of itself, is worth it. Also, if you can swing it, have lunch in the restaurant (the one on the floor below the skybar) since the food was really good, reasonably priced, and their cafeteria is so sunny and bright. (KITCHEN GOALS!). Lastly, here’s a pro tip: If you’re a student, looks like a student, sound like a student, or have anything that resembles a student ID, you can purchase the student ticket. They didn’t ask for proof, and it saves a couple Euros. Also, buying your ticket online can save you some $$$.
And that was it! Within the hour, we were at the airport and boarding our flight back to Madrid. We were absolutely exhausted from such a go-go-go type of trip, but I left feeling both happy that it was great and sad that it was ending soon!
I think we spent the perfect amount of time in each city and only wish we had spent a little more time at The Guinness Storehouse, since there was more to see that we missed out on. I will always associate Ireland with Shannon and Teresa and am so glad I got to experience with them! One day, I hope to go back and see other cities and more of the Irish countryside.