I left my heart in Ireland.
To be honest, Ireland was never that high up on my list of places to see, but I’m so happy I went. The scenery, the people, the music… I fell in love.
We flew into Dublin and spent 3 nights there. While we crammed a lot in, I’d recommend an extra day or two. We took a cab from Dublin airport into the city, it took about 30 minutes and cost around 25-30 euro.
Where to Stay in Dublin
We rented an Airbnb on Thomas Street, near Vicar Street Concert Hall. There was a Tesco almost directly below us which was great to grab breakfast food and drinks for our apartment. The apartment was walking distance to the Guinness Storehouse, Heuston Train Station, Temple Bar and Grafton Street. While the apartment wasn’t fancy, it was super clean and a good location.
This was actually my first Airbnb experience and it went really well! I was quite nervous heading into it, but our host was friendly, professional and everything was exactly as it appeared online. If you are planning on using Airbnb, I would recommend doing a lot research, reading all the reviews, and always trust your gut.
Where to Eat/Drink in Dublin
The Brazen Head – Ireland’s oldest pub, est. 1198!
The Temple Bar – traditional Irish pub with over 100 choices for sandwiches
The Oliver St. John Gogarty – traditional Irish pub
Porterhouse Temple Bar – Microbrewery with great food
Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Storehouse was amazing! Don’t be discouraged by the long line up outside, it moves quick and is worth the wait. The tour is a self-guided educational walk through of the Guinness Factory, and covers how Guinness is made and the history of Arthur Guinness. The tour also includes a full Guinness. Tips for this activity: The tour takes a long time. I think we were probably in there for about 2.5 hours. Make sure you have recently eaten so you’re not hangry, and also be sure to go early enough ahead of closing time so you aren’t rushed. They also have a huge gift shop to browse through.
Book of Kells – This manuscript is estimated to be from 800 AD and is kept at Trinity College. We ran out of time and I didn’t get to see this, and I was disappointed I missed it.
Grafton Street is the main shopping street and while I wanted to see it, it wasn’t anything special.
Day Trips from Dublin
We took a train from Dublin Heuston Station to Kilkenny, it took about 1.5 hours and cost about 25 euro round trip. When you get off the train in Kilkenny it’s just a short walk into town. Kilkenny is very colourful and quaint. We took a tour of Kilkenny Castle, which was originally built in the first decade of the thirteen century.
The west coast of Ireland literally took my breath away. It’s beautiful. We did a day trip with Wild Rover Tours and they were fabulous, I’d highly recommend them. Our day started out with a visit to the Cliffs of Moher. (FYI- it’s just pronounced “more”. I had been pronouncing it mo-hair. Embarrassing I know). The cliffs are REALLY windy, so I’d also recommend a pony tail or bun, and be sure to wear a rain coat and proper walking/climbing shoes. We also stopped in Galway City, a lively and charming sea side town.