Recently I had the chance to take a day trip to Dublin, Ireland. Yes, you read that correctly, I took a day trip to Dublin. How can I do this? I am lucky enough to have dad that works as a pilot for US Airways, and until I turn 24 (two weeks away) I get some pretty kick-ass benefits. I know…I suck, but wouldn’t you take full advantage if you were in my shoes. I sure hope so.
Traveling is one of my passions, and Ireland has been on my list of places to vist for some time, so I thought I would give it a shot. It was a short and sweet trip filled with classic Irish drinking songs, whiskey, and a long walk.
Getting Around Dublin
This will be a recurring theme, but Dublin is quite easy to navigate and get around. It’s a small city, and very walkable. From the airport I would suggest jumping on the City Link bus, which has multiple stops on its way to the city center. Only a 20 minuet ride from the airport to downtown Dublin, the us costs 10 euro round trip.
Only having a day in Dublin, I quickly made my way to my hostel to drop my bag, change my undies and set out to explore the city. It did not take long to realize Dublin is actually quite small, and very walkable. Once you get your barrings, and a handy map, you will have no problem walking to all the sights.
Much Ado About Dublin
Before I took off for the weekend I did a bit of research on sights to see, and came up with my top three. The Jameson Factory, Grafton Street, and Temple Bar. Along my walk I hit up a few others that were pointed out on tourist maps.
Grafton Street: One of two big shopping streets in Dublin, Grafton Street is famous for its many buskers, (street performers) and was the inspiration and setting for the film Once. I saw a few bands covering various artists such as Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. Not quite as big as Michigan Ave, but it’s worth a stroll.
Right down the street, make sure to walk through St. Stevens Green. I was lucky enough to catch some sun during my walk through this park. Really beautiful.
Jameson Factory: With tours every 45 minuets or so, plan on waiting at least an hour due to crowds and sold out tours. Never fear, there is a bar! I had a Whiskey and ginger while I waited, and of course checked out the gift shop. The tour it-self is average. I was disappointed to find out that the factory is not in use anymore, and the entire Jameson making process has been moved to the city Cork. The best part was the taste testing at the end of the tour. The guide describes the Jameson making process and the difference between once distilled, double distilled and the triple distilled whiskey. Jameson Irish Whiskey is tripple distilled.
Tour Tip: Volunteer when the guide asks. This means you are one of 12 to tast-test three different whiskeys at the end. You’ll be feelin pretty good when you’re though, especially if you have a light lunch before the tour.
Temple Bar: This is the tourist place in Dublin. I was actually unawar that Temple Bar is both a bar, and a district. If you’re in Dublin, you gotta stop by the Temple Bar. A classic Irish pub, there is live music all day every day, and a slew of bars that keep the Guinness flowing. Dublin is the king of pub towns, and Temple Bar is the king of pubs.
I am a big fan of Dublin. Minus the dismal weather, all the sights, the sounds, the people, the food and the culture are great. It has a small town feel, and who can argue with a pub on every corner? Next trip to Ireland I want to make it out into the country, because everyone was telling me how beautiful it is. Good thing there is always next time.