Welcome to Ireland’s capital … Dublin baby! I have always wanted to visit Dublin to see the Guinness Storehouse and pour my own cold pint of thick, rich, creamy stout! Well, now I have done this and have to say I would certainly do it all again! We spent two days in fabulous Dublin while cruising to Iceland and Ireland with Celebrity Cruises and have listed our top eight things you have to see and do when you are in Dublin!
The Temple Bar is something we have all probably heard about or seen in pictures of Dublin but let me tell you it’s the atmosphere that you have to experience to really understand how fabulous this place really is. We initially thought this was just the name of a bar, but it’s actually also the name of the neighborhood. With its cobbled stone streets, brightly coloured buildings, live music and happy people accompanied by whiskey and ales galore there is lots to like about this place. We visited both days once in the afternoon when it was absolutely packed and the second day earlier in the morning to try and get some pics without a zillion people in them – 10 am wasn’t too early for a Guinness right?
The College was founded all the way back in 1592. This historical marvel is right in the center of town and is most famous for housing the Book of Kells. This is a manuscript dating back to the 9th century which is all about the life of Jesus Christ. That is one very old book and may I say it is in very good condition for its age! You will also see the library which is known as the Long Room. Fittingly this is a very long room that is home to over 200,000 of Trinity Colleges’ oldest books. You can pre-book your Book of Kell Tickets which I do recommend and I also suggest getting there for when it first opens as we found the crowds to be a lot smaller than later in the day.
The Guinness Storehouse is heaven for Guinness lovers. It’s ginormous! There are seven floors of interactive Guinness history and it’s in the shape of a schooner glass. This a perfect way to learn about how the black ale is made as well as have the opportunity to graduate from the Guinness Academy by learning how to pour your very own pint! Did mine overflow and did beer go everywhere… yes, it absolutely did but oh well it tasted pretty good! The other great thing about the Guinness Storehouse is that you get the opportunity to sample along the way and a pint is included in your ticket. So you can sit back at the Gravity bar and admire the 360° views of Dublin.
The Storehouse also has a few different bars, restaurants and a café where you can enjoy a bite to eat. We had lunch at the 1837 Bar and Brasserie which has things like Guinness bread, Guinness burgers or Guinness stew! Our waiter accidentally doubled our drink order and we got two pints for the price of one! Talk about the luck of the Irish… diddly dee! I definitely recommend pre-booking your tickets for the Guinness Storehouse as this entitles you to a discount and means you will be able to skip the queue. One last thing, be sure to visit the souvenir shop. The Guinness fudge and steak sauce were delicious and the Christmas bubble hangs on our tree every year!
This is the place to eat in Dublin. Brother Hubbard has two restaurants one in South Dublin and the one we went to in the North. They are open pretty much all day from breakfast to dinner and are known for their “innovate and interesting” dining options. We love, love, loved this place! We stopped in for lunch and it was full to the brim, but no worries we were seated pretty much straight away. The food here is bright and fresh with the most delicious flavours and seriously who doesn’t love a pulled pork roll on a cold day. They have cake, coffee, cocktails, beer, and the atmosphere is fun yet homely. I will certainly be returning to Brother Hubbard next time I’m in Dublin, it was that delicious! You can also buy their cookbook, which is a great souvenir to take home – I did!
If you are more into whiskey than beer then you will be interested in the Jameson Distillery. Here you can take the tour and learn all about whiskey and how over 200 years ago this distillery started at Bow Street and how it is still open in the same place today. Of course, a free sample is included with your ticket! If you don’t want to take the tour and would prefer like us just to try one of Jameson’s fine whiskey cocktails then pull up a chair at the bar and order an Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour and watch the bartender create his magic! The cocktails are a little pricey, but the bartenders’ impressive artistic talents make the drinks worth every cent.
The Merchant Arch Pub
Located near the Ha’penny Bridge in the heart of Dublin is this cute little pub called The Merchant Arch. It is a top spot to stop at if you need to sit and rest for five. The Merchant Arch pub has live entertainment and character galore. When we first walked in we thought we were stepping back in time. It’s small but makes up for it in the atmosphere. Make sure to go out the back and check out the staircase going up to the restaurant with all of the memorabilia on the walls.
Dollard and Co
I’m calling Dollard and Co the fancy food market. This place has everything from a bottle shop, a pizzeria (which makes seriously big pizzas!), a coffee shop, cakes, and even a butcher! You can have pretty much anything here from breakfast to late-night pizza which closes at 4 am!! We stopped here a couple of times for coffee and cake and it was always busy and delicious. Dollard and Co are only about a 5-minute walk from the Temple Bar and are just near the Grattan Bridge.
Bubble Waffle Factory
Just a couple of steps down the laneway from The Merchant Arch Pub is the Bubble Waffle Factory. It is here we discovered what I would say is possibly one of the most delicious ice creams I have ever had. Imagine a hot waffle with ice cream, toppings, cookies, fresh fruit, nuts or marshmallows, and a hot fudge sauce all wrapped up into an ice cream cone! The Bubble Waffle Factory is a great way to end your day in Dublin…delicious!
Thoughts & opinions shared about Eight Fun Things to See and Do in Dublin are entirely my own.