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A couple of months ago, my sisters and I found a wicked deal on Groupon that included flights & a hotel package for a long weekend in Dublin for about £80 each. So of course we booked it straight away and started saving up some pennies. Now, we had an amazing time and are definitely going back, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, so the second part of this post is gonna be a few bits of advice that I would have loved to know before going to Dublin. But, first things first…
Here’s what we got up to.
8:30am We flew out of Stansted Airport as it is only about a 30 min drive away from us, so although I would say it is one of the shittest airports for long queues and waiting times, it is the most convenient (for us) and if you are travelling from the UK near London then a lot of EU flights go from here. Anyway, we had an early flight as we wanted to maximise the time we could spend in Dublin itself. From England, the flight is an hour. Me & the girls were really impressed with ourselves for sleeping the whole flight (not like we were shattered from getting up at 4:30am, or that it is a essentially a short nap but whatever)
10:30am So when we arrived and collected our bags (which was super quick & easy) we had a little look at the bus & train timetables and also the prices. I think it was €7/€8 respectively and was going to take 45 minutes on either. A lovely taxi driver came over and between his Irish charm and piss-taking comments, offered us some advice about getting to the city centre as well. We already knew that the drive was only 20 minutes from info on the hotel website, and he quoted us €28 so between 3 of us that was perfect.
On our way to the hotel the cabbie gave us a lot of useful info, where to visit, where NOT to visit (Copper’s!) and stuff about the trams. The Irish accent was enough to keep me engaged for the journey ;).
11:00am So we couldn’t go into our room straight away as we were pretty early, so we checked in and dropped our bags off, then headed to the tram. The nearest stop was located about 200m from the hotel doors, so was perfect for getting in and out of town. It’s only €3.40 for an adult return in one zone, cheap! We got off at the Abbey St. stop to head to O’Connell street AKA the busiest street in Dublin. Here you can do a spot of shopping, sightseeing or stuffing your face.
Here is The Spire, or The Needle as it is sometimes referred to. Right next to the General Post Office (on the left) which is culturally symbolic and quite beautiful.
Here are my sisters looking glam on O’Connell Street
1:00pm After some shopping in Arnotts (kinda like a House of Fraser) we grabbed some lunch at a bakery. I didn’t get any pictures, I was too hungry and stuffed that food in my gob. I had a carvery roll and every single bit was just perfect!
2:00pm One of my sisters has been trying to track down a Dazzleglass, so we were on the hunt for a MAC store (but had been given the wrong directions) so ended up at the Ilac Shopping Centre, apparently the first of its kind in Dublin. Basically a lot of high street stores in one place. To be honest we were in there to avoid the rain more than anything and the tornado-esque winds (they were insane) and I was too tired to function properly by this point, but if you are interested in more standard shopping this is a good place to visit.
4:30pm We were finally able to check into our room, so picked up our luggage and went on up. I kind of just dived on the bed, got cozy and fell asleep. What a lovely nap it was!
Our room at The Ashling Hotel
8:00pm Out for drinks at Temple Bar. Temple Bar is the name of both an area and a pub. We had one round in The Temple Bar & another in Oliver St. John Gogarty’s. Both had an awesome vibe but we learnt that Thursday isn’t a big night in Dublin, so it was quite a chilled one for us.
Taxi back from Temple Bar to The Ashling was about €12.
10:30am Tram to Jervis and brunch at The Italian Corner. Lovely food, lovely service & lovely on the purse.
Here’s the place and Jordan’s roasted tomato + mozzarella ciabatta.
12pm With full bellies, sightseeing at Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin Castle, St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Stephen’s Garden & Trinity College, and a bit of general exploring was on the cards. I thought that St Paddy’s Cathedral was absolutely stunning, both the gardens and the architecture itself. I was lucky to get some photos when the sun was out too. Dublin Castle didn’t really impress me as much, but Trinity College was bewitching, and the Book of Kells incredible! How many books can you fit in one library?!
Here’s the Ha’penny Bridge & St. Paddy’s Cathedral
4pm Now the temperature was about 5 degrees and we just couldn’t bear to stay out longer, and we had dinner booked for 6pm (it was the only table left!) Megan needed as long as possible to get ready.
6pm Dinner at Sophie’s Rooftop Bar, The Dean Hotel. We had some gorgeous cocktails to start, and then for mains Jordan and I went for the fillet steak, Megan for the ribeye. It was absolutely bloody delicious. 😉 We then shared a bottle of Prosecco, and for desert I had sticky toffee pudding, heaven on a plate.
shit ton more prosecco, and lots of chats. The bar at the Dean Hotel is amazing, I highly recommend a lengthy visit. When we go back to Dublin, we are 100% staying here.
1am Ending the night at Everleigh Gardens with some new friends
4am Home time! Taxi home was about €14, so once again very reasonable for 3 people at that hour (I’m used to London prices if you think that is a lot!)
12pm Wake up extremely hungover after 10 hour long boozing session. Move arm and head spins. Blergh!
2pm Finally leave the hotel feeling better but not willing to waste any more of the day. We head to a pub, avoiding all contact with any alcohol. End up at a Nandos and eat our shame in the form of spicy chicken and peri-peri salt. Drown sorrows with bottomless Coke.
3pm Walked down Grafton Street for another spot of shopping. We preferred it here to O’Connell Street, although it is still very busy, and we overheard that they were putting on the Christmas lights the next day! Gutted that I missed that.
4:30pm Managed to make it to the Guinness Storehouse (and just in time, last admission is at 5pm!) It’s €20 per person, and is well priced for the experience. I found it really interesting and enjoyed taking my time to read as many signs as I could. I would suggest not doing this on a day that you are likely to be hungover as it makes the alcohol
very a bit difficult to drink. I think I nursed that pint for about 5 hours. Also go earlier than 4:30pm, they call last orders at 6:30pm and I definitely prefer not to be rushed! No pictures as we were very hungover, and you should visit it yourself ;). Go see the view from the 360 bar and make sure you go when it is light! Although I’m pleased we went, we f*cked ourselves a bit as it was too dark to take good photos and we had to leave sooner than we realised.
6:45pm Our hotel was just across the bridge from the Guinness Storehouse, ideal for me, especially in my state at the time. We had plans to go to another pub for dinner, but ended up staying in and ordering room service. If we had been staying in a better location then we would have dragged ourselves out, but the drink from the night before just killed us. At least we managed to get everything we planned done!
Oh alright then, here’s a picture of our room service.
And what lies beneath…
We flew back home on Sunday morning having booked our cab with the same driver that took us to the city from the airport. Easy. So 4 nights and 3 days is a great amount of time to spend in Dublin for a relaxed but eventful break. Check out Part 2 to see what I would have done differently – and what I will do differently next time!
Have you been to Dublin? What did you think? Tell me about it in the comments!