Happy New Year! This January will have been 2 years since I started my blog, thank you so much for reading over the last couple of years and I hope you enjoy this little travel guide of my most recent trip. For New Year a group of my friends and I decided to make a trip to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, we had such a great time so here are the bits that I really enjoyed! Starting with the all important where to eat:
Places to Eat
Skinflint: I really enjoyed this one, a large selection of pizzas made with tasty ingredients, served on rustic parchment and boards, and a selection of meatballs with a choose-your-own sauce and the option of orzo pasta or mash. I went for the french lentil ‘meat’ balls with orzo pasta and a rich tomato sauce, the portion was generous and exactly what I needed after exploring Dublin’s city center in chilly weather. Arty, dim interior with tables made from old doors containing currency from around the world, this place is great if you’re looking for a more substantial lunch or a dinner with friends. http://www.joburger.ie/skinflint
Gallagher’s Boxty House: This tardis of a restaurant is placed right in the center of the madness of Temple Bar area, this of course means the prices are a little steeper than other restaurants, however in this area it would be easy to pay over €20 for a substandard meal, which is simply a waste of your hard earned money when you can pay the same for a delicious one in a place such as Gallagher’s! The restaurant can get extremely busy, so although we were able to get a table, it would be wise to book ahead. The fare is traditional Irish food with a modern take, their tagline ‘the humble spud made beautiful’ does indeed not disappoint! On the whole our group decided to eat traditional Irish food, including a platter of stews with Guinness, beer and soda breads. I decided to have a ‘boxty’ (traditional Irish potato pancake) with their 3 bean chilli and Irish cheddar. All round good reviews, would highly recommend! http://boxtyhouse.ie/
The Rolling Donut: This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure! If you’re a bit cold and in need of a cup of tea and a sugar boost, head to one of the Rolling Donuts shops in the city center and it will not disappoint. I tried both the banoffee and the pistachio and salted caramel, both were soft and chewy with sweet and tasty fillings, perfect for that mid afternoon dip. https://www.therollingdonut.ie/
Things to Do
Dublin Castle: It doesn’t look like your typical castle from the outside, but for only €5 you can wander around the state apartments of the castle, viewing some Irish artist’s work and learning about the history of each of the rooms. The grounds are also lovely and free to wander around in, they include a memorial sculpture garden too.
Temple Bar Area: This area is a must for your stay in Dublin. Yes it’s touristy, but I really enjoyed the buzz of Temple Bar, plus there are loads of great pubs playing live music, little gift and art shops as well as plenty of places to eat. Scout out during the day to get a feel before venturing in for a few too many pints during the night!
St Stephen’s Green: A lovely green space just at the top of Grafton Street, St Stephen’s green is a nicely kept park that’s easy to navigate and have a little stroll in. Take your donut from the Rolling Donut shop near the edge of the park, grab a cup of takeaway tea and enjoy the greenery.
Grafton and Exchequer Streets: There are plenty of little shops on these couple of streets to keep you entertained for an hour or two. Grafton street houses most high street shops as a hub of Dublin’s shopping, Exchequer street is a little more arty and boutique-y with a few more interesting shops including the amazing Fallon and Byrne food hall.
The Guinness Factory: The obvious stop for a trip to Dublin, again on the pricey side, but at least you get a free pint at the end of your tour! €18 euros for a student for the full experience, well worth your time, although the afternoon time slots can get extremely busy, definitely book online before you go!
The Winding Stair: A great little bookshop, loads of contemporary fiction as well as penguin classics and more unusual, gift-type books. Worth a browse as a break from the cold, it’s right on the river front so should be easy enough to fit into a stroll around the city! Next time I visit, I would love to try the cafe upstairs, the food looks amazing so I can already recommend it before I’ve even been.
Jam Art Factory: Right in the center of Temple Bar, Jam Art Factory is situated amongst tattoo studios, gift shops and little eateries. Its shelves are filled with unusual little gifts and small pieces of artwork by local artists, well worth a browse and you might even go home with something new to put on your wall.
Fallon and Byrne: Away from Temple Bar area and on more upmarket Wicklow Street, Fallon and Byrne is like the Selfridge’s food hall of Ireland. The fruit and veg is immaculately set out, unusual ingredients and some lovely looking ready made salads and sandwiches. If you’re a foodie you’ll love the beautiful display and Aladdin’s cave of speciality ingredients.
Cityscape Bus Tours: Cityscape tours (the yellow buses) came highly recommended by our lovely taxi driver on the way into Dublin. I really enjoyed this tour, it gave a great overview of the city with informative and, at times extremely funny, commentary by our driver, Murphy. You get a complete tour of Dublin with just under 30 different stops all for €10 for 24 hours. SO worth the money even if you think you can get to all those places on foot, especially if you go during the winter months. Do try to brave the top deck if you can, it’s the true bus tour experience! http://cityscapetours.ie/
Rideway Taxis: I had a great experience with this taxi service. Lovely local drivers who were chatty and full of recommendations for our stay. You can book online and the prices aren’t too bad, a return journey from the airport to the city is about €11.50 per person. https://www.rideways.com/