Ah, Dublin! During our five day trip to Galway, we spent the first and last days in Dublin, and let me tell you we managed to pack it all in. We arrived late the first evening, and after picking up our rental car, then stopping quickly at our hotel to drop of our baggage we headed to the temple bar area just before 10pm, and picked a cute pub for dinner called Quays. An extremely friendly waiter greeted us with a “hey lads, the pub is closing soon, but I can fit in your order quickly. Fish & chips sound good?” Brad and I didn’t even have to look at each other. “Yes please,” we said happily sitting down. Within ten minutes we had our piping hot fish & chips, cider and Guinness.
We heard some music playing downstairs, and decided to spend the evening sipping our drinks, people watching and enjoying the live music. We had an earlyish wake up call the next morning for our drive to Galway, and wanted to wake up fresh.
The Temple Bar area can get very packed, by the end of the night it’s thronged with revelers – but the iconic area filled with brightly lit restaurants, pubs and bars should still be included on your itinerary. Bonus – Temple Bar was ready for the holidays by the first of November!
After three days in wonderful Galway, we headed back to Dublin and hit the ground running. First we visited Trinity College’s The Book of Kells. The long room at the old library is an absolute must for book lovers. Filled with high domed ceilings, spiral staircases and wall-to-books, I 100% spent my time there pretending I was in the library scene from Beauty & The Beast.
Next, we headed to the Molly Malone statue, an iconic Dublin statue based on the song of the same name. Dublin is an extremely walkable city, and about 10 degrees warmer than Galway, which I considered a big win.
After this, the wind began to pick up so we decided it was time for a drink. We stopped at The Long Hall, one of Dublin’s oldest pubs built in the 1800s, boasting wood paneling and plush red carpeting. We grabbed the only open seat, and promptly sat down to enjoy our drinks.
Next, I have a confession to make guys. We had dinner at Five Guys. If you aren’t familiar, Five Guys is a California based burger joint, that serves the most delicious fast food. I usually eat about one burger a year, and try to eat the local cuisine while traveling, (one notable failure, looking at you Basque country), but if you’ve ever been into a Five Guys, once the scent of those perfectly salted fries hits your nose buds and overwhelms your senses, you are a goner. Anyway, we decided to relax and enjoy ourselves. Sometimes the most memorable parts of a trip can be something unexpected, like giggling in a diner while gobbling burgers in Dublin. During our trip to Cornwall this summer, after a day of hiking, we came back to our B&B early, opened the windows so that we could hear the crashing of the waves and read books in bed eating Scottish shortbread and sipping coffee.
After our meal, the rest of our day was devoted to strolling, taking in a few sights, trying out different pubs and just generally enjoying the city at our leisure.
We stopped at The Stag’s Head, a Victorian pub on the outskirts of Temple Bar with a local vibe and while waiting for our drinks were treated to a group of older gentleman speaking Gaelic! I was really hoping to hear some Gaelic while we were in Ireland, so this was a perfect end to the trip. I heard the jovial group erupt into laughter, and when I realized they were speaking Gaelic, I literally gasped. Pretty sure I clapped a little to myself as well. If you haven’t heard it before, Gaelic is guttural, throaty and extremely foreign. It sounds like a language Tolkien would have created and I was completely thrilled.
Are you planning a trip to Ireland? Where would you like to visit most?