Looking back on my trip, it’s difficult to pick just one time or place that left the biggest imprint on me. There were so many discoveries, festivals, ferry rides, bike excursions, concerts, and nights out that made my trip so amazing. My roommate and best friend, Samantha, will be heading to Dublin in a week after working at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and it’s time to recommend some sites. Everything on this list can easily be done in one day, and you’ll find that everything in the city centre is a nice walk, so there’s no need for a cab…unless you’re wearing high heels.
Sam, this one’s for you.
1) Read a James Joyce short story from Dubliners on a bench in St. Stephen’s Green. When you’re done, feed the swans. The ducks will want to join in the party, so make sure you have enough 40 cent rolls from Dunnes to go around. Walk around the park and find the gazebo (“bandstand”) in the South East quadrant. Have a picnic in said gazebo.
2) Stroll down Grafton Street, which runs diagonally from the stone archway in St. Stephen’s Green all the way to Trinity College. There will be plenty of buskers and street performers. Give the best musician you see a euro, from me. Don’t forget to stop to smell the flowers along the way!
3) Walk to Trinity College, step through the stone tunnel and be amazed by the beautiful architecture all around you. Don’t bother with a tour, just sit on the steps of an academic building and write in your journal. While you’re there, see the Book of Kells! It’s about 8 euros, but totally worth it. Your ticket also gets you into the famous “Long Room,” home to some pretty impressive documents (namely, the proclamation from the Easter 1916 Rising).
4) Sun bathe in the gardens behind Dublin Castle. After you’ve soaked in some rays (or raindrops) make sure to stop and try the soup of the day at the cafe. Just climb the stone steps over the bridge and you’ll be on a fancy looking patio. Even if you don’t order the soup, the samples are given out in little ceramic mugs.
5) Continue on to the Chester Beatty Library and take a look in the 2nd floor gallery of ancient Japanese and Middle Eastern illustrations. When you’re done, walk up to the roof and enjoy the views from the rooftop garden.
6) Walk east to Great Georges St., then walk 2 blocks south. George Street Arcade will be on your left. Make sure to hit up the jewelry kiosk, bookstore, and most importantly, Simon’s Place for a cup of “white coffee.” Yes, this is the same coffee shop from the film Once. The music shop, Walton’s, (where the famous Falling Slowly song was filmed) is right across the street.
7) Cross the Ha’penny bridge and continue towards O’Connell Street. Walk towards the Millennium Spire. Look for bullet holes in the statues that you pass along the way, relics of the Easter Rising. From here, shopping on Henry Street is the next logical thing to do.
8) Have dinner and a pint at Church Bar, on Henry Street, a few blocks West of the Spire. It’s a little touristy, but who could resist having a traditional fish & chips in a beautifully restored church?
9) See a live show at either the Twisted Pepper or, if you can get tickets, Whelan’s. Both are the perfect intimate music venue.
10) Walk through Temple Bar during the daytime as well as at night. Appreciate the live music, festive atmosphere, and graffiti.