I’m excited to finally be sharing my first of two posts about last month’s trip to Ireland! Today’s is centered around Dublin where I spent three nights total as bookends to my road trip around the Southern & Western part of the country. I’ll be sharing more about the road trip part very soon so stay tuned for that.
I had actually been to Ireland when I was a little girl in the mid-90s but it was such fun to revisit at an older age when I had a greater appreciation for my family’s heritage. Both sides of my family came from Ireland and I loved exploring a country rich in history and charm.
So without further delay, read on for my recommendations on what to do, where to stay and most importantly…where to eat and drink!
What to Do:
Trinity Library: This library is famed for good reason. It is beautiful! I instantly envisioned the scene when Belle is let into the Beast’s library at the castle – as I had the same splendor in my eye upon first entering this beautiful space. Books as far as the eye can see and it just feel so special. It is also home to the famous Book of Kells which is a splendor to see.
The Dublin Castle: As far as European castles go, this one is low on the totem pole BUT I did love it for the history of Ireland. They have great (and very detailed) exhibits that discuss the Easter Rebellion and other moments in Irish history that made me more educated about the state of the country where all my ancestors came from. The castle still hosts events today which I particularly loved imagining.
Industry & Co.: I can’t recommend this shop enough! If I hadn’t had a full suitcase I would have bought so many things here! One of my favorite home stores I’ve ever experienced, the merchandise is well edited and you can even take a break from shopping or wandering by ordering a sandwich or tea at their charming cafe.
The Irish Design Shop: This is the type of store I walk in and immediately think to myself “my mom would love this!” It offers such a fun mix of traditional & modern Irish goods – mostly handcrafted – and ranging from everything to wool socks, jewelry, art and mugs. It’s right next to Industry & Co. so be sure to hit up both on the charming lane that is Drury Street.
Walk along the river: Like most great European cities, Dublin is situated along a river that is the epicenter of the town. You can walk along the river and discover all sorts of eateries, hidden alleyways or watch the boats go by.
Where to Stay:
The InterContinental: We had a great stay at The InterContinental. The staff could not have been nicer and I loved their lobby’s atrium where you could enjoy a much needed coffee following a red eye flight. Comfortable beds and a nicely sized bathroom rounded out a really pleasant stay. As a head’s up this property is about a 7-10 minute drive to city center Dublin but we tackled that with inexpensive Uber rides. If you’re looking for a more central location, try The Westin which is downtown Dublin. You can book your stay easily at The InterContinental by emailing [email protected] or visiting their website.
Where to Eat & Drink:
Woolen Mills: This “Eating House” was one of my favorite meals the entire time I spent in Ireland! I highly recommend, weather permitting, that you take a seat on the restaurant’s roof where you can soak in the street and river scenes from above while you dine on avocado hummus and corn beef sandwiches. The menu is expansive and everything we ordered was delicious.
Drury Buildings: Obsessed doesn’t even cover it for this place’s back garden where you can sip on the most delicious cocktails. I think 50% of our conversation centered around how amazing this spot was while we were there. It has the cutest vibe with lights and light bites and when it came time to leave for our dinner reservation we didn’t want to! Verdict: Do not miss this place. Bonus points? The colorful mural adorning the walls outside!
Kaph: If you’re looking for a cozy neighborhood coffee shop for your daily pick me up, Kaph is it. It is located on the cutest street we found in Dublin and right next to a delightful little covered street market perfect for wandering with caffeine in-hand.
Brother Hubbard: This cheerful cafe was our first stop to feed our famished selves upon arrival in Dublin. The menu is eclectic with lots of healthy options and they also have homemade baked goods for satisfying your sweet tooth following your entree.
The Brazen Head: This bar was established in the 1100s and is still in operation if you can believe it! It, unsurprisingly, is Ireland’s oldest bar. Definitely stop in for a pint and while the charming outdoor area is appealing, don’t miss the inside that feels like you’ve stepped back in time.
The Temple Bar: A watering hole for every tourist to drop by no doubt, I loved how big this place was and the live music. Drinks are certainly over priced but go for a Guinness while one of the live bands plays so you can say you’ve seen it. It is over 160 years old!
The Vintage Cocktail Club: My friend had recommended this place and it did not disappoint! It’s behind an unmarked door and up a stairway that leads to a 1920s-esque club featuring every single classic cocktail you could ever imagine.
Dublin is full of life and such a friendly city. I absolutely loved revisiting it! Have you guys been? Stay tuned for my next Ireland post that will feature my time out in the countryside.
[All photography by Meghan Donovan]