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Travel Guide to Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Trublin by Nneya Richards.JPG

With St. Patrick’s day coming up, I’m reflecting on my trip to Dublin. As I mentioned in my previous video on 24 hrs in Dublin, I had been mulling over going to Dublin for quite some time having frequent lay overs there. I’ve always had an affinity for Irish people, from Ireland (I made my first Irish friend in Disney world when I was 6 or 7 in the hotel pool — I’m sure I have a photo of us — when I go to my mum’s house I’ll add it to this post later this weekend). After meeting an Irish actor via Twitter I decided to extend a layover on the way to the UK and have some fun exploring Dublin! With a few recs from friends, from Dublin, living in Dublin and who went to University in Dublin, I spent 3 days having a great time in this city. Though I know I just scratched the surface. There are a few cool neighborhoods I want to dive deeper into but starting out in the center Temple Bar area and walking around (sometimes for hours) gave me a great basic guide. Here’s my quick guide for a weekend in Dublin.

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Where to stay

Sometimes I like hotels, sometimes I like an Airbnb. A lot of factors go into this, some of the big ones being, have I been to this place before? Do I have friends here? If so, do I want to be near to them? How long am I going to be in town etc.? For a short trip like this (I only had 3 full days), I opted for a hotel. Only there for 3 nights I didn’t need amenities like a kitchen and I wanted to be in a pretty central location to explore many of the sites on foot. I settled on the Morgan Hotel for it’s location in the city centre, and Temple Bar area, it’s fun design and cool cocktail bar. It was such a whirlwind trip I really wish I spent more time in the hotel as it looked cool and there was always a pretty chic crowd shuffling in and out.

What to eat.

scallops tartare by Nneya Richards

scallops tartare at The Pig’s Ear

irish short ribs by Nneya Richards

Irish short ribs at The Pig’s Ear

Often, a clear indicator if a place is exploding is to follow the foodies. With tons of new restaurants cropping up, the Dublin culinary scene is world class. My friend Oli recommended The Pig’s Ear to me and it did not disappoint. It was one of his parents favorite places when they visited him at Trinity. First, there is the cute hot pink door out front, beckoning you in like promises of secrets in a boudoir. When you head upstairs, the two dining rooms are wood finished but light, airy and modern. The cuisine is a mouth-watering modern take on traditional Irish comfort foods. This is a Michelin star restaurant so do book in advance. I dropped in but it was during the first dinner seating time and, well, I’m charmingly clueless ;). The Pig’s Ear. 4 Nassau St, Dublin 2

Want to try French and Irish fusion? I promise, it’s delicious. Check out Hugo’s for a delicious meal and live jazz. Hugo’s, 6 Merrion Row, Dublin 2

All of the touring have you exhausted? Fallon and Byrne is awesome to pop into for a quick, cheap lunch. Fallon and Byrne, 11-17 Exchequer St, Dublin 2

Obviously, Dublin is like any other metropolis and a gathering place for people around the world, lending to their culinary influences. Try this delicious and casual BYOB spot, Jerusalem. Middle Eastern cuisine, the food is fresh and delicious. What’s more, you get a lot for your money and it takes you out of the touristy center. Jerusalem, 77 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin’s

Where to drink.

Dubliners love their drink and I had my first Guinness at the perfect spot, Kehoe’s. A no frills “old man” pub quite near to Trinity College Kehoe’s has been around since 1803 and still remains a gem. It retains a lot of it’s original fixtures like stained glass mahogany doors and Irish snugs and partitions. They pour an amazing pint and you immediately cozy in and feel like a regular. There’s even a fire place upstairs! Kehoe’s, 9 South Anne Street, Dublin 2

For gags, and a good pint, head to Dawson St Lounge the smallest pub in Ireland, this place is always packed to the rafters. Dawson St Lounge, 25 Dawson St, Dublin 2

Grab a late night rum at Wigwam. Wigwam, 54 Middle Abbey St, Dublin 1

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Ha’Penny Bridge

Stop here.

If you’re as much of a knit fanatic as I am, you may already know about Irish Aran knits. You know the fisherman knit that you see in J. Crew? Wait, go to Ireland and get the real deal. Made in Ireland, you’ll know the klan and story behind the knit pattern you’re getting and it will be even more special. I live in mine as well as a pair of socks from Aran Sweater MarketAran Sweater Market, 115 Grafton Street, Dublin 2 

Do this.

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Visit Trinity College. Founded in 1592, Trinity College in Dublin is the oldest surviving university in Ireland and one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland. Absolutely stunning, I did consider going there as well as look at St. Andrews when I was applying to universities. Visit the magnificent Long Room of the Old Library which houses the ancient book of Kells, dating from 800 A.D. I also loved the grass tennis courts. Trinity College, Marrion Square and St. Stephen’s Green is a perfect touring triangle to fall in love with the quaintness of the city. You can also visit the Natural History Museum of Ireland — I love their website, museum.ie, boom — the National Gallery of Ireland and Oscar Wilde’s childhood home in that same triangle. (And Kehoe’s is there too). Trinity College, College Green, Dublin 2

Take a trip to the Guinness Storehouse and immerse yourself in the history of this delicious brew. Did you know that outside of Ireland, Africa, namely Nigeria is Guinness’ highest market? They even make some brews for this market that are only available there. You can taste them though if you book a connoisseur experience. Learn how to do the perfect pour and watch the sunset over Dublin at the rooftop Gravity Bar. Guinness Storehouse, St James’s Gate, Ushers, Dublin 8

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PS. Plan your flight to Dublin now. Norwegian airlines seems to be celebrating St. Patrick’s day as well with one way flights to Europe from the US’s Northeast for as little as $89. You have until Monday, Mach 19th to book airfare to destinations like Cork, Belfast and Dublin in Ireland for travel between April and May and between August and October. Return flights can be found for as little at $154! Get. on. it.

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Have you been to Dublin? Have any tips? Let me know below!

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