Hi Guys – and welcome back to another Sunday chat. Grab a brew and some biccies as this post is a bit of a read. It’s a little different to my previous ones but I thought I’d give you a small insight into another passion of mine aside from clothes, clothes and more clothes.
So although the clothing and fashion world is my main love in life, my heart also holds a special little place for travel and all things adventure. I can’t tell you how many hours I spend searching and lusting over new travel destinations, putting them onto my never ending (very expensive) ‘Travel Wish List’ and planning where I can fit another holiday or weekend break into my year.
I have a few trips booked this year, some to places I’ve visited before but also to some new countries that have been on my dream list for a long time and the first of my travels was a trip back to Dublin a couple of weeks ago. This is the second time I’ve visited so I felt a little more comfortable playing the tour guide. I also did so much research whilst booking so managed to find some hidden gems of places for us to visit whilst there.
Dublin is full of culture and history, there are countless places to see, eat and of course – sample a Guinness or 3. There are still things that I haven’t seen and I will definitely be going back for a 3rd time that’s for sure. So for this last instalment of my Dublin Diaries, I thought I would share with you some travel tips on one of my favourite cities yet.
Where to Stay
Temple Bar is by far the place to be when it comes to deciding on your base. It is sometimes known as Dublins cultural quarter and is the most popular area with tourists. There are a multitude of hotels, hostels and apartments to choose from covering all budgets and preferences so you can’t go wrong. The cobbled streets are lined with Irish pubs and some great restaurants, but my favourite part of all is that it’s central and pretty much within easy walking distance to anywhere you would want to go. Most recently we stayed in the Temple Bar hotel on Fleet Street which was beautiful, with just enough luxury and gave us the perfect hideaway from the craziness going on in the streets below.
How to get around
Like I mentioned before, Temple Bar is within easy walking distance to pretty much everywhere in the city centre and walking is something you will definitely do a lot of (hence my go-to footwear of the trip – my Converse) however the best way to see all the sights and learn whilst you go is on one of the cities Hop on Hop off buses. You can pick up a 3 day pass for less than 20 euros and then away you go, hopping on and off whenever and wherever you please. Most will also have a talking guide for the entire journey for those of you who like to learn a bit of history like me!
Where to drink
There are countless Irish pubs around the city which open around midday and don’t close until the early hours. This is the same every day of the week and some of the most popular places in Temple Bar will entertain you with live bands or Irish dancers while you drink. This is one of my favourite past times visiting the city as by 10/11pm everyone is up singing and trying out their own 2 step version of an Irish jig – there’s absolutely no room to be shy when you’re here.
As well as the bars and pubs, you can also pay a visit to one of the many Brewery’s or Whiskey Distillery’s the city has to offer – the Guinness Storehouse being a must where you get a free pint to enjoy in their panoramic sky bar on the 7th floor.
I mentioned earlier that I found some hidden gems through my endless Pinterest searches before we travelled, one of which was the Vintage Cocktail Bar – a 1920’s style speak easy in the centre of Temple Bar. All I will say is this is nothing like anywhere else in the area and I’m so glad we found it! They work on bookings mainly, so make sure you contact them with plenty of time to get a table.
Food, food, food
Okay, so now onto my favourite part – the eating.
Dublin is full of the usual chain restaurants you would find in any city but my advice would be to steer away from those and find the smaller independent places as this is where you will find the best surprises. We enjoyed some amazing food including brunch at the rooftop restaurant Sophie’s. Sophie’s is at the top of The Dean hotel in Harcourt Street around a 20-minute walk from Temple Bar. Their Irish breakfast and coffee was the best we had, and the views of the city are incredible too. Not to mention the wooden swings at the entrance to the restaurant – oh so instagrammable!
Salamanca is a must if you love Tapas. It’s just off St. Andrew’s Street and although quite un-assuming from the outside, you step inside to a whole other world filled with beautiful décor, sangria and Spanish cuisine.
My 3rd and final recommendation is a little café just over the River Liffey called Bakehouse. This cute little place serves homemade, hearty food in the form of Irish broth with fresh baked soda bread, and perfectly piped cupcakes and deserts. Something a little different and well worth a try!
Dublin has so much to offer, whether you take a walk up Grafton Street to take in the greenery at St. Stephens Green, visit the museums and famous Trinity College, learn the history of the Irish revolution at Kilmainham Jaol or just decide to drink the days away in the pub you are guaranteed to fall in love with the city just as I have.
I could go on forever about the beautiful places to visit but in an effort to not make this the longest blog post ever known, this is me signing off.
Let me know if you’ve ever visited Dublin and have any recommendations for my next time there!