As most of you know, I am currently living in Madrid, Spain. And one of the perks of living in Europe is that there are so many countries right in your backyard. So this past weekend I got to travel to Ireland for the first time! I was impressed and truly enjoyed my time spent in Dublin. If you live in Europe, Dublin is the perfect weekend getaway! Keep reading if you want to know more about what to see, what to eat, how to get around, and personal tips on navigating Dublin.
What’s the best way to get from the airport to the city?
I was pleased to find out that Dublin transportation is great (as it is in the rest of Europe), but even better is that there is a shuttle bus that takes you straight from the airport to the city and vice versa. There were 2 different ones I found and used. From the airport to the city, I used airlink express. You will see the bus right when you walk out of the airport. It’s hard to miss. There was a man who worked for the bus company who was so friendly and helped me figure out which ticket to buy and which bus to get on. I paid 7 euro for a 1 way ticket into the city. The bus made multiple stops all along the city and you can hop off on any of the stops. On the way back to the airport, I took the aircoach (which is basically the same thing, but just a nicer bus and a different company). This one was 10 euro for a 1 way trip and it dropped me off right at the terminal.
What around getting around Dublin?
I found the transport in Dublin to be very easy to figure out and use. Their public transport system consists of tons of buses and some trams. For the buses, you can pay individually each time you ride (with coins only) or buy a LEAP card (the official public transit card) at stores such as Spar or Centra and add money to the card there. Then, with your LEAP card you just scan it every time you enter the bus and it deducts the money. With the trams, you must have a LEAP card from what I understood. The city is quite compact though so you might only need to use the public transit a few times.
Top sights to see?
- Trinity College: Take a stroll around this beautiful college and check out the Old Library & Book of Kells (12 euro for this attraction)
- Kilmainham Gaol: This is an old prison that now is open for tours. Unfortunately I didn’t get to tour it because the tours were all full for the morning when I went. So I recommend booking in advance! The tour costs 4 euro.
- National Museum Archaeology: I didn’t get to see this one either, but it looks really nice and it is free.
- Dublin Castle: This was one of my favorite sights. The castle is beautiful and very interesting. You can walk around the castle grounds for free, but you must pay to go inside. I went an hour before closing and there were almost no people so I got some great pictures without people in them.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Another thing I didn’t get to do, sadly. I saw the outside, but the cathedral was closed to the public on the day I went for a graduation ceremony.
Guinness Storehouse: If you really like beer, this tour is for you. And even if you don’t really like beer it’s still worth seeing. The tour (self-guided) is quite pricey (22 euros), but the museum was 5 floors tall with loads of information and included in your ticket price is a glass of guinness beer (or 3 smaller glasses of 3 different types of guinness beer). Don’t miss out on the skydeck on the top floor of the building (like my dumb self did) because it has stunning views of the city (so I’ve heard).
St. Stephen’s Green: This is a big park that is nice to take a stroll and just relax.
Phoenix Park: This is another big park that also contains the Dublin Zoo.
- Grafton Street: This street is full of shops and street performers and I throughly enjoyed walking down the street and taking it all in.
- George’s Street Arcade: I stumbled upon this place while walking to my bus and decided to take a look around. It’s a little market with some vendors and it’s worth checking out if you’re in the area.
Places to eat?
- Quays Irish Restaurant: This place was awesome! It’s in the Temple Bar district. The staff were awesome. My food was awesome. 10/10 recommend.
- Kimchi Hophouse: This Korean restaurant was quite good as well. I ordered noodles and beef with veggies.
- Murphy’s Ice Cream: I’ll be honest, this place wasn’t the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted or anything, but they did have some unique flavors.
- Butler’s chocolate cafe: My friend recommended this place to me, but sadly I didn’t have time to check it out.
- 3fe (coffee): Another recommendation by my friend that I didn’t have time to check out.
Where to stay?
I actually stayed with a friend this weekend in Dublin so I don’t have any places to recommend. But my go to website is always thesavvybackpacker and if you click here you can read their blog post about places to stay in Dublin.
My thoughts on Dublin
I really enjoyed my time in Dublin. As I said earlier, it’s a very compact city and honestly there aren’t too many sights to see so I think it’s the perfect weekend getaway. I spent 4 days there, but I think you could easily only spend 2 days there (really using up every minute) or 3 days (spreading out the sights a little more). Everyone is very friendly and for me, it was nice to be in an english speaking country again for a few days. I also didn’t realize they drive on the opposite side of the road like England does so that kind of threw me off all weekend. I know that the countryside of Ireland is supposed to be beautiful so I would recommend checking that out if you’re interested in making a longer trip out of Ireland.
Thanks for reading and if you’re interested in other travel posts from me click these links below.
Texan On The Go