Yep, we’re part of the problem. We love jetting far away for an escape but really, this isn’t always feasible (have you seen my bank account at the end of the month?!) or the best thing to do if you are on the edge of burning out and don’t want to catch everyone’s germs on a long haul flight.
So, hooray, we’re upping our local city break content starting with the 10 things we love about springtime in Dublin. Anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!
- The Pubs
There’s nothing like an authentic Irish pub – and even the less authentic ones are still a hoot. The atmosphere is cosy, there will likely be a fire on on a chilly day and a sing-a-long in the corner. The perfect place to hide during those spring showers.
2. Getting Lost
While Temple Bar might feel like your average tourist trap, don’t be fooled. There are chinks of vibrant real city life here… when you get away from the massive Urban Outfitters, that is. Don’t miss Love Lane’s colourful murals and installations.
3. The calm beauty of Trinity College
In the heart of Dublin you’ll find the green oasis around Trinity College. Take a walk with a coffee or pop in for a tour of the College and the stunning Old Library and Book of Kells.
4. Off the beaten track gems
A short trip out of Dublin City, I dare you to not fall in love with the seaside village of Dalkey. Keep your eyes peeled for resident and visiting celebs who are known to pop by the local Finnegan’s to soak up the magic.
5. All the food
You won’t go hungry in Dublin with the city’s plentiful food markets and pubs serving up great grub. We stumbled across a few specific spots while in town like Brother Hubbard (2 locations in the city brotherhubbard.ie), the Avoca cafes (avoca.com) and 777 which might just be the best Mexican restaurant we’ve been to in Europe (777.ie), hidden in plain sight in the centre of town. If you are in town on a Sunday book a table here for tacos and margaritas – all dishes are only 7,77e!
6. Exploring on foot / by bike
You can’t fail to love a city that can be explored by foot. We pounded the pavements, getting lost down cobbled streets and even crossed a live band parading around town in the Spring showers. Of course, if you get tired (for that read, hungover!) , grab a pass for the DoDublin buses who will take you where you need to go.
7. The view from The Gravity Bar at The Guinness Storehouse
Sure, you may dismiss it as just a tourist trap but The Guinness Storehouse is a must do when in town. The experience itself is indepth and educational but the fun really starts as you learn how to pour your own perfect pint of Guinness. Don’t neck your pint in the bar downstairs but head up to the Gravity Bar for 360 views of the city. The Gravity Bar also hosts special events like the dinner pictured here – head to the Guinness Storehouse site for more info.
8. Whiskey A Go-Go
Once you’ve had enough of the black stuff, it’s time to move onto the hard stuff; whiskey. Of course, Dublin is home to the famous Jameson Distillery with their impressive multimedia tour and ‘theme park of whiskey’ bar area but, for us, Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the one.
The first distillery established in Dublin for 125 years, located in the historic Liberties area of town, the tour is insightful and real and the tasting room beautiful and airy. A spot to while away a few hours over an Irish coffee or skilfully made Old Fashioned.
9. Bedding down in the centre of the city at Fitzwilliam Hotel
The Fitzwilliam hotel was an unexpected delight situated on St Stephen’s Green. A little unprepossessing from the outside, the hotel rooms abound with quirky little touches like Irish Seaweed cookies on arrive and a lime green, free standing bath tub. The staff are incredibly welcoming and knowledgeable (big shout out to Maciej, the guy running breakfast service, who looked super perky at any time of the day and the bar manager who expertly guided me through their selection of Irish gins to find the most unusual one that I just HAD to try). The hotel is also home to the acclaimed restaurant Glovers Alley by Andy McFadden, voted Ireland’s Best Chef in 2018.
10. Hanging out with Dubliners
Whether you have friends who live in town or fancy getting chatty with some local Dubliners, take their advice, follow their recommendations and prepare yourself for a seriously fun night out. One evening in the Smithfield area we started at 80s themed bar Thundercut Alley (@thundercutalley), then some rum and cokes at sticky, but delightful, dive bar Dice Bar (@dicebardublin) before dinner and retro gaming at over 18+ arcade alley TOKEN (@tokendublin). We then made tracks for the local secret The Hacienda Bar where a mediterrean restaurant facade hides a packed late night drinking den of pool tables, accessed only by ringing the bell and being greeted by the owner.