Ireland is a great idea for a weekend break, especially when the flights from the UK are only about an hour long. It’s also really affordable with the whole weekend trip costing about £150 each. We went in January, it was cold… very cold, but that didn’t stop us heading out each morning to see the sights. I haven’t been to Dublin in the summer, but I imagine it would be a beautiful place to see.
What to do.
As we only went for a weekend, we had to chose which places we really wanted to see and blitz them all within 2 days. It’s not impossible but you do have to have a bit of a plan and try as best as you can to stick to it.
On our first day we visited Temple Bar. This is the location of the world famous Temple Bar pub which hosts live music and serves the traditional Irish drink, Guinness. The pub is always busy so we never got the chance to go in, but with its iconic red frontage, it’s a great photo spot. Temple Bar is full of little streets full of restaurants, shops and bars, it’s a hive of activity both in the day and into the night. We found, wherever we were, that we always gravitated back to Temple Bar purely because of how central and familiar it felt.
A short walk away from Temple Bar is Dublin Castle. We wandered around the grounds as there was a fee for admission. It’s a nice peaceful place to visit especially for the history lovers amongst us. Further up from the castle is St Patrick’s Cathedral. This to also carries a fee for entrance so we walked around the outside of the building before heading off again. It’s a beautiful structure but is a little further out of town than some of the other attractions.
Another famous sight is the Guinness storehouse. We didn’t visit here on our weekend trip as neither of us are big Guinness fans, although I had been in the past and found it interesting if you wish to find out more about the famous beer. It can get very busy, so factor this in when making a visit. You also get a complementary pint too in the Gravity Bar.
Dublin is definitely a short break destination. There isn’t loads of attractions to see like some other cities but there is enough to keep you going for a couple of days. It would be great to team this with a tour of other parts of Ireland. It’s a beautiful country with lovely people, it would be a shame not to see more of it.
I would recommend wrapping up warm if visiting in January like we did. Apparently it’s also really pretty just before Christmas when all the lights are up, so would make a great destination for some Christmas shopping.
Everything is pretty much within walking distance which makes traveling around easy. There are also some very reasonably priced B&B’s north of the river where we stayed, although make sure to read the reviews before booking as some of the accommodation can prove quite pricey for what you actually get. There are also a lot of hotels on the main bus route to and from the airport, this is called Airlink. Ours hotel was literally outside the bus stop which was great for transfers and it was only €10 per person for a return trip.
The variety of food in Dublin is great. Like most modern cities, it caters for anyone and everyone. I would highly recommend Gallagher’s Boxty House. This place is located in Temple Bar and is famous for its potato pancakes, it also serves some of the best stews i’ve ever tried. Go for the Stew Platter, it’s only €20 but makes for a great lunch for two people to share, the Guinness Beef Stew was by far my favourite!
We did also try some Guinness in the Brazen Head pub, which is said to be one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. It’s a really quirky place with loads of notes and pictures on the walls. It’s cosy in the winter and has a great vibe. It’s by far our favourite pub in Dublin.
Photos taken and owned by Amy.