Rob and I are not the conventional tourist types. In fact if it screams obvious, we generally avoid at all costs. But when your good friends decide to come through for a visit, you make a plan and you go full cheesy tourist with them. It was a great excuse to go and tick off the things you have to see when in Dublin, but it also made me realise that I can’t wait till they come and visit again – so that we can share the local flavour, the hidden insider tips and tricks, on places to go and see (that isn’t an overpriced, tourist fest!).
For the most part, I actually enjoyed our weekend trips, and in hindsight, although I sound super nonchalant about it – I would recommend going to these places if you are ever in Dublin. But I also do have some tips to share that will help you get the most for bang for your buck!
1. Guinness Storehouse:
This is an obvious Irish must see if you are ever in Dublin. The home of the black stuff, or if you go to the Storehouse you will learn, its actually ruby red.
Some tips to consider:
- Entrance fee is €20.
- Book your ticket online – saves you from having to wait in line to buy at the storehouse.
- Weekday is different to weekends (for example; on the weekend we first went they had a promo where you could use your ticket to sample 3 beers; but during the week this was not available).
- Know the facts about the voucher: you can use your voucher in a few places throughout the museum:
- As a tasting board of 3 beers (only available on weekends)
- Learn to pour your own pint
- At the 360 viewing bar on the top floor
*we used one voucher for the tasting board; and the other for a pint at the bar with a view; which meant we got the best of both worlds. The pouring your pint section is a fun idea, but we both knew how to do that already, and there is no view to drink your beloved pint afterwards.
Having been to the Storehouse twice in two weeks, I would say its worth a trip – but once is enough. I am sure we will have to go again when more friends or family visit, which is cool – as long as it is not soon.
2. Temple Bar Food Market:
This is such a gem of a find, it is a small version of Neighbourgoods Market back home but has a heap of potential. Plus, you can get a cheap (yet super tasty) breakfast at a fraction of the cost of some of the restaurants around. I know Temple Bar district is where you go for a pint or ten; and party the night away. For me, it screams overpriced and a total jock fest – which is so not our vibe at all. But the food market is not so commercialized and I really had a great brekkie roll and the best coffee, so I will definitely be keen to make this a regular place we visit.
Tip: Although most places accept cards, bring cash if you want a breakfast roll!
3. Dublinia & Christ Church Cathedral
Dublinia is such a cool interactive museum, which tells the story of Dublin through the ages. Really fascinating, its a great place for adults or kids, and I really enjoyed it. Make sure you walk up to the tower and take a look at the view too! I found this place when I was walking (trying to get my fitbit steps up) and I especially love the architecture.
You can also pop into the garden and surrounds to view Christ Church Cathedral, which is just over the road from Dublinia.
Entrance fee: Dublinia costs €9.50 for adults; €6 for kids under 12years; and €8.50 for students and pensioners.
4. The Brazen Head
I wasn’t going to mention this, because I think every person and their mother has been to Brazen Head (atleast the one in Johannesburg). But then I realised that I have insider info. You see, the Brazen Head in Dublin, claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland, so naturally the tourists flock to it. But I have been to Sean’s Bar in Athlone, which also claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland. So now, who is telling the truth? Both have a letter from Guinness world of records. the difference is done to the dates.
Brazen Head was established in 1198, whereas Sean’s Bar was built in 900A.D. Interestingly enough, Sean’s Bar has a piece of the original wall framed inside the pub, made with wattling sticks and mud. So you see, as a tourist coming to Ireland, you probably would be forgiven for thinking there was only one pub with this claim, but you are only truly a local if you can say you have been to both.
Either way, Brazen Head, is pretty rad. They have Irish music playing in the evenings, nice areas where you can drink and chat, and the food is not too bad.
Tip: Get there early if you want a table. But know that it is just a tourist trap for tourists, and most certainly, not the best pub we have been to since we have been here. There are plenty of pubs to go around in Dublin, so I suggest you try a few out!
5. Irish Whiskey Museum
The Irish whiskey museum is the perfect place to start, if you are interest in learning about the history of Irish Whiskey making. The great thing about the Irish Whiskey Museum, is that you learn all about Irish Whiskey, but you also get to sample different Irish Whiskey brands, along with different types of Whiskey.
Tip: You could pay €26 for the blending experience (gets you 4 whiskeys and you can blend them into one 30ml bottle you can take home) but the best value for money is the premium tour for €19, (4 whiskeys, no little bottle).
Other Whiskey spots to try out:
- The Jameson Distillery. Currently the one is Dublin is closed for renovations. But if you head to Cork, you could visit the Old Midleton Jameson Distillery.
- Teeling Distillery. An independent Irish Whiskey Company in the heart of Dublin.
I have other little gems of things to do and see in Dublin, and as we go – I am sure this list will grow. So stay tuned for more travel must-sees and things to do in Dublin!
What would recommend is a must-see in Dublin for tourists?
~ Meg ~