At the time of typing I am stuck in Dublin airport as Ryanair have delayed my return flight to London (surprise surprise!).
But this is far from the reflection on my experience staying in the city.
My break in Dublin was one for many firsts: first time taking a coach to National Express (The legroom I had was enjoyment to the fullest! WiFi was just as enjoyable), and my first staying in an Airbnb. I’ll be doing separate reviews on them soon.
Dublin is a city that’s steeped in tradition, history and religion. The first building I saw walking out of Dublin airport was a church, not to mention the various cathedrals and churches such as Christ Church Cathedral, St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Michan’s Church.
It’s a city to be known for displaying “stark contrasts” in the words of a National Gallery of Dublin: rich vs poor, kindness vs crime and home vs homeleness. As for the weather it was incredible non-stop; I think mother nature was trying hard to make up for cancelling my Luxembourg trip.
As mentioned before I’d booked into a Airbnb for the first time despite some of my family advising me NOT to. But all the positive reviews and affordable prices are saying otherwise so it would be on me if anything went wrong.
Well those family members of mine couldn’t be any more wrong. My hosts were Shay and Margaret. They were incredibly friendly and helpful in every way you can think is possible. They happily took their time to make me feel at home and give me the low down on the hotspots in Dublin.
The room was exactly true to the images on the ad on the website: en-suite facilities with shower and toilet, very clean and spacious enough to fit in your bedroom essentials so I wasn’t exactly crammed. Throwback to my Uni days!
I stayed in small town in Dublin called Beaumont, located in the Northern part of the city. It’s French for “beautiful hill” and on the hill was a private house, which is now a pub called Beamont House, and it was owned by the family that founded Guinness. To think that my accommodation was only a 5 minute walk from it is low-key mad.
I’m going to discuss more about my Airbnb experience in another post coming soon. Also you can get £20 travel credit if you sign up to Airbnb via this link or the one at the bottom of the page.
Rating out of 10: 9.5/10
The first attraction I ended up seeing as part of my spontaneous sightseeing sesh was the Trinity College, which is known to be one of the most famous academic institutions in Ireland. The main source of interest from the attraction is the Book Of Kells, which is about €14 to see. Although the campus itself is free to explore and some of the sculptures, monuments and gardens and sports fields are amazing to look out on a sunny, warm day like it was on Saturday when I went, picnic fever is certainly the feeling you can catch around here.
National Gallery Of Ireland
Around the corner from Trinity College was the National Gallery Of Ireland. It’s free entry and features galleries, studios and exhibitions of Irish and European creativity when it comes to art, books and other publications across many generations. It was a good insight to find a bit about how Irish artists contributed to the world of art as a whole. It is said the perception of Dublin influenced by the creativity and imagination of the native artists and their work.
Free Walking Tour
Another first! I decided to take part in a walking tour rather than do it self-guided. I joined the Yellow Umbrella walking tour (Thanks to BeckySkel for the heads up via her post on Dublin). There are two main types of walking tours you can do, each with different start times . There’s Southside, if you prefer just is seeing the famous attractions and monuments (e.g. Temple Bar, Ha’Penny Bridge, Trinity College etc.) and touring around the more metropolitan, middle-class area of the city with all the shopping stores, restaurants and bars. The other one is Northside, which is the one I did and is ideal for those who like to delve into the history of the city.
Shoutout to David, the one who did the walking tour. He really brought the history of Dublin to life with his passion and application of knowledge, both a dead combo in terms of bringing something powerful to everyone listening. Through him I learnt the darkness that clouded the city and Ireland as a whole during the 1916 rebellion, World War I and the Irish Civil War.
Garden Of Remembrance
This garden is dedicated to Irish and British soldiers who gave theiir lives during the rebellion. It includes quite a few of mosaic designs. All the water present are there to wash away the sins, the blood and stains of weapons used in the rebellion. In 2011 the Queen, as part of her history-making visit to Ireland, visited the garden and laid down red leaves to commemorate the lives lost in Ireland’s for W.
Recommendation (s) of the day: Visit The Temple Bar. The most famous, busiest bar in Dublin; The Spire Of Dublin, a uniquely tall and pointy steel structure that stands mighty in the middle of O’Connell street; Ha’Penny Bridge, a 200 + year old arch bridge residing over the River Liffey
Rating out of 10: 9/10
Boojum was the food outlet I tried out in Dublin. It’s a very popular Mexican burrito restaurant, with at least three located around the city so it’s convenient for most people living wherever.
There’s options for burritos, tacos, fajitas or a special one called the burrito bowl. For the burrito bowl you basically mix ingredients you would have in a burrito, fajita, or taco and put it all into a plastic bowl.
I went for the burrito bowl with mexican rice (In my head it was just Jollof rice – Nigerian one > Ghanaian one btw), shredded chicken, different types of beans and fajita vegetables, with cream and cheese at the top (odd toppings I know haha).
Not gonna lie I was splashing all the ingredients I liked in any order cos I wanted to just eat lol. It was enjoyable and creative. The price was €6-8 depending on choice of ingredients.
Eatyard was another recommendation given to me for food (again shoutout to BeckySkel) and had the plan of popping over there Saturday evening for my dinner and I didn’t disappoint. Eatyard is a food festival/market with a good range of food from burgers, fries to donuts and cupcakes. I wasn’t feeling a big meal after chowing on my food from Boojum so I settled for just regular fries for €3.50. The portions were big and chunky for a “regular” amount of fries. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
There was also a bar right next to it with a Live Music area. Like it as it gives the whole area a bit of a lively atmosphere. Since it’s the World Cup and the Germany-Sweden game was showing I thought I’d take the pleasure in mingling with other Football fans and striking conversation with the people around me.
Disclaimer: Honestly it was always gonna be a bit socially awkward (and was), but I’m socially awkward and I’m kind of used to throwing myself into situations like that for the sake of meeting new people. Having the assurance of friends with me is something I love having but isn’t always a necessity for me.
Rating out of 10: 8/10
I had always known of the friendliness and community-like characters the people of Ireland were.
I feel like somehow this passed on to non-Irish natives as people i met from all parts of the globe who were either studying or visiting were the same. I was smiled at on buses and trams. I had been greeted by people on the street. I had people stop me from getting run over when crossing the road. I bonded with people over our delayed flights. When near monuments people offered to take photos of me, even without me asking. To sum it up Shay drove me to the airport (Stranger danger I know) cos frankly him – and the others- were very lovely, down to earth people. Didn’t come across a single rude person.
Even when Ryanair announced when people can board for their delayed flight all I heard was a group of Irish women cheering 😀
I can’t say anymore. They lived up to the positive stereotype.
Rating out of 10: 10 OUT OF F****** 10.
Day 2 of my trip is due out tomorrow. I thought I’d try something different with my trip review format so instead of squeezing all the info onto one post why not split up into multiple posts.
Johnny | The Travel Connoisseur