Dublin is famous for many things, not only music and beer but as the place of origin of many literary giants, including Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and James Joyce, to name a few.
Some call the city a miniature version of London architecturally, but experientially it is so much more than that. A good pub crawl is a must of course, not only for the beverages but for the live music which is as varied as it is ubiquitous. Try and join in – the locals will love you for it, as they enjoy a good laugh and a good yarn too. What they say about the Irish gift of the gab is totally true, so be prepared to share stories and to listen to improbable tales over a pint or two…
What To Eat and Drink
Guinness on tap with blackcurrant syrup is a must to try – I can confirm what they say, beer tastes totally different in its place of origin, straight from the keg. However, my favourite indulgence in Ireland was the old apple cider, on tap as well of course. Food wise, I stayed far away from black Irish stews and hunters pies but thoroughly enjoyed my chips with melted cheese on top. Also, do try a scone – but be forewarned that they can be more like rock cakes over there: rock hard! Plus, once you try proper Irish bread you might find it mighty hard to go back to the fluffy stuff…
In terms of sightseeing the Dublin Castle tour is a must, as well as stopping by the National Gallery of Ireland, and it is also worthwhile visiting Trinity College, with its beautifully preserved Old Library which houses the Book of Kells. Make sure you go to a traditional Irish dancing evening as well, it’s definitely a sight to see and quite a feat to perform. Usually there is Celtic singing accompanying it in some form, also worth checking out.
Culture and History
Avid music fans will enjoy trying to locate U2’s Bono’s house along the city’s waterfront cliffs. Those with a literary bent would probably rather visit Oscar Wilde’s house in Merrion Square, which gives you a good idea what life would have been like in mid-19th century Ireland, but one of the highlights for me was visiting the James Joyce Tower and Museum on the sea front, which houses various memorabilia related to Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses.
Guest blog post from Patricia Bieszk+ who is an avid traveller and foodie and really enjoyed her time in Dublin and told Europe & Beyond:
All in all, Dublin was one of the friendliest cities I’ve come across, full of chatty people and fascinating history. And you really can’t beat all the live music!
Regardless if you’re thinking of a grand tour of Europe or just a short holiday, I’d recommend booking your airfares to Dublin as a starting point, preferably during the northern hemisphere summer though.