Welcome back to my little corner of the internet.
Recently, we have visited Ireland for four days. It was our first time in Ireland and we were traveling on a budget.
It was quite challenging to pick a few highlights for a country we would have loved to visit with more time.
Here are the highlights we picked for our four days in Ireland. We were based in Dublin for logistic reasons.
1. Trinity College and Book of Kells
In the heart of the Dublin, Trinity College is a great spot to start discovering the city. The oldest university in Ireland, with its own park and squares, it retains world-famed treasures like the Book of Kells. It is advisable to get a ticket before your visit to skip the crowd and avoid any risks of not being let in.
The Book of Kells, even though probably the most famous piece in the collection, is just as remarkable as the Books of Durrow and Armagh. A must destination for all the book worms like myself. In the Long Room you can admire more than 200,000 the library’s oldest books and dream of having a similar collection at home.
Just take some time to stroll through the parks and hallways of the university and imagine great literary figures like Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde or Bram Stoker walked those exact hallways to reach their lectures.
Enjoy the atmosphere and let yourself be brought back in time.
Opposite the Trinity College you can admire the buildings of the Bank of Ireland, College Green and the old Irish Parliament.
2. Statue of Molly Malone
For anyone who is an Ireland fan and who knows the song, the statue of Molly Malone is a must-see.
After, you can walk down the road to Grogan’s and order a pint of Guinness and one of their famous Toasties.
And, why not? walk a little further and enjoy the delicious sea salt ice-cream at Murphy’s Ice-Cream.
You’ll get a chance to taste the ice-cream with incredibly friendly staff and a more incredible ice-cream. I particularly enjoyed the Dingle Salt, Irish Coffee, chocolate and salted Caramel flavours.
2. Stephen Green’s Park
Now that you have your sea salt ice-cream you can walk to Stephen Green’s Park and enjoy a stroll in the park or sit on a bench and pay your respect to the king of sea gulls (the bird did was on its rock every time we went to the park during the time we were there).
3. Temple Bar
One stop you cannot miss is Temple Bar and its cute little streets and pubs. It is fascinating to see how this area changes according to the time of the day. Quiet and rather empty in the mornings, crowded and lively at night.
4. Glasnevin Cemetery and Botanic Garden
If you enjoy Botanic Gardens, the one in Dublin is definitely worth a visit. It is immense and has both tropical and local plants.
Right next to the Botanic Garden, you’ll find Glasnevin Cemetery, a historic cemetery, where important figure of the Irish independence are buried.
5. Guinness Storehouse
If you are a beer lover or if you cannot miss the most iconic Irish company: The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Once again, it is best to buy your tickets in advance, in order to avoid the crowds.
Here you will learn the process and secrets to make the world famous Guinness. You will also learn about the history of the factory and its marketing with iconic images like this fish:
6. Whiskey Museum
On a different day, you can visit this small but incredibly charming museum. Close to the Trinity College you can find the Whiskey Museum, where you’ll learn about the art of making Irish whiskey and you will be able to have a tasting of the finest whiskeys. Mark will teach you how whiskey will cure all your diseases and relieve your suffering.
The iconic monastery outside Dublin can be reached with a car, if you wish to experience driving on the narrow roads of Ireland (personally, I highly recommend it) or with a day-trip from Dublin.
We visited it at the peak of Irish weather, with wind and rain. It somehow made it appear more majestic and impressive.
The hiking trails led us to this cute little waterfall. Unfortunately, due to the rain we decided to head to lunch, before our clothes and shoes got completely soaked.
We had lunch at Wicklow Heather, a traditional lovely restaurant on the road, right before Glendalough. A man on the plane had recommended it and we were very satisfied with it.
8. Cliffs of Moher
The most iconic cliffs of Ireland and an absolute must for a trip to Ireland are the Cliffs of Moher. Beautiful cliffs right above the ocean.
You can enjoy a drive to the cliffs with the car you rented a day earlier, or you can, once again, enjoy a day-trip by bus.
I was getting a hang on driving on the left side of the road and happily decided to put my skills to the test.
Once at the Cliffs of Moher, you can hike a little further to the Cliffs of Dooneen, the ones from a famous Irish song.
9. Irish delights: A culinary adventure
When in Ireland, there are a lot of local dishes you cannot miss out. Most and fore all because genuine Irish foods in Irish have a different flavour.
Let’s start with an Irish stew at Brannigan’s.
Followed by some Bangers and mash.
Or a Guinness stew, perhaps? This one is from Bleecker Street Café, right in front of our Airbnb. Here you can enjoy a warm Irish welcome and a simple, yet delicious meal.
For breakfast, you should not miss a full Irish breakfast to get you going for the day. One of the best places to do so is at O’Neill’s Pub.
What would Ireland be without an Irish Coffee at Kennedy’s Bar & Pub?
And more sweets are to be found at The Rolling Donut. Here you can have a wonderful selection of fresh donuts.
And one of my husband’s favourites are fish and chips at Beshoff. We bumped into this establishment by chance and were not disappointed.
What’s your favourite spot in Dublin? Let me know in the comments below…