Our plane took off from the Edinburgh airport, I listened to half of a podcast and we were already preparing for landing in Dublin. Crazy fast.
Ireland is an extremely quick and affordable trip from Scotland. Flights are easy, but if you have more time, a combination of ferry and land travel through England and Scotland would provide so many opportunities for some good ‘ol sightseeing at various budgets.
Visiting Dublin was a dream come true for my sweet mother-in-law. Being here for her was almost as good as Christmas morning and we are so glad that we got to share the city with them.
See + Do
Dublin has emerged as a prime budget trip destination. It is a hub for cheap flights, inexpensive food, fun pubs and lively locals. Dublin is also full of literary + cultural history.
Temple Bar District
Temple Bar is a lively area on the bank of the River Liffey. If you want to party, this is your place, full of pubs and clubs. Not really our scene, but there were also loads of talented street musicians and great for people watching. More than a party district, many of Dublin’s cultural institutions (film, art and theatres) have set up shop here.
Live Irish Music
Spending part of an afternoon in St. Stephen’s Green is a good way to relax and watch the city go by. This stretch of greenery in the centre of town is a welcome retreat . We all grabbed coffee from a coffee shop round the corner called The Beanhive (great gluten-free muffin selection by the way) and scored some benches. Again, great people watching, happy duck ponds, and lots of flowers and greenery everywhere you look. Best of all… it is free!
Trinity College + Book of Kells
Ireland’s oldest university makes for a beautiful stroll. The historic buildings, gardens and monuments are worth a visit. It is most famous for its library housing the Book of Kells.
The Book of Kells was written in 800 AD by a group of monks and was buried in the ground for safe keeping against the Vikings. In the 1600’s it was rediscovered and sent to Trinity College where it has been ever since.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Built between 1220 and 1260, St Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the few buildings left from the medieval city of Dublin. Today, St Patrick’s is the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland and still the largest cathedral in Ireland.
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral is Dublin’s oldest building, a leading visitor attraction and a place of pilgrimage for almost 1,000 years. Renowned for its beauty, architecture and exquisite floor tiles, it is home to the famous 12th Century crypt, one of the oldest and largest in Britain and Ireland.
The Ha’Penny Bridge is a pedestrian bridge connecting the two sides of the River Liffey. When it was originally built, it cost half a pence to cross, hence the name Ha’penny Bridge. Before this bridge was built, people used to cross the river using ferries. Today there are many bridges crossing to each side, but this was the original and most significant one to see.
Eat + Drink
The scene is changing in Dublin. Irish food is simple and hearty and lots of bloggers say it is an up and coming foodie scene and becoming quite the gastro haven on Instagram. A lot of menus I saw hosted a variety of seasonal cuisine; lamb in spring, to fish in summer, stews and soups in the winter and, of course, potatoes any time of the year. We enjoyed the huge breakfast spread at our hotel and were able to enjoy some local food throughout the day. Pubs seemed to have good, hearty local Irish food that was easy on the budget. We had lots of fresh seafood, vegetable stews and Dad liked the soda bread.
- Buzz Feed List of Top 17 Foods to Try in Dublin
- Top 10 Foods to Try in Ireland for the Traditionalists
- Gluten Free Dublin for my GF friends out there
- Dublin Foodies from the casual to the special
The Rolling Donut
Wowzer. Handmade. Baked fresh every day. The Rolling Donut specialise in unique, filled gourmet donuts created using a sourdough starter.
Check out some of these flavour bombs: Peanut Berry Delight, a rich peanut butter filling topped with a sweet mixed berry compote and finished with a sprinkle of toasted peanuts Baileys Bliss, a Baileys-infused cream filling paired with a rich vanilla glaze Molly Malone, a sumptuous apple and cinnamon combination topped with vanilla glaze and biscuit crumble!
No gluten free options, so a bit of gluten envy going on… but the coffee was delicious and I was genuinely happy that Ryan got to eat so many donuts. They are his favourite food group.
Some would say that one of the best things to do in Dublin is to have a pint of Guinness. I am allergic and it is a bit too heavy for Ryan’s liking, but if you are into it, seems like having an authentic ale from the storehouse would be a highlight. People say that it really does taste better in Ireland!
The Guinness factory is a major part of Dublin and its history. Guinness provided housing and jobs for much of the residents of Dublin. You can tour the storehouse and have a sample on the rooftop patio.
Day Trip: Malahide Village
Before the trip ended, we decided to take a break from the busy sightseeing in the city and opted for a quiet day trip with some medieval history in the beautiful seaside village of Malahide. Only 35 minutes by train, this quaint and charming village feels much further from the hustle and bustle of Dublin.
We started with a nice wander down main street, grabbed a coffee and strolled along the seaside path as we worked our way to Malahide Castle. Surrounded by lush parks and tall trees, the walk up to the castle makes for a lovely stroll. Weeping willows, bright flowers – and even the odd peacock! – can be found within this secret garden’s walls.
Sharing grounds with the castle is a fab cafe called The Garden House. It was the perfect spot to grab a to-go bag and picnic on the castle grounds. I was really impressed with their healthy selection of sandwiches, salads and wraps – all locally sourced and loads of home baking.
Not bad for a quick trip to Dublin. I feel like we covered a lot of ground and really took advantage of all the city had to offer. What are some of your favourite cities to visit with a long weekend?