Planning our trip to Dublin was done a bit of a whim. Two friends of mine from Canada were visiting family/boyfriend in August and, since I wasn’t working, the Brit and I decided to hop over for a long weekend.
We thought about it for a good 30 minutes before booking our flights and Airbnb. It was a very spontaneous trip, but it was one of my favourite weekend of the summer 2016.
Dublin in the summer seems like a paradise and yet hell. It was beautiful, warm and sunny. But, the middle of the summer meant high tourist season. The city was rammed, meaning the queues for some attractions and sites were longer than I ever imagined they would be. This restricted the amount of things we decided to do, but we have no regrets. It was a fantastic weekend!
I’ll be posting more over the next few weeks regarding what we did, but today I thought I would start with a quick guide to planning a trip to Dublin.
Obviously, we were going there from Scotland and the best options for us were from/to Glasgow. My advice is to check all the airlines, especially the Irish ones like Ryanair and Aer Lingus. The cheaper option for us was with Aer Lingus on the way there and Ryanair on the way back. It was cheaper than buying a return flight with either airline. If you go without checked baggage, then you will avoid any extra cost and the price tag will stay cheap.
Dublin is crazy expensive. We couldn’t believe how even a bed in a hostel dorm room was well over €100pp a night! That meant that for the first time in a while we looked into renting a room within an occupied flat on Airbnb. Not my cup of tea as a socially-awkward person, but it was going to do for a long weekend.
When we were looking at areas of Dublin, where to stay/where to avoid, we quickly realised that the more west or south you go, the quieter (also cheaper) it is. Very quickly we found a host that seemed very chill in a location that was within walking distance of the city centre. The price was also well below €100 per night in total. Perfect!
I would advise (depending on your interest) to stay outside of the city centre (but within walking distance as you won’t pay for transportation) just like we did. Dublin is a very active city from what we saw, but since the Brit and I are well past our years of staying up until 3am and partying like teenagers, we found a flat on the limit of the city centre, in a residential bit near the Old Jameson Distillery. It was the perfect match for us.
What to see
For this, I turned to Pinterest and my trusted travel/blogger groups and was bombarded with amazing suggestions. From visiting the famed Trinity College, tasting beer at the Guinness Storehouse, strolling in one or more of the city’s amazing parks and taking a day trip to Howth.
In truth, I like to over-plan everything. For this particular weekend however, we wanted it to be chill. This wasn’t going to be a whirlwind trip to Dublin – we live an hour’s plane away (and recently we’ve even flirted with the idea of moving there…) so we will definitely go back!
We picked a few things we wanted to do – alone and with our friends – and took it as it went for the rest of the weekend.
On day 1, we started with a tasting brunch menu in one of Dublin’s cutest and fanciest restaurant. (Post to come on this soon!) We then headed to Trinity College – to realise that people are crazy to wait for what seems like an hour to see the Long Room Library. Instead, we walked around and enjoyed ourselves, passing by the Science Gallery. We then went to the National Museum of Ireland, before walking home.
On day 2, we headed on a day trip to the small seaside town of Howth. At night, we had a true Dubliner experience and headed to a pub frequented by locals instead of on the main tourist road.
Finally, on day 3, we walked around the city, enjoying the sun and the sights. We passed by Dublin Castle, the Christ Church Cathedral, an exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library, The National Library and the National Gallery and the oldest bookshop in Ireland!
Here are the links that were the most useful in our planning:
Self-walking tour of Dublin
20 free things to do in Dublin
10 free things to do in Dublin
Overall, it was an excellent weekend! We still have loads to visit in Dublin and in Ireland in general, but like I said, we’ll definitely be back!
Have you visited Dublin? What was your favourite thing to do/visit?xx