Wondering how to discover the “real” Dublin? Only have a day to do so? Well, Wild N Happy has put together a little guide to help you discover the real Dublin that will make you feel as if you’re seeing Dublin through a local guide’s eye. As a Dublin-based travel company, we want to start your journey out right, before you join us on one of our multi-day tours to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
As with most capital cities throughout the world, Dublin is a melting pot of cultures flowing with people from Poland, England, Lithuania, Latvia, Nigeria, and the list goes on. As you meander the centuries old alleyways, you will not only see, but feel the city’s history-filled past of vikings, , famine, and violent rebellions.
As you will discover, the city is divided by the great River Liffey which has always provided essential resources such as water, transportation, and trade connections. In 1757, the lifeline of Dublin no longer ran clear, but instead a nice chocolatey, black color that went by the name Guinness! And the rest is history. Dublin is now home to 1.3 million people, which is almost 30% of the entire country’s population.
So you may be wondering what the best way to discover Dublin may be? Let’s chase the rainbow and find your pot of gold, put your walking shoes on because you are going to need them in this city!
A city-walking tour, for our favorite price, FREE. You can DIY by choosing one of several trails mapped out on the Dublin Discovery Trails map which provides audio guides, GPS enabled maps, and images. This app namely includes trails that take follow historical military routes, landmarks, and events from the Easter RIsing. Or if you would like a more interactive experience, we recommend you take the Sandeman’s walking tour. With several start times throughout the day, you will have plenty of opportunity to jump on one of these wonderful tours.
Some highlights you may see along these tours:
Book of Kells at Trinity College library is an astonishing piece of work and art. It is even perhaps Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and you will see why when you see the book. It is filled with intricately detailed designs that modern-day scientist still don’t know how it was done. A fun fact about Dublin is that it is a UNESCO City of Literature thanks to authors such as James Joyce and Oscar Wilde.
Then there’s Kilmainham Gaol, a brilliantly restored prison for Ireland’s “rebellious” church.
Not to mention the GPO, the General Post Office, is outstanding! And has a really informative museum about the Easter Rising as well.
And finally, if you get the chance, head to Glasnevin Cemetery. You may think it’s strange to visit a cemetery while on holidays, but it actually is really cool and interesting and mind-blowing and unforgettable so before you think twice, head here!
Wondering what’s going to keep you powered while visiting all these site? Well if your coffee addiction is anywhere near ours at Wild N Happy, you will be delighted to know Dublin is filled to the BRIM with good coffee. Hand crafted and hand roasted here on the green isle.
Here are some spots that are just as happenin’ as Kangaroo Jack that will make you want to hippity-hop your way over to them.
Visit the cafe that started it all- freshly roasted beans, tasting courses, and food to cure your wanderlust soul. Any local will tell you that these coffee beans are THE beans of all beans.
Serving up special treats at an especially affordable price. This cafe preaches peaceful vibes and has a prime people-watching location.
With several spots throughout the city, this cafe is super accessible. Talented baristas, homemade scones, welcome to Ireland’s finest!
Echoing on the theme of tasty treats, you may be wondering about the food scene in Dublin? This city has something to satisfy every foodies-delight. Here are just a couple places out of the many to peak your interest.
A new handcrafted menu every day of the week, Fumbally is spearheading the ethical, sustainable food movement in Dublin. Supplied by local craftsmen, this innovative food experience gives you a real feel for what modern Irish food is all about. Creative, tantalizing, inspiring, the list goes on. Experience the delights of Fumbally now please.
Moore Street Market
Anyone who said fruits and veggies from Ireland aren’t good, will be second-guessing themselves at this market. Open Monday through Saturday, make your way to this age-old marketplace for some great deals.
*** With the mention of this market, I have to say Dublin is known for its many amazing markets including Dublin Flea Market, Temple Bar Book Market, Blackrock Market (Dublin’s oldest market!), The Green Door, and many more!
The Bank Bar and Restaurant
Probably the only place you will ever be able to go to the bathroom in a money vault. This award winning bank-turned-restaurant is a must, not only for its outstanding food, but amazing ambiance. Franco-Scottish in design, it is one of the only buildings in Dublin with Scottish sandstone. Try to snag a seat on the second floor balcony, you will have the best views in the house!
For those of you that want to explore the city after dark, I suggest testing out the waters outside of the Temple Bar neighborhood which can be quite touristy and expensive.
My top choice has to do with that beer I mentioned earlier, you know the one that is arguably Ireland’s greatest invention? Well I hands down suggest checking out this seven-story interactive museum (The Guinness Storehouse), BUT I even more suggest you check out a little less known spot Guinness opened up a little bit ago. For over a hundred years there has been an experimental brewery behind St. James’s Gate, but now it is finally open to the public! Think speakeasy meets experimental lab meets beer and you get Open Gate Brewery. Channeling much more intimate vibes, this side to Guinness requires reservations and an admission of six euro which gets you a flight of four ⅓-pint beets of your choice.
This fast and furious guide to Dublin will give you a snapshot into what city-culture is truly like. Now it’s time to break the craziness of the city and come along with Wild N Happy on one our tours to see the beautiful countryside and the off-the-beaten-path adventures this island has waiting for you.
Wild N Happy has tours leaving Dublin every week. Choose between “hop on hop off” travel passes or all-inclusive tours, all customized to fit your needs and interests!
We look forward to see you on the Wild N Happy bus!