Here are a few favorite places of mine in the source of my cultural origin (I like to think anyways, the DNA test hasn’t come through, but I’m really pulling for some Irish blood):
- Foleys: tucked into the Georgian Quarter, this place is covered in bright pink bedsheets, antique clock tables, and chaise lounge chairs. Drinks are artfully crafted and occasionally the hen parties come around but not nearly as often as in Temple Bar (win win).
- GPO (General Post Office): walking past this building, you see and feel the history. Often times, an Irish passerby will offer to show you were the bullet holes are exactly from the 1916 Easter Rising. Goosebumps getting to interact with such a somber moment in history.
- The Quays Bar: while it is in Temple Bar, it’s one of the most accessible bars (read: still touristy, brace yourself) with live music, good company, and camaraderie. Head upstairs for traditional Irish music; you’ll never want to leave.
- James Joyce Centre: the man behind the city is featured here in a wonderful exhibit, run by friendly people and always filled with local authors and readers alike. Definitely come by for Bloomsday (June 16th) and get a side of Dublin that is inescapable once you know about it.
- Chester Beatty Library: cannot stress this enough — it is the most beautiful exhibit, right around the corner of Dublin Castle, filled with ancient Muslim relics and Chester Beatty’s donated collection featuring a rooftop garden. Just, go.
- Croke Park: make sure you attend for the Gaelic games of hurling and football because they’re the most confusing, relatively intense sports you’ll watch. It’s exhilarating when you’re surrounded by Irish people fiercely defending their region in the audience and the field.
- National Museum of Ireland — Archaeology: bog bodies. Medieval gold. Vikings. Great stories, in a pretty cool setting, and you might as well walk past Trinity College on your way to Kildare Street. Two birds one stone.
- Love Lane: right in Temple Bar, it’s a small little lane that has quotes about love tiled over the walls. Takes a few minutes but it’s bright and funny with phrases like “Jamaican me crazy” and “Love is free, free is love.”
- Clement & Pekoe: classic coffee shop vibes, highly recommend the Kenyan filter coffee paired with a chocolate muffin when you’re up at 8:30 AM and scrambling your way across Dublin. I’m pretty sure everyone does that.
- Howth: just outside Dublin, you can get to the seaside village by city bus in an hour and get off at Howth Summit to climb down the cliffs. Make your way past the lighthouse, back into the village, and have a fish & chips at O’Connells. This is living your life with no regrets.
Visit Dublin. Do it.