UK Lifestyle Blog

6 January 2016

A 48 hour guide to Dublin

At the beginning of December me and my fiancé escaped for a few days to Dublin, minus the travelling days we had 2 full days to explore as much as we could cram in.

Where we stayed

We stayed at the St Stephen's Green Travel lodge, which as the name suggests is right near to St Stephens Green, a lush green park with a beautiful pond and lots of intricate sculptures dotted about. It's such a refreshing feeling to be able to escape the bustling city and hide away amongst the trees.
  We were able to check in at midday so popped into the nearby Starbuck's for a hot drink (I obviously went for the Caramel Hot Chocolate!) before setting up base in our room. We opted for a standard double room which was lovely. It had all the basic amenities that you could want, a nice comfy bed, en-suite bathroom, self-service tea station and a TV. What was also fantastic was the fact you had your own heater that you could turn on and off at your own discretion, but the lovely hotel staff had put it on ready for our check in! The hotel has a very central location being on the street opposite to Grafton street and above Temple bar, which meant we had the lay of the clubs and restaurants right at our fingertips. It was definitely the perfect base for our short stay.

What To Do

Dublin is jam-packed with things to do and see, it was hard to decide exactly what we wanted to do, however, we managed to narrow it down to a few of our favourite things that we think you will love too!

Dublin Castle - No city break is ever complete without a visit to a castle, and Dublin Castle was a delight to see! We lucked in on the fact that on the day we visited they had free admission to look around the rooms of the Castle. They were majestic! Adorned with gold accessories, huge shimmering chandeliers in every room and plush furniture. I would definitely recommended having a tour round to get a proper feel of the history of the place.

St Patrick's Cathedral - St Patrick's Cathedral is Ireland's largest church and it is an impressive sight to behold as you approach from the lush green surroundings. I would definitely recommend a guided tour as you get so much more information from them, we saw the giant Boyle Monument which was erected by Richard Boyle and features his son Robert, who went on to contribute to Boyle's Law which without the help of the guide we would not have known. There are so many more fascinating statues and artefact's to discover that you definitely have to pay a visit to St Patrick's Cathedral.

The Guinness Factory - Another aspect of Dublin you must partake in is the Guinness Drinking! You cannot miss the huge iconic Guinness logo that greets you as you approach from St James' Gate. Guinness - or more correctly the Guinness Family had such a major influence in Dublin that it would be wrong not to give it a try! The Guinness tour itself is very interactive and informative, with plenty of samples along the way and the final stop at the rooftop bar gives you incredible views over Dublin.

Kilmainham Gaol - Kilmainham is a former Prison that closed in 1924. Prisons of it's time mainly house multiple people in one cell of all genders and ages, Kilmainham focused on segregation and solitude. It is such an eye opening place to visit and gives a fantastic insight into how it would have felt to be imprisoned here. The tour is captivating, offering you real stories and a sense of the history. I would highly suggest a trip here as it's such a fascinating tour and is a real part of Dublin's past.

Trinity College & The Book Of Kells - Trinity college and the book of Kells are another must see part of Dublin. The Book of Kells really is a masterpiece of intricate detail that you can only imagine if you see if for yourself. As well as being home to the Book of Kells, Trinity College Library itself is a magnificent feast for the eyes, a long room filled wall to wall with books, some very rare. It is also lined with busts of famous names through history. It's peaceful and lovely to wander through and let your eyes drink in all of it's beauty.

Eat & Drink

Caffe Amore- We luckily stumbled across this quaint Italian Restaurant in a hangry hunt for brunch. We were enticed by the promise of full Irish Breakfast, Nutella and Banana Pizza and Coffee. We were not disappointed. The staff were fantastic, and the service was quick. I tucked into my Nutella and Banana Pizza which was divine and soon dissipated my hanger! The Mr silently munched his way through his full Irish breakfast, which I assumed meant he was enjoying it! Definitely make a pit stop here for some delicious brunch.

Caffe Noto- Another little gem we came across on the hunt for Breakfast, again we popped in for a coffee and pastry. I loved the inside with the dark wood furniture and twinkling fairy lights, it made a lovely cosy atmosphere and gave us a welcome break from the rain outside! The service was brilliant and we sat here for a while and relaxed.

La Caverna- We came here on a whim to celebrate our 7 year anniversary. We knew it was a risk as we'd heard it was popular, and it was extremely busy when we got there. However, the wonderful staff managed to squeeze us in! The food is Italian and it was incredible, you could see why it is such a popular choice. The tables were beautifully laid with romantic tea lights and the brick walls and mood lighting made it the perfect place for an intimate dinner date.

Temple Bar- The temple bar area is perfect for bar hopping, they have some amazing quaint pubs playing live music. We popped in and out enjoying a tipple here and there and soaking up the lively atmosphere.

I hope that our mini guide to Dublin has given you some ideas for your own trip! There's so much more that Dublin has to offer but we narrowed it down to our favourites, let me know what gems you find on your trip!

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