Last week, we went on a whirlwind trip to Dublin, Ireland. Neither of us had any expectations while going there and we were both blown away by how quickly we felt at home and grew to love the city.
This city holds a small-town charm to it as it's filled with charming neighborhoods and picturesque parks while there are sprouts of modern buildings scattered throughout due to the large boom of tech businesses finding their homes here.
We were lucky enough to stay with our dear friends, Chris and Rachel (check out her awesome food blog) and their cute little family of dogs and cats. Recent expats from Milwaukee, they showed us around their new home and introduced us to a city that warmed our hearts.
Below we highlighted a few of our favorite places and added some tips that will help you if you ever decide to travel to Dublin (which we would highly recommend you do).
City Center (Temple Bar)
This is the heart of Dublin. Filled with pubs and small businesses, this is a perfect place to get a feel for the city. While filled with tourists, it's definitely a fun spot to check out and spend an afternoon exploring the numerous streets and alleyways that each hold something special in them. Also, being an epicenter for little pubs, it's a great spot to soak up some Irish history and a pint, or six...
Trinity College is a must see in Dublin. Kaitlyn is a huge book nerd, so the Long Room at the Trinity College Library and Book of Kells was literally breathtaking. Is this not a room that dreams are made of? Seriously, when can we move in?
Although we opted out of touring the inside of Dublin Castle, the outside and courtyard were quite interesting. While we were taking photos outside we were approached by a group of French tourists who wanted to feature us in an impromptu play. So a few minutes later we found ourselves acting as a prince and princess in front of the camera at a castle...you know, as you do...
St. Stephen's Green
St. Stephen's Green is a gorgeous park right in the middle of Dublin. It seems as if we were there at the most perfect time in early spring because all of the flowers and trees were blooming. It's about a ten-minute walk around the entire park, but you can easily spend more time there.
We took a day trip to see these mountains and it was one of the best parts of our vacation. The hills are lovely and they're dotted with sheep and flowers which make for such a dreamy view. We'll talk more about this place in an upcoming blog post!
The Rolling Donut
Okay. Guys. Seriously. This place. Is everything.
We're not exaggerating when we say that we went to this donut shop every day we were in Dublin and we're not ashamed to admit that sometimes we went more than once a day. These are some of the best donuts we ever had with unique flavors (and believe us, we tried them all).
In Dublin, there are various modes of transportation for travelers:
The Luas is the lightrail system in the city that takes you all the way to city center and goes all the way out to Bride's Glen. Super easy to use and there's a new train that comes every few minutes.
We used a Go Car to get to the Wicklow Mountains for the day. We rented an electric car (because we can't drive stick) via their app and booked the car for six hours. We had to wait for the car to charge, but other than that, it was pretty easy to use and easy to pick up and return.
-Walk, walk, walk
The best way to get around any city, especially one the size of Dublin is to walk. It's easy to walk through the city and it allows you to stop and explore places you might miss via car. So bring your comfiest walking shoes.
Dublin is a medieval city, so the roads go every which way and a lot of roads still turn into cobblestones. This, coupled with driving on the left hand side of the street, make for a fairly difficult time to drive a car.
Secondly, in Ireland, car share programs are required to have their driver's licensed. So your ubers are taxis, literally taxi's. Just expect them to be metered and the cost to be equivalent to a taxi in the states.
Ireland is known for its rainy weather and while we were pretty lucky on the weather-front, it is unpredictable. We highly recommend layering up every day, especially if you plan to spend it walking around. Most days we were several layers so it was easy to add and remove things when necessary. It may be downpouring one minute and then completely sunny ten minutes later, so you need to be prepared.