No not crack… craic! It’s a word the Irish use a lot that basically means “fun.” I recently traveled to Dublin and had so much fun, and if you plan to visit, I hope that you do as well. To ensure that you have the most craic, check out my Dublin travel guide!
Things to do:
Cliffs of Moher Day Trip: I’d definitely suggest checking out the Cliffs of Moher if you have time. Many say that they are one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland, and from what I’ve seen (not that it’s been much), I’d agree. I took this day trip with Paddywagon Tours, which I enjoyed. While a part of me felt like I spent all day on a bus, it was definitely worth it to see the Cliffs.
Guinness Storehouse: I loved the Guinness Storehouse! It’s just such a cool building in and of itself, but the tour was also very fun. I enjoyed learning the proper way to drink a Guinness as well as how to pour a beer from a tap.
Jameson Distillery: I myself didn’t tour the distillery, but I’ve heard great things!
Glendalough County Wicklow: My waiter at Red Torch Ginger (see below) told me about this beautiful place, and while I didn’t have time to go this time, I hope that I can go if I ever make it back to Ireland. He told me you can get there via the St. Keving Bus.
Trinity College: This university is beautiful! While it’s very cool to see the Book of Kells and the Old Library, the university alone is so beautiful. I ended up walking around the college on my own, but I would recommend taking one of the student led tours (you’ll find them at the entrance near Grafton Street) for only a few more euros.
Saint Stephen’s Green: This park is beautiful (even in the rain) and located close to Trinity College and Grafton Street.
Grafton Street: This main shopping street is filled with many shops and restaurants. During the holidays, you’ll see many holiday lights decorating this street and the surrounding area.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral: Some of my friends went to a church service at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. I couldn’t attend a service, so I paid the six euros or however much it was to get in. Initially, I felt like that seemed like a lot, but it was very much worth it as there was a lot of interesting history behind the cathedral that you can learn about inside. Of course it’s beautiful in the cathedral as well.
Dublin Castle: Note that most of this “castle” is no longer standing, but I enjoyed my visit. For only one euro more you can take a guided tour and see more parts of the castle, which I would recommend. I found it much more interesting with the guide. Also, note, if you’re a Tudor’s fan, they’ve filmed scenes in the castle’s chapel royal!
Leprechaun Museum: Some of my friends went to this museum dedicated to this type of fairy from Irish folklore and had a good time. I would definitely check this museum out if I get to go back to Dublin one day.
Food and Drinks:
Queen of Tarts: This bakery was one of the cutest I’ve ever seen, and the food was delicious. I had what my friend Austin and I like to call an “extended breakfast” (round two of breakfast after the free one in the hostel). I enjoyed the blackberry and apple crumble, but everything there looked good.
Auld Dubliner: I LOVED going to this classic Irish pub for dinner. Some new friends I made in Dublin showed it to me the first night, and I loved it so much that I went back again. I would recommend their Beef and Guinness Stew (comes with soda bread!) and their Murphy Stout Pie. It’s in a great location right by the Temple Bar and has live music every night.
Old Storehouse: This restaurant was slightly more expensive than the Auld Dubliner, but the food was great and the music was even better – as they had live Irish music that was also right by the restaurant portion of the bar instead of downstairs like the Auld Dubliner. I ordered their bangers and mash (a classic Irish dish) and a side of soda bread (do it – it’s amazing). The Old Storehouse is also fairly close to the Temple Bar.
Peruke and Periwigs: Located near Grafton Street and St. Stephens Green, this adorable restaurant looks like something you’d find in Harry Potter or something. It’s so cute inside! The food is good as well – I loved their “Eggs Bennie” that I had at their brunch.
Red Torch Ginger: When I discovered that there was a good Thai place in Dublin, I had to go. I’ve missed Thai food so much, and this place was great. It was very nice inside (although not terribly expensive), I loved the food (and my craft cider), and the wait staff was excellent!
Brick Alley Café: This cute café is right next to the Temple Bar. If you like hot chocolate, you should go there, as they have so many flavors! I loved the hazelnut hot chocolate, but it was so hard to make a decision.
Gogarty: This bar is located right across from the Auld Dubliner and had some great Irish music every time I went!
O’Neills: I only went to this bar once, located closer to Grafton Street and Trinity College, but the one time I went, I didn’t just see live Irish music, but I saw Irish dancing too! Although it was very crowded, I loved it – this was the only place where I saw live Irish dancing. The food at this bar is also supposed to be pretty good.
The Brazen Head: Some of my friends said they enjoyed this bar, apparently the first in Dublin!
Whelan’s: This bar was in the movie P.S. I Love You and is apparently home to some of the best Irish music performances in town. Sadly I was only able to peek into the windows during the day when they were closed, but next time I go to Dublin (fingers crossed), I hope to visit this pub!
Generator Hostel: This hostel has definitely been the coolest I’ve seen so far. The hostel had a great atmosphere, with cool decorations like chandeliers made of Jameson bottles, live music, pool tables, rugby games showing on big screens and a bar. Not to mention, I went to this hostel after meeting someone staying there who invited me to his hostel’s free Irish whiskey tasting – how fun is that?
Abigail’s Hostel: I stayed in Abigail’s during my visit to Dublin. It wasn’t at the level of the Generator Hostel, but I’d say it’s similar to most average hostels. It was fairly clean and had breakfast included. You could also pay seven euros to take an airport shuttle from the hostel, which was convenient (and also the same price as the bus I would have taken from the middle of town anyways). Not to mention, the location of Abigail’s couldn’t be better, as it’s located seconds from the Temple Bar area.
Do you have any recommendations for things to do in Dublin? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!