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What to visit in Dublin? The Irish capital for 2 days where you should go?
Today we are going to Ireland, or actually its capital. It has been a long time since I wanted to visit Dublin, one more city on my list to explore, one more country to travel to, one more place in the world to discover. And I was very fascinated by it.
The flight from the UK to Ireland is less than an hour. And with RyanAir, there are many good deals. So what else do we need to go there? Once you are at Dublin Airport, there is public transport – bus 41, which goes to the town centre. It costs around 3 euro and it takes 30-40 minutes to arrive there.
I expected Dublin to look like the British cities. But actually it doesn’t. It has a gothic architecture and it looks more as a European capital. The city is located on the sea coast, which makes it very windy.
The capital has the popularity of one of the most youthful cities in Europe. The average age of the citizens is 27 years old. The place is full of people from different countries – you can hear many Italians, Spanish and Romanians.
The city is divided by the River Liffey, which empties into the Irish sea. Both sides of the city are connected by numerous bridges. One of the most popular ones is the Ha’Penny Bridge. It is the oldest bridge built over the river. The name Ha’Penny comes from Halfpenny, which used to be the cost for pedestrians to go through it. Today there are thousands of people marching on it, taking photos and putting their padlocks.
On the south bank of the river are the most popular sightseeings. There are lots of museums, galleries, bars, shopping streets and parks.
Temple Bar is the cultural heart of Dublin. There are located the best restaurants, pubs and galleries where you can meet new people and feel the city vibe. It’s the city playground and it has a lot going on. Temple Bar is the centre of Dublin’s cultural universe. Buskers, street artists, open-air markets and exhibitions a create carnival atmosphere. You can catch a show (no less than three theatres on offer), mosey through a gallery, explore a market, go to a gig or just plonk yourself in a café for Dublin’s best people-watching spot.
The National Gallery of Ireland and the National Historic Museum of Natural History are our next stops. They can be visited for free and they are located very close to each other.
The Natural Historic Museum gives you the opportunity to discover the natural world through lifelike zoological models. You can see lots of skeletons of big and small animals from Ireland and around the world.
The National Gallery of Ireland houses the national collection of Irish and European art. It is located in the centre of Dublin. You can dive into the arts of Michelangelo, Monet, Goya, Caravaggio and many more. The gallery closes at 17:00, so be sure you have enough time for it if you want to see it all. I love this kind of places and I am always fascinated by the story behind the arts. I appreciate every one of them and it is very easy for me to get lost and forget about everything around me.
If you love museums and galleries there are a few more that you can visit for free. We didn’t have time for them, but I will share them with you: The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), The National Library, The Hugh Lane Gallery and more.
And here we are going to one of my favourite places in Dublin – Trinity College. This is the oldest University in Ireland, where is located one of the Irish treasures. The Book of Kells, one of the greatest treasures of medieval Europe, is an illuminated manuscript written in Latin and created by Early Christian monks around 800AD. The most exciting part for me was The Long Room. At nearly 65 metres in length, it is filled with over 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books and is one of the most impressive libraries in the world. The place is breathtaking and definitively worth visiting. The Exhibition and Library is open 7 days a week. You can purchase tickets online or at the ticket desk. The cost is 12 € for adults and 9.50 € for students.
On this side of the city are located a few small parks if you want to relax or feel the nature inside of the city – St Stephen’s Green, Fitzwilliam square and Merrion square. The surrounding streets are very popular for photos and an important part of the history of the city.
Close to them are located the most popular Cathedral in Dublin – St. Patrick and Dublin Castle. We just passed through them but you can visit them if you want and have time.
Let’s go back to the north bank of the river. Outside of the centre is located Phoenix Park – it is an urban park with a perimeter of 11 km; it is one of the largest enclosed recreational spaces within any European capital city. It includes large areas of grassland and tree-lined avenues, and since the 17th century has been home to a herd of wild deers. We went there early in the morning to look for the deers. They are not easy to be recognised but if you are observant you will find them. It is an incredible feeling to be close to these noble creatures.
Dublin’s Zoo is one of the main attractions of the city. It is located in Phoenix Park and it houses more than 700 animals and birds from around the world. We didn’t visit it this time.
There are a few more ideas for different experiences. If you are a fan of the beer or the whiskey, you will enjoy them. Guinness Storehouse in number 1 attraction in Dublin where you can enjoy a tour in the brewery of the famous beer. Also, the Jameson’s Distillery will take your whiskey experience on another level. You can learn about the history of the spirits and have some whiskey tastings.
I like Dublin as a city a lot and I would love to go back to Ireland and explore more. The prices are a bit higher than usual, but it is a capital, so I suppose they were not unusual.
I hope this travel guide is helpful to you. Share with me if you have been to Ireland and which are your favourite places there?1