Dublin: Off The Beaten Track
Many people coming to visit Dublin seem to focus a lot on obvious attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, the Trinity College and the Stephen’s Green Park. We think Dublin has a lot more to offer and many hidden treasures.
Some of them, we’d like to share with you:
Have a stroll around Howth
Howth is a coastal village just 23 minutes away from the city centre by DART. It’s a breathtaking tiny place and the train just drops you right in the middle and you’ll gasp at the stunning train station entrance, the little shops and the colourful houses. Howth is a popular place for locals who’d like to get some rest from the busy city life. It offers everything from a little market, where you’ll get anything from Japanese to Irish, two beautiful lighthouses, a wonderful view at the sea and amazing cliffs to hike on up to the summit. Tour guides can show you around if you’d like that but you can of course also try for yourself and get a map right next to the beach. Nothing can beat the view up there.
Wander around the Iveagh Gardens
These gardens, located right in the city centre, are rather hard to find since they’re surrounded by some higher buildings. This might be the reason, not many people know the place although it’s located right in the city centre, below Stephen’s Green Park. They exist since the 19th century and have a secret radiance due to the cascade, the maze and the exotic trees. We think, it’s definitely worth a visit, especially because it’s no popular attraction.
Have lunch at one of Dublin’s food trucks
Dublin is known as a very rainy city but once the weather starts to change, people come out of their nests and spend a lot of time outside.
One of our insider tips is to visit the Merrion Park on Thursdays as from late May and grab a bite from one of many Food Trucks. In Summer, the Park turns into a magical place where you’ll see lots of happy faces, dogs running around and people enjoying little bites. Bring a blanket, an ice-cold drink and some good mood lay back and relax. Maybe you’ll even get a little tan.
Drink pints at a local pub
Pubs in the city centre are mostly very expensive and the cheapest beer you’ll find will cost you at least 5,50 euros. Besides, those busy pubs are most likely not what you’re aiming for, unless it’s Temple Bar, of course.
As a tourist, it can be quite hard to find a proper Irish pub. One thing you should definitely look out for is the space. Usually, there is very little of it. You might be visiting St Patrick’s Cathedral while you’re here and that’s the perfect opportunity to visit the John Fallon’s pub, where you’ll find many locals. The chances to get in touch with someone are rather big. Please note, if you’re looking for hot food, this might not be the best option because, the only thing warm they serve, is a sandwich. On the other hand, the pint of beer will be a fine one.
Enjoy some Irish seafood
Matt the Thresher is a must go. They get their seafood right from the harbours in Ireland which means the food is REALLY fresh! It’s an airy place to have a good meal since the roof is made from glass which brings nice daylight with it. The restaurant also features a bar area and frequent jazz sessions to relax. What a nice combination, we think. You can choose either a la carte or from a set menu and let yourself be surprised by whatever nice they’re preparing for you.
Have lunch or dinner at The Winding Stair
This shop used to be the oldest surviving bookshop in Dublin, selling second-hand and new books and featuring a few tables for coffee and tea. The name obviously comes from the winding stairs that the shop features. Unfortunately, the shop did not survive entirely but was turned into a combined restaurant-library. Food is being served all week, either a la carte or by set menu but this only on the first floor, the ground floor remains a shop with lots of literature to explore and buy. It’s a stunning place and most parts of the old bookshop remain. The restaurant is very successful and most definitely worth a visit since it has another upside, the view on River Liffey. You will be impressed by the antique charm of the bookshop and the homemade food of the restaurant.
Watch a Gaelic football or hurling match
You haven’t visited Ireland if you haven’t seen one of those matches. Gaelic football and Hurling exist for about 3000 years and are prehistoric. They only have very few similarities. Whatever you prefer, just buy your tickets on www.gaa.ie, experience something different and let yourself be surprised.
Whatever you will choose from this list or how many of these things you will actually do, appreciate the difference.