Luck of the Irish

Ireland has always been pretty high up on my list of places to explore and even though it’s still a plane ride away I tend to think of it being too close not to go. I had an unbelievable long weekend exploring everything that Dublin has to offer. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive and enjoyable weekend then look no further…

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We arrived at Dublin Airport at around 7:30pm on the Friday evening after a relatively stress free flight from Gatwick. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to sit next to each other on the way due to a last minute name change problem, at least it was only a short journey!As we were Car-less we selected the bus as our means of travel to the city centre, from here the plan was to find and walk to our central-based hotel. Everything was going so smoothly up until this point. Obviously something had to go wrong…and it did.

By the time we had reached the end of the bus route both of our phones had run out of battery. So basically, we were stranded and unable to phone the hotel or use google maps. BRILLIANT.

Our hotel was called Grafton Capital, that’ll be easy to find, right? Just go to Grafton Street (As in, one of the main streets in Dublin. Also mentioned in Ed Sheeran’s ‘Galway Girl’) and someone will be able to point us in the right direction. Oh how very wrong we were.

We trawled the surrounding streets for around 2 hours, in which time it had begun to get dark and therefore more difficult. Everyone we asked tried to be as helpful as they could be and gave us ideas of where they thought it could be located, but their advice often ended with; “But I’m not completely sure” which didn’t really fill us with much hope.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Direct
​We FINALLY found the hotel (turns out we’d walked straight past it twice and had asked in the bar across the road where even they didn’t realise it was opposite). When we arrived at the hotel reception and explained out troubles the lovely lady gave us some great advice in saying:

“Ask for directions to the pub nearest to where you’re heading”
Which reinforced the Irish stereotype and will stay with me for when I return to Ireland. Some valuable information there.

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Photo Credit: Booking.com

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Ready for our first night in Dublin

​With this we made our way upstairs to our room and began to get ready to hit the town. The hotel was nice. Very special and could’ve done with some heavy cleaning and a major update, but for the price we paid it was good. I feel it was as central as could be without being on the main (loud) street. Top marks for location. There was only Wi-Fi in the reception and courtyard and breakfast wasn’t included which pushed us all the more to set off and explore the city.

For our first evening we decided to head down to the Temple Bar Area, Just south of the River Liffey and according to Ireland.com it is:“The cultural heart of Dublin City, bursting with pubs, restaurants, galleries and great craic!”

As we wandered down towards Temple Bar we stopped off for a drink in a lively pub near our hotel, where we started chatting to a group of people who knew the area. They warned us to steer clear of Temple Bar and explained to us that it was very expensive and overrun by tourists (exactly what we were).

After listening to what the locals had to say and completely ignoring it we continued our travels to find somewhere fun in Temple Bar. It was only about a 10 Minute walk from our hotel, not too bad.


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Photo Credit: Huffington Post

We stumbled across the Temple Bar Pub and were immediately drawn in by the sound of an Irish band playing a mixture of traditional Irish and Folk music and popular, current chart music with a folk twist. Everyone was jigging and signing and just generally having a good ole time!Drinks were quite expensive as expected (higher prices than London) and so we decided we were content with a glass of wine (maybe it was two) and continued to dance with a group of people on the dancefloor area. It was about midnight and the pub was still very busy with drunken tourists. It was then that I returned to the bar for another drink in order to improve my dance moves. As I reached into my bag I noticed that my purse was gone! Someone had sneakily taken it! Luckily I had only taken €30 out with me for the evening but it also had my ID, bank card, National Insurance card and my NANDOS CARD?!?

We spent the next hour or so calling my parents, bank and asking at the pub if anything had been handed in, they sent us to an unhelpful hostel next door for some reason. It was then that it dawned on me that it was gone forever. There are some evil people in the world.

Went to bed. Moody.

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Quick Pit stop at Hatch & Sons before deciding to feast at Carluccio’s
​The next morning soon came and I tried to put the previous evening’s misfortunes to the back of my head. We went on a stroll to find somewhere nice for breakfast, stopping off at an intimate café called Hatch and Sons before deciding we needed something a little more hearty and so changed our plan and ended up at Carluccio’s. The breakfast there was great, although they didn’t serve bloody Mary’s before midday which was a little sad. We managed to nab a seat outside and watched some of Ireland’s finest locals walking by. Interesting.

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Exploring the streets of Dublin

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With our amazing Gino’s Gelatos!
​We then grabbed an ice cream from Gino’s Gelatos (Would recommend – so tasty and so many exciting flavours to choose from) and departed for our main event of the day… A tour of the Guinness Storehouse! It was just over half an hour walk from the centre but meant that we got to see a little bit more of the city and that we could scout out somewhere fun to spend our second night (hopefully without getting pickpocketed). As we arrived at the Guinness factory we obviously had to get a standard tourist photo with the gates.

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The storehouse was probably my favourite thing that we did in Dublin, it’s definitely worth the entrance fee money, plus you get a free Guinness when you reach the top. There are all sorts of parts to the tour and lots of great photo opportunities. You can even try Guinness burgers and Guinness flavoured ice cream (I’d rather not). There was also an Irish dancing performance and workshop about halfway through which was good to watch. There was also the opportunity to try to pour the perfect pint before heading up to the 360 bar where you can look out at the whole of Dublin whilst sipping on your fresh Guinness.

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​After a fun fuelled day finding out I don’t actually mind Guinness too much, we stopped off at another pub (can’t remember the name of it unfortunately but it was very buys and everyone seemed to be having a great time) on the way back for another little jig and then retuned back to the hotel for a short nap before heading back out for our second night!

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I’m not entirely sure why, but we chose to go back down to the Temple Bar area (different pub this time) and held onto our bags at all times. Here we managed to make friends with a group of people from a local town. Our night was going great in Temple Bar – but what we really wanted to do was dance. We asked them where was best for a Dublin night out but instead of simply telling us, they decided to show us instead.We gathered outside the pub, where one of them hailed some rickshaws (or Tuk Tuks, I’m not too sure what the difference is?) There was no way that 8 of us were going to fit into 2 of these… so we kicked some out and made them run to the pub behind us instead…Sorry, not sorry.

​One thing I noticed when we arrived at the club was how strict the security was. We were unable to get into one club simply because the boy: girl ratio was all off balance, so we tried the one next door, Dicey’s. It was clearly the place to be on a Saturday night and probably the area when should’ve gone to the night before. All though it was steep to get in, €20 (thank you to whoever paid for purseless Beth’s entry?!) It was a large club, althought the dancefloor was relatively small… the outside was huge with a cover and heaters. This is where we stayed for the majority of the night chatting and dancing before making our way inside to dance harder. Oh. And most drinks were in the €1 – €2.50 price range. Winner.


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​The next morning was pretty painful to say the least. My poor head. I really didn’t want to leave, especially knowing I had to get up very early the next day.I’d love to go back to Dublin and explore some more, and maybe spend less time in their police station, I feel there’s so much else I would’ve enjoyed to do such as the old Jameson Whiskey Distillery tour. As well as this I’d make sure I had scouted out the best places to go at what time. If I went again I’d definitely keep tighter tabs on my belongings, I’ve learnt my lesson about being too trusting in unfamiliar places. I also feel I’d have liked to gone to some more traditional restaurants that you can only go to in Ireland, but then again I suppose England and Ireland aren’t all that different so it may have just been the same food. I would definitely recommend Dublin, either as a romantic break or a fun weekend away like us. Maybe even a potential group getaway in the future. I’ll be back.

Click Here to book your Guinness Storehouse tickets in advance! – you won’t be disappointed

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