12 countries in 12 months has been an amazing challenge and it's allowed me to tick countries off that I've wanted to visit for a really long time and never quite got round to it. When I visited Northern Ireland and explored the beautiful Game of Thrones filming locations, I also wanted to skip across the border to tick Ireland off my #Europe12in12 challenge and visit Dublin.
Dublin is an expensive city but you can also explore a lot of it in just one day. We caught the train from Newry, on the border of Northern Ireland, to Dublin. First of all, we headed for some lunch at Cornucopia; delicious vegetarian and vegan food and excellent Victorian inspired wallpaper. Next, we wandered across to the famous Trinity College. It's not quite as beautiful as Cambridge but it is pretty lovely. We didn't have time to visit the Book of Kells exhibition in the Old Library (you need to arrive early to beat the giant queues) but it looks fascinating and I'd love to visit another time.
Then we headed to the most famous place in the city; the Guinness Storehouse. The tour takes you through the brewing process of the famous beer but most of all it's a celebration of the incredible advertising that makes the Guinness brand. The Gravity Bar offers amazing views of Dublin and it's the perfect location for a pint of the black stuff. I think the Guinness branding is some of the best in the business and I loved seeing the progression of the brand since 1759.
After a quick pit stop for some cake at The Pepper Pot, we headed to the most famous pub in Dublin; The Temple Bar. Yes it's a tourist trap, yes you will pay over 7 Euros for a pint but it's an experience you can't miss. I'm a violinist so I was particularly excited to see some traditional Irish fiddle playing in action and the live band was incredible. The atmosphere really is amazing and, although it's very touristy, you really have to include a visit as part of any Dublin trip.
I loved our short trip to Dublin, ticking off many of the famous sights in just one day. Dublin is an expensive city, so staying in a more remote location (and enjoying the beautiful Irish countryside) then travelling into the capital to explore is a tactic I would really recommend to save some pennies but still explore Dublin.
Have you visited Dublin?