Dublin can move a mile a minute, but if you want to get the most out of your stay in Ireland’s capital, make sure to do these five things.
1. Drink a pint of Guinness
If it’s not Ireland’s official drink, it probably should be. Guinness is a staple across the country, but is brewed and is most popular in Dublin. Whether you’ve decided to have one at the bar down the street from where you’re staying or overlooking the city on the 7th floor of the Guinness Storehouse, a pint of the black stuff will surely help you settle in. If you want to further your Guinness experience, the Storehouse provides visitors with the option to become a certified Guinness pourer and will award you with a certificate to prove your expertise.
2. Listen to live music
It seems that almost every bar and restaurant you walk into in Dublin has a local band playing music. If you don’t mind spending a pretty penny for a few drinks, heading to the Temple Bar District at night will guarantee you a chance to dance the night away with a mix of tourists and locals. While traditional Irish music is the most plentiful, rock and roll, acoustic sets and even rockabilly musicians will be somewhere around the corner. Be ready to spend about 7-8€ a pint. If you’re lucky enough to visit in mid July, the Longitude Music Festival has some fantastic headliners, many of whom like Hozier in 2015, are some of Ireland’s best-known acts.
3. Talk to the locals
Irish people are known to be some of the friendliest people in the world and those in Dublin are no different. One of the country’s famous sayings is “A hundred thousand welcomes” and this welcoming attitude is reflected throughout the city. Locals are usually up for a conversation and if you catch them sitting down for a few pints in the bar, you’re likely to pick up some new vocabulary while deciphering exactly what they’re saying to you. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with an off the beaten path recommendation that could drastically improve the authenticity of your trip as well as a few new words like fech, craic, and what it means to be wrecked.
4. Take a Free Walking Tour
Dublin is a very walkable city and with that in mind, a free walking tour can be the best way to see the sights. Companies such as Sandeman’s New Dublin Tours offer a comprehensive two and a half to three hour sightseeing tour to catch some of the buildings and neighbourhoods that make Dublin famous. Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral and the Temple Bar District are just a few of the stops made along the way. It must be noted that free isn’t always free as these tour guides depend on tips to make a living. Although there’s no minimum, anything around 5-10€ is a common tip at the conclusion of the tour.
5. See the natural landscape
This might sound like a difficult task in a city as old as Dublin, but the village of Howth which is accessible by public transportation will give you a taste of what’s outside the city limits. Cliff faces, lighthouses and fishing boats are only a short walk from the village and make this peninsula a must see for anyone who only has a few days in Ireland and can’t make it out to the country or the coast. For those tourists interested in hiking and small town life, Howth is the perfect getaway from the busyness that is downtown Dublin.