So You’re Going to Dublin!
Wow. Let it sink in – over there, crossing the pond, touching roots that reach far across the world and deep into the soul. Maybe you’re even going home…
Preparation and forethought are your tools for assuring you have the most pleasant adventure possible. Planning an itinerary can save countless frustrating hours—precious hours that you’ll want for discovering!
Dressing for Ireland is important. If you’re familiar with the climate of the northwestern U.S. and southwestern Canada, you’ll understand the moist mildness of Irish air. Rain is more often mist or a light shower. Winter daytime temperatures average 41°F, and summer highs average 66°F. These are prime conditions for gadding about, but don’t forget your scath fearthainne (umbrella… thing).
You can your accomodation through Hotels.com.
Many of Dublin’s guests arrive by plane. If you’re travelling from the U.S., this flight allows plenty of time for a long nap, and you’ll want to be well rested before dashing into Dublin. Check Expedia for flights
Only you can know which of Dublin’s treasures have always been on your to-do list. Write them down, read up, study a map, and decide how you want to attack this magical dash through Ireland’s capital—”town of the hurdled ford”—where early inhabitants crossed the River Liffey. This enchanting city screams history, the motherland, and home.
Back to the business end of this remarkable journey: Once you’ve chosen your delights, you’ll be better prepared to map out your travel route, investigate its hotel opportunities, and select your means of local transportation. The Irish are famous for their bed and breakfast accommodations, so don’t be shy about trying them; they want you to come back.
If you’re planning to gad about, you may want to rent a car. No problem. Driving a car, on the “wrong” side of the road, and while seated in what you think of as the passenger seat, might give you pause, but you can do this, and you’ll never forget the experience! While it may feel as if the other drivers are speeding, this can be attributed to directional disorientation and the narrowness of the roads. There are rock walls and shrub hedges lining much of the roadside “over there.” Just remember, 80km translates to only 50mph in the West. Don’t forget your camera, and to stop for sheep herds; there’s a pint of ale waiting at the end of this drive!
On the other hand, you may be a city dweller and prefer the convenience of a taxi. Taxis have been deregulated in Ireland, so they are plentiful. Hopping from one side of town to the other is quick and affordable by taxi. We’ll get back to the sides of town in a minute.
Ireland is a favourite destination for bicyclists, so if that’s your bag, you can fill it full! Renting a bike is easy, and you can peddle through the city in the company of many other bikers. Biking gives you an opportunity to see the sights leisurely.
Walking is a favourite of tourists everywhere. You’ll want to hear the Irish brogue, you’ll want to see the children, their parents and grandparents—the people who are Ireland. You’ll want to meet them up close and personal. Sure and begorrah, it’ll be a fair surprise if ye don’t be bringing home a bit o’ the brogue for yourself! Walking is a great way to learn the language and make friends. It is possible to make lifelong friends on a short trip to Dublin—your choice.
Things to See
Dublin’s origins reach back over 1,000 years, to a small Viking settlement. If history is your thing, you won’t be able to take it all in with one trip. This is a legitimate excuse to go back.
You will stand in awe of the medieval architecture, knowing that thousands have stood there before you, and adjusting your perspective on life. Dublin is full of opportunities for perspective, from her castles to her kegs.
Historic cathedral ceilings echo the whispers of their creators—skilled masters of architecture, handpicked craftsmen, and hundreds of workers who lived nearby. Some laboured to the glory of God, and others were dedicated to providing for their families. These are places to reflect.
Malahide castle, a favourite touring spot, was originally a fortress and the home of the Talbot family whose estate began there in 1185. They occupied it until the last Talbot died in 1973. Beautifully furnished and displaying an extensive collection of Irish portraits, this place will transport you back in time. Besides hoping to get a glimpse of one of this castle’s five ghosts, why else would you be there?
The Sides of Town and More Things
Divided by the River Liffey, Dublin has a north side and a south side. On the north side is the main thoroughfare with access to abundant shopping and the Dublin Zoo. The little kid in you (or with you) will be thrilled with this modern, educational zoo. On the south side are St. Stephen’s Green, the Guinness Storehouse, and Trinity College, just to get you started. You can take a non-stop bus tour or one that lets passengers on and off between attractions.
One of the most intriguing places in Dublin is the National Museum of Archaeology where you can see bog bodies, which date back 2300 years. These human remains, preserved in peat moss, are as old as 8000 years. Of course, there are museums with art too.
The Important Stuff
Spending quality time in Irish pubs is surely on your list! Pub regulars abound, so watch, and learn, if necessary. Ireland has reason to be proud of her beer!
Arthur Guinness opened a brewery in Dublin in 1759, producing porter( a dark style of beer made from brown malt). Today, Guinness is the largest brewer of stout in the world. Stout, that rich and sometimes dark, savoury beer gets its special head from roasted malt or barley.
Preparing to Rewind
Don’t forget to plan your exit, because that is the first step to returning to Dublin, and you will certainly want to come back.
Learn the customs ropes, so you don’t panic about the bottle of Jameson’s you’re bringing home to Aunt Agnes.
If you are travelling by air, you will not want to miss your homebound flight. Departure day is no time to show off your map expertise or mass transit know-how. Take the advice of your hotel staff, using the most expedient transportation and direct route to the airport. You can nap on the flight home, but you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face.