One Day in Dublin
Traveled every single country in the world, from Yemen to Somalia, but I hadn’t traveled my own country – that was an embarrassment I had to put right. So I invited one of my best buddies, Josh (the co-founder of our charity, MuditaAdventures.com), drew up an awesome 2-week road-trip itinerary and got ready to go, first though, how best to spend just one day in Dublin?
Before the road-trip proper began though, we organised to meet in Dublin, do some damage there (Catch the football, have a tipple on betminded.com, and make a few new friends, as well as sort out our camper van (from BunkCampers) after the weekend. I landed on a Saturday morning, which gave me one full day to explore the main sights of Dublin, so let me share with the best way to how to spend one day in Dublin:
Your one day in Dublin is good to go. Spend the morning grabbing breakfast on Dublin’s main shopping street, Grafton Street. Check out some pretty awesome street performers and buskers there too, just remember if you take pics/videos, give a little donation. They’re not out there working for free.
After your coffee break head over to O’Connell Street to see a main part of Ireland’s history. You can’t miss O’Connell street thanks to the Spire of Dublin, a 120m stainless steel spike in the middle of the city. Once you’re there, head to the General Post Office (GPO). Dublin GPO was central to Ireland’s independence from the UK due to the Easter Rising of 1916, which ultimately led to the 1922 declaration of independence. It’s a huge part of Ireland’s history
After you’ve finished with your whistle-stop history lesson, continue on your one day in Dublin. Make your way over to Trinity College by foot.
The beauty of a city the size of Dublin means that you can actually walk around all the main sites, sure it may take you 20/30 minutes between the places, but what better way to see a city than to hit the pavement. It’s 15 minutes or so from O’Connell street Trinty College, home to Dublin’s (Ireland’s?) national treasure, the Book of Kells.
The college itself is pretty impressive. The main draws however are inside – both the Book of Kells, and the amazing library. Tickets to get inside for those two range from €10 in the morning (before 10am) and late afternoon (after 3pm), or €13 for peaktimes. Last entry at 16.30. You can buy your tickets here.
The Book of Kells is famous for it’s lavishly decorated text compromising 4 books from the Bible, drawn in 800AD. Personally, I was a little underwhelmed, but I’m in a minority there and it’s a real ‘must’ in every list of Dublin, so there you go. Much cooler in my uncultured opinion, is the “Long Room Library” at Trinity. It looks straight out of a Harry Potter movie. This is how every library should look!
As your one day in Dublin moves on, get going to the main event, the Guinness Storehouse (often misreferred to as the Guinness Factory). It’s about a 25 minute walk from Trinity, but you walk through the Temple Bar district and get a good look at that en route, before you return there a little later from the evening’s chaos.
The Guinness Storehouse has a whole host of different ticketing options. To take the self-guided tour, tickets range from €14 to €20 each day, with mid-afternoon the priciest, last entrance at 6pm (you can get the tickets here). The tour takes you through the process of Guinness making, but also the amazing history of Guinness and its affect on Dublin and Ireland, and on beer worldwide. It’s not some boring tour, I promise! It’s a real highlight, and there’s a reason why it’s Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction each year, every year.
You get a chance to learn how to pour your own pint (which you also drink), and at the end of the tour you get a roof top complementary Guinness, made next door, with views of Dublin city – it’s perfect. Also, lots of people are walking around handing out their free Guinness because they don’t like it, so smile at people and you’ll have as much Guinness as you can drink. True story! Bearing in mind Guinness can run at €6 in the city, you get your moneys worth right there!
A real tip from me would be to pay the extra money, and get the VIP experience. Guinness run a ‘Coinesseur Experience’ (tickets here, ranging from €18 to €20). Here you get taken into a special tasting room with 10 or so other people and test Guinness from different eras and different countries. It’s really cool, super fun and a fair chunk of free beer. I loved it (book at least the day before, it sells out daily).
Finally, on your one day in Dublin, my last awesome Guinness Store House Tip would be after you’re done with the tour, your roof-top beer, your conesseur experience, head over to the Open Gate Brewery, on the Guinness ground, about a 5 minute walk away. This is where you can have a few drinks with your friends. And where you can order some experimental beers that the guys cook up. No branding, never-to-be-released, available for a few weeks at a time, and then on to the next one. 5 euro a beer, or you can take a tasting rack.
It opens 5.30-10.30pm, 6 euro entry but with a free beer, book your spot before you come here. Enjoy!
If you’re still up and about after all that amazing Guinness, it’s time to be a proper tourist. Head over to Temple Bar on your one day in Dublin. Now Temple Bar, as people often think, isn’t actually 1 bar. It’s a couple of streets with 20+ Irish bars, playing Irish music and selling slightly overpriced drinks. There’ll be lots of tourists, not so many Dubliners, but I promise you’ll have a brilliant time. As an Irishman, I still love it there! That should see you through until the end of the night, just don’t make too many plans for the following day!