GOOD TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! - Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a must-visit destination for travelers. With its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and lively pubs, Dublin offers something for everyone. From the cobblestone streets of Temple Bar to the lush green hills of Howth Head, each area of Dublin has something unique to offer. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure-filled family vacation, there's no shortage of activities and attractions in Dublin that will have you coming back again and again. – Or so I was told!
This year I visited Dublin, Ireland and my experience left me somewhat disappointed. Don’t’ get me wrong, Dublin is a beautiful city…just not what I imagined. In this article I will list the top 3 things I loved, and the 3 things I did not.
This was my first time to Ireland; needless to say I was very excited! It was March, so the weather was not great, but expected…a bit colder than I expected actually!
Arriving at Dublin Airport (DUB), after going through Passport control, I quickly discovered Uber is NOT available, nor any other ride share for that matter. I checked to see if there was a Subway system, nope. I did the next most sensible thing…made my way to the taxi queue. The line was long, the weather dizzily and gusty. 30-40 minutes in line and it was finally my turn to hop in a taxi. Another 25-30 minutes and approx €40 later I arrived to my hotel in Temple Bar.
SOMETHING I LOVED #1 – TEMPLE BAR
Temple Bar is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in Dublin. Located in the heart of the city, it has become a popular tourist destination due to its vibrant nightlife, historic pubs, and diverse culture. It is home to some of Dublin’s best restaurants, cafes, and shops. Whether you’re looking for a place to grab a pint or explore the city’s history, Temple Bar has something for everyone.
As I mentioned earlier, that during my stay the weather was a bit dodgy so I sort of ended up exploring in spurts, then would head back to my hotel to warm up, and in some instances dry off. The area was nice, and it was walkable. Lots of shops and eateries close by.
SOMETHING I LOVED #2 – FREE MUSEUMS
One great piece of info my taxi driver passed on to me was that museums in Dublin (maybe all of Ireland?) are FREE! I was able to make my way over to the National Museum of Ireland, and it was amazing! There were so many great artifacts, a large gold display, miniature reproductions of the first homesteads, villages, and so much more. The National Museum of Ireland was a great way to spend a few hours.
SOMETHING I LOVED #3 – DUBLIN CASTLE
Who doesn’t love castles, right?! I for one, love to check out castles! They are all so different and interesting. Dublin Castle is right in the Temple Bar area so it was a fairly quick walk to the castle grounds. It is definitely worth checking out if you are nearby or can make the time.
And now for the NOT so great…
One very important thing for me when traveling to a new city is mode(s) of transportation. Many times before traveling to a new city I start doing research on where I want to stay and all the things I want to see and do, what’s nearby etc. I have gotten so accustomed to various modes of transportation that I forget to research HOW to get around the city!!!
SOMETHING I DID NOT LOVE #1 – GETTING AROUND
While the Temple Bar area was walkable, depending on where you are headed, you may still have a couple mile walk ahead of you. Walking all day coupled with dodgy weather, I would have loved an electric scooter option as a commuter tool. Scooters are a cheap and quick way to get around a city. During my visit and at the time of this writing, e-scooters are illegal in public areas in Dublin and were/are not available to use.
No scooters, fine! I also love a good and functional subway system to get around a city. You won’t find one in Dublin though! They did have some sort of Tram thing, but it had very limited service and didn’t seem to go anywhere I was going.
Additionally, there are no Uber/Ride Share service(s) available. That generally leaves you with buses and taxis. Personally I DO NOT LIKE buses or taxis, and I avoid them as much as possible. In many cases on buses you need local currency and the exact fare! Depending on where you are traveling you may not have complete grasp of the currency yet. Ditto for taxis. The other issue I have with taxis, especially if you don’t speak the language, or maybe are not pronouncing something correctly, it can make it difficult to get to your destination, all the while the meter is running while your cabby is trying to figure out where you are wanting to go! The exception is cities that have an app for taxis like London, or Madrid, etc. Then you can put in your destination and pay with your card ( but then it’s basically a ride share.)
SOMETHING I DID NOT LOVE #2 – LESS INTERESTING THAN EXPECTED
I had high hopes for Dublin, and in fact had longed to visit Ireland for many years. Last year I had an incredible trip to Scotland, and in a way was maybe expecting a similar experience? Usually the first time I go to a new place I like to for 2 days. Typically for me, a quick 2 day trip either has me wanting more and planning a return trip –or- will have me like ‘I’m good, I’ve seen what I need to”. In the case of Dublin it was the latter. I do still plan to visit more of Ireland, possibly the country side, or a different city. Cork? Time will tell.
SOMETHING I DID NOT LOVE #3 - THE WEATHER
I know, I know! That is not Dublin’s fault. Nevertheless, it did affect my trip more than expected. I looked up the typical weather, and the several days leading up to my quick visit, I constantly checked the weather. It was just much colder and wetter than I anticipated and made it less enjoyable. That gripe is more of a user error, but worth noting.
I do hope no one found any offense in this writing. These are my personal opinions as a solo traveler that has visited many countries and countless cities. I hope that the reader will find my writing helpful when planning their own trip…if nothing else, I hope you at least enjoy the pictures. All the best!
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