Updated: Apr 6, 2020
You can catch the beginning of our trip to Ireland here, but after our day travelling the West coast, we spent a couple of days exploring the city of Dublin.
Dublin is known to be a little pricey, so it's worth doing a little research to scout out some great locations for food and drinks that won't break the bank! On the Sunday we had a late brunch at Honest to Goodness which we really rated, we left feeling full and content as we headed over to Temple Bar to soak up some sunshine on the cobbled streets.
We didn't actually stop for a drink in the famous Temple Bar. After some really mixed opinions from friends we decided it was a bit overpriced and there were other bars we'd rather check out, and oh boy did we find some gems, but I'll come to that later.
You can't go to Dublin without checking out the Guinnes Storehouse. A word of advice, pre-book! There were some crazy queues which we strolled straight past. Now I can't lie, a pint of Guinness wouldn't be my first choice at the bar, but whilst in Rome and all that! I've done a few brewery tours and this one is pretty middle of the road. You wander around the exhibits at your own pace before heading up to the sky bar to enjoy your glass of the black stuff. They let you pull your own pint though which is a good laugh.
Another stop on all the Dublin travel guides is the Trinity College Library to see The Book of Kells. Now I say this apprehensively as I think we decided it was pretty over priced. The Long Room in the library is stunning but we don't think it was worth the €11 entrance fee, so we'll leave you to decided on that one. You can walk around the college campus for free though which is lovely on a sunny day.
Something we do deem worth the entrance fee is Kilmainham Gaol, an infamous jail on the edge of Dublin. The tour is just over an hour and it's strongly advised you pre-book tickets. Our guide was great and it was really interesting to here about what happened here during the time of the Civil War and Irish famine. It's also been the location for lots of filming (you might recognise it from The Italian Job!)
Now, onto the good stuff. Dublin has a huge array of bars to choose from, our favourite by far was the Vintage Cocktail Club, you really do only hear about this place by word of mouth. The side door off Crown Alley is marked only by 'VCC' on the door and you have to ring the doorbell to gain entry. It's over 23s only and it is heading into the pricey end (€12 a cocktail), but they are so well made and there is plenty of choice!
We also tried The Liquor Rooms which is nice, but I think we preferred the drinks in VCC and there were lots more options.
South of Temple Bar we found a wonderful little tapas place called Las Tapas de Lola on Wexford Street. We didn't have a reservation so had to wait a short time for a table but it was worth it! We sat under the heaters outside with blankets to keep the chill off. The sangria is fantastic, and oh my goodness the food. We ordered lots of plates to share and had to roll our way home we had eaten so much (we highly recommend the patatas bravas and croquettes).
Another really great place for food is Acapulco on South Great George's Street. It serves wonderful Mexican food and even more wonderful frozen margaritas (try the mango).
If you're looking for a good Irish pub O'Neills claim to have to have the most beers on tap in all of Dublin, there's loads of nooks and crannies to cosy up in with a good drink.
We had a fab weekend in Ireland and definitely recommend Dublin for a girls trip away. If you have the time, a day out of the city is a really nice way to take in a little more Irish culture.