Dublin wasn’t always my home, but over the past 17 years it’s become obvious to me that there’s no where else in the world quite like it. So why not have a staycation and be a tourist at home in Dublin? When I think about holidaying in Ireland, I have some of the best memories, like my recent weekend in Dingle. But this time, I wanted to stay closer to home and show off our dirty ol’ town.Of course we started in Temple Bar. This is about seeing the city through a tourist’s eyes, not living like a local. Although, bar the high price of pints, I’m not sure why more Dubliners don’t spend any time in Temple Bar’s pubs. Live Irish music and craic seven days a week and it’s really, really good live music too. The hen parties might be a bit annoying, but they do provide a bit of entertainment too, there’s nothing like a good people watching session. Try (Oliver St. John) Gogarty’s and The Temple Bar, they’re both open late as well!An accurate representation of how all Irish vending machines are filled here 😉
Walk across town to check out some more Dublin 2 pubs; take a wander down Dame Lane where there’s usually a bit of banter and head to P. Mac’s which is the younger sister of Cassidys on Westmoreland St. Craft beers, board games and slightly fancier G&Ts here with free crisps and sweets, what more could you want?
Instead of Hailo’ing it back to the hotel, take the scenic route. The city is beautiful during golden hour. A couple of sights to tick off your list; Trinity College, the Ha’penny Bridge (which you used to half to pay a ha’penny to cross, it’s official name is the Liffey Bridge) and of course the Spire.Handily located opposite Connolly Train Station, newly opened The Address at Dublin 1 fit all our accommodation needs for the weekend. The boutique hotel is Dublin’s newest luxury offering having just undergone a €15 million revamp (it’s on the site of the North Star Hotel) with new additions such as The Parlour (café) and the roof terrace at the Club Lounge. A nice quiet respite from the city where guests can pop up for complimentary coffee and papers throughout the day. The welcome was generous (and tasty) and the rooms are seriously high tech, these features will be the ones to beat on the Dublin hotel market! We ate in McGettigan’s Cookhouse which is unrecognisable from the old bar, gorgeous exposed brick and lush interiors, I definitely forgot I was on Amien’s St! The food is top notch too, especially the tiger prawns pil-pil and champ mashed potato. Back to things to do in Dublin, we’d walked the city streets and now it was time to see it from a different perspective. Dublin Bay Cruises runs six daily cruises (they actually have a September sale on at the moment before they shut up shop for winter), between Howth, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin City Centre. We jumped on at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, just in front of The Ferryman pub and set off out into Dublin Bay for the two hour tour.
There’s no better way to see Ireland’s Eye, Lambay Island, Dalkey Island, Joyce’s Martello Tower and the Baily Lighthouse than from the water. When we arrived at Dun Laoghaire, there was a bit of free time to jump off the boat and take a walk down the pier – perfect opportunity to grab a famous Teddy’s ice cream if the queues aren’t too long!Back on the boat, the bar has hot tea and coffee or if you feeling fancy, a bottle of prosecco is only €20! Captain Tony (and his parrot) don’t always pose for photos, but when they do, he’ll make sure to get his best side in.Back on dry land and it was time for a late lunch come dinner in the way of Le Drunch at The Marker Hotel. Every Sunday from 2-5pm, The Brasserie restaurant hosts the laid back affair, complete with in-house DJ on the decks (chill out vibes only).I really wish I could get into Bloody Marys, but it’s not like I wasn’t spoiled for choice with the cocktail and wine list. In fact, I got to try a sparkling Albariño, which I didn’t even realise existed! Gorgeous glassware too, I’m a sucker for that.For starters we shared the tiger prawns with garlic, chilli and shallot and crushed avocado with sweetcorn, chilli and coriander salsa served with warm tortillas. Now, I’m no engineer, but those two were made to be married and a little construction work later and we’d made a new baby – the most perfect, balanced, deliciously fresh prawn tacos. You’re welcome!Main course was Ballinwillin Wild Boar Poutine to share, eggs benedict for Helen and the Nutri burger from the Equilibrium (slightly healthier options) menu for me. Followed by a make-your-own-mojito sesh (I went for passion fruit and ginger, which as you can see had me rather excited). Finish off the evening with a glass of bubbles or an espresso martini at the Marker’s roof top bar with a cosy blanket and views over the city you’ve just (re)discovered.
There’s still so much more of Dublin to see, leave a comment with your absolute must sees and dos!
What about playing the tourist in your own country? I travelled west to Dingle, Co.Kerry for a weekend on the Wild Atlantic Way, read the full guide here.