Discovering Dublin: Where I went, what I ate and what I learnt

Discovering Dublin: Where I went, what I ate and what I learnt

Last weekend me and my friend booked a spontaneous trip to Dublin for 3 nights. We stayed at My Place on Gardiner Street which was perfectly located as it was pretty central to the shops, pubs, tourist attractions and public transport. We packed a heck of a lot into 3 days and it’s safe to say we were exhausted and hayfever got the better of us, but non-the-less I had a fab time!

Attractions we saw:

1// Natural History Museum – it was free entry and we had a couple of spare hours one afternoon. They’re all pretty much the same across the world but I still love looking at all the animals.

2// St. Stephen’s Green – a beautiful little park area but not ideal when you have hayfever so it was a quick little visit for us!

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3// Phoenix Park – we only walked past the park but it’s abundant with wild deer and there’s a monument that looks like a miniature Washington Monument!

4// Umbrellas on Anne’s Lane – We took a little detour one day to find the umbrellas on Anne’s Lane; very colourful but the pictures make the area look deceivingly larger.

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5// Dublin zoo – We went here on our last morning before heading to the airport for our flight home. It was €18 entry and all the animals are endangered or nearly endangered so are all part of a conservation project. I always have mixed feelings about zoos because I don’t like the thought of the animals being locked in cages but I am 100% in agreement with the conservation of the animals.

6// Saint Patrick’s Park – it was a lovely grassy area with a beautiful church – perfect spot for a picnic or a little R&R.

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7// Dublin Castle – not going to lie, it was a bit of a disappointment. I was expecting a grand castle but really it was just a large courtyard enclosed by a very large building. However, we did find some lovely little side streets on the way full of bunting and street art so I can’t really complain!

8// Temple Bar – I didn’t think I would enjoy temple bar as much as I did. It is the most “touristy” bar in Dublin and is one of the most famous so I thought it would be overcrowded and overpriced. It was a little pricey (at €7-€8 for a pint of cider or a single spirit and a mixer) but compared to some places I went in America last year and Iceland it was extremely cheap! There was live music, some traditionally Irish, some not so much, but it was such an incredible vibe. The only down side was getting across the jam-packed room to the toilets – not an easy job when everyone’s either singing or dancing and crammed into one tiny room.

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Favourite foods I ate:

1// BEAN HIVE – On our first morning we ventured about 20 minutes into town to Bean Hive. It was this tiny little café with about 5 tables and absolutely heaving with customers. I ordered porridge with nuts and fruit and a very berry smoothie – I wasn’t really expecting much. However, when it arrived I soon saw why the café was so popular! It was INCREDIBLE and the portion was HUGE (yes I really did get a smoothie in a pint glass)!

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2// LEMON CRÊPE & CO – We went here for lunch on our first day because who doesn’t love crêpes? I ordered the apple and cinnamon crêpe which was amazing – my only regret is not ordering it with ice cream.

3// LEMON JELLY – For my final breakfast I had my first ever portion of french toast with strawberry, banana and syrup on the side. Oh my goodness it was incredible! I was absolutely spoilt for choice with the menu, I would definitely recommend going here!

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4// WAGAMAMA – It might sound a bit strange to be adding Wagamama’s to my list of favourite foods in Dublin, but believe it or not, this was my first ever wagamama’s so it had to make it onto the list!

Other places we explored:

We kind of covered everything we wanted to on our first day in Dublin so decided to venture out of the City for our second day. We caught the bus to Howth Summit (it took about 30 minutes) and stopped off in the village on the way home. It was absolutely beautiful! I couldn’t believe how peaceful it was just half an hour out of the City centre!

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A few things we discovered about Dublin:

1// There are practically no benches – on our first day we walked over 22km and had to  resort to taking a rest on a little plain of grass we found because we couldn’t find a bench anywhere that wasn’t in a park (and even then they were sparse!)

2// Vegetarian food is few and far between – I was always spoilt for choice with breakfast but it was so difficult finding decent vegetarian food. Maybe we were looking in the wrong places but most restaurants (if they even had a vegetarian option) only served vegetable pizza or vegetable pasta.

3// The Irish are really friendly – we had several people ask if we wanted directions, or helped us out when we had questions about public transport. They all seemed so genuine and lovely!

4// I definitely want to visit Ireland again – although next time I want to take a car and explore the Southern and Western coasts.

I had a really lovely few days away and fell in love with Ireland! I can’t wait to plan my next adventure there!

Francesca Louise

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“Ireland – it’s the one place on Earth that heaven has kissed, with melody, mirth and meadow and mist.”

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