Between traveling back from Europe, catching up on work, and battling an energy-sucking cold all week, I just could not get my blogging act together last week. But, I’m back today with a fun travel recap!
Prior to last week, when I pictured Ireland, I envisioned lots of pubs, history, greenery and castles. Now having vacationed there, I can say that the country was very much what I was anticipating.
My trip to Ireland all started when I found out that my dad, a longtime football coach for a high school in New Jersey, would be traveling there with his team. They were set to play as one of the opener games for the Georgia Tech vs. Boston College game – a way of bringing American football to Europe.
When I heard that my mom and sister were joining the team, I jumped on board the Ireland train. My grandmother, two aunts, an uncle, two cousins (one of whom plays for the football team), and my older brother, who also coaches the team, were also making the trip. A family Euro trip sounded like too much fun and shenanigans to ignore, especially since I had never been to Europe with my family.
My hubby couldn’t make it, so I flew 5,000+ miles from San Diego to Dublin solo and met my family in Ireland.
My older brother, me, my parents, and my sister after my dad’s football game in Dublin
Where I Slept. We stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin, which wound up being a few miles from pretty much everything we wanted to go to in the city. The rooms were clean, and the hotel offered a complimentary breakfast + amenities like a very decent gym and a restaurant/bar. Its location was positive in that I got my steps in daily, and it’s a very walkable city with plenty to see…
Dublin street views
…but not so good in that we didn’t always have the time/energy to walk, and wound up taking a taxi a number of times.
A note on taxis in Dublin: They’re pricey! The rates are regulated by the government, so while the area has Uber, they’re taxi drivers that charge the same rates as regular taxi rides – and I had issues with my Uber app working while I was there. The regular taxis also don’t often take credit cards, which was a pain in the butt.
I crashed in my mom and sister’s hotel room for the week, which was hilarious because the hotel gave them two oh so tinyyyy beds. I sort of forgot that European hotels tend to have smaller rooms and beds, and it’s a good thing my mother is a very small person. We went head-to-toe in a twin sized bed all week!
I would definitely recommend staying in the heart of downtown Dublin if you want to be able to easily walk places and have that convenience factor. Some of my family stayed at The Fleet Street Hotel, which is found right in the middle of Dublin’s nightlife scene, and they thought it was pretty nice.
BC vs. Georgia Tech game at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium
Where I Explored in Dublin. While I attended football games, a post-game party and a football banquet with my family, I also saw as much as I could while in Ireland! Today we’re focusing on my favorite adventures in the city of Dublin.
The one thing that’s undeniable in Dublin is the abundance of pubs. By one taxi driver’s account, there are 660+ pubs just in the city itself!
My first Irish coffee in Ireland
On our very first day in Dublin, attempting to walk off our red-eye flight exhaustion and see some of the city, we stumbled into O’Donoghue’s for Irish coffees. Later I found out that it’s a renowned traditional bar in Dublin and a famous rugby pub.
If you ask 10 people, you’ll probably get completely different Dublin pub recommendations each time, and that’s because you kind of can’t go wrong. Many places can pour the perfect pint of the beverage that Dublin is famed for, Guinness.
Every pub I stepped into had the same quintessential Irish feel to it, and there was lots of live music everywhere! Some bands played more modern music and others played more traditional Irish music. Either way, I adore live music and am fond of Irish accents, so I loved it.
With my little cousin and sister at a Dublin pub
While you can’t go wrong, the famed pub area that you simply must see when in Dublin is the cobbled streets of the Temple Bar district. It’s a bustling place where many establishments have ‘Temple’ in their name in the area. The one that I enjoyed the most was aptly named The Temple Bar Pub. The live music there was great, it’s a huge place, and they have a nice indoor/outdoor area as well. Even so, everyone else must love it there too, because the bar was completely packed!
Fun tidbit: There’s a sign next to the above pictured stage that proclaims that a guitarist broke the Guinness World Book of Records for playing the guitar nonstop for the longest amount of time in 2011 at the bar. Just how long did he play for? 114 hours!
Dublin also has no shortage of well-maintained parks and gardens to visit. A few that I walked through were Merrion Square and St. Stephen’s Green. Both are good spots for a picnic, some fresh air and people watching.