May 30th – June 2nd, 2019
Summer of 2019, my best friend Katie and I went on a European adventure before I interned in London. Our first stop was Dublin, and though we both loved the city, we didn’t have a great experience to start. We had booked an Airbnb with no reviews, which should have been a red flag, but the place was reasonably priced compared to all of the expensive Airbnb’s and hotels that we looked at. It ended up being a huge mistake that we will never make again. We went straight there after getting off the red-eye flight we had taken from New York. We hadn’t slept and were looking for a place to lie down and get some rest. When we got there, the Airbnb was not as pictured. It was really dirty, smelled extremely strongly of cats, stains on the furniture, bed, and not somewhere we were going to stay.
We luckily thought very quickly on our feet and looked up hotels in the area with vacancies and called one. We asked if we could pay extra, and they would let us check in when we got there, and they agreed. We paid €20 and got to check-in and go right to sleep. The hotel ended up being a little further outside of Dublin than we would’ve liked, so we ended up staying around there on our first day then moving to Generator Hostel, which was right in the city center, so we were able to begin exploring Dublin. Below are some of the places we went to.
Guinness Storehouse – Guinness is one of my favorite beers, so this was the entire reason I wanted to go to Dublin. The storehouse was cool. It had many different levels in which they explained all the various steps of making the classic Guinness. Every ticket to the tour comes with a free beer and a room where they teach you the proper way to pour the beer. You can then take the beer up to their bar on the top floor. You can see pretty much Dublin notes on the glass that tells you what you’re looking at from the top floor. It was so worth it going to Guinness that it was worth every penny of the ticket price to see where my favorite beer was made and try it as fresh as possible.
Temple Bar District – One of the main highlights of our trip was going out each night. The bar scene in Dublin was one of the best on our journey. We went out to the Temple Bar District each night. All of the bars had their design and quirk, which made bar hopping extra fun. We liked Bad Bobs because we love to dance. If you aren’t looking to dance, we also went to Fitzsimon’s Hotel bar and a few other casual bars (Stags Head and Oliver St. John Gogarty) that were great as well. Most of the bars have live music. You can hear bands everywhere playing different types of music as you walk down the street. I heard more American/ southern music in Dublin, Ireland, than going to school in Tennessee. Take Me Home, Country Road by John Denver, played at every single bar we went to.
Grafton Street – if you are looking for shopping in Dublin, you should check out Grafton Street. We spent the afternoon of one of our days walking up and down, exploring the stores. They had international stores like H&M and Zara as well as more regional items such as wool and your typical souvenirs (shot glasses, t-shirts, etc.). They also have some popular restaurants if you want to grab some food while you’re shopping.
Where We Ate
Nandos – As I’ve mentioned in a few of my past posts, I have many eating restrictions, and Nandos is cautious when it comes to that. The UK and Ireland locations have large binders with all allergens in them and check every single part of the meal to make sure you are safe. They also clean the grill extra carefully before cooking your food to make sure there is no contamination. I make sure to eat at Nandos whenever I have a chance, and Dublin was no different.
Murphy’s – If you are in Dublin and want some ice cream, you should check out Murphy’s. My friend loved the ice cream she got at Murphy’s and would recommend it to anyone visiting Dublin.
Where We Stayed
Generator Hostel – This was my friend’s first experience staying in a hostel, and I was glad it was at a hostel that was this nice. We shared a room with eight other women who were friendly and relatively quiet. We had our bathroom off the room, so there was no hallway/ communal bathroom situation. Compared to the hotel, it was so close to the city and so much less expensive. If we went back, we would’ve stayed at the Generator Hostel from the get-go.
Red Cow Moran Hotel – the hotel we stayed in the night after we arrived (after the horrible Airbnb incident) was the Red Cow Moran Hotel. It was really nice and reasonably priced for what we got. The only problem was how far from downtown and all the landmarks it was. However, it was a great place to sleep off our jet lag and have a relaxed night before going to Generator Hostel.
Dublin ended up being a fantastic place for us to begin our journey around Europe. If you are looking for some of the best bars in Europe, Dublin is a good stop. The bars were some of the best we experienced though they don’t have a real “club scene” they have great live music, beer, and the people were just as lovely as you would expect. I can’t wait until I can go to Ireland and see more of the beautiful country.