Christmas in Dublin – why not? After being a busy bee with tons of assignments, lack of sleep and way too many days in the library, it was time for a change. After school finished on 12 December, I packed my bags and left Cardiff to meet up with my friend Susann in Dublin!
Let me tell you, Dublin is a charming city. It is quite tiny so it is the perfect destination for a weekend trip. There are 7 things you shouldn’t miss while you’re visiting Ireland’s capital. I know, usually bloggers tell you about the 5 best or 10 best things in a city. Since I simply couldn’t decide what I liked most, I thought I’d go with the odd number of seven today!
1. TEMPLE BAR DISTRICT.
Perfect for dinner or a drink at a traditional Irish pub. I’m sure you’ll find a place that you like, the district has so much to offer! Part of it is also known as the “hipster-triangle” (http://lovindublin.com/reviews/hipster/dublins-ultimate-foodie-district-hipster-triangle) so you’ll find small, independent bars, restaurants, cafés and shops everywhere. The district is breathtaking during Christmas time as ALL the buildings are lit up beautifully!
2. TRINITY COLLEGE.
Established in 1592 and famous for its graduates Oscar Wilde or Bram Stoker, the Trinity College is definitely a sight you shouldn’t miss! You can wander around the campus all year round and breathe in the air of the ancient buildings and a rich college history. If you are interested in books and old libraries (I simply love majestic college libraries!), you should pay the entrance fee to see the Trinity College library. The two main attractions are the long room and the Book of Kells (an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament).
3. GUINNESS STOREHOUSE.
This is known as Dublin’s most famous tourist attraction. And it is worth the money! The Guinness Storehouse has been restored into an awesome museum that guides you through the process of producing the Guinness beer. You are guided through a very interactive tour with cool features such as a Twitter wall where you can post your thoughts on the museum, a beer tasting course, a guideline on how to perfectly pour your Guinness from a bottle and finally the Gravity Bar, where you can savour a free pint of Guinness while enjoying the view all over Dublin.
4. DUBLN CASTLE.
Though you can only wander around the premises of Dublin Castle and not enter the castle itself, it is still worth a visit. Especially since it is right at the heart of Dublin’s city centre, so you wouldn’t want to miss it anyway! I would also recommend to visit the Chester Beatty Library, which is located right next to the castle (there is no entrance fee!).
5. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ALL OVER THE CITY.
Wherever you wander in Dublin, the city is lit up beautifully everywhere! Don’t miss the Christmas spirit, enjoy the neatly decorated shop windows and listen to Christmas carols playing in the streets or the stores. You can find the most beautiful Christmas lights at Mary Street and Henry Street (north of the river Liffey) or in Grafton Street (the main shopping street in Dublin).
6. OLD JAMESON DISTILLERY.
Seems like Dublin is all about alcohol, ha? I mean if Guiness and Old Jameson are famous beverages from Ireland’s capital you have to pay them a visit, right? That’s what we did. After deciding to only visit the Guinness Storehouse museum and not also pay for checking out how the Old Jameson Whiskey is made, we still decided to visit the Old Jameson store that is located at the bottom floor of the distillery. And that was all I needed! During Christmas time, the foyer is richly decorated and you can choose from a variety of products in the Old Jameson shop.
7. TEAROOMS, TEAROOMS, TEAROOMS.
As you will know from my last post, I am obsessed with tearooms. Dublin is a perfect spot for this obsession! Susann and I always found an excuse to escape the piercing Irish winds and hop into one of the lovely cafés. There are two cafés that I can totally recommend. The first one is Queen of Tarts (Cows Lane, Dame Street or Cork Hill, Dame Street). They offer handmade pastries and delicious teas.
The second café is The Grattan Café (Grattan Bridge, 6A Ormond Quay Upper, City Centre North). We found this little gem while we were on our way looking for a Costa Coffee (I know, I know, these big coffee chains…but sometimes you’re just desperate!) and passed the café on our way through the cold so that we decided to hop in. We only stopped for a quick coffee and tea but there are pastries, cakes and breakfasts on the menu that definitely seemed worth checking out!