I really love Dublin and I have already visited this city three times. It is full of possibilities, but today I want to share with you some not so commonly advised tips 🙂
Three tips on what to do when visiting Dublin
Dublin is a wonderful city, and there are many things to see and do when visiting this place. But today, I want to mention two tips concerning Dublin, which go beyond the typical sights you will be recommended to see by any guide you decide to consult (Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Spire, Samuels Beckett Bridge, Jameson or Teeling Distillery).
Hiking outside Dublin
The first tip is for people who are fond of nature and hiking. Just outside Dublin, there is a peninsula called Howth, and you can get there very comfortably either by bus from the city center or by DART train route, which stops at Connolly and Pearse Station and runs on the route Bray to Howth. The bus takes longer (approximately 50 minutes, depending on the traffic, but it will take you on the Howth Summit, which offers terrific views and walking trails around the cliffs. It is the bus route number 31, and it begins at Talbot Street. The train is faster, but it takes you only to the village of Howth. On the other hand, there is a tourist booth where you can take a map or get information about the hiking routes.
Probably the most popular one is the Lower Cliff Loop, which is about 6 km long and it starts and ends at the Howth train station. However, the are other possibilities as well, so it all depends on your physique and time available. If you use the bus and get off on the Howth Summit, you will shorten this trail to half and also avoid the climbing up from the village. Despite the path, you decide to walk, make sure you have enough time to enjoy the trip because the panorama is fantastic.
Visiting the Malahide Castle
Malahide Castle is a medieval Irish castle and you can enjoy a guided tour, which takes about 45 minutes and during which you will see some of the rooms, furniture and art collections. Audio guides are also available in various languages. It is open every day and the ticket includes the entry into the gardens as well. The ticket is 14 euros per adult (they also offer a family ticket).
You can get there from the Connolly Station by using DART (about 30 minutes ride) and get off at Malahide. Before getting in the train, check out that you are not in the one going to Howth, as there are two routes which cover the same stops until Howth Junction and then branch. From the train station, it is about 1.5 km from the castle. Alternatively, you can take a bus no. 42 from Lower Abbey Street, which stops near the castle, but the journey is longer and definitely less enjoyable.
While the first tip would be best to realize on a sunny day, the other one is ideal for an overcast, rainy day, which is not difficult to experience in Dublin. I want to share my experience with visiting one of Dublin’s museums. Although you can find a great variety of museums (Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin Writers’ Museum, etc.), my last experience was with the National Museum of Ireland. It consists of four sites – Archeology, Decorative Arts and History, Country Life and Natural History. The great thing is that the admission is free to all of the sites so you can choose depending on your interest, and the quality of the exhibitions is very high.
As I am keen on archeology, I visited the building on Kildare Street, and I absolutely loved it! It includes several collections (Prehistoric Ireland, Viking Ireland, Medieval Ireland, but the collection I found the most fascinating was the Kingship and Sacrifice, which displays and also discusses the phenomenon of bog bodies. Bog bodies are corpses found in a peat bog, and these human remains are often exceptionally preserved, due to the special conditions of the bog. Even though I had heard about it before seeing this exhibition, but I was pleasantly surprised by the way the curators created this exposition, as it is both informative and visually appealing. Just be aware that the sight of the bodies might not be for everyone.
Have you visited Dublin? What were your impressions and would you recommend visiting?