Dublin is definitely a time and a half and being the capital of Ireland (the Republic of Ireland – don’t make the mistake of thinking Ireland is one country or you’ll get scoffed at) it is a huge tourist attraction. Before commencing our journey to Ireland, my friends and I wanted to make sure we got the full experience; meaning we wanted to see the sights, but also see how the locals do. See below for some of the fun things we did whilst in Dublin!
In Dublin we stayed at The Generator (a chain hostel) in the middle of the Smithfield District. This area was awesome, super lively (at any time of day or night) with a marketplace grocery store located in the centre of the square. The hostel was amazing: clean rooms, under the bed lockers, a bar in the lobby and a very trendy design aspect. It was a huge hostel however which made it feel more like a hotel, but we made friends well enough. In Dublin there are many different hostels, a lot of them cheaper than The Generator so if you’re on a very strict budget, perhaps look elsewhere for a place to put your head for the night.
The food in Dublin is very stereotypically Irish, i.e. a lot of fish (cooked many different ways), however there are some amazing restaurants! My favourites include The Brazen Head (had an amazing spicy chilli) and Boxty (serves a type of potato that’s cooked twice, kind of like a pancake-y texture) both located near the heart of the city.
First on the list was the Guinness Storehouse and it definitely did not disappoint. It was cool to see a little bit of the history behind the creation of Guinness and make up of the drink itself. At the end we learned how to pour our own pint of Guinness which is a lot trickier than it sounds! Whilst drinking my perfect brew (after realizing how much better Guinness tastes in Ireland versus the brown crap in the can you can purchase in Canada) Julia, Julie and I enjoyed a great conversation with a fellow Hamiltonian.
Secondly, we did a walking tour (free and advertised through our hostel) which gave us an amazing view of the city, along with a brief historical background of the capital. Our tour guide was hilarious and although we ended up walking for over three hours, I enjoyed every second.
Of course we had to check out the pub scene (what is Ireland known for if not its drinking culture) which started with Whelan’s, the pub from the movie, PS I Love You. The live music scene in Dublin is insane, every pub usually has some band or another playing at any time of the night, any day of the week. Even just walking down the popular streets in Dublin one can find a talented musician.
We also explored the Temple Bar area (tourist alert) and had an amazing night out with a group of American frat guys (yes I am aware of the irony in that sentence).
Lastly, the Trinity College area is full of young people all looking for a good time (p.s. The campus puts McMaster’s to shame). All in all I was definitely not disappointed with the Dublin nightlife.
Thanks for reading,