My first time out of the country! I felt like I needed some luck of the Irish on my 23rd birthday, so I popped on a plane over to Dublin. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting, but it was a fun, interesting, history rich city. Plus, the company made it a fantastic week trip! Here are some of the highlights:
- Phoenix Park at sunset - Europe's largest inner city park, home to the Dublin Zoo, the Wellington Memorial, and a beautiful walk!
- Kilmainham Gaol - aka the jail. It's most notable for housing prisoners from the 1916 Easter Rising. It incarcerated several female prisoners, even children when times struck hard during the potato famine. Look up some of the interesting prisoners, and learn a bit of history. The tour guide was great, and it was definitely worth having the guide to learn more of the history!
- Guinness Storehouse - even if you don't like Guinness, I think this museum is worth the price of admission. You get to learn about the process, the history of Guinness, its role in the Republic of Ireland, learn how to properly drink Guinness, and then enjoy your free pint in the Gravity Bar with an amazing 360 degree view of Dublin. We also had a great Guinness flavoured burger in the restaurant.
- Dublinia - I wasn't aware that the Irish were so proud of their Viking heritage, but this museum says it all. Connected to Christchurch Cathedral (the National Cathedral), it's a little bit cheesy, a lot interactive, and good for a laugh but also some history...and a few weird statues.
- Il Vilcoletta - a lovely little Italian restaurant tucked into the back of the Temple Bar area and inside an old cellar--the location was fun and the pizza was deliiiiiicous!
- Lighthouse Cinema--looking to see an artsy film? Want to have a drink and some yummy food while lounging in red velvet plush chairs and watch your movie. Head to this funky cinema in Smithfield Square (also just around the corner from the Jameson Distillery, but we didn't have the funds for that).
- Poolbeg Lightouse - for a few hours trip outside the city but still in Dublin take the North Wall Walk to the Poolbeg lighthouse. If you actually find the entrance to the North Wall, let me know cause I took us down a nasty route...but we got there eventually and it was beautiful and well worth the long walk!
- Book of Kells & the Long Room at Trinity College - SO WORTH IT! Absolutely beautiful while learning a lot about the creation of books during medieval times. I would've loved to have been a book illuminator. And the Long Room might be one of the prettiest rooms in a library I've ever seen!
- L. Mulligan's Grocer--a little bit off the beaten, path, but if you're looking for a nice meal in a cool atmosphere, this is the place to go. They bring out the menus in old books and recommend beers for each meal, which was absolutely delicious. The venison was melt in my mouth amazing!
Dublin is not a cheap city, but it was fun--a great place to spend my birthday and a time to learn about my Irish heritage (I think).