Dublin never really occurred to me. For some reason I thought the city was just a smaller version of London, with locals that speak kinda funny. Well, the locals really do speak kinda funny, but otherwise I was proven wrong on all accounts. Dublin definitely has an identity of its own, and a very strong one as well.
Naming one of their most beautiful historic neighborhoods after a bar says a lot about the priorities the Irish have, and I applaud them. They are definitely one of the funniest, most laid-back and alcohol-loving people I’ve ever encountered.
Dublin’s Temple Bar area is completely overrun by tourists nowadays, but take just a few random turns and you’ll surely find yourself on a quiet cobblestone street with a few drunken locals stumbling out of the corner pub. Very probably they’ll invite you to join them for a pint of Guinness in the next pub and a few hours later it’ll be you stumbling out of the corner pub!
Temple Bar is lined by The Liffey, the river that cuts the city into two halves. On the other side of the river awaits the Northern side of Dublin, with the city’s proud landmark, The Spire, which is basically a big-ass pole. The Northern side is a clear departure from the Southern. I don’t want to say trashy, so let’s just say that it seems more down to earth.
Trinity College is a must-see in Dublin. The University’s campus is truly awe-inspiring in its Ivy League elegance. Even if you’re not an architecture buff, it’s a classy spot for your selfies… Make sure to also check out the amazing Old Library, with near-endless rows of bookshelves. The place makes you feel like you’re a part of history, a part of something bigger.
Café en Seine (40 Dawson Street) is one of my favorite hangouts in the city. There’s a fantastic brunch on the weekends with live music and the best burgers in the city, smothered in delicious local cheddar!
Grafton Street is the main shopping street in the city, full of interesting stores, restaurants and cafés. It starts off at St. Stephen’s Green, which happens to be the perfect spot for a relaxed picnic on a sunny day or a little cool off after shopping!
Powerscourt Centre (59 South William Street) is a fantastically unique department store. A collection of old buildings connected by a glass-roofed central courtyard, they concentrate on antiques, art and fashion. My favorite, however, is the breakfast served at Pygmalion Café in the ground floor of the courtyard. The best eggs benedict I’ve ever had anywhere in the world!
Dubliners really love colorful front doors
The Cake Café (8 Pleasants Place) is an incredible haven for those looking for a tasty sugar rush. Located pretty much in the middle of nowhere, along a grungy alley on the outskirts of the city, you don’t just happen here. It’s definitely worth the trip, though.
Once here, you’ll find a charming little inner courtyard and an incredible selection of tasty cakes, coffees and teas in a relaxed atmosphere. If I lived in Dublin, I’d probably just live right here.
Dublin has a surprisingly lively nightlife that seems to go on and on and on until sunrise. Many pubs and bars have inner courtyards that become wild playgrounds at night. Just grab a Guinness or a shot of Irish whisky and join the fun!