'whisky & wilde | drinking, culture, locals in the beautiful capital
of the emerald isle'
My weekend in dublin was actually a last minute decision as i was flying to the usa.so i thought why not combine it with a weekend in the emerald isle. i heard that dublin was an amazing city for a weekend break. since i only had a few days to discover this diverse city i decided to stay in the centre in one of the most central locations right next to and area called temple bar. temple bar although touristy is one if the main places to visit in dublin so here is where my journey started.
where to eat & drink
ireland although not well know for its food unlike some of its rival european nations (yes.. im thinking of you france & italy) it does have a rich history. this is where its restaurants and bars can build upon its unique geographic location.
now no visit to dublin is complete without a visit to the guinness storehouse its a brewery come museum / exhibition. on entering the brewery the first thing you notice when looking up is just how vast this place is... its 7 floors including the all glass gravity bar that has 360° views of the city. when i entered the brewery i really didn't know what to expect i had actually never tried guinness so this was going to be a new experience for me. after meandering thought the floor passed all the interactive exhibitions from the waterfall to the marketing room where you can see some of the greatest tv ads ever made i finally arrived to the gravity bar. now just so you know they have bars and restaurants on most floors all with unique selling points from the tasting experience on the second floor to arthur's bar on the fifth floor that has live music and fantastic local food. in the last few years I've been really interested in craft beers from all over the globe this is the great thing about traveling you can taste the local tipple.
now i have heard from many sources that the best guinness can only be found in ireland and all other guinness around the world has nothing on the depth of complexity you can get in ireland. so i finally decided to order one of the most famous pints in the world with views over dubin in the gravity bar, i could not think of a more perfect place to try it for the first time. what you have to realise is that patience is needed when ordering as the glass has to first be filled 3/4 and then left for a while to sit while the nitrogen bubbles settle then the bar tender tops it off with a creamy head making one of the most iconic pints in the world. i dived right in and wow the first thing that struck me was the smoothness of it and actually walking through the exhibition i found out the amount of science that goes into the nitrogen process is unbelievable that gives it characteristic smoothness. the depth of flavour and complexity of it was sublime and i have to say that it will now be on my list whenever going to a bar. i have to also mention that when i left dublin for iceland i decided to see if the rumours where true that guinness tastes very different in others countries and so i ordered my new favourite tipple in a bar in iceland and i have to say that i did not have the characteristic smoothness of it dublin counterpart. so if your looking for the best pint of guinness in the world then it has to be in dublin.
now we all know that ireland & in particular
dublin are famous for there drinking culture but i felt i had to try a selection of the local food and the easy way to do that was a food tour so i decided to take a tour with the very well known secret foodtours dublin to show me the culinary side this great city had to offer.
we started our tour at cafe located in a beautiful handycraft store that sells local wares from irish designers. here we had the opportunity to try potato cakes and black pudding, now not being a fan of black pudding i was decidely wary but after trying it i cleaned the plate its was delicious. after a great start we arrived at our next stop the celtic whiskey store, now we arrived just before midday to this small specialist store off the beaten track and immidetely i felt at home the staff here are super friendly and get you involved in everthing we tasted two whiskeys and what i beileve is one of the best liqueurs i have tasted a white chocolate and whiskey blend. they even told us that when they have had a heavy night out they pour this onto coco pops to start the day and for me this is quintensially ireland they are hilariously funny when it comes to talking about the drinking culture. in most of the world peole would think are you crazy drinking at that time in the morning but here its not the case there is no judgement ireland when it comes to drinking and i think thats also how you can sum up irish culture they are very easy going.
ok ok... to get back on track we swung by a beautiful irish pub for a guinness pie then on to the most famous fish and chips with the best smoked battered fish i have ever tasted. my favourite place of the whole tour was murphy's ice cream. here you'll find super alcoholic irish coffee flavour, dingle seasalt and my personal favourite brown bread, its a must visit. i have to say that this food tour was a big surprise i wasn't expecting much from an irish food tour but i was blown away by what dublin had to offer, our guide cal was also on point super whitty, engaging with a deep knowledge and understanding of this great city. book your tour here.
since i travel full time going to fancy restaurants is not on my daily to do list but i love to find what i call cheap eat places. the best i found by far was umi falafel its a cool little casual middle eastern eatery that has some sub €9 meal deals including a drink and in a city as expensive as dublin with was a great find. atmosphere and food was amazing here.
i have to say that dublin is now a true tourist destination. in the past this was a hidden gem but now it has really excelled in activities for tourists to do around the city. there are truly to many to mention but i wanted to note some of my favourite that i had the opportunity to visit. the city is quite small in comparison to some of the major cities of europe but it would be quite a task to walk to every attraction you wanted to visit here.
so being a little lazy this weekend and having a few hangovers from drinking to much guinness i decided that the most efficient way to get around was to use the do dublin pass. this 3 day pass gives you access to the hop on hop off bus, all public transport and the airport bus for the duration of the pass. at only €35 adults and €10 children its a bargain for the ability to get around the city with a personal bus tour guide.
the teeling whisky distillery located in the centre is the first new distillery in the city in 125 years. the single malt tasting experience gives you the opportunity to taste a limited edition single cask. the facilities are super cool and makes for some great photos. if you get the chance visit on the weekend the father of the owners is around when the tours are on and you'll get some amazing stories from his life of distilling.
national gallery of ireland has a great mixture of classical and modern art from artists all over the globe. it a huge space and if your an art lover like me then your going to have the best time.
phoenix park known as 'dublin's playground' this vast park with areas of mature trees and roaming deer is actually one of the largest parks in the whole of europe.
i have to mention a special place thats about 45 mins south of dublin. the happy pear is an organic cafe run by two brothers near the eastern irish coast. they even have a morning sea swimming club that take a dip even in the coldest times of the year. if you have the time you can take a bus here its a nice day out near the seaside.
the sum up
my expectations where very limited arriving in dublin as i didn't hear much about this little city but after leaving i can honestly say that i miss the summer vibrancy of this place it may not be the same in winter but for sure in summer this is one of the best weekend cities in europe. if your looking for a good time with super friendly locals and an abundance of history then this is the place for you. ill be making my way back here in the future.
- they use euro's here, it is one of the most expensive cities in europe.
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country travel tips
atm: any is fine most are free just make sure not to select the on screen conversion.
sim card: three, has the best deals €25 for 7gb
transport: use the public transport. buses and trams are a great way to get around
taxi: mytaxi has the most extensive network. uber? use promo: carlm5078ue for free ride.