It was July 2016 and we wanted to go somewhere new to celebrate our five years of traveling together. We don`t usually get to travel that much during summer time because of work, and we usually travel far from Norway during wintertime to escape the cold weather. So with this in mind we wanted to take advantage of the fact that we could go some place new in Europe and explore when it`s green and warm during summer season.
So what country/city to pick? When I (Jon) think of summer and green landscape there is one country that pops into my mind. Perhaps because of all the green rolling hills in the Hollywood blockbuster Braveheart which is filmed in this country, if you haven’t guessed it already; we decided that a long-weekend in Dublin would be a perfect destination to explore at this time of the year.
The departure day was finally here, it was 4 o`clock in the morning and we were on our way to the airport to catch our Ryanair flight to Dublin. We arrived Dublin airport around 8am Saturday morning, and took the Aircoach to the city centre and walked for just a few minutes to our hotel for these three nights: Grafton Capital Hotel.
We bought tickets for the Aircoach prior to departure; we found this option to be the cheapest and easiest way to travel to/from the airport/city centre.
The Grafton Capital Hotel is located just a 2-minute walk from the Gaiety Theatre and Grafton Street, Dublin’s premier shopping district. St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College is about a 10-min walk away. Location is key for us on weekend trips like this because we prefer to walk around, mix with the locals and see the sights without depending on taxi/public transportation.
After check-in we headed straight out to explore this ancient city established by our Viking ancestors in the 10th century. But before we did go too far we had to eat some food. We popped into Peter’s Pub just around the corner, and after a delicious breakfast we were ready to start exploring and take in the historic sights.
We started as usual; if you are a regular to our blog you know already that we are fans of the «Hop on, hop off» city sightseeing bus when visiting big cities. Yes, it`s very touristy and maybe a bit corny sometimes but the truth is that it gives us a very good overview of the city, which makes navigation by foot later on much easier. And keep in mind that we only had a couple of days available for exploring the city. This makes it an efficient way to travel from sight to sight when we want to see most of the sights on the busses route anyways.
We got the tickets for the bus, and discovered that the weather in Dublin was a bit unpredictable and could change quickly. We didn’t take warm clothes with us, and despite that we might be Vikings from the north (haha) we don’t like to sit on a bus freezing our buts off, so we bought some local made scarfs to keep us warm.
We spent the whole day visiting sights like the Guinness storehouse, The Brazen Head and explored the City on our own. Since we managed to see so much on the very first day in Dublin, we decided to join a day-trip the next day to explore more of Ireland. You can read all about that day-trip here: Kilkenny Day Tour from Dublin
The Guinness Storehouse is arguably one of Dublin’s most iconic attractions so when you’re in Dublin, you can’t leave without a trip to Guinness Storehouse®. This production site has been home to the Guinness Brewery since 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a lease for 9,000 years (!!!). You learn through the seven-storey building how the world-famous drink is made and it`s 250 year old history. Then you taste it for yourself at the panoramic Gravity Bar with a 360° panoramic view over Dublin.
A ‘perfect’ pour of Guinness should take 119.5 seconds at a 45-degree angle.
Over 10 million glasses of Guinness are sold every day around the world.
Ireland`s oldest pub:
Dating back to 1198, The Brazen Head is officially Ireland’s oldest pub. While it is unclear how much of the original 11th century coach house is still intact, there is a palpable sense of history within these timeworn walls. If you are looking for the true Irish pub experience then the Brazen Head Pub should be your first port of call.