Friday, 26 February 2016

DUBLIN, Ireland. City of smiles.

Let’s face it – who doesn’t love the Irish?  Ireland is a small country with a big heart – a warm, friendly welcome is guaranteed.  The unique Celtic heritage, chirpy traditional pubs and melodic Irish accents add to the appeal.  So when I saw Ryanair flights to Dublin for GBP 9.99 each way, I snapped them up.  And whilst nobody visits Ireland in search of the sun, I was treated to crystal clear blue skies during my visit!

Buildings along the River Liffey

And it turns out that Dublin has a wealth of fascinating landmarks.  With two impressive cathedrals (Christchurch and St. Patrick’s), a noble castle, a pretty riverscape and countless museums there is a lot to see and do.  I was particularly intrigued by the Leprechaun Museum!  Other popular attractions include the Guinness brewery and the Jameson whiskey distillery.  Dublin is a relatively small city compared to other European capitals and I found it easy to explore most of the sights by foot.

Dublin Castle courtyard
Medieval sections of Dublin Castle

In Dublin, many people are very proud of the independence of the Irish Republic, which broke free from British rule in 1916.  Evidence of the Revolution can be seen around the city, but probably the best place to learn more is the Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison which has been converted into a museum.  

Colourful streets of Temple Bar

My favourite part of Dublin has to be Temple Bar.  Historically, this area of cobbled streets and redbrick terraces was a run-down district of workers’ houses, but has today been transformed into a bustling cultural hub.  Here you will find an infinite number of pubs, restaurants and music venues, including the iconic pub 'The Temple Bar'.  There is no denying that this district is touristy and overpriced, but the atmosphere is so laid-back and uplifting.

The Temple Bar pub

I became fascinated with all the street art around Dublin - particularly in the Temple Bar area.  There is a lot of very artistic graffiti around the city, which helps to create a laid-back bohemian feel.

Colourful façade of the Blooms Hotel, Temple Bar
Another colourful street in Temple bar

It’s no secret that the Irish love a tipple – this is evident from the abundance of pubs around Dublin.  It would be no exaggeration to say there is a pub on every corner and then some in-between!  Whilst it’s not untrue that the Irish drink stout and whiskey in large volumes, Irish pubs’ main purpose is a place for people to socialize and relax.  These pubs generally have a very friendly atmosphere where everyone will speak to everyone.  Although I did love Temple Bar, I would recommend visiting pubs in less touristy districts as they tend to be cheaper and more authentic.

Guinness stout is synonymous with Ireland

My trip to Dublin was a short one.  Whilst it is possible to get a good overview of the city in a couple of days, I would have definitely liked to have spent longer here to explore the city more thoroughly and to see other parts of Ireland so I’m determined to return! 

Christchurch Cathedral

Ireland is a beautiful country inside and out.  Its real charm is its people – the Irish are some of the most genuinely friendly and welcoming people I have encountered. 

Thank you for reading, and don't forget to check out Instagram for more pics!

Elis Griffiths. x

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