Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

36 Hours in Dublin

For our last official adventure abroad, Morgan, Karen, and I decided to head to Dublin for the weekend. We didn’t want to leave the British Isles without seeing some part of Ireland, and Dublin seemed like a good place to start. So we hopped on a plane with only a very vague idea of what we wanted to see and do.

Our flight out of Edinburgh was on Saturday at 8 AM, and we touched down in Ireland around 9:30. With only two days to spend in the city, we began by quickly checking into the hostel and getting oriented. The receptionist recommended we begin the day with HostelCulture’s free walking tour of the city. Our tour guide Keith was knowledgeable and friendly, and really entertaining. The tour was about two and a half hours and took us to pretty much all the major sites (ranging from the Trinity College campus to Dublin Castle), ending at St. Stephen’s Green.

DUB_6pages2013_NEW-EDITION Map of Dublin provided on Hostelculture’s website img_1609 Dublin Castle img_1614 Trinity College img_1622 Ha’ Penny Bridge

img_1624 View of the River Liffey

Because we hadn’t eaten since a very early breakfast, our first priority once the tour ended was finding some lunch, so we headed to Neon, an Asian street food place we had heard about online. The food was great and for some unknown but greatly appreciated reason, every meal comes with a free vanilla soft serve cone.

This was followed by a trip to the Guinness Storehouse, which is apparently one the biggest tourist attractions in all of Ireland. It was fifteen euros, but it included a free pint and it was interesting to learn about the very complicated process of making the iconic beer. It was pretty interactive, particularly in the tasting room, where we were able to smell vapors of the different components of the beer and learned the proper way to drink a Guinness. My favorite floor was probably the one that featured all of Guinness’ old ad campaigns, including a mechanical fish riding a bicycle that gave an entirely new meaning to that quote ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’

img_1797 The inside of the Storehouse was designed to look like a pint glass img_1799 img_1798

We left the Storehouse around 5:30 and walked back towards the city center, where we grabbed dinner at an Italian restaurant before heading back to the hostel to collapse in a fit of exhaustion.

Because we had done the walking tour and had thus hit 95% of the items on our to do/see list, we weren’t exactly sure how to spend our final few hours in Dublin. We started by walking towards the National Museum, and when that wasn’t open we went to the National Gallery. Both are free, and it was nice to wander around the very small museum and look at art for a bit. The next few hours were spent wandering through the streets, stopping to have some burritos for lunch, browsing through the book market in Temple Bar, and finally going to The Queen of Tarts for their legendary coffee and cheesecake. We then bid Dublin goodbye and headed back to Edinburgh.

I really liked Dublin and would highly recommend a trip there if you have time during the semester. It was kind of a strange conglomeration of all the other places we’d been to (probably because were were tired and disoriented for most of the trip), and especially reminded me of Glasgow. We were there for the perfect amount of time for a quick overview of Dublin, but a longer trip would allow you to take day trips to other parts of Ireland, like the Cliffs of Moher, as well as take more time at the sites within Dublin itself. Our quick, two day trip was really just a great way to take a break from studying for finals and gave us a chance to clear our heads before returning to essays and exams.

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