Dublin, Ireland – The city of great food and music!
I had no expectations about Dublin. In the past, It was not on my top 10 places to visit. Jeff picked Dublin because his sister, Marlea, and niece, Janet, were going to be on holiday in Dublin on corresponding days. We spent our first two days in Howth, a small seaside town just outside Dublin. We decided to take public transportation (bus & train) to our tiny, waterfront Airbnb. Super smooth.
Howth, Ireland is a must-see! The harbor is stunning, and you can’t beat the fresh, chunky chowder varieties at the local restaurants. This town is also known for its hiking trails. Yes, hiking trails in a large undeveloped seaside hill on the edge of town. The views of Howth Harbor on one side and Dublin Harbor on the other are spectacular. The hike options vary from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the route. There is an authentic, historic pub at the top of the hill. Great for a few pints. Fresh Seafood for purchase is available at the Howth Harbor. Lovely!
Our train and bus ride to the Dublin Airbnb was also relatively painless. We carried our backpacks approx. half mile from the bus stop to the Airbnb, but not unusual. The Airbnb was perfect for the four of us and in a great location. After Marlea and Janet arrived, we hopped on a bus to check out downtown. The downtown is lively — lots of people, shopping, music, street performers, history, and commercial construction. We shuffled into the Stagshead (est.1780s) and had a drink with 100 of our best friends. The pub looked like a scene out of a movie with a stag’s head on the wall, 10 ft — ceilings, stained glass windows, and an expansive carved mirror and wood bar with two very friendly bartenders. The tables and chairs overflowed with local patrons for happy hour. We popped our head into The Temple Bar for some live Irish music. Fantastic!
The next day we visited the Newgrange. It’s a historic passage tomb and ceremonial sight that dates back to the 14th century and before the Great Pyramids. More historical references I can’t get my head around. For centuries, the tombs were overgrown, but found again in the 17th century by local farmers and then refurbished in the 1970s. I was awestruck. There are more tombs in the area, but only a few of the largest are uncovered and available for viewing purposes. The engineering of the stone to create the tomb with no mortar is incredible. We headed over to Skerries, another little seaside town for lunch with an excellent harbor and incredible chowder.
1) The House Restaurant in Howth, a foodie favorite! The chowder was chunk-full with potatoes, seafood, veggies, and even mussel shells with fresh bread and warm butter.
2) Farmer Brown restaurant in Rathmines neighborhood, Dublin served us up a brunch that made all of us overeat! They have vegan and gluten-free options, plus great eats for those meat lovers. The brownies looked amazing!
3) The Little Museum of Dublin is a must-experience. It’s the unofficial museum of Dublin’s pop-culture and history. A guide walks the group through the museum of citizen donated items from over the decades. Loved by young and not-so-young!
4) St. Stephens Green in Dublin City Centre is stunning. It’s the best known Victorian Park in Ireland and was reopened to the public in 1880 by Lord Ardilaun with spectacular gardens, small ponds, and lovely swans. There were many people taking advantage of the park when we were there, walking, running, strolling, and kids playing. It was great to see.
5) Cornucopia – I know, another food place, but this one was right in Dublin City Centre and super yummy vegetarian and wholefood options. It was casual, counter service, and fast.
Behind the Scenes
As you can see we REALLY enjoyed the food! I was super impressed with Dublin. It’s a big city with big city issues, but it has a lot going for it. Tech Companies are moving in and bring jobs, there is a great nightlife and lots to do and see. Dublin seems to be in a boom right now. I enjoyed sharing time and space with Marlea and Janet. It was really easy to hang out, talk, laugh and learn. I am excited and anxious about India, but ready to see something new. The UK is a lot like the United States and feels very similar to home.
Enjoy the Climb!
I send out a monthly update with my favorite finds, experiences, stories and tips from interesting places around the world. Join me!