Fitting the great city of Dublin into a short weekend was never going to be an easy task, especially since you have to ask them to repeat every sentence twice or three times to make sure you’ve understood the amazing accent.
As far as accommodation is concerned I would always recommend a cheap place within walking distance of the main part of the city. Dublin is famous for Temple Bar, its very own version of Paceville and I would certainly not recommend any flats along that way. We settled for a budget place called Anchor Guesthouse located next to the famous Spike monument.
As we only booked for the weekend Friday night became crucial so down went the luggages and up went the pints. Dodging Temple Bar for the time being we spotted a wee pub called The Celt and this little local hit the spot for its vibrant atmosphere channelled through a traditional Irish folk singer. He might do your head in for a while but you soon become numb to his nasal voice and after a few drinks you might even find yourself singing along to some old classics
Peeling our eyes open the following day we were surprised to see the sun perched high in the sky, but don’t be fooled as you would still need your woolies and jackets up here. The famous Dublin Castle greeted us for the morning but we were more impressed with a little corner cafe called Chez Max, after the French man who runs it. I know what you are thinking: a French restaurant in Ireland sounds like a tourist trap but this little place had enough Mediterranean charm to keep us going after our good night out.
It was then finally time to head to the shrine and visit the Guinness Storehouse, and what an incredible experience this was. Laid out like a giant pint glass your aim is to make your way through the exhibition and head for that well earned pint of fresh Guinness at Gravity Bar. Before doing so your mouth will salivate as you become a stout connoisseur and an expert at pulling pints. The view from the top makes the entrance fee worth every cent and you will never, ever taste the black (or ruby red) stuff the same again. We stayed for one of the best city views as the sun slowly set over the Irish hills
Slurring our words it was time to hit the famous Temple Bar and you know you are in Ireland when even the Ambulances are sponsored by Guinness. It is the very pulse of the city and no trip to Dublin would be complete without knocking back one or two. I won’t bore you with the Temple bar details, if I can remember any, but I was surprised to have seen my very first leprechaun, in his full glory all green and cheerful with a pint of the black in his right hand and a flute in the other! What a magical moment, all my dreams came true at once – now where’s the pot of gold he talked about?
Our night out in Dublin ended with us waking up in jail, but this was not some episode of Banged up Abroad. We were convinced to take a tour of the old Kilmainham Gaol to soak in some Irish history and rev up a revolutionary spirit.
This had to be the highlight of the trip as you are walked through the paces of prisoners where even the earliest cells remain open despite having been standing since 1796. the dramatic experience leaves you with a eerie feeling especially when you discover that the youngest prisoner kept there was just five years old. He was done for stealing bread during the Irish famine. The prison is better known for its part in the Irish rebellion and two black crosses stand marking the place of execution for some of the more famous political prisoners held their for threatening to upstage the English crown.
Some parts of the prison are still shut and wait restoration as it was only recently opened to the public by a former inmate Eamon de Valera, who later became president of the Republic . It may now be void of prisoners but its certainly full of history and it makes any trip to Dublin complete.
Dublin in two days does seem like a mad rush to many however with regular weekend flights on low cost airlines it is possible to explore one of Europe’s most charming little capital cities. The weekend will give you plenty to discover however one thing is for certain, you would need weeks to decipher that catchy accent!
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