Dublin Travel Guide

This summer, I was able to check another adventure off my bucket list: traveling to Ireland! What made it even more special is the fact that my oldest daughter and my mother went with me! I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the highlights of our trip as well as what I packed.

The weather in Ireland was forecasted to be markedly cooler than it was here (which is one reason I was so excited to go). I decided I would need to take long pants, a couple of jackets, and a scarf or two. This was my basic packing list for our week-long stay:
-3 pairs of jeans
-2 pairs of leggings
-4 long sleeve shirts
-2 short sleeve shirts
-1 jacket with hood
-1 light scarf (doubles as a blanket on the plane!)
-1 pair of sneakers
-1 pair of waterproof booties
If you go during even cooler weather, I would recommend taking a couple of undershirts, a heavy scarf, and some nice warm socks!

We decided to stay in a house instead of a hotel, and I have to say, I am a big fan of this! It is cheaper than a hotel room, plus you can save even more money by not eating out for every meal since you have a full kitchen at your disposal. Check out the GORGEOUS historical townhome we stayed in!
It was just down the street from the bus stop, a grocery store, an amazing coffee shop, and the cutest little Irish pub. The entire street was so picturesque and felt very safe.

I scoured Pinterest and a ton of travel blogs for months prior to our trip, trying to find the best things to do and see. My daughter's only request was that we see the Cliffs of Moher. Other than that, our plan was to stay in and around Dublin. There are, of course, the typical tourist spots like Temple Bar, Grafton Street, and the Molly Malone statue, but we wanted to find some of the hidden gems Dublin has to offer. Here are a few of the must-see places we discovered:
-The National Leprechaun Museum: One of the most FAVORITE things we did on this trip was the Darklands tour at this museum! It's totally not what you think it is. This museum is a storytelling experience, and it is phenomenal. You learn about the history of Irish folklore and then travel through different rooms as you're told various classic tales. The storytellers are amazing performers and really draw you in. The daytime tours are the PG versions and the Darkland tours (the one we went on) are the original versions of the stories. I highly recommend hitting this place up. It's a very uniquely Irish experience!
-The Winding Stair Bookshop and RestaurantThis cozy little bookshop is a fun place to look around. They also sell some prints by local artists (I got a cool painting or the Dublin skyline for a very reasonable price). There is a cool restaurant next door that serves some great Irish food and drink
-Guinness Storehouse: Most of you probably already know this is a major Dublin attraction, but I wanted to mention it because it truly is a unique experience. It's like the Willy Wonka factory for grown ups! Even if beer isn't really your thing, the history is pretty interesting and their exhibits are very well done. There is also an AMAZING restaurant that serves huge portions, and a bar on the top floor with gorgeous views of the city.
-Irish Whiskey MuseumOk, this one is also kind of a given, but it really is worth your while to go. Heads up though, you have to get tickets and it is a guided tour. And of course there is a tasting at the end!
-Epic Immigration Museum: Many people are aware of the potato famine, but most don't know all the other occurrences that made it necessary for some Irish to leave their homeland. This museum puts on an informative and intriguing display of Ireland's history, both good and bad, and implores its visitors to learn from the mistakes of the past. I could have spent most of the day here reading over all the fascinating information.
-Vintage Tea Tours: Unfortunately, this is one activity that we did not get to do. We saw the bus driving around several times though, and it is THE cutest thing I've ever seen! You get to ride around in an adorable bus and learn more about Dublin, all while having a tea party...what's not to love about that?
-Trinity College Library: This attraction is best known for housing The Book of Kells, but I found the library itself to be more impressive. But maybe that's because I'm a teacher, the daughter of a librarian, and a bibliophile. The main part of the library has floor-to-ceiling books and is still a functioning research library. Oh what I would have given to be able to pull some of those centuries old books of the shelves and look through them!

The numerous pubs we stopped at were a great highlight as well. All of them were so cozy, the people were so kind, and the food/drinks were SO good! I look forward to going back and seeing more of the country. Besides the Cliffs of Moher, there are so many other places to see like Wexford, Kilkenny, Blarney Castle (ever heard of the famous Blarney Stone??), Cork, and others. And the best part is that you can do it all relatively inexpensively! See, I'm not just a bargain hunter when it comes to clothes! Xo





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