I got the chance to visit Dublin a few weeks ago in November. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining, and the Christmas spirit was glowing throughout the city. I’m going to share a few highlights of my trip, of which I think make Dublin so wonderful.
Dublin has so many amazing things to offer that stem from its old pubs to its beachy charm. Dublin is also so walkable, which makes it very easy to spend close to nothing on transportation! Just bring some comfy walking shoes and you will be set.
The streets of Dublin were so festive and exciting. I visited in November, so Christmas decorations were hung up, and there were tons of colorful flags everywhere. I could really sense the Irish pride in this town.
There is so much color and crazy street art in Dublin. I loved how artistic the city looked — there were so many cozy cafes and pubs to chill at as well. However, there wasn’t an “overdone” hipster scene or anything. It seemed to be a city accepting of everyone.
Here is a picture of Trinity College’s campus. One of my best friends from America actually does her undergrad studies here. She’s so lucky! Her campus is gorgeous with the pristine grass, old buildings, and beautiful surroundings. It’s pretty much in the heart of Dublin which makes it a perfect stop along your walk of the city.
A really festive random “tunnel” I came across one morning walking to breakfast. Dublin was so colorful and lit up! I loved all the spontaneous decorations across the streets, even in parts of the city I wouldn’t think there would be any.
After breakfast one day, I visited George St. Arcade, which had some neat market stalls. It was fun to peek in and see the types of goods the vendors were selling. I was tempted to buy something, but only left with a card. My wallet thanked me.
Above is a picture of inside the building. You can see how lovely it looks, and it is definitely a nice hiding spot from the rain. Again, all the main attractions are relatively central, so I would definitely check this spot out too. You can pick up some crafty decorations, clothing, jewellery, or cards.
Going for drinks
When in Ireland, do as the Irish do, huh? One fun thing to do in Dublin is to relax from walking around with a drink. Even if you aren’t a big drinker, it is really fun to visit some traditional pubs and Irish bars. One place I went to is called The Jar. It is more of an upscale cocktail bar than a pub, but I would definitely check out both types!
The drink I ordered (left) was a Basil & Cucumber gimlet. It featured tanqueray gin, with lime juice, basil leaves, and cucumber. Plus, all the ingredients were fresh! It was something I had never tried before, and I really enjoyed the earthy flavors. This place was quite expensive at 11€ per cocktail, but it was worth the experience for one drink.
The famous Temple Bar! Definitely check this pub out and pop into others in the area. There are super cute shops and eateries around here, and you know you’ve reached this district when you are walking on cobblestone. I couldn’t get a decent picture since there were so many people walking here, but it was definitely a good-looking pub. Inside of the bar was way more exciting though…
A picture from inside the Temple Bar. It was intensely decorated with wreaths, ribbons, and Christmas lights! I can now see why people like it so much. There was pretty much live music going on all day which reminded me of something I’d see in Austin, Texas, except for this place has some insane Christmas decorations! Man, I love the Christmas season in Europe 😀 Everywhere goes crazy… and it’s almost time to visit some German Christmas markets in a few weeks!
Here is another bar street with some other pubs in the area. I don’t think there are any that are specifically amazing, becaue they are all super fun and laid-back. I noticed that the locals of Dublin seemed very low key and warm spirited. When they went out, often in sweatshirts and comfortable clothes, they were there to have a good time with their friends, not show off and take hundreds of pictures (which I am a victim of sometimes haha). I’m just saying that their lifestyles seemed very social and accepting. The Irish were all very friendly to me when I was there, and I would say they are very amicable people in general. Unless they’re in the pubs for too long, beware. Just kidding 🙂
The Food Scene
The food was all very delicious and plentiful in Dublin. I was spoiled with choices from nibbles at cozy cafes to authentic ethnic foods.
Here is a cafe I visited called Kaph. I ordered a matcha latte and a dairy free brownie 🙂 Both were very tasty. The brownie was paleo which I hadn’t seen many of, and don’t exactly understand what that means.
Overally, I was very impressed at how almost every cafe featured almond, oat, or soy milk, with tons of gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options. I love to see this wave of health spreading all over Europe, not just in trend-setting NYC and London.
One morning, my boyfriend and I visited Meet Me in the Morning for breakfast, which was recommended by my friend who lives in Dublin. We sat on the second floor, in a very simple space. There were communal tables, old fireplaces, and plantlife scattered creatively across the room. There was a very nice atmosphere going on here, and the food definitely tasted delicious. I loved how effortless this restaurant was. It didn’t need frills or a sleek industrial design, it was just a minimalistic, plain vanilla. They had a few simple items on the menu, and all I thought, were perfect.
I ordered a dish with kale, potatoes (!), pumpkin, a poached egg, and seeds. It was so so filling, and everything tasted very fresh and healthy. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying a ton of potatoes once in a while 😉 I also got a warm tea to soothe the cold I was having at the time.
Ireland was a place where I felt very happy. There wasn’t one problem I had — everywhere was so walkable, the people were so friendly, and there were so many unique shops and quiet cafes.
The picture above was taken at a store & cafe hybid called Industry. I loved the idea to have the shop be half-cafe and half-store. The cafe side of this shop featured healthy baked items, organic coffee, and light snacks. The store itself sold many cool lights, cute goodies, and cozy home goods. The picture really represents the whole ambience of this store. It was gentle, and cozy. I picked up a book on Danish hygge, and was so tempted to buy it, but I stopped myself. No room in my luggage unfortunately 🙁 Oh well, I have all the memories I need in my head of this wonderful weekend in Ireland.
I had a very unforgettable experience in Dublin, and in Ireland in general. There wasn’t anything I would change about this town, or its people. Goodbye for now, Ireland, I’ll definitely be back someday 🙂