Dublin is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go back to, and it’s a place my friend, Arielle, always wanted to visit so we decided to fly here after our week in England. I’d actually spend four days in Dublin seven years ago, and wrote this post about it, so I re-read it to remind myself what to do here, like visiting Howth cliffs!
We had a few things on our agenda: find an Airbnb in a good location, sightsee and visit the Guinness Storehouse, try afternoon tea, have a nice dinner, and go on a day trip to the coast.
Transportation and Lodging in Dublin
We really had just 2.5 days, but it was plenty of time to do everything we wanted. Our goal was to spend day one sightseeing, day two at the coast and come back to Dublin for a nice dinner, then the half day we had on day three visiting the Guinness factory before our evening flight.
We stayed at this Airbnb which was my first time doing a shared house (a room in someone else’s house) since my Couchsurfing days. I think it was around $70/night which is a steal for Dublin. We were on the river near the Guinness Storehouse. Key things about this spot are that the Airlink (shuttle from the airport) stops right outside their apartment and the sightseeing bus also does!
The Airlink 747 bus is a big green bus outside Dublin airport that goes all over town. It was 12 Euro for a return ticket. It is slow but way cheaper than a taxi, especially in traffic so I wouldn’t take it again this far.
The Sightseeing bus is the same one I used years ago! I wrote back then about how it saves money on transportation because you can use it from your hotel/Airbnb to town and back so the hop on hop off part within the town is kind of like a bonus. These are the big red open top buses. It’s 19 Euro for an adult ticket. If you plan to see the Guinness Storehouse and sightsee near Temple Bar all in one day, this bus will be a great deal for you.
Sightseeing in Dublin
Dublin has some key sites like the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle, St Stephen’s Green, Temple Bar, and Trinity College to name a few. Dublin is nothing like London where you need all day walking a million miles to see everything; you can just wander slowly and see a lot of the key attractions.
One of the best things about revisiting a city is that there’s less pressure to “see it all” and Arielle isn’t that into crazy sightseeing so we just kept it casual and checked out the places I mentioned above, skipping out on some smaller places. We ate at the Brazenhead which was near our Airbnb, and it was really tasty. They say it’s the oldest pub in Dublin!
The Guinness Storehouse was 11 Euro when I went years back and is 25 Euro now. Honestly, I think it’s way too much money to tour how they make Guinness and the Gravity bar up top is too crowded to even enjoy it. I don’t like Guinness, but I guess if you do then you might think it’s worth the cash. I’d also been here before, so maybe it just wasn’t as “wow” the second time around.
Rocking my airport clothes, haha, we headed there after this
Cheers to my bestie since I was 5!
Afternoon Tea at the Westin
One of Arielle’s things she wanted to do was afternoon tea. In Ireland, that involves gin apparently! I had no idea the Irish liked gin so much. We went for afternoon tea at the Westin and didn’t have tea at all, but a gin cocktail served in a teapot. Yumz!
We tried everything on the platter from the pork to crab cones, but we aren’t fancy people (haha, far from it!) so the salmon and caviar weren’t really our thing. It was so funny because the waitress came over and was like “do you not eat fish?” and we said oh not really raw stuff, and she’s like well what did you like most and I’ll bring it out – we’re like the turkey wrap! haha, the most basic thing of them all, but it was so tasty!
The banana bread and desserts were so good. I highly recommend having an afternoon tea in Dublin! Sightseeing can be tiring and around the Temple Bar it seems like the other thing to “do” is stop in for a beer in a crowded bar. So, doing the tea was a really nice kind of different thing to do. The Westin’s was great.
Dinner at Conrad Coburg Brasserie
Arielle and I went for a fancy dinner for our last meal in Ireland at the Coburg Brasserie inside the Conrad Hotel. The hotel invited us, and it was a complimentary meal in case I wanted to feature it on the blog. I never write about stuff I don’t like, and this was really yummy and a nice treat for us.
We both had tomato soup to start then I got a burger and Arielle had the steak. The food was delicious, but the drinks were the best part. They have a menu based on travel (hence inviting me to come try!) and it’s a menu that tells the story of Gulliver’s Travels through the drinks. Did you know the author, Jonathon Swift, was an Irish writer!?
The drinks are a work of art! My first one had the ingredients listed then it said: “and a touch of magic”. It came out with a lid that when I lifted it, smoke came out and it was a smokey flavored drink. Another said “and a fact” and there was a little scroll on it with a fact about the author.
The dessert platter was delicious. Their take on banoffee pie was so tasty and Arielle’s favorite dessert of the trip! Mine too!
Day Trip to the Coast: Howth
If you go to Dublin, you must take half a day at least to go to Howth! The photos will talk you into it more than I ever could so, check these out.
Getting to Howth Cliffs:
Just take a taxi to Connelly train station in Dublin and there are trains every 10 minutes or so to Howth. Tickets were about 6 Euro round trip. The last train leaves Howth back to Dublin at 11 pm, so don’t miss it. It’s just a 25-minute journey!
What to do in Howth:
The Dog House is next to the train station and is pretty popular so we popped in here for a coffee to take to the harbor. The market (food and souvenirs) is across the street from the train station but didn’t open until a little later in the day.
The Dog House
When you get to Howth, you’ll be right near the Harbor, so you can go check that out first and see the seals and fishing boats. Some of the most famous restaurants are right here.
After hanging out and people (and seal) watching by the harbor, we started our walk up Howth Cliffs. I recommend doing the walk first and saving lunch for after because it’s pretty hard and would be impossible in a fish n chips food coma.
There are four walk options, we did the shortest which was about two hours.
We played around taking lots of photos, so I guess you could try to do this in an hour and a half, but it’s so beautiful I bet you’ll want to stop for lots of pics, too!
The flowers were so pretty all along the cliffs and the water was so BLUE!
How stunning is this! Even though I had been here, it was just as beautiful (maybe even more so) this time and I’m glad I came back.
We were exhausted after and went for lunch at The Brass Monkey where Arielle had a huge greasy delicious burger and I had greasy fish n chips with some potato and leak soup. Oh yeah, we had the calamari too because why not!? I am the worst over-ordering on the planet.
I think you’d be crazy to go to Dublin and not take time for the coast! This is 10x better than exploring the buildings in Dublin for me. Arielle liked this the most of her whole time abroad. It’s less than 30 minutes from Dublin and 6 Euro to get there and back, so it’s really worth it.
That’s our trip to Dublin and Howth in just under 3 days! Pin it for later: