So we’ve covered the day trips we took on our Irish adventure. Let’s cover the things we did in the city of Dublin!
Where we stayed: Because there were three of us, we actually found it difficult to find a hotel room that had accommodations for three. Either it was a huge extra fee or they simply didn’t offer it. We ended up settling on the Clontarf Castle Hotel, a castle that was turned into a 4 star boutique hotel. It was about 10 minutes outside of the city center of Dublin, which was the perfect distance to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The castle even had 3 different restaurants and they were SO good. We had an Irish breakfast every morning included with our stay, and it was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Irish butter is insanely good.
We had two free days in Dublin, and we spent both of the exploring libraries and pubs(y’all I’m a regular Yeats).
Chester Beatty Library
On the first free day, we explored the Chester Beatty library in Dublin. We stopped by Dublin Castle for a quick hot chocolate and panini break before heading on our epic library tour. If you ever go to Dublin, I recommend seeking out this little cafe. It’s inside the Dublin Castle and overlooks the gorgeous labyrinth gardens of the castle. Plus they have amazing hot chocolate and the food is affordable!
After our quick lunch, we walked over to Chester Beatty library. Almost everything within Dublin is within walking distance. There was no camera allowed within the library, so all I have are images from the library website. (Sorry y’all). They had two exhibitions going on when we went. The top floor was a exhibition called The Art of Books, and had books almost every era and even books made from jade in Japan. It was incredible to see so much history in one place. What I liked most about this library was that it had interesting artifacts but it also did a wonderful job explaining the history behind each piece. It also had videos that showed how some of the ancient books were made. The other exhibition at the library was called Sacred Traditions. It explored almost every major written text from major religions.
After we went through the two exhibitions, we went downstairs to the open atrium for a cup of coffee and a brownie to just soak in the culture. From there, we had another event to go to!
Food, Folklore, & Fairies
We walked for about 2 miles to get to the oldest pub in Dublin, the Brazen Head. I will say, if you are going to Dublin, do not go to the Brazen Head unless you have a reservation or you are going for a private event. They are rude, dismissive, and made us wait outside in the cold for more than half an hour. If we hadn’t paid for tickets to see a private event at the pub, I would have left immediately.
The private event was a fun evening of Fairytales, Folklore, and Traditional Irish Singing. It was incredible and one of my favorite things that we did in Dublin. You sit cafeteria style with about 30 other people and the host tells stories and lore about Ireland. Dinner is served in between stories. At the end, we had two gentlemen come in and sing us Irish drinking songs and lullabies.
The next day we went to Marsh’s Library which is a very old library near Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s cool because they have cages that they used to lock library-goers in so they didn’t steal the books. They have an exhibition of graffiti in books dating back to the 1500s! It’s a cool library but you can’t actually get close to the books, so I was not as excited about it.
The Long Room Trinity College
We went to see the Book of Kells, a manuscript of the New Testament from 800 AD. Shannon I saw this last time we were in Dublin, so I went straight for the Long Room and people watched. It’s a gorgeous library and so beautiful. It’s fun to watch all the people come in and out and photobomb each other.
Saint Patrick Cathedral
I have a thing for cathedrals. Something about them makes me want to cry tears of joy every time I step into one. Saint Patricks Cathedral was no different. We kinda stumbled across this cathedral on our way to Marsh’s library. It’s so gorgeous and the inside is breath-taking. It was built in the 1200s! It’s mind boggling to me that I stood on the same stone as someone from the 1200s. It is a truly a masterpiece of a cathedral and I would highly recommend seeing it.
In my next installment, I will tell you about my favorite foods and favorite places to eat in Dublin!