In the middle of July 2019 it was finally my turn to travel again. This time first to Dublin, and then to Edinburgh in Scotland. It was a fun trip and different from my earlier summer holidays. Earlier years I’ve traveled to Thailand, Indonesia and the Seychelles, but this time I wanted to go for a city break. I had never been to either Ireland or Scotland so I was really looking forward to this trip.
- Location: Dublin is the capital of Ireland and is located northwest in Europe
Language: Irish is the official language, but most people speak English
- Currency: Euro
- Time zone: UTC+1
The trip started in Stavanger with a short layover in Oslo. It was a delay in Oslo, but that was alright since we didn’t have that much time when we landed on Gardermoen, Oslo. We arrived in Dublin in the afternoon so we had a couple of hours to get to know the city a little bit already on the first day. The hotel was centrally located so there was a lot to see close to the hotel.
The hotel we stayed at in Dublin was «Holiday Inn Express Dublin City Centre». As the name states it’s in the centre of Dublin. The hotel has three stars and has free breakfast. Maybe not the best selection, but it works. The room has a good standard, so all in all it’s a nice hotel with great location.
If you want to read more about the hotel you can do that here.
Eating and drinking in Dublin
In Dublin there are many bars to choose from and many of the also serves food. We always ate breakfast at the hotel, and also had one lunch and one dinner at the hotel. But apart from that we ate at restaurants and bars in the city. Here are the places we stopped by during our days in Dublin.
Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Café suddenly popped up in a side street when we were out exploring Dublin the first day. So then we ended up with a burger and a cocktail for dinner this day. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while knows that I very often visit HRC while traveling. This time was no exception. They have a great selection of cocktails, and they serve burgers, salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.
I got a tip right before leaving for Dublin that we should visit «The Church». This is a café, bar, and restaurant located in a 320 year old church. I really wanted to see that! The church building itself did not look big from the outside, but seemed a lot bigger when we got inside. It was a cool experience seeing a bar in the middle of a church.
The prices were a bit stiff in my opinion, but it was worth a visit. We had lunch here and a couple of cocktails, and both the food and drinks were great.
Murray’s Bar was next to our hotel so we went here two of the nights when we didn’t feel like going to far to find food. They have a lot to choose from, both when it comes to food and drinks. They also have live music in the evening.
Mochaland is a café by the river «Liffey» that goes through Dublin. We were supposed to have lunch here, but apparently we were to early to get what was on the lunch menu. We ended up with a coffee and a muffin instead. But it was a cozy café and worth a visit for a coffee break.
What to do in Dublin?
Museum and gallery
We visited two museums and a gallery during our stay in Dublin. All three of them were in the same area so we visited them all before lunch. It was very crowded, especially in the museums, so we did not spend as much time here as we would if it had been less crowded. We didn’t feel like making a line.
The museums and the gallery we visited was The National Museum of Ireland – Natural History and Archaeology, and The National Gallery. All three of them had free entrance. If I were to only visit one of them I would choose the archaeology museum. Just because this was the most interesting one, in my opinion. The museum exhibits objects from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, and ancient Egypt. The museum of Natural History is sometimes called the «dead zoo» because of their collection of stuffed animals from all over the world. The National Gallery exhibits over 16 300 artwork from the 14th century until today.
The National Museum of Archaeology
The National Museum of Natural History
The long room at Trinity College
The Long Room at Trinity College is the old library at campus. The library was finished in 1732 so it’s almost 300 years old. It’s almost 65 meters long and is filled with 200 000 old books. It’s really cool that they have taken such good care of the old library and its books. A fun experience, and the sculptures you can see on the pictures below was a nice touch. The first sculptures came to the library in 1743 when they got 14 as a present from the sculptor Peter Scheemaker. The busts are of famous philosophers, authors, and others associated with Trinity College in Dublin.
We payed 14 euros to enter, but we could have gotten it cheaper if we had payed in advance online. You get to see the exhibition «Book of Kells» and the old library with the ticket. Book of Kells is a manuscript from the 9th century documenting the four evangelists about the life of Jesus Christ. It is Ireland’s biggest cultural treasure and is the world’s most known manuscript from the Middle Age.
Shopping can be fun when on a city break, and the options are good in Dublin. The city centre has two shopping streets, Grafton Street and Henry Street. Both are pedestrian streets. Grafton Street is considered a more expensive street to shop in, and was in the top 10 i 2016 of the worlds most expensive shopping streets.
Henry Street was closest to our hotel so this is were we ended up going. This street lies between «Spire of Dublin» (photo below) and River Liffey. It’s also in this street you find «The Church». You can also find «Penney’s» here, which is the original name of «Primark».
Dublin Castle is a castle opened in 1204, but there is only a tower left from the Middle Age. Most of today’s constructions originates from the 1700s. Until 1922 the castle was the seat of the British administration in Ireland. In 1922 it was taken over by the courts when Four Courts, Irelands supreme court, was destroyed that year. After this the castle has been used for state ceremonies, as a conference center, and as a tourist attraction.
You can choose between a guided tour through the castle or going on your own. Without a guide it costs 8 euros for adults to get in, with a guide it costs 12. We chose to go on our own and that was alright. It was very exciting looking inside the castle.
The statue of Molly Malone
The statue of Molly Malone is based on the song with the same name. The song has been given the status of an Irish anthem, and is the unofficial anthem for Dublin. We walked past Molly Malone quite randomly on our way from Trinity College to Dublin Castle. It was easy to see that some parts of the statue is more popular than others. You can look at the picture below and judge by yourself 😉
General Post Office
General Post Office (GPO) has a special place in Irish history, and has interesting architecture. It’s still fulfills its original purpose as headquarters for The Irish Post Office, even after two centuries.
Spire of Dublin
Even though the official name of the bridge has been «Liffey Bridge» since 1922, it’s still known as «Ha’Penny Bridge» for the Dubliners. (The original name was «Wellington Bridge» after Duke of Wellington). The reason it is called Ha’Penny is that it used to cost «half a penny» to cross the bridge. When the price rose with a penny the bridge got the name «Penny Ha’Penny».
The price to cross the bridge was there because ferries had crossed the river Liffey in the past. The prices should therefore correspond with the price it had taken to take the ferry earlier.
The Temple Bar
Garden of Remembrance
Garden of Remembrance is a small park in Dublin in memory of all who fell in the Irish War of Independence. It’s also in memory of others who have fallen in other Irish rebellions.
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher is not in Dublin, but in Liscannor west in Ireland (Dublin is east in Ireland). But visiting The Cliffs of Moher was the one thing we had decided in advance that we were going to do. Therefore we booked a day tour with «Paddywagon». They picked us up only a few minutes’ walk from our hotel.
More about this trip is in another post. (You can read the Norwegian post about the cliffs here – at least look at the pictures).
We had a great time in Dublin, and with the day tour to Cliffs of Moher the trip was complete. But after four nights in Dublin it was time to continue our holiday in Edinburgh and Scotland. This will also come in a different post soon!