Brian: a male name of Irish and Breton origin. It is possibly derived from an old Celtic word meaning “high” or “noble”.
Ever since my friends and I began to participate in local St. Patrick’s Day/Weekend celebrations at home, the idea of actually visiting Ireland during the same time has always been in mind. When the opportunity presented itself, I decided to book a flight and hotel accommodations and get ready for a few days in Dublin! My 4 day visit was nothing short of incredible as I fell in love with the city and encountered some of the nicest people I have ever met while abroad.
When I arrived that Thursday morning I already knew I’d be in for a great time. After being checked in by the fantastic staff at the Shelbourne Hotel and learning that my room wasn’t available, what else was there to do besides listen to the concierge’s advice and hit the streets to start celebrating!?
I grabbed some additional St. Patty’s Day paraphernalia and walked toward the city centre to eat, find a good viewing spot and wait on the parade to begin. The streets began to fill quickly as excited spectators gathered in anticipation. I spent the next few minutes snapping pics and being photobombed by strangers who were just as hyped about the day as I was.
As the streets grew more and more crowded I decided to head inside The Trinity Bar and Venue to wait on some friends I was meeting and to really grab a clear view of the parade. The next few hours were spent laughing, drinking beer and trying to make sense of some of the strange exhibits we saw.
Once the parade ended, we hit the streets to keep the good times rollin’!
Though the day eventually ended, the weekend was just beginning and there was a lot more to look forward to.
The next day began by joining the great people at Dublin Discovered Boat Tours for a 45 minute Liffey River Cruise. Once aboard the boat which leaves right from the heart of Dublin, the expert guides spend the duration of the ride showing you famous sights such as the Custom House, the historic wooden ship known as the Jeanie Johnston and the Ha’penny Bridge. The tour was both fun and informative as our guides Patrick and Irena did a great job entertaining and educating everyone aboard. It served as a great introduction to the city and I’d highly recommend it.
I then continued to explore the streets and visited landmarks such as the world famous Temple Bar which was packed with people partying hard while downing every type of drink imaginable.
The remainder of the day was spent with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. Here you can find 7 floors filled with history and interactive exhibits explaining exactly what it takes to make beer the Guinness Way.
At the very top is the rooftop Gravity Bar which provides a 360 degree view of Dublin’s skyline. You can also redeem your voucher for a free pint of Guinness here and enjoy the atmosphere.
There is a huge store located at the start of the tour with tons of merchandise, much of which can be personalized. I’m certainly not a fan of Guinness, but the visit itself was great. Buy the Skip the Line tickets! The wait to enter can stretch blocks long on busy days.
Dublin certainly doesn’t calm down at night, as residents and visitors keep the streets packed while bar hopping and enjoying meals at their many great restaurants. During the St. Patrick’s celebration, many buildings are lit up green to commemorate the occasion. One of my favorite restaurants was Red Torch Ginger, a Thai spot that was hip and had both great food and service.
Another must-do in Dublin is the Old Jameson Distillery. Although it is no longer a working distillery, it’s been recreated to how it used to be. A guide accompanies you through the 45 minute tour explaining the history and process of making the famous whiskey.
I found this tour to be much more enjoyable and less chaotic than the Guinness Storehouse. At the conclusion, you are given a sample of three world famous whiskeys and the differences in taste are noted.
You then end the tour with a complimentary glass of Jameson. If there’s one thing you’ll do while visiting Dublin, you’ll drink! There is also a restaurant located here where I had some of the best fish and chips I’ve eaten.
Be sure to visit the gift shop and purchase unique items and personalized bottles to take home. Tours sell out often, so book in advance here as well!
After the visit to the distillery, I went and joined tons of locals to catch the Ireland vs. Scotland rugby match. The atmosphere was tense and I could definitely tell just how serious the sport is taken.
Saturday night was spent at the River Bar where I enjoyed Dublin’s biggest Hip Hop and RnB night by spending hours listening to good music and meeting new friends from all over the world.
My final day was spent by taking a three hour bus ride from the center of Dublin to the highest cliffs in Europe.
The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most popular natural attraction. It has even been called the most impressive and I can certainly see why! The cliffs stretch over 5 miles along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. The views simply cannot be described and the photos you take won’t do it any justice. It is a must see if you visit Dublin.
This particular tour lasts 10 hours and departs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Once there, I was able to explore the cliffs at my own pace before eventually returning to Dublin. Tours can be booked by visiting LoveIreland. They also provide many other tours and excursions which can be purchased right on the site. Don’t miss it!
Upon returning to Dublin, I spent the hours of my final night doing what else… roaming the streets and bar hopping.
By this particular sign I noted while leaving my final stop, it’s safe to say Dublin knew I was coming and was prepared to show me a good time. 😉
Cheers to Ireland! I cannot wait to revisit.