I know, Guinness, rowdy Irishmen, more Guinness, more rowdy Irishmen and then some Sheppard’s Pie. What else is there to do? Well, there’s a lot to do, I think, but the presence of Guinness and rowdy Irishmen is plentiful. Upon arriving in to the Dublin airport, there are many ways to actually get into the city center. I would recommend the city bus. It is a 4-euro round trip fair and it brings you into the city via O’Connell Street. You could also take a cab into the city, but that can set you back a pretty penny. I think the quotes that I got were around the 45-50 euro fair for a cab. Why spend all of thank valuable drinking money on a cab will run you up. Some friends of mine took a cab from the airport and didn’t know where they were going (they knew the hostel’s name, but not the location) and were driven in circles while the meter ran up. They ended up paying 65 euro for their 20-minute ride. So, be wary about cabs.
The hostel that we stayed at was the Mount Eccles Court (www.hostels.com/en/availability.php/HostelNumber.105) just off of O’Connell Street, north of the famous Temple Bar region. This area was great. The price was cheap, I think about 20 euros per night for a four-bed private room. It wasn’t bad at all. The amenities were a bit bare, but the Internet was free and drinks were cheap. Anyway, the first thing that we did was unload our bags and walk our asses down O’Connell Street towards the Temple Bar area.
The Temple Bar area is the area of Dublin where the partying is the most intense. There is literally a bar every couple of feet. With the old, cobblestoned streets and oddly placed streets, the whole area is a drunkards’ nightmare, yet it is always packed. The cops are out in full force seven nights a week, so if you are the fighting type, please stay away from this neighborhood. A main staple that all should do is head to The Temple Bar. Temple Bar is the quintessential Dublin bar with great, cheap Guinness and some great live music when they offer it. After that, I would suggest just walking around the area, floating in and out of bars like some drunken vagabond. It’s a unique experience because I can guarantee that by the second bar, you will have an entourage. The Irish are very friendly and love a crowd while drinking. If you get a chance, head out of the Temple Bar and walk over the walking bridge as a way to regain yourself, then head back to the Jameson Distillery. I missed my opportunity to do that because I was too drunk, but try it because I heard it is great.
As the night crept up on us like a stalker at midnight, we couldn’t do it any more. We crawled back to the hostel, literally, and caught up on rest so that the next day we could tackle the biggest thing that Dublin has to offer; The Guinness Factory. This is something that all people should do. The price is fair and the sky bar is unparallel. Also, that walk over there is full of old castles and factories, giving the feeling of what the past once was while feeling the presence of modern day Dublin with passing buses (some able to go right into the Liffey River) and cars and bustling amounts of tourists. After the brewery, there are plenty of bars that seem to come out of the wood works after you have been on the beer tour. I would highly suggest floating through each bar, experiencing all of the different styles, locals and drinks, while still absorbing the ever-present aroma of the brewery.
The next morning, we woke up with the biggest hangover that the world has ever seen and decided that a traditional Irish breakfast was in order. On the other side of O’Connell street, on Middle Abbey Road, there is a little offset Irish restaurant with a great 7-euro breakfast deal (I can’t remember the name, but you will see it because it is the only place with outdoor seating). Then, we went to the giant mall located further down Middle Abbey and explored for a while until it was time to catch the bus back to the airport and then finally, home. Boo!
But Dublin was a great city and I can see why people save for years just for a glimpse. An remember, that when you go, leave room in your bags for the Guinness merchandise that you will definitely buy. Everyone comes home with something. Wait and you’ll see.