Having heard only good things about Dublin, my friend and I decided to go on a short getaway to explore the vibrant capital of Ireland. Swept up by the bargain Ryan Air flights for only £10 we perhaps were a little eager to purchase the 3 day Dublin pass for another £50. Potentially naive of us as the majority of Dublin’s sights are free, so we made it our personal mission to beat the pass and do absolutely everything on it to ensure we came off better in the end – Challenge Accepted.
Day 1: we arrived early in the morning, headed to the hotel to drop off our belongings and walked into central Dublin. We were approximately half and hour away from the centre and you could immediately tell the difference in size from London, although the bus system drove me crazy there really was no need for a tube or anything. 1st stop the Natural History Museum obviously – small but always entertaining. We then went through St Stephen’s Green for a lovely lake walk and then into the city centre for some shopping! In the afternoon we headed to the Wax Museum also included on the card to laugh at some mis-shapen celebrities. We then headed by foot to check out some churches in the suburbs and also Dublin Castle. We really accomplished a lot that day and decided to treat ourselves to a big dinner in the hotel to rest our aching feet.
Day 2: starting off in the local shop to buy some breakie I consequently discovered the extreme yumminess of the Cadbury chocolate from Ireland, really so much better that the slabs from Birmingham, so naturally we stacked up on those! We then headed to the nearest station to get a train to Malahide; it was really sunny and the beach was lovely. We walked for a couple of hours along the coast to the next town and got the bus back. Once back in the town, we visited Malahide castle, and later explored the toy museum and railway museum – hilariously pointless, but both included in the pass. That evening once back in Dublin we headed to Captain America’s for dinner, which was hilarious with my passion for Marvel comics, but with our pass it promised a free dessert so we definitely made the most of it!
Day 3: included on our pass was free entry to the zoo, so we went here first thing and it was great, with surprisingly long paths despite appearing small and a massive array of animals, where we also enjoyed a sneaky ice cream as the weather was so nice. I love zoos, but this one definitely impressed me, especially the elephant exhibit, as we happened to be there just in time for the Asian elephant display where the entire heard of adults and youngsters came around for a bath in view of all the visitors, it was spectacular!
After our visit to the zoo we headed to the infamous Guinness factory, for our free tour and sample. It was actually really interesting despite not being a fan of the stuff and was a really amazing tour around the huge building. At the end of the tour you end up at the very top of the building for some wonderful views of the city, and before leaving I was sure to get some Guinness fudge for my dad!
That evening we headed to the Jameson’s factory, where I discovered a love for Scotch and American – Jameson’s and gingerale – scrumptious! For dinner we headed to TGI Fridays, not exactly the classiest place, but good food and of course a discount with our card!
Day 4: On our final day we decided to make the most of the free time before our evening flight. We walked everywhere to see the monumental buildings – from churches to universities, as well as The Spire; Dublin’s monument. We ended up having lunch in Captain America’s again for our free dessert and then decided to chill in St Stephen’s green until our bus arrived.
We had such great weather while staying there and although walking everywhere was tiring we felt that we had seen and done everything there was to do, and when we added up the costs of all the places we did and all the things we got for free we had almost doubled the value of the Dublin Pass – result! That only means that I probably wont be going back again any time in the near future, I have a strong sense of ‘been there done that’…but I won’t write off Ireland altogether as that Cadburys chocolate was really to die for.