From a secret cocktail haunt to laying eyes on one of the oldest books in existence, Dublin is literally overflowing with history, amazing dining, and stunning sights. It was one of the first stops for Alexandra of To Vogue or Bust during her month long adventure in Europe and with the help of some of the friendly locals, she got the in on six of the city’s most special and iconic locales. The list of things to do is endless in Dublin but this checklist includes absolute musts!
1. St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is a truly magical sanctuary amidst the bustle of downtown Dublin. It’s worth truly exploring with a friend because there are lots of amazing secret nooks and corners of the park, including a lovely rock garden where locals soak in the sun and beautiful lookouts along the bridges. Bring a picnic here for a relaxing break during the day!
2. Trinity College
Trinity College is just steeped in history–it’s worth clearing out an hour or two of your day to really walk through it and take in all of its buildings and the stories behind each one. Truly one of the most beautiful campuses you’ll see in your life! While at Trinity, pay the 10 euro entrance fee and see the Book of Kell and the Long Room upstairs in the Old Library. It is absolutely breathtaking. High vaulted wood ceilings, 200,000 of the oldest books in the world and of course, one of Ireland’s most important treasures: a stunning harp from the 15th century, the emblem of Ireland.
3. The Liffey
The River Liffey runs straight through Ireland and is intersected with bridges every few blocks, each a different style. You’ll find yourself walking alongside the river (and across it, for that matter) continuously during your trip to Dublin – it is the perfect photo op area, particularly at sunset! There are also great restaurants dotting the Liffey, offering you some sanctuary from the city’s many random showers.
4. Guinness Brewery Tour
It may be a tourist destination, but the Guinness Brewery is an absolute must. The tour is done beautifully and best of all, you have the option of finishing your tour with either the Guinness Academy or having a drink at the Gravity Bar upstairs. Your best option is to do the Guinness Academy (you learn how to do a perfect pour and get a certificate afterwards!) and then head upstairs to the Gravity Bar afterwards – kill two birds with one stone!
5. Vintage Cocktail Club (VCC)
A great example of not judging a book by its cover. This invite-only cocktail bar is tucked above an unassuming, barely noticeable door on Crown Alley in the Temple Bar area. Ring a doorbell and you’ll be brought upstairs to the most beautiful space with the most incredible cocktails. The Dirty Wizard is an absolute must-try! Email or call to book a table as they will otherwise likely be full!
Even if you’re not the biggest whiskey fan, it is still absolutely worth doing the excellent Jameson Whiskey Tour – get on your tour guide’s good sign and be one of the select few volunteers to do a taste test at the end! Located in the Smithfield area (not quite “gentrified” yet but definitely an up-and-coming area), you can walk up to The Cobblestone afterwards for a pint and some authentic Irish music. It’s safe in this area but probably best to go during the day if you’re travelling alone!