Last year I had a weekend escape to the exciting city of Dublin. Dublin is a thriving and vibrant city which offers plenty of things to see and do. We managed to grab some super cheap flights from Gatwick to Dublin airport and booked in to stay in the Central Hotel in the city centre.
Our hotel was conveniently situated in the heart of the action (not so surprising I guess considering it was called Central Hotel), just a quick walk into the infamous Temple Bar area and all the shops and bars. On our first day we decided to get stuck in and had a quick walk down Temple Bar trying to gather our bearings. After exploring a few bars we decided to continue with the theme and head to the Guinness Storehouse. We got a bus just off Temple Bar but it was about a 20 minute walk if you did fancy a stroll along Dublin’s streets. Not being a fan of Guinness I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting and fun the storehouse was. As you climb up the Storehouse you learn about the different stages of how Guinness is made and its history, all of which is very interactive. The most impressive part of the storehouse is the Gravity Bar which gives panoramic views of the city of Dublin and you get a free pint! (I managed a half). The tickets cost around €15 each, which including your drink was reasonable and is well worth a visit if you’re in the city.
After a walk back and a rest in the hotel we were all set to explore what was happening down Temple Bar at night. The streets were very lively and we explored many of the traditional pubs and bars. Most of the pubs had a live band which was great fun and I found the atmosphere very welcoming and friendly. There were plenty of clubs and bars to choose from in the area if you did want to experience all that Dublin at night has to offer.
The next day after a cooked breakfast at a nearby cafe we were ready to explore again. We decided to head to Dublin Zoo which is situated in Phoenix Park and still pretty central, and within walking distance from the hotel. I was amazed at how big the zoo was and the vast amount of animals that were kept there. It made a fun day out and we got a lot of exercise out of it as it involved a lot of walking around! Another attraction that is worth a visit is Trinity College, which is the oldest university in Ireland where you can walk the grounds for free or pay to visit the Book of Kells in the infamous library. Another cultural trip to add to your list of things to do could be Dublin Castle where you can explore the traditional castle and depending on what time you visit, catch a performance.
As mentioned there are plenty of bars in Dublin but there is also a huge choice of restaurants to take your pick from. We decided to visit Frankie’s Steakhouse and Bar which is owned by Marco Pierre White and right on Temple Bar. The food was delicious and the service was top and I couldn’t recommend enough. It was one of the more expensive restaurants in the area but worth it if you fancy indulging yourself.
I really fell in love with the city of Dublin after my short weekend away and would certainly make a visit back. The beautiful cobbled streets and lively bars made it an exciting place to explore. I can see that the city would be suitable for couples, groups and families as there was such a range of things to do. The hotel I stayed in was very comfortable and in the perfect location, I would certainly recommend it, but there are a huge amount of hotels in Dublin to suit all tastes and budgets. If you think a Dublin escape might be on the cards then the Bewleys Hotel Ballsbridge is worth a look as it has some great deals on this year. In the heart of the action is The Castle Hotel which is within a few steps of everything. To add a bit of luxury to your stay in Dublin you can head to the Red Cow Moran Hotel, a 4* hotel which has its own restaurants, bars and lavish rooms. Of course there still is plenty of choice around so make sure you check out all of our cheap Dublin hotels to grab yourself a bargain.