Ireland-A Day in Dublin

Ireland

Grounds of Ashford Castle, Cong Co. Ireland

I have been extremely fortunate to have visited this green, lively, country full of breathtaking sights and obscene consumption of alcohol several times.  My first visit to Ireland came after I spent about a month working in Cambridge, England. Shortly after arriving in England I made the decision that could not pass up the opportunity to drink Jameson in its motherland, and explore every bar on both sides of the River Liffey. What I didn’t realize is that Ireland was going to leave such an imprint on my wanderlust soul. I fell absolutely in love with its proud history, magical landscapes, and the genuine, witty people.

O’Connell Bridge, River Liffey

As a jumped into a cab outside of Dublin airport, a driver hoisted my extremely oversized luggage in the car, with a heavily breathed comment about how American always have so much stuff. I attempted to make small talk and instantly found out that there really so such thing to the Irish. Starting with the cab driver, and almost every Irish person after, they run circles around my  (LA born and raised) communication skills. In between genuine question about who I was, my family, the economy in California, foods, and everything Ive done in my life, there were jokes or as they call them ‘cracks’ at me. 

Cracks is a lighthearted jab or witty response that is hopefully met with another even better crack. The quick wit and humor of the Irish took me by surprise and I loved it. If you love the laugh, just about everyone I met sincerely had a story or conversation loaded with humor that was just as contagious as it was funny. 

Lets start off with one of the staples of Dublin. The Whiskey.

Jameson Distillery is a must go, you can either buy your tour at the door or online before hand. I’ve done both, theres really no prices difference. It’s not only informative, but fun to listen to the tour guide who in true Irish fashion, loves to find out more about each group and jokes with you along the way. 

Don’t pass up sitting to watch a short film on John Jameson’s life and voyage to Ireland with dreams of making a name for himself and his family. Spoiler: part of his motto was ‘Sine Metu” which is latin for – Without Fear. You can find his crest with those words stamped onto every bottle of Jameson. 

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Jameson Distillery

‘Whiskey before beer, you’re in the clear’

With your belly warm with Jameson, the Guinness storehouse is about a 20 min walk across the river. Depending on the weather you could brave it and wander through some markets and interesting streets. I’ve walked and taken taxi, either way you win. 

Let me start out by saying the Guinness Storehouse is massive. You can easily spend hours there. I’ve been there a few times and each time I learned or seen something new. It’s a very comprehensive tour that takes you up several stories and ends on top in a circular bar with a perfectly poured pint of Guinness and 360 degree view of Dubin, the Wicklow mountains and all the beautiful landscapes to enjoy with your pint.

Obligatory picture of our pints

At this point you have easily spent most of the day drinking. Good job! You’re not done yet.

My go to after the Storehouse is always Temple Bar. (Also walking distance) Temple Bar is an actual bar, but it also is a district encompassing the surrounding streets, loaded with bars, hotels, and restaurants. You’ll find tons of tourists, but also tons of locals. It has all the flair you want to see, Irish singers and dancers, walking pub tours, street performers and nightlife. 

Single girl tip: if you go during rugby season you will find some very good looking athletes at every bar watching games. Learn a thing or too about it and spark up a conversation!

Married tip: Make sure to have some cab money, after Jameson, Guinness and a few pubs, that authentic brew hit my husband hard and he literally fell passed out while mid-conservation. (Sorry honey, I told you I wouldn’t let you live that down:))


You can see all available tours in Ireland including my favorites by clicking here to visit my Viator travel site. 

Trinity College- Book of Kells

Long Room of the Old Library

In the heart of  Dublin you can find Trinity College. The college itself has some amazing history. Established under the hand of  Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1592…let that sink in…1592. You can just walk onto the campus grounds which themselves are majestic, take in the castle like feel, the open green centre, the students buzzing around, walking briskly or on their bikes. That alone is a sight to see but you MUST, I repeat you MUST visit the Book of Kells exhibition. 

What is the book of Kells, you are probably wondering. I’m going to be honest, for someone who prides herself on being quite the literary, I had only a faint knowledge of it by way of a movie. The Secret of Kells. I hadn’t watched the whole thing before I went, but I sure did when I got home. 

The Book of Kells of one of the oldest surviving manuscripts of four new testament gospels  beautifully accompanied with artwork like you could never imagine would grace the pages of a book that is over 1000 years old. 

After marveling at the Book of Kells pages, you enter the Old Library. 

This massive and beautifully ornate library holds more than 200,000 books, some of which are the oldest in Ireland. Also on display is Irelands oldest known harp, dating back to the 15th century.

No matter where you are on the religious spectrum, I encourage you to take this sight in. 

Click here to find out more or purchase tickets for  Book of Kells and Trinity College. 

Right outside of Trinity College, is the Ireland Whiskey Museum.

Drink more whiskey you say?Yes, I didn’t stutter. Its another tour that is really informative, so by the time you leave Dublin, you should know the difference between single double and triple distilling, the origins of whiskey vs. whisky and at this point I bet the cold and rain isn’t even bothering you. At the museum they are great storytellers as well and offer a very generous flight of whiskey sampling at the end of the tour. Check out the Irish Whiskey Museum website for more info and tickets.

I didn’t intend for this blog post to be mostly about drinking and a holy book. But here we are.

Ireland is more than this I promise.

There’s castles, countryside, ancient history, coastal fishing villages and more. Stay tuned for my next post as I take you away from Dublin on a train,  and go on a wild ride in car rental exploring my most favorite country!

Thanks for reading!

Jackie 

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I am here to serve women who are struggling to harness their leadership mindset and presence. With over 13 years of military training, I offer leadership coaching and strategies to women who are ready to conquer their insecurities and be confident in both their professional and personal lives.

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