It seems like everyone is heading to Ireland these days, and for good reason. The country is beautiful, the people just are the friendliest, and Dublin was the best surprise of all. I’m not sure what I expected of this city – something small, lots of pubs, a little rough around the edges, maybe. Instead, I completely fell in love with it for it’s walkability, charm, and beautifully designed restaurants, cafes and shops!
Dublin was one of the earlier stops on our Princess Cruises itinerary, and while 24 hours in this city was not quite enough, if you’ve only got a day, it’s definitely doable! Here’s our Dublin City Guide for one packed day in the fair city.
If you’re cruising, like we were, you’d probably start your day near Trinity College where the bus will let you off. But if you’re traveling on your own, I’d suggest staying at The Dean Hotel where you can find a very fun weekend brunch scene at its restaurant, Sophie’s…
Located on the top floor of the hotel, not only does Sophie’s boast a huge wrap-around bar with the most fun tile we spotted on this trip, but the wrap around windows also provide awesome views of the city in nearly every direction! There is an outdoor area for sunnier days too, and the party goes all night.
If brunch isn’t an option, not to worry. There are plenty of other adorable coffee shops and cafes in the area! My favorite was Meet me in the Morning! It reminded me so much of places you find all over LA.
Next door, its sister cafe, Reference Coffee, serves up all the takeaway drinks. And its other neighbor – Sova Vegan Butcher – is worth a mention as well! In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of vegan, vegetarian and overall healthy eateries we found just walking through the streets of Dublin.
A little further to the west is another fun cafe, The Fumbally, that’s a bit more open, with a fun, relaxed vibe. It’s the perfect spot to pop into any time of day, but also look out for their special Wednesday night dinners if you happen to be in town!
After strolling through the neighborhood, it’s time to head towards the River Liffey! You’ll pass by St. Patrick’s Cathedral as you make your way north and if you’re looking for the classic brewery or distillery experience, you can also find Teeling, Guinness, Jameson, and more in the area just east of the Cathedral.
With not much time for us to spare on drinking, we skipped the alcohol in favor of – what else – shopping!
Across the river you’ll find the most beautiful pottery shop, Arran Street East. I wanted so badly to load up on pitchers and mugs and dishes in every color! Of course, I didn’t, but now you can find their pieces at The Citizenry online!! I’m so happy, because I think my little pink mug needs a companion or two!
The areas around the river feel totally different than the other neighborhoods in Dublin, and if you’re looking for crowds, energy, a plethora of pubs, and all sorts of places to pop into, then Temple Bar is for you. Not being much of a crowds gal, I avoided it for the most part, but had to pop into the infamous Winding Stair where you can purchase a book in the downstairs, or take refuge in the upstairs cafe where a seat by the window will allow for some very fun people watching.
After lunch, it’s time for some sightseeing! Head to Trinity College where the green grounds remind you that you are definitely in Ireland.
The main attraction here – besides the architecture – is the Book of Kells. Although for me, the greater appeal was really just to walk down that huge hall of books, feeling very much transported to another time. Sadly, for us, the line was an hour long and we didn’t make it. Pro tip: you can purchase tickets in advance (duh!) and skip the line!
I always thought it would be charming to have a shop with a little cafe or bar in it. Turns out Europeans have been doing this for years! We only have a handful of these type of shops in Seattle, but they are some of my favorites. I loved the little cafe set up at Industry & Co, as well as this fun spot across the street touting cheese and wine (hello!).
If you’re in the mood for something a little more fancy, head down the street to what was my favorite stop in Dublin…
Located in the very fancy Westbury Hotel, WILDE is a stunning little restaurant that’s just perfect for afternoon tea, oysters and champagne, or a decadent dinner. But more than that, it’s serious eye candy, with faux floral vines lining the windows of the ‚terrace‘ on one side, and a huge cozy fireplace on the other, you can’t really go wrong when it comes to a good seat!
Another amazing option for dinner is one we didn’t personally get to experience, but have heard is amazing. The gorgeous pink and green decor at Glovers Alley is right up my alley. It’s located right outside St. Stephen’s Green which is the largest park and a delight to explore. I can imagine taking a late afternoon stroll through the park and ending here for a very special dinner experience.
Those of you who have visited or live in Dublin, would you have any more recommendations to make? There is just so much to experience in this city! I think we’ll have some additions to this Dublin guide coming soon, but in the meantime, here’s a fun little map to save or pin for your future travels, created by my friend and studio mate, Lauren Essl especially for us! I’m excited to add these to all our city guides from now on, as I find them so handy (and cute!).