Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a lively city with many great sites in close proximity. For lodging, I prefer the Harding Hotel with its great location or the less expensive Celtic Lodge Guesthouse, which has smaller rooms and less frills.

Day One

Start your morning visiting Trinity College, which houses the renown Book of Kells completed by St. Jerome in 384 AD. Equally impressive is the old library you enter after seeing the book. Nearby is the National Museum of Ireland for Archaeology. This is my favorite non-drinking-related museum in the city, as it gives you a thorough look into the rich history of Ireland and displays great relics from prehistoric times up until the medieval age. There are several good nearby pubs for lunch.

Next, walk St. Stephen’s Green to enjoy the fresh air. Close by is the famed St Patrick’s Cathedral dating from the 13th century. This is the largest church in the city, although I actually think nearby Christ Church Cathedral is more impressive. Further west is the Guinness Storehouse, a fantastic and informative attraction devoted to the beloved stout beer. Walk by the famous St. James Gate before heading inside. Although touristy and crowded, the exhibits are impressive and will be of interest to even the casual beer lover. The best part - your visit culminates with a fresh pint of Guinness at the rooftop bar with a 360-degree Dublin view. It's true what they say... Guinness does taste better in Ireland.

For dinner, try more pubs! You can’t go wrong in the Temple Bar area, just south of the River Liffey. Most notable is The Temple Bar Pub, although the Porterhouse Temple Bar and The Palace Bar are also worth your time.

Day Two

Start your day visiting Dublin Castle. There is much to explore at this historic center of power. If a photo op outside isn’t enough for you, the guided tours and museum provide abundant information. Afterwards, head across the river to the Jameson Distillery if you are an Irish Whiskey fan. For lunch, check out the Brazen Head pub.

For some history, head west to the Kilmainham Gaol. This jail is most notable for the executions of the Easter Rising leaders that took place here. A guided tour that works on a timed ticket system tells the interesting story of the Irish rebellion. Why not couple dinner with a Whiskey tasting at the Dingle Whiskey Bar?

Day Three

It is definitely worth a side-trip to Enniskerry, a 40 minute drive from Dublin. The highlight here is Powerscourt House and Gardens, set against the backdrop of the Wicklow Mountains. The impressive house, built in 1741, is now home to craft stores. But the real treasure is the 47 acres of gardens. Enjoy terraces, lakes, statues, and a tower. There’s even a pet cemetery! Nearby hiking is available as well.

Once back in Dublin, there are several ways to end your day. You could walk Phoenix Park, go shopping for classic Irish woolen items, or go to the Irish Whiskey Museum if you already forgot what you learned at Jameson.

Happy Travels!