Dublin - It’s all about Guinness

Sep 23, 2012

Wherever you go in Dublin you can’t help but come across this popular national pride- Guinness. I wasn’t even sure whether I should write this post about the beer or about the city, because let’s face it, Dublin is all about Guinness and vice versa, well, at least for us anyway! But before getting all carried away with this black creamy beer (that I actually only started liking here), let’s take a look at what else Dublin had in store for us…

First off, this trip for us was a get-together with our South-African travel buddies who we befriended back in Turkey. They were about to go back home, and so this was our chance to hangout for the last time before they’d be out of Europe. Immediately we knew this was going to be one hell of a weekend! Even now, we still often think back at how incredibly lucky we were to meet them in first place…

That being said, they had already spent some days in Dublin before we got there, and therefore they knew their way around and the best spots already. Guess where they took us first? The Temple Bar district, of course! So much for not speaking about beer for a second…

The quarter was pretty much what we had in mind beforehand, only even more pubs and people than anticipated! We walked around to get to the complete Irish state of mind before diving in to one of the most famous pubs- The Temple Bar

Immediately you got the feeling that it has a life of its own: full house at any time of the day, dim lighting, never-ending chatter and laughter, performers entertaining the audience, and last but not least the Irish beer flowing from the taps! As we were just back from our little road trip, us girls decided to go with a nice, warm cup of Irish coffee to warm ourselves up before starting with the beer department (or ciders, which they also have plenty!). A pint turned into two, and the two into maybe three before we called it a night and decided to head back to our B&B to catch on some sleep…

Unfortunately on Saturday morning Craig had to leave for London, but the rest of us still had two more days to get around and enjoy the town under what appeared a clear blue sky! One place I had set to see was the Trinity College and the Book Of Kells (world famous manuscript) that’s inside of the Old Library. As we got there, the entry fee was about 9 euros, which we thought was a reasonable price for it. But what we did not know was that you’re not allowed to take any photos there whatsoever! What a bummer! The point for us was exactly to go and take some nice photos of this gorgeous place, but with this restriction it kind of ruined it for us (I guess if we did more research in advance…). Anyhow, it was cool to see the place although it turned out to be a rather quick walk through it and not necessarily worth the fee (and surely they tried to sell overpriced pictures at the end of it). The campus itself, on the other hand, had charming courtyards, green lawns and beautiful buildings- easily the best (and for free) part of the whole deal!

Another thing that struck me quite a bit in Dublin was the street performers and especially the amount and the talent of them! I had never seen as many artists in any city trying to catch the public’s attention and even sell their recordings- very cool stuff! Given it was a Saturday afternoon it doesn’t come as a great surprise that the Grafton Street (shopping street) was totally packed as we winded it up from one end to another, all the way till the entry of St. Stephens Green park. Speaking of parks, did you know that Dublin is the greenest (per square kilometer) capital in Europe? This park was delightful oasis after the busy shopping district, and very well maintained- no wonder lots of people had gathered here to enjoy possibly one of the last warm and sunny day of the season…

It’s such a good-sized town that allows you to walk around, and get from one place to another so conveniently. On a one stroll we were able to see everything from Dublin Castle to all kinds of buildings and statues, and from the riverside and its bridges to the newer landmarks such as the Spire of Dublin on the O’Connell Street (which by the way served pretty much also as our navigational landmark for finding the right street for our B&B). All this walking got us starving at some point and we headed over to the Porterhouse- the oldest microbrewery pub in the town! Not only did we get to taste the Irish stew, but we got to wash it down with assemble of their own beers! If you’re ever around, be sure to order the beer tasting platter that introduces you to all of their ales, lagers, stouts and more!

That afternoon we pretty much just chilled around and ended up in another nice place with great live music: the Old Storehouse on the Crown Alley. We didn’t quite get enough of the Irish pub culture and so we headed out to the Temple bar district for a good night out! I must say, the Irish people are so outgoing and lots of fun- we made a dozen of new friends and partied till they closed the place down!

The next day was our last day, and we had saved the best for the last, namely The St. James’s Gate Brewery (also known as the Guinness brewery). We walked there along the riverside, and finally found the entrance of the Guinness Storehouse where the actual exhibition is at. It’s a huge complex in multiple floors and each has its own displays. We found the whole round to be very informative and interesting, and on the top of it all, there was a tasting at the end! The best of the day though, was the meal at the Arthur’s Bar on the top level, where we had the traditional Guinness stew with some dark bread. That must’ve been hands down the most delicious stew, or any mail for that matter, on this entire trip! If you could still add to that, we got to choose whether to learn to pour the perfect pint or to sip another free pint on the Gravity Bar located at the very top of the building with 360° views! We went for the latter alternative, and found it to be the absolute cherry on the top of this entire experience. Somehow we managed to meet these people from Ontario, Canada at the Gravity Bar and got into chatting and pinting…

Straight from the perfect pint (that it literally was) to a taxi and to the airport! A decent way to end the Irish weekend and get back to the real world, but keeping in mind the famous words of a wise Irish man:

 “Work is the curse of drinking class.”
– Oscar Wilde.



How well you know Guinness? Check out here!

To See:

- Some people say it’s not authentic enough or it’s too expensive, but we actually found it pretty cool to do one time: we learned about the brewing process, we got to see some old tools, fun facts and eat & drink well. In the end, there was a great view over Dublin and beyond!

Shopping Areas:
Grafton Street area
Henry Street (next to the Spire)

- A beautiful guesthouse; spacious rooms with high ceiling and nice deco, short walk away from everything (10min to center). Had plenty of shops and stores also just next to it on Talbot Street.


  • Lil said...

    Dublin was my home before Paris and I was just back there myself a fortnight ago! It is a wonderfully charming city and ever-changing too - I keep finding new restaurants/cafes etc each time I go back (every 3-4 months) :)

  • Emma said...

    That's awesome! We too loved the city! Thanks for dropping by :) Ps. We're headed to Southeast Asia (inc. Malaysia) next Jan- perhaps you could give us some tips?

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