Travel Chatter - A weekend in Dublin

A few weeks ago we made the first of our mini trips this Summer, heading over the Irish Sea to Dublin. As I mentioned in my review of the Cavendish Hotel in London, we have a few trips to make this year and I thought I would dabble in the world of travel blogging. I've been thinking of the sorts of things I might want to cover and settled on: our travel, accommodation, eateries, activities and the best bit of the trip. We always like to find fun local eateries and I hope to make our finds a big part of these posts.

How we traveled...

We travelled to Dublin from Gatwick Airport. As usual I booked our flights with British Airways, my favourite airline. On our way out we flew with Air Lingus, a BA partner and on the way back we were with BA. Neither flight was particularly troublesome, and at just over an hour its a quick little trip.

While we were there we used a combination of buses, trams and taxis. We were staying 10min or so (by car) from the key central areas so we made use of the public transport during the days. Whilst the systems were perfectly reliable, I did miss my Oyster card. The buses require exact change to purchase on board and the trams require you to purchase a ticket before boarding (no running for a tram!). We realised a couple of days in there is a travel card option which I would recommend looking into, to avoid our struggle with finding change!

Taxis were reasonably priced, I would say a bit cheaper than London and there is a flat rate to the airport. There were plenty available in the centre of town late at night. They also have Uber.

Where we stayed...

We stayed at the Hilton Kilmainham. The hotel itself was very nice and pretty much as you would expect from a Hilton - spacious rooms, really large comfy beds, a big buffet breakfast and decent wifi. The Livingwell centre was a nice option for a chilled out evening before dinner. The swimming pool was on the small size but suitable for a few laps - they did require us to purchase swimming caps to wear in the pool for a couple of euro. Not a big deal but a little annoying.

The location of the hotel is superb. It is directly opposite Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The Guinness Factory is a a 20min stroll. There were two bus routes close by the hotel, the tourist buses stop directly outside for the Kilmainham Jail and there is a tram stop about 10min away.

Where we ate...

We found some great places while in Dublin ranging from a good Irish fare to gourmet dining. These are a couple of our favourites:

The Pig's Ear - this was fantastic little restaurant located above some shops, behind a bright pink door on Nassau Street. The restaurant is spread across a couple of small rooms with only a few tables in each. This makes for a lovely intimate setting without too much noise. The food was superb, I particularly recommend the Pork & Ham Hock Croquettes. The prices were very reasonable for the style and quality of the food. Unfortunately I was enjoying my evening so much I forgot to take any pictures!

Sprout & Co - just round the corner on Dawson Street we stumbled across this great little healthy eating option. Serving salads and juices it was a great  healthy lunch option and was obviously popular with locals, who were queuing out the door shortly after we arrived.

What we did...

Kilmainham Gaol - this was a fascinating visit, particularly in 2016 (100 years on from the 1916 uprising) and a great option if you like your history. The tour guide was very passionate, perhaps too passionate - we came away feeling very guilty for being British! The tour lasts about an hour and costs 7 euro. It is a popular visit so definitely worth thinking in advance about when you might want to go so you can book online.

Guinness Factory - no trip to Dublin is complete without visiting this star attraction and is worth it for the views of the city from the bar on the top floor. The tour is a self guiding tour so great for doing at your own pace and you of course get a pint of the good stuff included in the price. I would say, at least try your free pint if you drink alcohol. I'm not a huge fan of Guinness but even I buy into the theory that it tastes different in Ireland!

Best bit...

I have to say the best bit for me was probably the dinner we had at The Pig's Ear. It was such an intimate restaurant and such lovely food that it made for a beautiful evening, even on a rainy evening in Dublin.

We did have a thoroughly good time in Dublin, despite the typical Irish weather and I would highly recommend a weekend visit. Have you ever been to Dublin? What was your favourite bit?
Speak soon x

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