24 hours in Dublin, Ireland

We headed to Dublin last month, purely to go to the Fleetwood Mac concert, but whilst we were in Ireland's capital, here's what else we got up to in the 24 hours* we were in town.

After arriving in rainy Dublin and heading straight for lunch at Tang, a small spot serving Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food with awesome flavours, we headed to Trinity College to dump our backpacks. I'm not sure what's happened to Dublin, but prices are on the rise (hotels, taxis and restaurants), even though the quality of everything seems to be so much lower that it once was. (And I'm comparing this to last June - not years ago.)

If you're planning a city break and you're not after a hotel experience but don't want a hostel experience either, Trinity is a good compromise. We stayed in this beautiful building below (view from our room at the bottom of this post), booking a twin room so we could have an en suite - a double bed equals sharing a bathroom with others. Our room was pretty functional, though that shower was claustrophobically tiny, but we were marvellously located in the heart of Dublin, and this was the best option I could find for €150 a night. (Most mid-range hotels were coming in at €250-300, and they really were mediocre hotels. Even last year's airbnb we stayed in now costs more than €150 per night - yikes!)

One thing I've always ignored at Trinity College on previous visits to Ireland is the Book of Kells. Because I thought it was just an old book. (I mean, it is, and I can appreciate its significance... but it was never significant enough for me to pay €14 each to see it.) What I didn't realise, however, is that by visiting the Book of Kells, you also get access to the Old Library and that is very much something I wanted to visit. Just look at it.

If the lure of the library is strong, whatever you do, do not queue. There's this marvellous thing called the internet, so book your tickets and visiting time online and save yourself an hour or so. (Unless you really want to stand in line.) After taking in the beauty, we headed for an early dinner at Pitt Bros, an Irish BBQ restaurant I've raved about before (here). This time round they didn't quite deliver, sadly. The food is still good value, but Pitt Bros lacks the wow factor it once had.

One good thing to note though, if you're in town for a concert, show Pitt Bros your tickets to score two for one drinks. We did just that before we headed over to the RDS Arena (about a 40 minute walk) to see Fleetwood Mac, supported by The Pretenders. It turns out I don't actually know very many Fleetwood Mac songs, and Olly definitely enjoyed them more than I did, but it was good to tick an iconic band off the list - and the rain, thankfully, held off until we were nearly back at Trinity College.

The next day we checked out and headed to The Bakehouse for brunch, a fabulous spot I can recommend for all your brunch and breakfasting needs. After a mooch around we headed for a drink to get out of the rain - and so Olly could tick off enjoying a pint of Guinness in Dublin - before heading to the Little Museum of Dublin, one thing we never managed to do last year because their tours run on the hour... we couldn't wait the 59 minutes for the next one as that was when we needed to head to the airport.

Knowing this, this year we made it, and our tour guide Andrew was a delight. He really brought the two rooms in the guided tour to life, and I'd say it's well worth visiting the museum for both a quirky museum experience, but also to learn more about Dublin. When we left the museum - there are a few other bits you can explore after the guided tour - we emerged into more rain, which sealed our decision to head to the airport rather than continue to get wet for another hour or so.

Because we'd got the Airlink Express bus into Dublin (€6 each if booked online) and it took forever because of bad traffic and roadworks - get off on the O'Connell Street side of the river and walk, if you can - we decided to hop in a cab to the airport using the FREE NOW app so we didn't have to take any cash out. This turned out to be a mistake as you can usually snag a cab for around €20ish, but this way cost us a lot more. Either stick to negotiating with a cab driver in person, or just accept that the bus is likely going to take forever.

And that was that: 24 hours spent in Dublin ticking off a bucket list band, eating (mostly) yummy food and seeing some sights. (Though it was actually more like 30 hours in Dublin, in all honesty... but that's not as catchy!) Have you been to Dublin? x

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