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SaSherka
08-13-2010, 07:53 PM
Given:
September 3-8, Dublin, Ireland. Staying half-way between the airport and city centre in Whitehall/Drumcondra (Regency Hotel - any personal reviews?) - part of the package deal we got.

Seeking practical advice:
- places to eat, drink etc?
- events to attend during these dates?
- stay in Dublin for 5 days or take daytrips?
- use intercity buses or rent a car

Thanks!

PS. I did search the deep archives of FSU (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=66273) with some luck, but moi would appreciate any new info.
PPS. I'm aware of the frommers/lonely planet/tripadvisor/eurotrip sites - I seek FSU knowledge <3

smurfy
08-15-2010, 12:42 AM
Go see..
-Trinity College / Book of Kells
-Christ Church
-St Patrick's Cathedral
-Grafton St
-I took a day bus tour that went to Newgrange and Hills of Tara. Newgrange is fascinating, older than Stonehenge, burial, where light only comes in on the shortest day of the year.
-Dail - tour - was interesting
-Dublin Castle
-Pubs
-Malahide Castle (I took local bus)

Enjoy!

Murdoch
08-16-2010, 03:43 PM
This thread is titled to be about England (as it is one part of our honeymoon) BUT on page two - TONNES on Dublin!

http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=74323&page=2

kwanfan1818
08-16-2010, 06:01 PM
There are a couple of other books besides the Book of Kells at Trinity College, the Book of Durrow and the Book of Howth, which are also very beautiful.

There's a beautiful park in Ballsbridge, south of the city and within walking distance.

JumpinBug
08-16-2010, 07:34 PM
Get out of Dublin - I really enjoyed my day trip out into Wicklow far more than I enjoyed Dublin. I liked the 1916 walking tour that I did, and generally rambling through Dublin. I found Dublin more expensive than London.

allezfred
08-17-2010, 09:57 AM
Sasherka, I live up the road from the Regency Hotel. I'll try and get around to giving some specific info later on today. :)

DubbalinGirl
08-17-2010, 03:20 PM
I've been to Dublin more times than I can count. Of everything I did there, the 1916 Rebellion Tour (http://www.1916rising.com/) was the by far the best. The guys who run it are great and really make it come alive. Get a tour of Trinity College from a student...I'd been through a couple times on my own but didn't make sense of it until I got a tour. You can also watch trials at Four Courts which is fun and free.

If you've seen any cathedrals anywhere else (like London, D.C., Paris), St. Patrick's and Christ Church will underwhelm greatly.

I also did a day tour to the Boyne Valley/Newgrange/Malahide Castle which was good. I also took a bus to Glendalough and Powerscourt Gardens which was gorgeous in season.

Or you could jump the DART and go see Edge and Bono in Killiney....'cept they're on tour now. :D

allezfred
08-17-2010, 04:04 PM
I don't know too much about the Regency Hotel except its location. Dublin Bus routes No. 16a and 41 go from the airport. I'd take 41 as the buses tend to be nicer and more direct. The fare should be €1.60 (exact change only), but you can confirm with the driver. Max it will be €1.80. From the hotel into the city centre, the fare will be similar.

A taxi will be about €15.

If you're feeling energetic, you can always walk into town. It's downhill on the way there and about 3km, so will take you about 30 minutes. Might be a bit more on the way back. ;)

Whitehall/Drumcondra is one of the nicer areas of the city. About 5-10 minutes walk down the road from the hotel, there is Chilli Banana (http://www.chillibanana.ie/), a Thai place, Il Corvo (http://www.ilcorvorestaurant.ie/), Italian obviously, The Cheese Pantry (http://thecheesepantry.com/) and Thunders Bakery (http://dublin.ratemyarea.com/places/thunders-home-bakery-3741). Can't really comment if any of the above are any good or not as I don't tend to eat out in the area.

There is also a Tesco Express supermarket and either a Centra or Spar convenience store (can't remember which chain :o ) near the restaurants above.

There are quite a few pubs in the vicinity of the restaurants and shops above, including The Cat and Cage (http://www.dublinpubscene.com/thepubs/thecatandcage.html), The Ivy House (http://www.dublinpubscene.com/thepubs/theivyhouse.html) and Fagans (http://www.dublinpubscene.com/thepubs/fagans.html). The latter is the local of former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern and he famously brought Bill Clinton here for a pint.

On the side of the road opposite the hotel and going back to the airport there are some takeaways and a few pubs. Nothing I'd recommend in particular.

There's no festivals in particular happening during your stay in Dublin, but the All-Ireland Hurling Final will be taking place on the 5th September so the area you will be staying in will be quite busy then as supporters from Kilkenny and Tipperary make the trip up for the match. Croke Park (http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum) will host the match and it has a museum which charts the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), one of the most important institutions in Irish society. The stadium is the third largest in Europe and will be on your left as you go towards the city centre.

If you are interested in plants and flowers, the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland (http://www.botanicgardens.ie/) in Glasnevin may be of interest. Glasnevin Cemetery (http://www.glasnevintrust.ie/) is close by and a museum (http://www.glasnevinmuseum.ie/) has recently opened.

That more or less covers the area you'll be staying in. I'm going to copy and paste some of what I wrote in the previous thread that Murdoch linked and add in some new stuff as we've just had a guest stay and found out some more things.


As you'll be doing your sightseeing in the city centre (about 10 minutes by bus or 20-30 minutes depending on how quickly you walk), I'd recommend you do most of your dining there. I'd describe most of the food in the better restaurants in Dublin as French/Irish. Most are located in D2 (south city centre) with the odd one or two in D1 (north city centre). Dublin city centre is separated by the River Liffey, so it's fairly easy to get your bearings.

The Exchequer (http://www.theexchequer.ie/) - Gastropub. You can reserve a table or just show up and eat at the bar.

Queen of Tarts (http://www.queenoftarts.ie/) - Tiny original branch opposite Dublin Castle or newer and bigger branch on Cow Lane about 50 metres away. For lunch or afternoon tea. Cakes and pastries are fab.

Chez Max (http://www.chezmax.ie/) - French cafe at gates to Dublin Castle.

Silk Road Cafe (http://www.silkroadcafe.ie/) - Located in Chester Beatty Library (more of which later) behind Dublin Castle. North African, Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food.

Green 19 (http://www.green19.ie/) - Wexford Street/Camden Street area is the happening part of Dublin at the moment. Mains are all €10. Comfort food. The champagne lemonade (non-alcoholic) is delicious.

The Winding Stair (http://www.winding-stair.com/content/trg/windingstair/cms.nsf/food) - Just over the Halfpenny Bridge in D1 in what used to be a bohemian bookshop/cafe. There's still a bookshop downstairs. Try to get a seat by the window for some quintessentially Dublin views.

La Maison (http://www.lamaisonrestaurant.ie/) - French bistro behind Powerscourt Townhouse shopping centre

L'Gueuleton (http://www.lgueuleton.com/) - French again. They don't take reservations, but I've never had to wait.

101 Talbot (http://www.101talbot.ie/) - One of my favourites. It's quite lively and generally frequented by theatregoers attending plays at either the Abbey or the Gate. Casual, but great food.

Thornton's (http://www.thorntonsrestaurant.com/) - One Michelin star. Lunch is incredibly good value. Best to reserve ahead. Just don't ask for chips. :lol:

Chapter One (http://www.chapteronerestaurant.com/) - One Michelin star. Next to the Dublin Writers Museum on Parnell Square in D1 hence the name.

Pearl Brasserie (http://www.pearl-brasserie.com/) - Across the road from Government buildings. French/Irish.

Patrick Guilbaud (http://www.restaurantpatrickguilbaud.ie/) - Two Michelin stars. Next door to Pearl. Expensive and possibly the only restaurant in Ireland that could be described as somewhat stuffy. Incredible food though.

OK, that's the restaurants out of the way. Next is pubs and bars. Where do I even begin? :lol:

The Brazen Head (http://www.brazenhead.com/) - Ireland's oldest pub. Near Christchurch

The Church (http://www.thechurch.ie/) - In D1 in a, yes you've guessed it, deconsecrated church.

The Library Bar (http://www.centralhoteldublin.com/library_bar.php) - Inside the Central Hotel on Exchequer Street. Always reminds me of Blake Carrington's study from Dynasty.

The Dawson Lounge (http://www.dublinks.com/dublin-pubs-bars/dawson-lounge.php) - Probably the smallest pub in Ireland, but plenty of character. Not for the claustrophobic though.

Cafe En Seine (http://www.cafeenseine.ie/) - Near the Dawson Lounge, but worlds apart in atmosphere and size.

The Long Hall (http://www.dublinks.com/dublin-pubs-bars/the-long-hall.php) - Victorian era pub. One of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin.

The Market Bar (http://www.marketbar.ie/) - A converted sausage factory. They also do tapas.

Just across the road from the Market Bar and above L'Gueuleton, there's a bar with no name that's frequently referred to as the Secret :sekret: bar.

That's just scratched the surface as far as pubs and bars go, so hopefully they'll be something there that you fancy. :)

Sightseeing in Dublin:

Guinness Storehouse (http://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/Index.aspx) - I suppose if you come to Dublin, it has to be done. Booking online gives you a 10% discount on the (expensive) admission and you don't need to queue for your ticket. You can just pick it up at the information desk. Entry includes one drink (Guinness or otherwise) at the Gravity bar

Trinity College (http://www.bookofkells.ie/) - Ireland's oldest university and home to the Page Book of Kells. The Old Library is worth the price of admission alone. Small discount for booking online. Student guided tours (http://www.bookofkells.ie/tour-attractions/) over the summer months are apparently quite good, although I've never been on one. :shuffle:

Christchurch Cathedral (http://cccdub.ie/index.php?/opening-hours/) - Ye olde ancient church.

St. Patrick's Cathedral (http://www.stpatrickscathedral.ie/index.aspx) - Ye another olde ancient church.

Dublin Castle (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Dublin/DublinCastle/) - Seat of British rule when Ireland was still a colony of the UK. Mr. allezfred and our friend did the guided tour and thought it was fantastic. Quite popular so show up early.

Chester Beatty Library (http://www.cbl.ie/) - One of the largest collections of Oriental and Islamic art in Europe. European Museum of the Year 2002.

The National Museum (http://www.museum.ie/en/homepage.aspx) - There are actually three separate museums within Dublin that come under the banner of the National Museum. The National Museum on Kildare Street (next to Leinster House, the Irish Houses of Parliament) displays archaelogical artifacts (mainly Celtic and early Christian). The Natural History Museum on Merrion Square has recently reopened (it was closed a few years ago when a marble staircase collapsed :yikes:). It's frequently referred to as "The Dead Zoo". Further away and across the river from Guinness is Collins Barracks which is the Decorative Arts and History branch of the museum. Admission to all the museums is free.

National Gallery (http://www.nationalgallery.ie/) - Lots of paintings. ;)

The Hugh Lane (http://www.hughlane.ie/) - The modern contemporary Irish art can be ho-hum, but the reconstruction of Francis Bacon's studio is fascinating. Admission free.

Dublin Writers Museum (http://www.writersmuseum.com/) - Next to the Hugh Lane. No shortage of material for display.

Besides the above places, I'd recommend just walking around Grafton Street, St. Stephen's Green, check out the Georgian Houses around Fitzwilliam Square.

Other tips:

Butlers Chocolate Cafe (http://www.butlerschocolates.com/pages/Butlers-Chocolate-Cafe/Butlers-Chocolate-Cafe.htm) - Several branches in Dublin and around Ireland (there's even shops in Karachi and New Jersey :eek: ). With your coffee, tea or whatever you get to choose a chocolate truffle or praline.

Penneys (http://www.primark.co.uk/page.aspx?pointerid=6dc023f3fda74ef7bcf6e4c79f2d05 53) - Irish retailers do affordable fashion really well and this is the king of them all. The mens selection can be a bit meh, but the womens and childrens are bang on trend and inexpensive.

Carrolls (http://www.carrollsirishgifts.com/) - For cheap and tacky souvenirs! :cheer2:

Avoca (http://www.avoca.ie/home/) - On Suffolk Street in D2. Cute and stylish clothes, home furnishings and food. Deli downstairs and restaurant on top floor.

Kilkenny Design (http://www.kilkennydesign.com/) - On Nassau Street in D2. Full range of top quality Irish souvenirs.

While there are places worth visiting, in general I would give Temple Bar(f) a wide berth unless you want to spend your whole time in Dublin with other tourists eating overpriced, substandard food and dodging hen and stag parties.


Having said the above, there are three reasons to go to Temple Bar:

1. Get a photo of Wall of Fame (http://www.walloffame.ie/)

2. Get a photo of the Temple Bar (http://www.thetemplebarpub.com/)

3. Get gelato at Botticelli (http://www.botticelli.ie/) or ice cream at Murphy's (http://www.murphysicecream.ie/Murphys%20Ice%20Cream%20Flavours.html) and sit outside on the deck chairs

allezfred
08-17-2010, 11:18 PM
Regarding whether to stay in Dublin or to spend some time outside, I would recommend doing some day trips. There are lots of places within an hour or 90 minutes that are well worth a visit.

You don't need a car for sightseeing in Dublin. However, if you are going to do day trips outside of Dublin your options would be to take a guided tour or hire a car and drive yourself. You could use public transport to get to these places, but a lot of the time it doesn't work out much cheaper and is a lot more hassle.

If you are going to hire a car, all the major rental companies have offices at the airport so you can pick up from there.

Bru na Boinne (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/midlandseastcoast/brunaboinnevisitorcentrenewgrangeandknowth/) or Newgrange is about an hour's drive straight up the M1 north from your hotel or the airport. If you're not on a tour get there early as access is limited. I'd say this is a must-see.

While you are in the area, you could also take in the Hill of Tara (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/midlandseastcoast/HillofTara/), Old Mellifont Abbey (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/midlandseastcoast/OldMellifontAbbey/) or Trim Castle (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/midlandseastcoast/TrimCastle/). Carlingford Lough (http://www.carlingford.ie/) and the Cooley Peninsula would make for a nice drive if you wanted to take in some spectacular scenery.

To the south of Dublin City, I'd recommend Glendalough (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/midlandseastcoast/GlendaloughVisitorCentre/), Powerscourt House and Gardens (http://www.powerscourt.ie/gardens) and Russborough House (http://www.russborough.ie/).

In Kildare, to the west of Dublin, you could go to the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens (http://www.irish-national-stud.ie/). Kildare Village (http://www.kildarevillage.com/en_GB/cat/women) designer outlet is nearby.

It might be a little further than you're willing to drive, but Clonmacnoise (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/midlandseastcoast/Clonmacnoise/) would be less than two hours from Dublin.

If you wanted to see really spectacular scenery, theoretically you could do a day trip to the west coast of Ireland, but you'd be starting out really earlier and getting back really late.

Hope some of the above information is useful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)

Louis
08-18-2010, 04:48 AM
Tinami gave me some great advice last year, but I'll be damned if I can find it.... :wall:

My three favorite places in Dublin have not been mentioned yet:

1) Kilmainham Gaol - do the tour; you'll learn lots about Irish history.
2) Blessington Street Basin - out of the way, "secret garden" that no one seems to know about except Tinami. It wasn't even in the guidebook I had.
3) Marsh's Library - crazy old library that looks and feels like it's right out of Harry Potter.

I was underwhelmed by the cathedrals and by the Book of Kells. (Kind of a rip-off; go to the Beatty Library instead. Their books are even older.) I did like St. Audoen's Church, though. I think that's what it's called -- it's on the way to the Guinness Storehouse, which is a must see.

Skip the Joyce House (it's quite thin on material); do the Writers Museum instead.

Unless significant progress has been made, avoid the Museum of Modern Art; as of last fall, it was under very heavy construction and had almost nothing on display. (And what was there sucked, even as someone who loves the modern art that most people hate.)

As for daytrip, I loved going to Powerscourt Estate/Waterfall. It was the highlight of the entire trip. We had a picture-perfect day with not a cloud in the sky. You can take a bus there for something like 2 Euro. It was the only time we were on any kind of transit, other than to and from the airport.

In Dublin, we stayed at a wild hotel called the Trinity Capital. It has "Alice in Wonderland" type chairs, is painted two-tone purple, has crazy chandeliers, and a fantastic kitschy courtyard. If you happen to walk by it and are amused by well-done over-the-top decor, duck inside.

We loved the city and the people so much that we hardly went to any museums. We had truly perfect weather -- rain when we landed, rain when we left, and ALL SUNSHINE in between -- so we made the most of walking around and exploring neighborhoods. Have a great time!

allezfred
08-18-2010, 10:08 AM
My three favorite places in Dublin have not been mentioned yet:

1) Kilmainham Gaol - do the tour; you'll learn lots about Irish history.
2) Blessington Street Basin - out of the way, "secret garden" that no one seems to know about except Tinami. It wasn't even in the guidebook I had.
3) Marsh's Library - crazy old library that looks and feels like it's right out of Harry Potter.

Good suggestions. Blessington Street Basin is just off Dorset Street which will be on the way into the city centre for Sasherka.


I was underwhelmed by the cathedrals and by the Book of Kells. (Kind of a rip-off; go to the Beatty Library instead. Their books are even older.)

I can understand, but I'd still recommend going to Trinity, but taking the guided tour as you get some interesting information about the college. To visit the Book of Kells and the Old Library alone is €9 whereas the tour includes admission to the above.


I did like St. Audoen's Church, though. I think that's what it's called -- it's on the way to the Guinness Storehouse, which is a must see.

There are actually two St. Audoen's Churches, right beside each other. The one you went to was the Church of Ireland (I'm guessing :lol: ). The Roman Catholic church is more modern (19th century) and has masses in Polish every day.


Unless significant progress has been made, avoid the Museum of Modern Art; as of last fall, it was under very heavy construction and had almost nothing on display. (And what was there sucked, even as someone who loves the modern art that most people hate.)

If someone is in the area to visit Kilmainham Gaol, I'd recommend going there anyway as entrance is free and the building itself (the Royal Hospital Kilmainham) is lovely, in my opinion. Can't speak for the art though. :lol:


We loved the city and the people so much that we hardly went to any museums. We had truly perfect weather -- rain when we landed, rain when we left, and ALL SUNSHINE in between -- so we made the most of walking around and exploring neighborhoods. Have a great time!

Well, I'd say to Sasherka to not count on sunshine, although September is usually OK in terms of weather. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best innit. ;)

Oh and just to clarify, all that I've written are suggestions. There's no way you'd be able to do all of what I have written in 5 days unless you wanted to completely exhaust yourself. Dublin is by no means a beautiful city, but it has got a lot of character. Just walking around and talking to people is where a lot of the fun lies.

Jackie Sparrow
08-18-2010, 01:22 PM
Blazing Salaaaaaaads!!! Thanks Poths! :) I'll read this thread carefully later as I'll be back in Dublin in a week :D
Thanks for recommending the Rebellion Tour, Dubbalinagirl. There are so many things I haven't done yet and so many things I wanna do again and so many places and restaurants that I wanna visit again. Queen of Tarts :cheer: Butlers Chocolate :cheer2:
I wanna go to Glendalough!

SaSherka
08-18-2010, 03:42 PM
Tinami gave me some great advice last year, but I'll be damned if I can find it.... :wall:
I am just a tad surprised she hasn't made an appearance in this thread yet :lol:

We loved the city and the people so much that we hardly went to any museums. We had truly perfect weather -- rain when we landed, rain when we left, and ALL SUNSHINE in between -- so we made the most of walking around and exploring neighborhoods. Have a great time!



Well, I'd say to Sasherka to not count on sunshine, although September is usually OK in terms of weather. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best innit. ;)
Dublin is by no means a beautiful city, but it has got a lot of character. Just walking around and talking to people is where a lot of the fun lies.
Yes, I think the primary goal of this short trip is to get into the atmosphere of the city and get some memorable experiences (hopefully getting lost wouldn't be one of them :)) Not sure art museums are high on the list, having been to many of the world's largest museums already...
I've heard enough warnings about the weather, that I'll make sure to pack a raincoat, but still hope for some sunshine =)



Hope some of the above information is useful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)
Tres useful! If you are around, a drink is on me! :)

Off to consult with my friend on her wishes for the trip... I did already put the Guinness Storehouse and the Dublin literary pub crawl (http://www.dublinpubcrawl.com/) on the list (yup, we do like our beers!)

allezfred
08-19-2010, 10:43 PM
Tres useful! If you are around, a drink is on me! :)

I'm always up for a drink! :40beers:


Off to consult with my friend on her wishes for the trip... I did already put the Guinness Storehouse and the Dublin literary pub crawl (http://www.dublinpubcrawl.com/) on the list (yup, we do like our beers!)

If you like your beers, you should checkout The Porterhouse (http://www.porterhousebrewco.com/). They have branches at the edge of Temple Bar(f), Nassau Street and Glasnevin.

After Louis mentioned Blessington Street Basin, I thought about St. Stephen's Green (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Dublin/StStephensGreen/) or Iveagh Gardens (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Dublin/TheIveaghGardens/). Or if you really really like parks, then there's the Phoenix Park (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Dublin/PhoenixPark/). Twice the size of Central Park, the President of Ireland and the US Ambassador live here, there's Dublin Zoo (second oldest in the world), lots of monuments and playing fields and a herd of deer.

For getting around there is the Dublin Bikes (http://www.dublinbikes.ie/) scheme. Works on the same basis as in other cities.

smurfy
08-20-2010, 03:50 AM
I have been to Ireland twice, back in the early 90s and just loved it. The country is gorgeous, and I know many folks that are not so keen on Dublin. But I just love Dublin, fun city to walk around, great pubs, interesting history, lovely people. I thnk I am in the minority, but it is a great city.
Check out the statutes that the Irish have given great nicknames that are through out the city:
Molly Malone Statue - aka the Tart with the Cart
Mermaid in a Fountain - aka the Floozie in the Jacuzzi
A few old ladies on a bench with shopping bags - aka Hags with Bags