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"Two tickets to Dublin!" Travel advice, please?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by SaSherka, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. SaSherka

    SaSherka Well-Known Member

    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


    PS. I did search the deep archives of FSU 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
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
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  2. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    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
    -Malahide Castle (I took local bus)

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  3. Murdoch

    Murdoch New Member

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  4. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    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.
  5. JumpinBug

    JumpinBug New Member

    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.
  6. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    Sasherka, I live up the road from the Regency Hotel. I'll try and get around to giving some specific info later on today. :)
  7. DubbalinGirl

    DubbalinGirl New Member

    I've been to Dublin more times than I can count. Of everything I did there, the 1916 Rebellion Tour 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
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  8. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    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 &#8364;1.60 (exact change only), but you can confirm with the driver. Max it will be &#8364;1.80. From the hotel into the city centre, the fare will be similar.

    A taxi will be about &#8364;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, a Thai place, Il Corvo, Italian obviously, The Cheese Pantry and Thunders Bakery. 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 :eek: ) near the restaurants above.

    There are quite a few pubs in the vicinity of the restaurants and shops above, including The Cat and Cage, The Ivy House and Fagans. 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 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 in Glasnevin may be of interest. Glasnevin Cemetery is close by and a museum 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.

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  9. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    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 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, Old Mellifont Abbey or Trim Castle. Carlingford Lough 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, Powerscourt House and Gardens and Russborough House.

    In Kildare, to the west of Dublin, you could go to the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens. Kildare Village designer outlet is nearby.

    It might be a little further than you're willing to drive, but 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. :)
  10. Louis

    Louis Well-Known Member

    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!
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  11. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

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

    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 &#8364;9 whereas the tour includes admission to the above.

    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.

    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:

    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.
  12. Jackie Sparrow

    Jackie Sparrow Well-Known Member

    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!
  13. SaSherka

    SaSherka Well-Known Member

    I am just a tad surprised she hasn't made an appearance in this thread yet :lol:
    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 =)

    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 on the list (yup, we do like our beers!)
  14. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

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

    If you like your beers, you should checkout The Porterhouse. 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 or Iveagh Gardens. Or if you really really like parks, then there's the Phoenix Park. 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 scheme. Works on the same basis as in other cities.
  15. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    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
  16. Mozart

    Mozart Well-Known Member

    I like the name for the spire- the stiffy on the liffey:)
  17. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    This was removed a few years back to make room for the Spire. Apparently, it'll have a new home opposite the National Museum at Collins Barracks. Can't remember seeing it there the last time I visited though.

    There's a load of them - stiletto in the ghetto, the nail in the Pale, the pin in the bin, the erection at the intersection...
  18. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    Back when I was there in the early 90s there was a newer statute of James Joyce (I think). The owner of my B&B was hilarious, as he listed off the names of the statutues, then with James Joyce, he was like - huh, there must be a name for it. He was an older gentlemen and was so cute, embarassed like he did not know something simple.
    Again, as anywhere in Ireland, it is the people that make it wonderful. (But then again, I have a very common Irish last name, which always gets a welcome!)
  19. poths

    poths Well-Known Member

    Jackie Next week...WHEEEEEEEE

    Sa Sherka the week after. Woot!
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  20. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    The prick with the stick...
  21. SaSherka

    SaSherka Well-Known Member

    Whee! 2 weeks until the debauchery... jolly good times! :rollin:
  22. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    Was getting my bus home this evening from near the Customs House and the Samuel Beckett bridge and new Dublin ferris wheel at the Point looked deadly. :eek:
  23. SaSherka

    SaSherka Well-Known Member

    I seem to have the unfortunate luck of getting sick within a week of going on overseas trips... My packing has been pushed to the T minus 18 hours before the flight :lol:
    On the positive side, I see that the weather forecast is getting sunnier :)
  24. Jackie Sparrow

    Jackie Sparrow Well-Known Member

    It was nice indeed :)
  25. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Wow, I'm jealous. I've been to England and Wales several times, and I've lived in Scotland ... but haven't yet managed to make it to the Emerald Isle. It is on my to-do list, though, so I've saved all this info for future reference. Have a fabulous trip!