How we made the most of our two days in Dublin.
We arrived in Dublin midmorning. We were to have dinner at our cousin’s house that evening and found ourselves with a few hours to explore. I had done some research on sites to see and had planned for us to stay at our first two nights at the Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House. This hotel is located right on the Liffey River and is a short walk to Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse and lots of restaurants and pubs. The rooms were adequate but smaller and a bit dated. Being from Florida, I was surprised to see an oscillating fan in our room, but the windows opened and the breeze was cool. After a few days, I realized that air conditioning was not a necessity the way it is at home.
Of course, our first stop was a pub, specifically Doyle’s Pub directly across from Trinity College. (Doylesintown.com) We each had a Guinness draft and found it to be very different from the heavy lager served here in the states, but more on that later. The real surprise was the wall dedicated to musicians and bands that play in a small upstairs room at Doyle’s each Tuesday night. These shows are called the Ruby Sessions. They are acoustic and feature four artists each playing four songs. Admission is 6 euro about $7.50 and all money is donated to charity. This allows the venue to attract some REALLY big names like the ones listed above. You can get a sampling of these incredible shows on the website www.Rubysessions.com. There is also a great article about these shows in the Irish Times. (https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/how-music-works-the-ruby-sessions-finding-acoustic-gems-on-a-school-night-1.2474867) We weren’t going to be in Dublin on Tuesday unfortunately, but both agreed that this was a bucket list item for us. Nothing like planning your next trip on the first day of this trip. After a pint and a snack we were off to Trinity College. The grounds were breathtaking. We did not visit the Book of Kells, one of the oldest books dating back to 800 A.D., because time was short and the line was long. Yet another reason to come back to Dublin.
The next day we headed to the Guinness Storehouse. This is definitely a must see when you are in Dublin, even if you aren’t a Guinness drinker. Tickets are 17.50 Euro (about $22) if purchased in advance. I would definitely recommend that you do this. Not only is the price lower (walk up rate is 25 Euro $30) but you avoid the possibility/probability of a long line. The Storehouse is 7 stories tall. The top floor gives you a 360 degree view of Dublin while you sample some delicious brews, but there is so much more to the Storehouse than the view. The first floor shows how Guinness is made and the second gives a history of Arthur Guinness and his iconic brew. The presentation is engaging and informative. The third floor was my favorite. This is a history of the advertising of Guinness. It was quirky, funny and imaginative.