The Insider’s Guide: Things to do in Dublin
Before you go any further rest assured this will be the first and last mention of Temple Bar in this blog post! It’s great, but i want to tell you about some of the things to do in Dublin which are off the traditional tourist trail.
Here’s my top 5 things to do in Dublin alongside some insider tips on where to go.
1. Have a drink
We know it’s a little cliche, but if you fancy a pint or your chosen tipple while visit Dublin here’s a few traditional watering holes only a stones throw from the main tourist areas where you can mix with the locals.
The Library Bar: This cosy bar complete with open fires is located upstairs in The Central Hotel. It’s the perfect place for a quiet drink and a natter.
The Stags Head: You won’t find any music in this pub but it’s so busy there’s never a quiet moment! There’s a great atmosphere on a Saturday night.
L. Mulligan Grocer: A bit out of town, in trendy Stoneybatter this place is worth the walk for it’s fine food and homely atmosphere. They’re also purveyors of whiskey, beer and gin.
Hogans: This rugby favourite on George’s street can be standing room only on a Saturday, but it’s a lovely place for an afternoon drink to watch the world go by. Keep your eyes peeled for an international rugby player or two, it’s a favourite haunt of the team off season.
2.Grab a coffee
It won’t take you long to realise there’s a strong coffee culture in Dublin. If you want to get your caffeine fix away from the usual chains here are our top tips:
The Blu Apple: At the very top of O’Connell St. this small café serves lovely coffee and fresh baked goods.
Brother Hubbards: This trendy café is a great place for brunch, lunch or dinner! Worth booking ahead for dinner though. The coffee here is delish but you may have to share a table if it’s busy.
The Art of Coffee: Located near Dublin’s silicon docks, the Art of Coffee is much loved and claims to serve the best coffee in Dublin!
Accents Café: Only a stone’s throw from Grafton Street, Accents café is one of only a few late night café’s in the city if you’d prefer coffee to beer. If you’re a fan, their hot chocolate is to die for!
3.Brunch with the best
After a heavy night or just to catch up with friends, Dubliners love a good brunch at the weekend:
Sister Sadie: Run by the same team as Brother Hubbard on the north side of the city, this cute eatery does a delicious alternative brunch with an Arabian twist.
Brasserie 66: Great for bigger groups, this cool, modern brasserie is a good spot for lunch or dinner but the brunch is relaxed and very tasty. The cavernous space means you’re unlikely to feel in any way rushed so it’s a great place for relaxed brunch. Another cup of coffee? Don’t mind if I do…
Odessa: Odessa has been doing brunch in Dublin since before brunch in Dublin was even a thing. One of the original, and many would argue, best brunches in the city is served in comfortable surroundings. Be warned, downstairs can get noisy when it’s full but usually this adds to the atmosphere!
4. Skip the zoo and try the National History Museum instead
While Dublin Zoo is a wonderful place to visit, if you’re looking for something a little different why not try the Natural History Museum. It’s filled with stuffed wild animals from all over the world. Thankfully it is a practice that has been stopped, people can still see these deer skeletons, stuffed mammals, birds and fish from the early 20th century.
5. The Botanic Gardens and Glasnevin Cemetery
Just north of the city, these hidden gems, a favourite of locals, are often missed by those visiting Dublin. The Botanic Gardens are at their most beautiful in the summer months when in full bloom but the palm houses are worth a visit at any time of the year and are a great place to warm up if you are visiting during the chillier months!
A trip to the Botanics is nicely rounded off with lunch at The Gravedigger near Glasnevin Cemetery, a local pub serving fabulous food and even better Guinness. Historically it was the chosen watering hole of the grave diggers from Ireland’s largest cemetery next door.
Glasnevin Cemetery is well worth a post lunch visit as it contains the remains of some of Ireland’s most famous leaders but also many, many ordinary Irish people. The tour provides a fascinating insight into the challenges of living in the city over the last few centuries.
The even better news is, we are having an autumn sale so you can travel to Dublin with Stena Line with 20% off – it’s too good an opportunity to miss!