At the beginning of this month I went to Dublin for 4 1/2 days with one of my best friends and let me just say right away, it was a lot of fun.
So what can I tell you about Dublin, first if you are planning to see a bit of the surroundings of Dublin and get out a bit then a couple more days will definitely be useful. We did one full day trip to Glendalough (and a bit of the Wicklow mountains) as well as taking the bus to Howth Peninsula which was about a 1/2 day due to the weather. It could have definitely been a full day trip as well if the weather would have been nicer, we would have spend more time then. Overall a couple more days would have been nice to do a few more things in the city. It all depends on your preferences, if you want to go out into nature or not. I don’t regret taking these trips as I enjoyed them a lot.
In Dublin I really enjoyed visiting the Trinity College Library, it looks just as gorgeous as on photos. Although I didn’t realise that it was only one long hall that you get to see (not sure if there is more hidden away from tourist but I assume so). If you visit there you also learn about and see parts of the Book of Kells, which was interesting as well as I have to admit I didn’t know anything about it before. The Book of Kells is a large medieval manuscript from the 9th century. It contains four Gospels and is known for its beautiful decorations. From what I understood the manuscript is divided into four parts as well and two are displayed (so you get to see an open page from each part). Overall though it was a bit expensive as it cost 10 Euros for both together and it isn’t that much you see. But thats just my opinion.
We also took part in one of those free walking tours around Dublin (well the southern part) and that way really great. It was approximately 3 hours and we learned a lot about the history of Dublin. Of course a lot was also about the 1916 Easter Rising since it has been 100 years this year and there are a lot of different things focused on this you can do. There are specific tours that take around the city to all the important places connected to it. I’m not sure if that is just this year or whether they had them before as well. Anyway we started the walking tour at Dublin Castle and a little park just next to it. From there we went to the 40 steps at St. Audeons, where apparently a scene from PS I love you was shot. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the movie so I can honestly say that I can not remember that part. We also went to the Temple Bar area, Trinity College and the Molly Malone Statue (we even learned the song, but I can only remember the refrain).
What I would definitely recommend doing, is Kilmainham Gaol. You can not book a tour online or get tickets before so I would say get there relatively early after it opens. We did that and got there half an hour after it opens, so we were lucky and didn’t have to wait to long. However when our tour ended and we left the line was really long. The guided tour was really interesting and again we learned a lot about the history of Dublin and of the jail itself. I’m not trusting myself to remember everything correctly so I won’t write what exactly 😉 But again quite a lot about the 1916 Easter Rising, since most of the leaders of the rebellion spend time and died there. The good thing is that there is also a museum that you can look at both before and after the tour and it is super interesting. Also if there is anything you didn’t quite get during the tour you will probably read again in the museum. And I was pleasantly surprised that they only charge 4 Euros for the tour. 🙂