|“Dublin is a fantastic place for partying and has an amazing night life” that’s all I had ever heard or read about Dublin. And it is. But on my recent trip here I realized that Dublin has so much more to offer to it’s visitors rather than just being an awesome party place with 900+ pubs. It’s actually a beautiful city on the banks of river Liffey with a fascinating history, awesome people, unique museums, theaters, and so many things to see and do that a quick trip here does absolutely no justice.
We recently spent 2 days here and based on my own experiences, I am sharing my top 5 must see and do things in Dublin (apart from all the partying and pubbing) –
1. Trinity College, The Long Room in the Old Library and the Book of Kells – Trinity College is one of Ireland’s oldest universities with a beautiful campus, many interesting stories and legends and houses the famous Long Room in the Old Library and the Book of Kells. We joined a reasonably priced 30 minute walking tour of the campus (conducted by students of the college) and learnt some interesting stories and anecdotes about the history of the college, its current practices etc. But my favorite part of the tour was the visit to the Long Room in the Old Library and the Book of Kells.
The Long Room in the Old Library is a 65 metres long hall that houses 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books. The moment you enter this room you are transported into a book lovers heaven with books everywhere, in every direction and as far as the eye can see. Books are cramped together by size (not alphabetically or by subject) on ancient wooden shelves with small alcoves streaming in sunlight and the smell of old books everywhere. I wished I could just settle there forever.
The other big highlight here is the Book of Kells. This is an illuminated manuscript in Latin from 800AD that contains the four gospels of the New Testament. The illustrations in the Book are vibrantly colored beautiful ornate swirling motifs and figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts and Celtic knots. It is definitely one of the most beautiful manuscripts I have seen.
2. Explore the city on foot – Dublin is quite spread out but still a walk-able city, and what better way to explore it than on foot. We decided to explore it by ourselves and walked all around to see some of its famous sights such as the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, City Hall, Dublin Castle, the GPO, Ha’penny bridge, etc but on these impromptu walks we also saw a very unique Dublin with beautiful narrow streets, Georgian houses with narrow windows (as windows were taxed by size), buildings with different styled and colored doors, beautiful paintings on electric boxes, cafes, vintage stores and much more. This was one of our favorite ways of exploring Dublin.
3. Walk around Temple Bar – One of the most famous and visited parts of Dublin, the Temple Bar is a colorful street filled with numerous bars, a riot of colors – from graffiti to flowers to buildings, and an amazing atmosphere just waiting to be soaked in. There are loads of things you can do here from shopping to eating to taking a million pictures to just hanging out. Here too we just walked around and came across some unique lanes and shops including a bylane that paid homage to all the female Irish authors.
4. Unique Museums – Dublin is full of some really good and unique museums such as the Little Museum of Dublin, the Irish Whiskey Museum, Kilmainham Goal, National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology and History, the National Leprechaun Museum, etc etc. Each of these museums is unique and a must visit but sadly we didn’t have the time. However it’s on my list to be covered for my next visit here.
5. Try the Irish Scones – If you like scones and have eaten the English one, then you have to try the Irish scones. They are a mix between scones and muffins and available in quite a few flavors. We tried them in a couple of places in Dublin and loved them. A definite must for all desert lovers.
We loved our short visit here and can’t wait to return again someday to explore the balance things left on my still a very long list of things to see and do in Dublin.
Filed under: Europe, Ireland, My Travel Tales, The Travel Convoy, Tips for Travel Planning Tagged: Book of Kells, Dublin, Europe, Ireland, Photography, Temple Bar, The Long Room in the Old Library, Travel, Trinity College
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