Ireland is the land of lush green fields, Guinness, religious history, and so much more.
I've begun flying the Irish carrier, Aer Lingus, on my Euro trips because of their extremely reasonable fares, hospitality, and easy stopovers in Dublin. I've been to Dublin a few times now and can help you condense your travel list.
Upon landing in Dublin take your cab to Aloft Dublin City. This reasonably priced stay is where luxury meets modern art. The rooms are immaculately clean, with extremely comfortable beds and refreshing showers.
The hotel boasts a top-notch cocktail bar with fireplace seating overlooking downtown Dublin views.
The cliental of the hotel seemed to be mostly young, trendy, and from all over the world. A great place to meet fellow travelers — with more privacy and sophistication than a hostel
Even if you're not a book person — if you do nothing else on your visit — go to see the Library of Trinity College Dublin. It is the stuff of fairytales. In addition to its movie-perfect scene, it is home to the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is the illustrated manuscript of the New Testament's four gospels. No matter your faith (or lack thereof) this 9th Century manuscript is yet another reminder of just how young countries like the United States are.
Located near the beloved Love Actually pub, Temple Bar, The Ha'penny Bridge offers delightful views of Dublin. Built in1816, the River Liffey flows underneath its cast-iron supports. You'll also find plenty of love locks — although officials are working to stop this trend.
After three trips to Dublin, the National Gallery of Ireland remains one of my top three favorite things to do in Dublin. One of the best parts: it's free admission. I'm a firm believer that in a perfect world, access to art would be free. Admittedly, I don't know a whole lot about art, but I was absolutely mesmerized by the Irish gallery. When I look back on my visit, almost ten years later, I still see so many of the paintings etched deeply into my memory.
“In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty…”
If you're Irish, you probably grew up hearing your grandfather humming this tune. I remember coming home from Ireland singing this song and my Irish father instantly brought back to his father humming the tune.
The statue of Molly Malone commemorates a fishmonger of the name, although she is more widely remembered for a more risque profession. Rub her chest for some good luck they say!
Founded in 1191, St. Patrick's Cathedral is an absolutely essential part of Ireland's catholic history. It is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. Adults can enter the beautiful cathedra for 8 euro, or they offer family rates for 18 euro. If you're Catholic, the church still holds regular mass. If you're looking to feel inspired by a bit of “the old world” St. Patrick's Cathedral transports you.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day — and Queen of Tarts delivered. With two locations in Dublin, one on Cows Lane and the other on Cork Hill, you're sure to have time for a delicious bite of scone and a rejuvenating cup of coffee. Queen of Tarts is truly a quaint local haunt, filled with old Ireland charm. In addition to baked goods, they provide full breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea.
If you're traveling around the December holidays, the Giner Man is a fantastical festive dream. The ceiling is covered (and I mean covered) in Christmas decorations. The beer and comfort bar food is well worth a visit no matter the time of year. A lovely local haunt, you'll hear little else but flowing Irish accents.
Iceland has a strong mythical tradition, with all sorts of elves, trolls, and other popular folkloric characters, not to mention 13 iterations of Santa. With this guided tour of Reykjavik, you'll go into the oldest part of town to learn all about these creatures and their stories.