Enchanting Ireland is a blog post trilogy about a 9-16 days romantic round trip through Ireland. This is the first part of the round trip description, including Dublin, Cork, Cashel and Kilkenny. Click here to see all parts. Enjoy the enchanting beauty Ireland has to offer!
Dublin is an amazing city that has so many great highlights to offer! Of course there are the churches and historical buildings such as Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (photo above), Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Trinity College and the National Museum of Ireland. All gorgeous!
For those who do not know: Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland in the province of Leinster on the east coast of Ireland, at the mouth of the River Liffey. The population of Dublin is around 550.000, so not too big, a bit like Amsterdam. The Irish government recognized 988 as the year in which the city was settled.
Visit a bar or pub is an absolute must-do in Dublin (and the rest of the country). Pubs form an essential part of the Irish culture. This is where daily life happens. Beer, pub food such as Irish stew and shepherd’s pie, live music, lots of people enjoying themselves… All you need to do is: mingle! You can also join a group for a pub crawl or whiskey tasting tour.
No worries if you think you cannot make it till midnight to go partying after a day of walking around the city; it’s crowded at The Temple Bar area anytime of the day! Or if you would rather avoid the crows: get a drink at the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub.
Also fun: the Guinness Storehouse, where you can learn about the history and how Ireland’s most popular beer brand is made. Skip the line and buy a ticket for the Guiness Storehouse in advance online.
Tip: for dinner at any reasonably good restaurant in Dublin center, especially during the weekend, I strongly recommend to make reservations preferably 1-2 days in advance. It sucks to walk around hungry and it turns out all the nice places are fully booked already.
This mobile friendly map includes most things mentioned about Dublin in this article and is smartphone friendly. You can use it easily via Google Maps. Click on the top left icon to open the menu. You can (un)select categories/areas to customize the map to your needs. Via Google Drive you can copy it to your folder of My Google Maps.
Would you prefer to stay at a cozy small B&B or rather at a full service luxury hotel? Here is my favorite selection for Dublin.
B&B: Number 31
Number 31 is a stylish B&B located in the center of Dublin, a 7-minute walk from St. Stephen’s Green (park and shops) and a 9-minute walk from National Museum of Ireland. There are four different rooms, all with private bathrooms. This B&B is most affordable when booked at least 6-12 months in advance.
The Shelbourne Hotel is a historic, landmark hotel located in the heart of Dublin on St. Stephen’s Green. The five-star hotel is a 5 minutes’ walk from Dublin’s famous attractions, such as Trinity College. The hotel offers breakfast, afternoon tea, dining options, health club and spa.
If you wonder about practical stuff for this round trip, including Dublin, such as:
- How to get there & around
- When to go
- What it costs
Then please check out the general overview for this blog post trilogy: Enchanting Ireland: a romantic round trip of 9-16 days.
Taking a tour is also an easy way to get around and beyond Dublin, especially should you be in Dublin for 3 or more days and not planning or daring to rent a car…
City trip or round trip?
Obviously Dublin can be visited as a single destination city trip, or form part of a longer roundtrip through Enchanting Ireland. So where to go after Dublin?
Optional extra: Cashel
On the way from Dublin to Cork (3 hours), make a short stop-over or if you have at least 10 days or more spend an extra night at Cashel to see the Rock of Cashel (60m), also known as Saint Patrick’s Rock. Cahir Castle and Swiss Cottage are other nearby landmarks.
B&B Cashel: Peggy O’Neills B&B
Optional extra: Kilkenny
If you would like to spend an extra night between Dublin and Cork, consider staying at Kilkenny. Kilkenny Castle, the brewery of Smithwick, Black Abbey and Nowlan Park are there to see. Not a must, but a nice to add if you have the time (10 days or more).
Next stop: Cork
Compared to Dublin, Cork has a significant smaller city center. It’s easy to walk around, not crowded at all. The Holy Trinity Church by the south channel of the River Lee (that song… thanks Adele!) looks pretty cool with its outstanding purple fence. Cathedral of St. Colman is also popular. And there are enough other pretty, old buildings and fun shops in town that make it interesting enough to stroll around for a few hours.
The English Market, Cobh Heritage Center (about Irish Emigration), Cork City Hall and Cork Opera House are important sights. We saw some colorful street art. It’s a nice mix of modern and traditional. Of course Cork offers some great bars and pubs. We went to the Thomond Bar at Marlboro St and really liked it. Great bands, drinks and bar food!
In the mood for something more sophisticated? Check out the map below for some great restaurants.
This mobile friendly map includes most things mentioned about Cork and is smartphone friendly. You can use it easily via Google Maps. Click on the top left icon to open the menu. You can (un)select categories/areas to customize the map to your needs. Via Google Drive you can copy it to your folder of My Google Maps.
Like whiskey? 30 min east of Cork city you can visit the Jameson Distillery.
B&B: Gabriel House
With its elevated position, Gabriel House looks out over Cork’s cathedral spires and the harbour. A 5-10 minute walk from the center, yet the house is surrounded by landscaped gardens, which several rooms in this charming 1900s building look out on.
Hotel: Hayfield Manor
Hayfield Manor is a luxury hotel with a beauty spa and an elegant restaurant. The sumptuous rooms feature a luxurious orthopaedic bed and a marble bathroom. This comfortable hotel is located at a 15 minutes’ walk from Cork’s city center.
End of part 1
For the next destinations of this round trip such as Kinsale, Killarney, Cliffs of Moher, etc. please continue to the second part of this blog post trilogy: Enchanting Ireland: Wild Atlantic Highway from Kinsale to Galway.
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