Ireland / Dublin Travels

  • shortGymCA

    Posts: 51

    Oct 12, 2010 4:38 AM GMT
    I've got a UK/Europe vacation coming up in December. Anyone have any can't miss places or travel tips, bars, cafes, restaurant, museums whatever.

    It's a December vacation so I don't expect too much outside athletic activity beyond walking. but would love to catch a rugby game if there is any going on.
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Oct 12, 2010 2:17 PM GMT
    I was in Ireland/Dublin & London in October last year, you can read about the trip on my blog:

    I'd be happy to answer any questions.
  • shortGymCA

    Posts: 51

    Oct 12, 2010 6:37 PM GMT
    Thanks Dugger
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    Oct 12, 2010 6:39 PM GMT
    Expect to spend some time in the pub!
    Dublin - worth visiting seeing (in no order)
    Trinity College
    Guinness Storehouse
    St Patricks Cathedral
    A wander around St Stephens Green and Merrion Sq
    Grafton St for shopping
    Grand Canal Dock for great new architecture
    Liberal stops in many wonderful pubs for a nice pint

    Try and get over to Galway on the west - a lot smaller than Dublin but a lot of fun. If you have the time / inclination, there is also some STUNNING scenery in northern ireland north of belfast though could end up a bad move if the weather is shitty.

    How long you planning on being here?
  • shortGymCA

    Posts: 51

    Oct 12, 2010 6:46 PM GMT
    Hey Deejay, I'll be in Ireland for only 3 days. I was looking atleast 1 day taking a tour of the countryside, trying to decide based on easy train routes.

    i.e. Belfast and Giants Causeway

    or Galway

    or Cork and Blarney Castle.

    With it being early december I expect cold, wet, weather so I know I won't be wanting to trek far outside of transit or tours.
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Oct 12, 2010 7:02 PM GMT
    Was there in July. Rented a 3 bedroom house in Limerick. Took my sons.

    Catch some Hurling, Ireland's National sport. Fast and bloody.

    Great restaurant, Ely's, in the Grand Canal area. Rented a flat for summer 2011.

    Go to Cashel for the history and the Bureen for the beauty. I skipped Ring of Kerry for the Dingle peninsula. Surfing at Inch beach.

    Oysters with the salt water still in the shells is a must.

    Any questions?
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Oct 12, 2010 7:06 PM GMT
    I spent a few hours in Cork one afternoon, not the best city for sightseeing, it does have a big university and the vibe was good, but it's not the quaint Irish town you think of when you hear Ireland. The airport on the other hand was very nice!

    If you can see the Ring of Kerry or the Cliffs of Moher I would recommend those. A trip to Galway or Killarney would allow this. In winter do not expect many things to be open, but it's a great drive.

    Just outside of Dublin is Powerscourt, a nice old manor and gardens.

    We had a nice drive outside of Dublin to Howth on a peninsula to the north of the city.

    If you like Japanese Gardens there was a great one south of Dublin at Kildare, also home of the national stud farm. You can take a train to Kildare and shuttle to the Gardens.

    Do not miss Trinity and the Book of Kells, and the Hugh Lane Art Gallery was very interesting.

    Just my opinion but the Temple Bar area in Dublin which is famous for drinking establishments was a big tourist trap.

    And I agree with the previous poster on Cashel.

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    Oct 12, 2010 9:18 PM GMT
    Galway, that is allicon_biggrin.gif

    Its awesome
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    Oct 13, 2010 12:09 AM GMT
    It's too bad you've only got such a short time there. The west coast is worth the effort if you can make it out there. The bus from Dublin to Galway is about four hours if I remember correctly. If at all possible go see the Aran Islands, Inishmor in particular is interesting for the fort of Dun Aengus.

    Also the Dingle Peninsula/Slea Head is one of the most beautiful parts of the country.

    I have pictures. Message me if you'd like to see them.
  • OklahomaBreak...

    Posts: 167

    Oct 13, 2010 1:13 AM GMT
    I spent a month in Ireland this summer for studying. The country is beautiful and the people are great.

    Don't want to repeat things, but

    Grafton St.
    Porterhouse Microbrewery (try the beer sampler with the Oyster Beer)

    I haven't seen Jameson Distillery mentioned yet, but it's fun. Volunteer during the tour and you get to be a taste tester and come out with a little certificate. Also they have a 53 Euro bottle of 12 year old that you can get your name on the label. This type can only be bought in Dublin and makes a great gift.

    If you like cigars. A Decent Cigar on Grafton St. is a good place with nice prices.

    Watch out for cabbies though I had a few who tried to take advantage of me due to my accent and drove long ways to take me back from Temple Bar and Grafton. Oh btw Temple Bar is awesome.

    There is also a really friendly pub in Doneybrooke called Kileys. You can pour your own pint and the people are great.

    For drunk food definitely try Rays Pizza by Temple Bar or an Abrakebabra.

    For outside activities try Wild Wicklow Tours to see the Wicklow Mountains. I went in the summer so I don't know what it would be like in December.


    Great shopping not a lot else.

    DO NOT USE PADDY WAGON TOURS when you visit the countryside. They are expensive and have been known to leave people before the time they said to meet back up. I had a group of friends that did their tour and hated it.

    Barratt Tours is the best value and the husband and wife that operate the whole business are really great. They didn't have a full tour group the day we went to Blarney and Cork so the husband picked us up in his Benz and gave us a personal tour. They also do Cliffs of Moher, both can be day trips. If you go to the cliffs a bunch of us went past the do not pass sign for some great pictures, but BEWARE the winds can sometimes blow people off. (didn't know that until I got back)

    The last thing I would recommend is going to Belfast. The people there were incredibly friendly. Also there is a lot of cool architecture to see and places to enjoy the nightlife.
  • shortGymCA

    Posts: 51

    Oct 13, 2010 3:03 PM GMT
    Yes I know not much time in Ireland, but its on the front end of a longer trip in three countries.

    It looks like I'm going to be researchign day trips to Galway.
  • OklahomaBreak...

    Posts: 167

    Oct 13, 2010 4:30 PM GMT
    Well Barratt is good for a lot of Ireland trips. Where else are you going in Europe? I was in Switzerland for a month in July as well, and got to do a fair amount of traveling from there.
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    Oct 15, 2010 1:48 AM GMT
    I spent three weeks driving around Ireland. I loved Galway and wish I had spent more than a couple days there.

    I recommend the Dingle Peninsula over the Ring of Kerry, just because fewer people go there and it's beautiful.

    In Dublin itself there is a church that has mummies in the basement. Something about the soil conditions preserved the bodies. It seems like hardly anyone goes to see them as my friend and I were the only people on the tour. The guide even said it was okay to touch them, which weirded me out. I passed on the offer. Anyway it's something to do in Dublin that not many people seem to know about. I can't remember where it was but we walked there after the Jameson tour.
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    Oct 15, 2010 1:52 AM GMT
    Go to The Dragon, the craziest gay club of town. Those Irish really know how to party it up, and lots of them aren't hard on the eyes either. The place is pretty big and seems to the "the" place to go in Dublin.

    I think it's on Grafton st, can't really remember.

    Was there with the marketing mgr of my company's Irish unit a couple years ago - he and his 20 completely wacko lesbian sales reps, time of my life icon_biggrin.gif
  • shortGymCA

    Posts: 51

    Oct 15, 2010 2:07 PM GMT
    That sounds like a lot of fun and thanks for all the ideas guys. Its a short trip to Ireland this time, but I'll go back if I enjoy it probably with a traveling companion and most definitely in a warmer month than December.

    I'm in for mummies, I'm definitely going to Google that one, and i'm compelled to do Galway, Giants Causeway, and the Ring of Kerry I think. The rest of the time will be spend exploring Dublin.

    best part about traveling is walking around in a new place and just letting it wash over you.
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    Oct 15, 2010 3:00 PM GMT

    Hey, I can try and answer as many questions.

    I would definitely try and get to Galway over anywhere else in Ireland, the only problem is it will take you about 3 hours to get to, but well worth it for chilling out.

    In Dublin the Gay clubs would be Dragon or The George, both on the same street (Georges Street)

    Definitely go to Pantibar (particularly if you are there on a Tuesday where there is a really funny show) its a more chilled out Bar instead of a club.


    Dublin Castle
    Kilmainham Jail
    Trinity College
    Stephens Green
    Royal College of Surgeons
    Viking Splash Tour is good
    Guinness Store House
    Jameson Distillery

    At night There's a Haunted Ghost Bus tour which is kind of chesey and fun

    DO NOT do the "Dublinia" Viking Exhibition (hasn't changed since I was a child)

    Be careful how much you try and do, a trip to Belfast will take up half a day and likewise Galway, pick one or the other.

    Any help required booking hotels let me know.