Guest post by Sierra
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Day 1: Arrival
Jacob’s Inn is the ideal Dublin budget accommodation, with clean facilities and helpful staff. We stayed in a 12-person co-ed dorm room.
Day 2: Walking Tour
The free walking tour was a major draw to Jacob’s Inn! Our local guide was very informed and nice. (Of course, they ask for tips, but still a great deal!) I could spend hours getting lost in the pedestrian-only streets south of the river and watching the talented street performers. Did lots of shopping along Grafton Street.
- National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology
- St Patrick’s Cathedral
Home of the infamous bog men (and tons of other interesting exhibits) the archaeology museum is a must for every traveler. For a history lover like me, I could spend hours lost here. And, as a plus, it’s entirely free.
If you are religious, I highly recommend attending an evensong service at the cathedral – as it’s free to attend and a beautiful way to experience the church as its builders intended it.
- City Church Dublin
- Trinity College
We wanted to attend a contemporary/evangelical church service, and the people of Dublin City Church were very welcoming. Seeing the book of Kells at Trinity College was amazing – I love the surrounding exhibit. Though we did not invest in the tour of the college; it’s really quite enough to wander the grounds themselves.
Day 5: Connemara National Park and Galway Excursion
A great way to escape from the city for a bit. I would highly recommend Paddywagon tours. Looking back, I would have stayed in Galway for a night, instead of coming back with the tour immediately, and simply taken a public bus back to Dublin sometime the next day. Galway is a beautiful, inviting city, and I would have loved to spend more time there and perhaps take a side trip to the Cliffs of Moher.
Day 6: Kilkenny Castle
Another nice (spontaneous!) break from Dublin city. We took a bus to Kilkenny – the town is adorable and the castle very well presented for visitors.
- Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol may be my favorite tourist site in Dublin – the guides are informative and passionate about their nations bloody (and fairly recent!) history. It is a sobering and enlightening experience.
We did a half day tour through Paddywagon again to Wicklow and Glendalough, which was also lovely. Glendalough is where they filmed the movie Braveheart: think beautiful scenery with lakes, valleys, and Celtic ruins.
Day 8: Brú na Bóinne
These ruins are an absolute must! We just caught public transport, which can be a tiny bit confusing if you’re not familiar with figuring out foreign bus systems. For ease of transport, I might recommend taking a day tour to the tombs. Although be sure to visit the one which you can actually go inside!
- St Stephen’s Green
- The Celt
I think a free/nothing planned day is a must in every city if you can manage it. As well as wandering, shopping, and relaxing on the green, we did boring necessities, like laundry and mailing things home. Then we finished our journey with another trip to our absolutely favorite pub in Dublin: the Celt.
Traveled in May 2015