My Dublin City Guide

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Until 3 years ago I had never set foot in Ireland, but since I started seeing my boyfriend, who is from Dublin himself, I've been there quite a few times. Heading to Dublin yourself soon, or just looking for some travel inspiration? Here are my favourite shops, food places and sights. We'll start off with a bit of culture!

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The book of Kells and the Library Of Trinity College  

First up is every book lover's dream. The library of Trinity College is a place I would just like to move into. But I guess spending a few hours wandering around and taking it all in will have to do for now. You'll also be able to find the Book of Kells here, which is 'Ireland's greatest cultural treasure and the world's most famous medieval manuscript', which I have to admit I hadn't actually heard of before. There might be a bit queue to get into to building, so try to find a quiet time to go. 

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Oscar Wilde statue

This one speaks for itself, but if you find yourself near St. Stephen's Green, make sure to stop by Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde's statue.

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The Winding Stairs Book Shop

This beautiful bookshop looking out on the river ended up being my favourite when I visited in the city. It's a small shop, but has an excellent selection of books, a dreamy writing desk in the window, plus the window display of hanging book is gorgeous too.

 

The Hugh Lane Gallery

I'm a big museum lover, and after visiting a bunch of them over one weekend, I decided that the Hugh Lane Gallery was the one I'd recommend most. The building is stunning, it has some of my favourite genres of paintings and the museum itself has a super interesting history too, which I'll let you discover for yourself. There is also a selection of impressionist paintings that switches between the Hugh Lane Gallery and the National Gallery in London, so I absolutely loved revisiting one of my favourite works in Dublin.

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Powerscourt Centre

This Georgian building is filled with arty and some high-end shops, and it worth wandering around even if you don't intent to buy anything.

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The library project

If you love magazines, zines and other arty things, The Library Project is the places to be.

After soaking up all that culture, you'll probably feel pretty hungry. Let's go find some food!

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meet me in the morning 

If you're going to any of the food places from this post, make it this one. I had to do a bit of convincing to let us go here for breakfast as the menu looks a bit funky, but it was such a hearty and colourful breakfast and it had incredible ingredients. The dishes doesn't look bad in a picture either! Not sure about the marmalade in the picture above and I nearly lost a tooth on the sourdough, but the breakfast dishes were incredible.

cornucopia 

This is an absolute vegan and veggie staple in Dublin. It has a hippie vibe and you buy all your food at the counter, but the portions are massive and there's just so much flavour. The vegan potato salad should be at the top of your list.

 

brother Hubbard

With both a North and South location, and loads of tables, this is a perfect brunch spot. The food was very Turkish-inspired and the offer quite a nice alternative brunch with lots of different vegan options too. Great if you're looking for something tasty but casual.

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donuts! 

Apparently Dublin used to be obsessed with milkshakes, and now it's donuts. I swear, there's a donut shop on every corner and my favourite was The Rolling Donut. The location I visited was only a few shops from Winding Stair Bookshop, so it's the perfect location to make a quick combo trip. 

dwarf jar

Ireland can often be a bit, ehm, rainy. During one of our rainiest days in Dublin we ended up in Dwarf Jar, a cute cafe with a ton of loose-leaf tea options and plenty of baked goods and other food to help you recover for a bit.

 

insta spots

No city guide is complete without a list of super photogenic locations that will look very good in your holiday album or Insta feed. These are my personal favourites!

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Art Nouveau Wall Art

Head to Cope St (close to Temple Bar) to find these stunning walls with depictions of characters from James Joyce's Ulysses.

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the coloured doors

You'll find these all around the city and they're another landmark that I didn't know about before heading to the city myself.

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the umbrellas

Not sure what the story is behind these colourful umbrellas, but they look pretty nice and you can find them outside of Zozimus Bar.

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Temple Bar

And of course you can't let a trip to Dublin end without a visit to the Temple Bar area. Whether or not you stop for a bunch of drinks, it's worth walking through.

 

my wish list

I'm pretty sure I'll be returning to Dublin again soon, so here are some spots that I've either walked by but didn't have the chance to go in, or that other people have recommended to me. 

  • National Botanic Garden. I'm a sucker for any botanical gardens, which I'm sure will come as no surprise, but these seem to be a little out of the way from the areas we're usually in (as is the case with most of the stuff on my wish list).

  • Phoenix Park. It has deer and is massive. What else do I need to say?

  • The Kilmainham Gaol Museum. I've been to prison museums in both Philadelphia and Belfast, and both of them had super interesting histories and taught me lots about the city they were in. This one comes highly recommended from quite a few people.

  • Apparently Dublin has a bunch of amazing speakeasy bars, so I'll have to pick some favourites and try them out next time.

  • Grantham's on Grantham St. This was one of the other brunch options on my list, but it didn't win on the day. It seems like a lovely location with some good looking coffee and pancakes.

 

Day trips from Dublin

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Glendalough

One of my best memories of my first trip to Dublin was a little day trip to Glendalough. If you can't drive like myself, it's really nice when there's an easy option to go explore outside of the city. Hop on the bus and enjoy an afternoon walking around the gorgeous lake. We bought some sandwiches and brought them with us, for that authentic picnic atmosphere.

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dun laoghaire and Howth

If you're keen to see the seaside, coastal towns Dun Laoghaire and Howth are both lovely options. Walk down the stone pier, feel the sea breeze, and have an ice cream cone. They're not super far from Dublin, and it looks like you can catch the bus, though a car would be a bit easier.

 

These options should keep you pretty occupied, whether you're going for a day or a week. If you've got any other tips I should add to my wish list or if you end up visiting any of the places I mentioned, I'd love to hear about it. Make sure to have a Guinness (or donut) for me!