St Patrick’s Day, Dublin
St Patrick’s Day weekend, the weekend to be in Dublin. We arrived at our hotel, checked in, received warm hand towels, two complimentary drink vouchers and informed we had been upgraded to an executive room. Luck of the Irish? We immediately went to the hotel bar and used our drinks vouchers.
Everyone told us the best place to go was Temple Bar, except a girl we sat next to on the plane, she mentioned that it was just full of tourists, and she was right. However, it was the busiest place in Ireland for Paddies Day. Too busy, you couldn’t get to a bar without shoving everyone out the way first.
Most people bought booze from the shops and roamed the streets like an army of green drunkards. It was better than being inside the bars. The only way one could possibly make it through the madness is to get completely bolognaised.
The next day we went to the Guinness Storehouse. A fantastic three-hours of wondering around a world of Guinness. I managed six pints of the stuff and got to see Irish dancing. Well worth a visit.
We then took a cab to the Jameson’s Distillery. The cab driver gave us the low-down. “When you get in there, you don’t know each other, who the fuck is he? They show you a movie; sit well away from each other in the movie. After the movie they pick people for the whiskey tasting. As soon as they say ‘I need a vol…’ you put your hand up, don’t let them finish the word volunteer. They don’t pick two people from the same group.”
He was absolutely right. That is exactly what we did and we both got picked. The tour itself was average. My highlight was watching a mouse run over my friends shoe after witnessing everyone jump out the way of it. My friend was too busy to notice until the mouse sat on the top of the shoe. He jumped and I laughed. The funniest thing about it was the fact he had found a shoe polishing kit in the hotel room and gave his shoes a high mirror shine only a few hours before.
Saturday night in Dublin, the place was disgustingly busy, everyone was hammered and it was mental, a sea of green tourist all here for one reason, to get pissed. We wondered around and found a great place that had all the drinking environments you could want. I can’t remember what it was called. I can’t remember too much of the night either. Ah forget it.
We had heard about a jail that you could do a tour around so we looked into that. We caught a cab to the Kilmainham Gaol and waited in line for an hour (get the early it gets busy!). The tour itself was the highlight of the weekend. I love a jail and the tour was full of fascinating history. The prison has been used a location for many films including The Italian Job and In the Name of the Father.
I’d like to go back to Dublin on a normal weekend, St Patricks Day weekend is just ridiculous.
Top things to do in Dublin
Tour the Guinness Storehouse
One of the best brewery tours in Europe. Pour your own pint, drink at Gravity Bar while taking in great views of the city and enjoy the best Guinness you’ll ever have. Guinness does not travel well so this is well worth a visit for the pint alone. Book ahead and skip the outrageous queues.
Drink in Temple Bar
Although it can be overcrowded and touristy, Temple Bar is the place to experience Dublin nightlife and Irish music at its finest. Avoid it on St Patrick’s Day weekend though.
Visit Dublin Castle
At the heart of the city lies Dublin Castle, built in the 13th century. It’s not the greatest castle, but it does depict Ireland’s history pretty well.
Tour the Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is the city’s famous former prison, which has now been converted into a museum. The jail once held some of Ireland’s most notorious prisoners, particularly Irish Nationalists and Republicans. This was a highlight for me.
Tour the Jameson Distillery
Whiskey is as famous as beer in Ireland, and if there is one thing to do in Dublin, it is to sample of the local stuff. If you’re short on time then this will be the one to miss. If you can, it’s worth a visit.
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