One of my favorite times to travel is during the holiday season. Why? Because every European city seems to celebrate the holiday season by decking itself out with holiday lights and Christmas trees. To me there is nothing more festive than walking down an old European cobblestone street adorned with beautiful holiday lights.
Most of the time when traveling, a trip is focused on how many sights I can cram in the little time I have there. For this trip to Dublin, it was more of a quick weekend getaway to pause and enjoy the city...and see a few sights along the way.
I find that the trips I enjoy most are when I am not rushing from sight to sight but rather slowing down and experiencing the city as the locals might do, often involving spending the evening in a pub with a pint of Guinness. ;)
During my trip to Dublin, I was lucky enough to stay in the gorgeous Shelbourne Hotel. It was founded in 1824 and sits just opposite of St Stephen's Green. This is by far the most luxurious and extravagant hotel I have ever and probably willever stay in. Everything about the hotel is beautiful, from the moment you pull up (or in my case, walk up) to the curb outside.
Now I don't know if they do this year round or if this was because it was during the holiday season, but at check in, I was greeted with a glass of hot apple cider! It was the perfect welcome to the hotel especially after coming in from the cold.
The Shelbourne Hotel is one of Dublin's most prestigious & historical hotels. As the custom's agent at the airport put it, "You wouldn't call The Plaza in New York a motel" and you certainly would't call The Shelbourne one either.
(and yes, I definitely felt spoiled)
Another thing I enjoyed during my weekend in Dublin is breakfast. A traditional (or in my case Vegetarian) Irish breakfast is the perfect start to any day. It was a nice change from Spain's very boring Cafe Con Leche and pastry breakfast...
The Irish know how to do breakfast and I took advantage.
After filling up on food, I was ready to start exploring the city!
First stop? Saint Patrick's Cathedral.
Saint Patrick's Cathedral was founded in 1191 and is the largest church in Ireland, complete with a 43 meter (140 feet) spire. The gothic architecture of the cathedral is not too be missed and is definitely worth the €6 Visitor Admission fee.
Dublin is famous for it's streets and houses being adorned with bright and beautifully colorful doors. When walking through Dublin's old cobblestone streets, be sure to check out the real estate!
A trip to Dublin is not complete without a pint of Irish beer...or three. Guinness is the obvious choice and trust me there is nothing like enjoying a pint of Guinness than enjoying a pint of Guinness in Dublin. However, another Irish go-to favorite of mine is the red ale, Smithwicks.
And the best place to grab a pint of beer is at a pub! The most iconic pub in Dublin would probably be The Temple Bar, located in the heart of the Temple Bar neighborhood. The prices are a little higher here, and will most definitely be filled with more tourists than locals, but the live music and cozy interior makes this a place not to be missed!
Over the years, Dublin has also been growing its craft beer scene and while there I discovered The Porterhouse Brewing Co. They have a wide variety of beers to choose from, everything ranging from sweet lagers to hearty stouts. If you are indecisive like me, be sure to order a flight!
After having a couple pints, I took a walk down the River Liffey. The river runs through the center of Dublin, allowing for a peaceful stroll while admiring some of the city's old & newer architecture.
On my last morning in Dublin, I was lucky enough to be blessed with bright blue and sunny skies! And like I said earlier, the amazing Shelbourne Hotel is situated just opposite of St. Stephen's Green.
Wandering through this beautiful 22 acre park was the perfect beginning to our last day in Dublin.
For my last stop, I headed to Trinity College. It was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. This prestigious university has so much history, along with some unique art, it is worth at least taking a stroll around its grounds.
Spending a weekend in Dublin was perfect. t's a beautiful, walkable city with lots of friendly locals, making it the perfect weekend getaway!