Dublin is one of the most laid back cities in Europe. Unlike Rome and Paris, I’d argue there isn’t a list of must see monuments and tourist attractions. In fact, one of the best ways to experience Dublin, isn’t by being a tourist, but by being a local (even if only for a weekend) and experiencing this unique culture firsthand. That being said, I’m not going to tell you how good the Irish stew was at the Porterhouse or how hungover I was after a night of partying in Temple Bar (although that is a good story). Instead of sharing a travel itinerary with you like my other travel posts, I’m going to provide you with a scavenger hunt to help you to experience Dublin how it’s meant to be seen…with a pint in hand!
Here’s how this works- Below you’ll find a list of 15 things to do and see while you’re wandering through the cobblestone streets of Dublin…first person to finish all 15 gets a pint of Guinness on me!
- Take a picture with a leprechaun. No this isn’t a joke, there are actually leprechauns in Dublin.
- Walk through the campus at Trinity College. You’ll find yourself surrounded by many students doing the same; the most well-known student of Trinity Collage was writer Oscar Wilde. Keep walking and you’ll come to the river along St. Stephen’s Square. Next pay a visit to the largest church in all of Ireland, St Patrick’s Cathedral located right in the center of Dublin.
- Enjoy a pint (or ten) of Guinness. I’m not going to lie, Guinness isn’t my most favorite beer; however, there is something to be said for drinking a pint on the top floor of the Guinness Storehouse while experiencing 360 degree breathtaking views of the city.
- Treat yourself to some Irish bling ie a Claddagh ring while browsing the Celtic shops. Not familiar with the Claddagh? This typical piece of Irish jewelry consists of two hands clutching a heart complete with a crown making it an expression of lasting love and eternal friendship. The Tradition says a ring worn on the right hand with the crown turned inwards means your heart is open for love; worn on the right hand with the crown turned outwards shows your heart is taken. (If this is one is too sappy for you, just skip it and have another pint of Guinness.)
- Have a typical Irish breakfast. Bangers and Mash, yes please!
- Pack a picnic and head to the Dublin Castle, you won’t be alone. You’ll typically find the grounds full of people with the same idea as you.
- Go to jail. No, not for drinking too much. The Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison turned museum, makes a unique visit. It is full of history as many Irish revolutionaries were executed and imprisoned here.
- Take a selfie with Gerard Butler. Okay so maybe you’re not as lucky as Hilary Swank and don’t run into this hottie while strolling through the countryside. You can however pay a visit to Whelan’s Pub on Wexford St. and see where the dreamy Mr. Butler serenaded everyone with his rendition of the Galway Girl in the hit movie P.S. I Love You.
- Listen to some live music. Whether it’s a random bagpipe player on the side of the street or an Irish jig band at a local pub. Bonus points if you take a pic with the band!
- Try some good old fashioned Irish Whiskey. Free, at the Old Jameson Distillery after a tour.
- Bar crawl your way through the Temple Bar district, the most charming and lively neighborhood. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see cobblestone streets lined with pubs galore. Bar crawl on your own or join an organized one; you’re guaranteed to make new friends either way. Pro tip- don’t wear heels. It’s impossible to walk in them on the cobblestone streets.
- A bar crawl isn’t complete without taking an Irish Car Bomb in Ireland. Irish Bulger’s cider is a must try too!
- Over Guinness? Order a locally brewed pint at The Porterhouse- Dublin’s oldest microbrewery located in the Temple Bar district. This is the place with the famous Irish stew, you’ll find live music here also!
- Climb abroad the famous Paddy Wagon for a day trip outside of Dublin full of sing-alongs. This company offers many tours to other popular destinations in Ireland including trips to the Blarney Stone, the Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Giant’s Causeway and more. I’d argue that a trip to Dublin isn’t complete without spending one day out of the city driving along the countryside.
- Find the most beautiful place in all of Ireland and have a photo shoot. I opted for a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and fell in love.