What We Saw in Dublin

  • Kilmainham GaolKilmainham Gaol: This tour of an 1800s jail was our favorite activity by far. It was given by a charming archaeologist, and it was very well done. Especially good for people not into long drawn-out history recitations: gives a succinct summary of the attempts at Irish independence, full of the kind of personal stories that are actually interesting. And all things considered, his recitation seemed quite fair to all parties involved; I doubt the US would have been as equitable.
  • St. Audoen's Lucky StoneChurches: There are a million. We didn’t set out to go to any particular ones, but we’ve definitely seen the outside of a few dozen, and several insides. Surprisingly distinguishable in architecture, despite all being towering, gothic edifices. We toured St. Audoen’s, which is the oldest parish church still in use. Notably, it was free, and it had a ‘lucky stone’ with a fun legend.
  • Guinness StorehouseGuinness Storehouse: B was a fan, though I thought it was a tad expensive – and populated primarily by Americans. It has a good view of the city from the top, and a free beer is included in the tour.
  • Bridges: We’ve walked across most of them over the River Liffey. They have some cute detailing, but nothing too exciting.
  • General Post Office: This is a working post office, which isn’t normally something I’d think to tour anywhere. But, it’s officially the site of the 1916 Easter Rising. The plaques inside don’t give you much background on that, so the main attraction here is the cool post office museum inside. Surprisingly interesting and quite thorough.
  • City Hall CeilingCity Hall: Decent ceiling, a few statues, but most importantly – a free bathroom in the basement.
  • Chester Beatty Library: This museum has a large collection of books and book covers, decorated with gold, jewels, etc. They spend a bit too much time focused on the collector (no surprise there), but I loved watching the videos differentiating book covers designed via woodcutting, engraving, and etching. There’s also a roof garden (rare in Ireland), and an exhibit on different religions.
  • Parks/Gardens: We got very lucky with the weather, so we lay around much of Dublin. (Mom, stop reading here.) The grass isn’t very thick, so you end up getting cold from the ground, but it’s very relaxing.
  • Cobblestone PubCobblestone Pub: The most well-known pub for Irish music in Dublin. B loved it!
  • National Botanic Garden: We saw lots of different plant species. It was a nice walk, but nothing mind-blowing. I hear they serve good ice cream and pavlova in their cafe though.

Things We Skipped

  • The Jameson tour: Hoping to do a whiskey tasting elsewhere in Ireland (potentially for less money).
  • Croke Park (hurling and rugby stadium): Their museum is expensive! We’ll just imagine a stadium with rowdy fans.
  • The inside of Dublin Castle: We saw the outside, Chester Beatty Library, and a chapel. We’re good.
  • The Book of Kells: They have it online anyway, and Chester Beatty had a number of books I thought looked cooler.
  • Dublinia: Seems like a Viking tourist trap, and we’ll be going to a real Irish Viking city anyway, hopefully.
  • Leprechaun Museum Seems cool.
  • National Gallery, National History Museum, Photography Gallery, Science Gallery (exhibit on obesity), Hugh Lane Gallery 

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