I spent about five days in Dublin, and explored a lot of the city and its incredible history. Of course, you can’t see it all, so here is my top 5 favourite things I did in Dublin.
This is one of the top places to visit according to TripAdvisor, so I thought I would give it a try. It’s an old prison (Goal=jail) built in 1796 (closed in the 1920s). It was an overpacked prison (there was over of 100,000 prisoners in total during its time) and the site of many executions… Our tour guide brought us through the jail and told us some of the prisoners’ stories and how the jail used to be run. He was a fantastic tour guide. You have to go early in the morning, right when it opens, otherwise the tours will sell out. By the time I left the jail at 11 am, they were already sold out until 2pm. Also, if you go during the winter months, bring a sweater. It’s freezing in there!
In 1759, Arthur Guinness started brewing the now world-famous Guinness beer downtown in Dublin. Now, the original brewery has been turned into a museum about the history of the beer and how its made. At the end of your visit, you get to enjoy a beer tasting before heading up to the Gravity bar, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of Dublin while drinking a super fresh pint of Guinness.
It may sound silly, but this is one of the best tours I’ve done in Dublin. I am a big fan of mythology and legends, so I thought I would give this place a shot. It’s a story-telling type of tour. Your guide starts by explaining the history of leprechauns, what they really look like (which is nothing like the Lucky Charms guy). Then you enter all these different rooms, all decorated according to a legend, where your guide will tell you about a specific legend of mythological creature, some more twisted than others, as Irish legends usually end in everyone dying… It’s a really great tour, whether or not you know anything about Irish legends.
Old Jameson Distillery
One of the best whiskys in the world… I can’t say I’m a big fan of whisky, but it was a very interesting tour. You go through the old distillery and learn how whisky is made, how certain barrels or even methods of malting can completely change the taste of whisky. At the end of the tour, you get to do a whisky tasting, comparing Jameson, Johnny Walker (the leading scotch whisky) and Jack Daniels (the leading american whisky). It’s amazing the difference there is in taste! After that, you get to enjoy a free glass of whisky, either straight or in a cocktail. My tour guide did a fantastic job! She had only been there for a month but I could have sworn she had been there a year, with the amount of knowledge she had.
This is the oldest area of the city, which has now been transformed into the bar neighbourhood. Whether it’s Monday or Saturday night, the bars are packed and you can enjoy some great live music. During the day, they are all open as cafés or restaurants.