On evening in Dublin next Monday. What to do?
December 11, 2014 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Thanks to the UK border agency inconveniently scheduling my visa start date, I have to leave the UK and re-enter after 15 Dec. Since flights were very cheap to Dublin, I decided to book a flight to Dublin, stay an evening, then fly back. I'll be by myself. I've never been to Dublin. What should I do?

I arrive at 4pm on 15 Dec or so and leave the next morning. Likes in a city: good food and coffee, nice architecture, interesting conversation, music (particularly classical), academic lectures. Dislikes: Ghost tours, night clubs.

Any ideas how I can make the stopover interesting?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike to Travel & Transportation around Dublin, Ireland (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The NY Times had a video recently and an article yesterday about Dublin.
posted by bimbam at 11:46 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Guinness BreweryTour
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:23 PM on December 11, 2014

Have a pint in the Brazen Head - one of the oldest and most famous public houses in the world. It is mentioned in both Joyce's Ulysses and Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

Also, walk the grounds of Trinity College.
posted by Flood at 12:34 PM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

The thing about Dublin is that nearly everything's downtown. For interesting conversation I like Grogan's near Powerscourt, bit of a dive but excellent cheese toasties. The Stag's Head is also good. Coffee I have no recommendations for really --- there may be some good places now but the pickings were slim back when I lived there. The library bar's also cozy.

You're arriving just at the time when a lot of the touristy stuff will be closing; the theaters will be open, though --- you might see whether anything at the Olympia, Gaeity or Abby is to your taste. I would recommend a concert at Christchurch, but it looks likes they don't have anything on Mondays.

Stroll down Dawson St might be fun as well --- some good book shops and the Irish whisky store.
posted by Diablevert at 1:12 PM on December 11, 2014

Dublin has lots of awesome coffee now. Something to do with the ideal softness of our water. This list will get you started. For food, the stand out thing about Ireland is the quality of our fresh ingredients, meat and dairy in particular. These reviews tend towards the hipster but are pretty honest and cover a mix of places.

I second the recommendations of Stag's Head or the Library Bar. Grogan's is great for people watching if you get a seat outside.

You might enjoy getting in the Christmas mood at the National Concert Hall.

If architecture is your thing then make sure to take in some of Georgian Dublin. Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square and Stephen's Green are worth walking around. If you are around Dublin Castle Chez Max is a nice french restaurant just beside the gate at the Palace Street entrance. (I advise sticking to the South Side if you're just in Dublin for one night. Much as I love the North Side the Georgian squares are not the safest places for a tourist on the wander.) And Trinity is worth a stroll.

If you don't like nightclubs then I'd recommend avoiding Temple Bar (or at least the part between Parliament St. and Westmoreland St. from around 8/9 at night because the whole place turns into a nightclub come that time of night (even on a Monday with it being so close to Christmas). It's a pleasant place to walk around in daytime though.
posted by roolya_boolya at 3:46 PM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yes, walk around Trinity College as the lights go on. Then repair to another beautiful place, the Stag's Head pub for an excellent dinner. After dinner, try a musical pub crawl. know, I know, it sounds like some kind of Bacchanalian awfulness, but it's not. Can't remember the particular one I went on, but I wound up hearing excellent musicians and singers over the course of the evening. The various groups go to three or four pubs near Ha'penny Bridge.. If you decide to do this, make your reservations ahead of your other outings.
posted by Elsie at 5:16 PM on December 11, 2014

Bear in mind that it will be dark when you arrive (the sun sets at 4pm, but you'd know that coming from the UK where it's probably a few minutes earlier), the traffic will be a nightmare getting into the city so by the time you get in most attractions will be shut or shutting (many museums are closed on Mondays here anyway), and Christmas shoppers/drinkers will be everywhere. Also, very few if any independent coffee places are open after 6pm. On the plus side, the weather forecast for Monday is decent; this place gets pretty miserable on dark, rainy winter days, no romanticism about it.
posted by macdara at 2:58 AM on December 12, 2014

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