What to do in Dublin for a weekend?
February 2, 2006 1:35 AM   Subscribe

What can my parents and I do in Dublin for a weekend?

My parents are coming to visit me in London in a few weeks. We're going to go to Dublin for the weekend of February 24. Please help me find some things to do, places to eat, and most importantly a place to stay that is nice but affordable and walkable to things. We like fun history. We like walking. We are planners. My parents are in their late 50s, I am in my late 20s.
posted by k8t to Travel & Transportation around Dublin, Ireland (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I did a weekend trip to Dublin from London in October 2001. I've got pictures and links up on my site here. I remember our hotel being in a fairly good location - we walked just about everywhere - but don't put off booking til the last minute. We did the standard touristy things - Guinness Brewery, Book of Kells, Viking Splash tour. (If your parents don't mind being cheesy, definitely do the latter.) I'm sure some locals can give you better "off the beaten path" suggestions, but we didn't have any regrets when we left 48 hours later...
posted by web-goddess at 1:56 AM on February 2, 2006

Guiness factory, but don't pay for the tour. Just wander round then head straight to the Gravity Bar.
posted by fire&wings at 2:23 AM on February 2, 2006

you like walking, planning and fun history... there's only one thing for it: Walk around Joyce's Dublin
posted by twistedonion at 2:54 AM on February 2, 2006

Don't know if you're into movies, but you'll be in Dublin during the Dublin Film Festival. I'm not going to pretend it's one of the world's best movie festivals (it's not), but there are a few uniquely Irish movies on show that might be interesting to you.

Also, I said this to you in response to a previous question, but you may not have seen it. That weekend is the weekend Ireland play Wales in the 6 Nations rugby, and you'll find it difficult to find cheap, available accomodation. Not impossible, but difficult.
posted by ascullion at 3:41 AM on February 2, 2006

Eek, forgot the link
posted by ascullion at 3:41 AM on February 2, 2006

On the Joyce tip: definitely take the DART to Sandycove, and walk along the strand to the Forty Foot Pool and Martello Tower.

You're going when there's no production at the Abbey, which is a pity, but there's one at the Peacock, and Ralph Fiennes is going to be performing at the Gate.

Temple Bar isn't quite as hideous as it was a couple of years ago, having finally banished all the stag/hen parties (which now, I hear, end up in Prague, god help the Czechs) but it's still best avoided in favour of Grafton Street and environs.

My favourite bit of Dublin to walk in is the stretch on the south-side around Francis Street, but it's not so shabby-genteel any more. And I can't believe that The Winding Stair closed last year, though it's set to re-open in March. I damn well hope they don't try to Starbuckise it in its new incarnation
posted by holgate at 3:44 AM on February 2, 2006

Response by poster: I'm bummed about the rugby conflict, but whatcanyado, right? Thanks for the info at least.
posted by k8t at 5:10 AM on February 2, 2006

There's the Hop On Hop Off bus tour of Dublin. It's obviously geared towards tourists, but it provides a great, short overview of the city. It was the first thing I did when I got to Dublin.
posted by amro at 6:30 AM on February 2, 2006

Also, I really enjoyed Malahide Castle.
posted by amro at 6:31 AM on February 2, 2006

Oops, this is a better Malahide link.
posted by amro at 6:32 AM on February 2, 2006

Without a doubt, Kilmainham Gaol,one of the most historically resonant and poignant sites in Dublin. It was one of the first purpose built jails in the world and formed a DNA-ish template for all subsequent development of this style of building and institution. It's also where pretty much all leaders of Irish rebellions in the modern period (1780-1920) tended to end up before being executed. It has a special courtyard where the instigators of the Irish Rebellion of 1916 were shot by firing squad, only a short while after proclaiming Ireland's independence. And more disoncertingly, it also explains that this was where, only a few years later, the government of the Irish Free State (the Canadian-style dominion status statelet that emerged) executed a large number of their fellow revolutionaries in the Irish Civil War. To put this in context, it's as if the British had captured most of the signatories of the American Declaration of Independence and summarily executed them. And then the survivors managed to establish a kind-of Canada pseudo-independent state, during which time they also executed most of their remaining ardent compatriots who still agitated for full independence.

Anyway, Kilmainham is steeped in Irish history, and has an amazing historical exhibit. And it's right beside the magnificent Kilmainham Hospital grounds, which have the best view over the Liffey Valley and some of which have now been converted into the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

There's also some of the old stately homes of the Anglo-Irish kept in good nick for tourists and functions, such as Malahide Castle and Powerscourt Gardens. Both of these are only 90 minutes or so travel to Dublin's periphery.
posted by meehawl at 6:33 AM on February 2, 2006

If I could piggyback on k8t's question, I'm going to be in Dublin and the surrounding area March 17-24th for a rugby tour. Any suggestions?
posted by electroboy at 7:16 AM on February 2, 2006

If the Bewley's tea shop is still on Grafton Street, go there. I'm still kicking myself because I missed it when I was there. Also, the Book of Kells is at Trinity College.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:36 AM on February 2, 2006

Take the DART out to Howth for a day and wander around. On the docks, there's a guy who'll take you out to Ireland's Eye, a small uninhabited island off the coast with a couple of neat ruins and approximately one jillion seabirds. If you like nature and stereotypical Irish scenery, it can't be beat.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:00 AM on February 2, 2006

I'm bummed about the rugby conflict, but whatcanyado, right? Thanks for the info at least.

for what it's worth, I'm staying in Dublin the same weekend, and I found reasonably cheap accomodation at the Leeson Bridge Guest house (comes up on Google). YMMV though, and I've never stayed there before, so is not really a recommendation.
posted by ascullion at 9:19 AM on February 2, 2006

Response by poster: A friend from school just told me to look on Leeson Street, so that might be a bit of a recommendation. :)
posted by k8t at 9:27 AM on February 2, 2006

Response by poster: I used octapus travel to book the hotel.
posted by k8t at 6:20 AM on February 3, 2006

Ascullion since the date's past, can you comment on your Leeson Bridge Guest House stay? I am now looking for a place to stay in Dublin in May.
Thanks in advance.
posted by NSSG at 8:52 AM on March 21, 2006

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