Dublin and Galway Tips
March 12, 2018 6:37 PM   Subscribe

I'll be spending the week before Easter in Dublin and Galway. Your advice, please!

I'd love your tips for places to stay, see, eat, and things to do. Any advice on getting around would also be appreciated! I'm an experienced traveler but it'll be my first time in Ireland.

I understand both Dublin and Galway are very walkable but would likely need taxis and trains to get between locations. I'd love to go for a long walk in nature one of the days; I'm always up for museums and good food and admit to enjoying both hipster and homey locales. I'm a queer woman so I'm extra interested in LGBTQ+ spaces, although I'll surely feel welcome everywhere. I've thought about going to Cork instead of Galway but will likely wait for a future visit due to lack of time. If you would recommend otherwise, please let me know as well. Thank you!
posted by smorgasbord to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Dublin has one of my favourite restaurants in Europe. It's called The Winding Stair. It is above a bookshop and focuses on seasonal Irish food. Wonderful.

I bought a book of walking tours of Dublin and wandered myself all over the city and enjoyed it very much that way. For nature, I would head to Wicklow-- I spent a week hiking the Wicklow Way and it was just spectacular. But there are many lovely day hikes near Dublin and some of them could be converted to nature visits if you aren't so up for hiking.
posted by frumiousb at 7:32 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]

I'd spend one day walking around Clifden town in Connemara. Take the earliest bus out and return to Galway by the last bus in the evening, and you can spend a lovely day out walking and have lunch in Clifden, if you like. The trip takes 90 minutes each way.

The novel Stir-Fry by Emma Donoghue is fun to read while staying in Dublin. It's a novel about lesbians in Dublin, and it's quite wonderful – one of my comfort books.
posted by kaarne at 12:05 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

The National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology in Dublin is excellent and cannot be missed if you're at all interested in museums. They have a great collection of intricate shiny things, including the famous Tara Brooch, reproductions of which can be purchased at every souvenir shop. Also, the bog bodies.

For a nature walk, you can take the DART up to Howth, there are several walking routes depending on how adventurous you're feeling, but the cliffs are always a mighty view.
posted by Vesihiisi at 12:50 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

In terms of eating in Dublin, KC Peaches was my favourite breakfast/light lunch place (they have a couple of outlets across the city). For sit-down dining, the best meal we had was at La Caverna - good, plentiful Italian food, also each table upstairs was inlaid with a small goldfish bowl; it was nice to hang out with some fish but idk if they still have that as a feature (we went in 2015).

I really recommend the Natural History Museum, which is kind of a museum of a Victorian era natural history museum - basically two floors of Victorian taxidermy. The Book of Kells was fine but I couldn't really see it over the heads of all of the European teenagers who were also cramming in trying to see it at the same time; I probably wouldn't bother with the Guinness brewery tour again, but that's mostly because I'm not really into Guinness or advertising and the whole thing is just a big advertisement for Guinness.
posted by terretu at 1:35 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]

Galway is indeed very walkable. The centre of the city is quite contained and is mostly pedestrianised. It gets very busy, especially when the weather is good (i.e. dry!). The "Latin Quarter" (as it's embarrassingly marketed) is actually quite lovely with lots of good places to eat and interesting pubs, with the museum and a new arthouse cinema nearby. Woodquay and the "West End" are also good spots.

If you are into book shops, Charlie Byrne's is the place to go; a lovely, sprawling place.

Nthing Clifden as a good day-trip destination from Galway.
posted by Samarium at 4:56 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

Galway is lovely and you can walk all over. If you don't mind the touristy thing you can take the on-off bus and get off when you see something interesting. Lots of traditional music all over and good food. For a short trip to the country, take the train out to Athenry, the first stop. You can quickly get out of the town and hike around real country. There is a castle and ruined monastery in town if you like ruins.

In Dublin, The National Museum is interesting. I am sorry we missed Natural History as it was just closing when we got there. Kilmainham (sp?) jail is chilling if you are interested in Irish history. Also the famine ship down at the river.
posted by mermayd at 6:09 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

I really, really enjoyed the Guinness Museum in Dublin and I am most certainly not a Guinness Drinker. It was very informative, interactive and extremely well done. You can happily kill half a day there no issues.
posted by JenThePro at 1:43 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]

Been to both places and loved them. You'll have fun!

Do you read much? Dublin has a good history with poets and novelists. We took a literary pub crawl and while it wasn't especially edifying, it was fun to see some places I had heard of before.

Not sure if you are interested in genealogy, but in Cobh in southern Ireland there's a new-ish history center that teaches about the Irish diaspora: http://www.cobhheritage.com
posted by wenestvedt at 9:57 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]

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