Dublin sights & tours?
June 4, 2004 11:42 AM   Subscribe

What should one do if one has a free day in Dublin? [details within]

I'll be attending a conference in Dublin during the third week in July. The last day of the conference is Friday, and my flight leaves on Sunday, so I've got Saturday free to piss away as I choose.

Any suggestions on what I should do for the day? I'm already taking part in an “official” conference tour which takes me to Trinity College and the Guinness Storehouse. The usual off-the-beaten-track-and-not-too-touristy request applies, although I'm not all that averse to crowds if there's something I Simply Must See. Also, I won't have a car, so public transportation accessibility is a must. (How good is public transportation in Dublin, anyways?) My general tastes run towards “cool old buildings,” and I'm not all that interested in the “literary past” aspect of the city, but other than that I'm open to suggestions.
posted by Johnny Assay to Travel & Transportation around Dublin, Ireland (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a traveloge of my four days in Dublin a while back.

The National Museum was outstanding. Seriously.

Trinity Collage with the Book of Kells, and "The Long Room" in the old library was quite unique.

Christ Church Cathedral is nice, especially since they let you wander around the catacombs.

And just wandering along the Liffy is fun. Try some Guinness for sure, but also try some of the draft cider. It was a revelation after the bottled stuff we get in the States.

We walked the whole time, with a few rides on the DART. Not too bad.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:17 PM on June 4, 2004

There's a really cool old small church/chapel there that has some skulls that line the walls (left over from the Oliver Cromwell days) and have mummified bodies in the crypt below it. I'm trying to remember the name. It's awesome. I agree with y6y6y6 about the Christ Church, and I would add to just WALK WALK WALK. Stop in a lot of pubs, and just walk around the main downtown. Really cool place.

Read the chapter in Let's Go:British Isles for some cool, off-the-beaten-path ideas.
posted by aacheson at 1:44 PM on June 4, 2004

A couple more tips:

- My check card worked just fine for the ATMs in Ireland. But the ATMs over there don't have letters on the keypads. So if you have your PIN remembered with letters you might want to find out what the numbers are.

- Be ready to not understand anything the Irish say. It's English, but the accent is beyond thick.

- If you want cool old buildings, seriously consider getting a car and driving to Glendelough. Spending half a day hiking around there will be something you'll never forget. The nearby area surrounding Glenmacness waterfall is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

- Get a few guide books!!!! Especially ones that mention restaurants.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:00 PM on June 4, 2004

Always get guidebooks, it always makes sense. The main post office has historical relevance in Dublin but isn't that interesting as a building. The Guinness brewery produces the best beer in the world and is the worth the trip for that alone *if you like guinness*, otherwise don't bother, the museum is dull. You have to do the tour to get the beer - or you did when I was there anyway.

I'm going to be in Dublin in the next month, I'll keep track to see if I'm there when you are if you fancy a pint.
posted by biffa at 3:05 PM on June 4, 2004

If you like art: there is the Hugh Lane Gallery, which now has an added attraction, Francis Bacon's studio.

Even if you don't care for the "literary past" side of things, it is still moving to read Yeats's great poem The Municipal Gallery Revisited, then walk round the Hugh Lane Gallery and see all the paintings mentioned in the poem.

Personally I find the main streets in Dublin rather characterless; you need to get into the side streets, a little way away from the centre, in order to get the sense of being in a foreign city: the churches, the Georgian squares, the occasional glimpses of genuine poverty. Buy a good guidebook, hope for good weather, and be prepared to do some walking.
posted by verstegan at 3:51 PM on June 4, 2004

Oops, yes, weather. Bring rain gear. It will rain. Don't let this stop you. The skies in Ireland will go from blue skies to rainy to sunny again in less than an hour.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:58 PM on June 4, 2004

If you're a Joyce fan, take the DART down to Sandymount, and see the martello tower that was the setting for the beginning of Ulysses. Take every opportunity to drink Guinness as it really is distinctly better than the stuff brewed in other countries. Check out St Patrick's Cathedral where Jonathon Swift was Dean, it's an easy walk from the city centre.
posted by nomis at 10:55 PM on June 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

Footnote to my previous comment:- looking again at the website, I see that the Hugh Lane Gallery is closed for refurbishment this summer, from June to October. (Brilliantly timed to coincide with the height of the tourist season.) Ah well.
posted by verstegan at 9:42 AM on June 5, 2004

See a Gaelic game. The fixtures aren't set for that weekend yet, but there could well be a hurling or Gaelic Football game on the Saturday - tickets will probably be available on the day.
posted by ascullion at 2:32 PM on June 5, 2004

Best answer: You can take a short train ride out to Howth, which is a little village on a peninsula nearby. There are walks all along the cliffs with great views of the ocean. Very cool if you're into blustery scenery with few other people around.
posted by web-goddess at 11:14 PM on June 5, 2004

Johnny Assay, i'm very late to the thread but i've lived in Dublin all my life - i'll email you a list of stuff to see and do, hope its helpful.
posted by kev23f at 5:55 AM on June 15, 2004

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