So, for the first time ever I went to visit Dublin as everyone always tells me how great it is. Unfortunately I only got two days off work to explore but I tried to make the most out of my time there as I could. Flights were only £60 return on Ryanair so I thought why not?
The first morning I woke up and got a bus into the town; be warned they only accept coins on the bus and not notes or card. I found this out the hard way when I tried to give the bus driver a 20 Euro note; luckily he let me on for free. They do their own version of the Oyster card too which is called a Leap Card but I wasn’t aware of this until I got there. The trains and buses all have free wi-fi which was great as I nearly got lost many times (Dublin is bigger than I thought).
My first stop was the Museum of Modern Art which is just around the corner from Heuston Train Station. If you are staying near a train station then I would suggest getting the train as it is much faster.
The Museum of Modern Art Entrance
The Museum Grounds
The grounds of the museum reminded me of Somerset House in London which has a very similar layout and also hosts Art Exhibitions. The Museum is free and there are a range of different exhibitions to explore including moving film and photography.
One of my favourite pieces was the replica of ‘Image of Samuel Beckett’ by Louis Le Brocquy. Beckett is one of my favourite playwrights; he was born in Dublin and there is even a theatre and a bridge named after him in Dublin.
To the side of the museums are several barn-like workshops where you can take part in various arts and crafts sessions. There is more information about the museum and the different workshops here.
Workshops and sculpture to the side of the museum
If you walk through the back of the museum there is a large, beautiful park with a monument you can walk underneath which resembles the Marc Du Triumph in Paris.
Park and sculpture to the rear of the museum
When I had finished at the Museum I walked back round past Heuston station which was now lit up beautifully and made my way to The Guinness factory. Heuston station is around a 30 minute walk into the hustle and bustle so I would only get off here to see the Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Modern Art and The Guinness factory.
The Front Entrance of Heuston Station
You have to walk along the river and all the way round the cobbled streets to get the The Public Entrance to The Guinness Storehouse but I didn’t mind as the views along the way were lovely. There are so many bridges that go across the River Liffey and they are beautiful during the day and the night.
The Rory O’Moore Bridge
The entrance to the Guinness Storehouse is just right of the Rory O’Moore Bridge and up a beautiful cobbled street which veers around the walls of the factory. Walking along here you will see horse and carriage rides and smell the burning of the Barley and Hops from the factory.
Entrance to the Guinness Storehouse is normally €20 but with student discount I only paid €18. In comparison to it’s exterior, the inside of the Guinness Storehouse is absolutely magical. All seven floors are lit up with fairy lights and it feels a bit like being in Willy Wonker’s Guinness Factory.
First Floor of The Guinness Storehouse
As you walk around the first floor there are grand displays of the ingredients that Guinness is made from; Barley, Hops, Water and Yeast. If you walk up one level to the second floor you get the chance to enter the Tasting rooms which is super exciting. It’s a sensory experience where you not only smell the ingredients but get your first taste of the famous beer.
The Tasting Rooms
You can view a virtual tour of the tasting rooms here online
On the 5th Floor you get the chance to trade your ticket in for a full pint and if you pull it yourself you get a certificate. But the best part for me was The Gravity bar on the top floor; the panoramic views of Dublin were incredible.
The view at night from the Gravity Bar
From the Guinness Storehouse I took a stroll into the central part of town near Temple Bar which is famous for it’s bars and lively atmosphere. I walked past some stunning sights along the way including St John’s Lane Church and
St John’s Lane Church
The predominant religion in Dublin and the Republic of Ireland is Christianity so the majority of people are Catholic which is why there are a number of beautiful churches around the city. Although I do not practice a religion myself, I appreciated the beauty and architecture of the buildings.
Roman Catholic St. Audoen’s Church Portico II
As I headed back to the station I walked back along the river which was now filled with light and colour from the several bridges that run across it.
Butt Bridge Illuminated at Night
The following day I decided to head out early as I needed to catch two buses to get to Marlay Park. It did take a good hour and a half to get there so I would suggest driving if you can as it is only around 25 minutes from the centre of town. Marlay Park is one of the starting position of Wicklow Walk; a world famous mountain walk. You can read more about the Wicklow Walk here but it is known as one of the most scenic walks in the world.
I had read online that the forest in Marlay park is full of wonderful sights so I took a wander through there first to get lost and find some waterfalls. I almost wanted a Troll to pop out from underneath this bridge it looked like something from a fairy-tale.
Waterfalls in Marlay Park Forest
There is also a beautiful lake where you can feed the ducks and swans and sit out on the decking.
The Lake in Marlay Park
Although there a few signs around the park pointing you to the Wicklow Walk is it always best to ask the Park Ranger or a local for directions; otherwise it’s quite difficult to find. Luckily for me I made friends with a lady who was walking her weekly lap of the park as I was going the completely wrong way. As you can see from the signs there are a few start points for Wicklow Walk and it can be confusing but the one I took was just under the under-pass that goes under the motorway next to the park.
Eventually after walking up a long hill with huge houses either side I ended up at the small car park at the entrance to the walk. If you choose to do this mountain walk yourself I wuld advise taking a car up to the entrance just to save yourself time of getting buses and walking as i was quite worn out by the time I had even got to the sign; more cardio in the gym for me I think.
There is a map which tells you the routes you can go and if you choose to do the whole of the mountains it will take you around seven hours so make sure you are prepared and give yourself the whole day. I unfortunately only had a few hours before it got dark and I needed to catch my bus so I didn’t get to experience the whole walk.
The Start of Wicklow Walk
Although I didn’t get to climb all of the mountains I still very much enjoyed the parts I did climb as the forests are beautiful and the views were wonderful over Dublin.
The Forest of Wicklow Walk
I would definitely suggest going in Autumn as you won’t get too hot from the sun and the colours you see in the forest are just incredible.
Beautiful Trees of Wicklow Walk
Around half way up I realised that there was a golf course adjecent to where I was walking. It was very steep but the views were incredible so I sneaked in and took a few pics of Dublin and the bay.
The view over Dublin from Wicklow Golf Club
Now I only had a very short time in Dublin so unfortunately couldn’t climb as high as I would have liked but if you keep going to get to a point called Fairy Castle where there are stunning views over Ireland and you would walk through Glenealo Valley which is just spectacular to walk through.
Unfortunately this is not one of my own Photographs but I am definitely going to go back to Ireland and complete the walk as part of my Bucket List. There is so much of Dublin to see and obviously I have only scratched the surface;but I hope you liked reading about my adventures and I cannot wait to re-visit this beautiful city.