Dublin In A Day - What To Do During A One Day Stopover
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Last week I found myself in Dublin, Ireland - just for the day. Having arrived at the airport around 09:30 I decided to jump on the Airlink shuttle bus - the green one numbered 747 - which takes you to central Dublin (O’Connell Street) in around 30 minutes.
Getting Into The City Centre:
You can but tickets at the airport before you board or some of the airlines offer them online when you are booking flights. CityXplora also offer a combo ticket comprising of a return Airlink 747 ticket and a 24 or 48-hr sightseeing bus tour ticket. On its own through, the Dublin Airlink bus is great value at €12 for a return trip!
A Quick Nibble:
The Airlink shuttle dropped me off on Upper O’Connell Street and since I had been up for a while, I decided to grab a coffee before I set off on my 7-hour sightseeing blitz of the city. Lily’s Cafe on Cavendish Row seemed a busy wee place so I headed in for an Americano and a croissant - tasty indeed.
Onto The Tour Buses:
Feeling refreshed I headed off in search of a sightseeing tour bus. If I’m visiting somewhere new, I always search out the local sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus. An open top bus tour is an ideal way to explore somewhere, especially if you are short of time and in my case I was. If wanted to tick off as many places as I could during my stay, the bus tour would certainly help.
There are three different tour companies in Dublin but I chose the City Sightseeing Dublin tour. They have two different routes, the tickets seemed good value for money too (from €19 for a 24-hour ticket) and I could hop-on and off their two tours as many times as I wanted during my short stay. The tour bus would also help me to get to some key places I wanted to see in the city.
After I bought my ticket at stop 1 from Barbara (one of their very helpful ticket sellers and guides) I headed up the stairs. The sun was shining so I wanted to make the most of it. City Sightseeing Dublin buses either have a live, English-speaking local guide on board or multi-language recorded commentary (via headphones) which is ideal for international visitors.
Exploring Guinness Storehouse:
I decided to stay on the bus tour all the way to Stop 14 and get off to visit the world famous Guinness Storehouse. The museum boasts 7 floors dedicated to Ireland’s national drink. It even has its own bar - the Gravity Bar - which is situated on the top floor. At the end of the tour, you can stop here and get a complimentary pint of Guinness which is included with your entry ticket. They even demonstrate how to pour the best pint of Guinness!
On The Move Again:
After my swift pint in the Gravity Bar and quick souvenir hunt in the gift shop [for everything Guinness] I was back on the bus tour. From the Storehouse it continues to head west into The Pheonix Park where Dublin Zoo is located. I didn’t have time today for a visit (you’ll need a good few hours to take it all in I’m told) but I promised myself a visit next time I'm in Dublin with the family.
Irish Whiskey Museum:
I stayed on the bus all the way to stop 22 (Bachelors Way) where I jumped off so I could cross back over the bridge on foot and visit the Irish Whiskey Museum which is located close to the bus tour’s stop 8 and College Green.
The Irish Whiskey Museum is one of Dublin’s newest attractions and gives you a great insight into Ireland’s second national drink! Inside you’ll learn more of the story of Irish whiskey, looking at everything from its fortunes and flavour to its production and modern international recognition. Our tour guide Albhe was great fun and in true Irish spirit, you get a wee nip of the amber stuff to try!
Grabbing A Bite To Eat:
By the end of the tour I was famished. I’d heard that KC Peaches Cafe on Nassau Street did a great value all-day buffet, so off I went in search of food.
With my whistle-stop trip to Dublin almost over I just had enough time to wander through the famous Temple Bar area before heading back to O’Connell Street to catch the Airlink 747 back to the airport.
So after just a few hours in Dublin I felt I’d done enough, seen enough and learnt enough about this great city which would prime me for my next visit - which I promise will be longer than 7 hours.