If you want a sneak peek of the island’s spectacular views, go up to the north of Dublin, to the fisher’s village named Howth. You can get there by bus or by train from the city centre. On a sunny day, the steep coast looks fantastic, and there are different walks throughout the Howth peninsula. If you are an early bird you can admire the sunrise from the highest point of the peninsula. If you want to take it easy, you can always go at lunchtime and enjoy the typical fish and chips and walk around the harbour, accompanied by buskers and their guitar.
Dublin is full of nice little cafes that can serve as a refuge from the always present Irish rain. You will always find mouth-watering cakes in Little Sicily on Saint Anne’s street, plus a vintage shop on the second floor. Or you can go for a snack on the busier KC Peaches. Another must is the café at the National Gallery. The atmosphere there is always relaxed and you can combine it with a visit to the museum in the recently re-opened building.
If you are interested in books, the city has many book shops that are worth a visit. Chapters, on Parnell street, has the largest stock of books in the country, both new titles and second-hand books, all at very low prices. The historical Hodges Figgis, next to Trinity College at the heart of the city is a very good place to find books focused on Ireland’s rich culture and eventful history.
Of course I won’t forget pubs. Various kinds of beer and whiskey can be tasted in any of them, but here are some that always provide uplifting atmosphere with live music and a lot of craic, as the Irish would say. Lafayette and Doyle’s are both student bars, next to Trinity College. At The Porterhouse and J.W. Sweetman you can taste their own brewed beer, like their IPA, red ale, stout or the seasonal specials. If you want to listen to Irish music, you can go to the Celt, in Talbot street or the Cobblestone in Smithfield and also visit this area of the city, which was a formerly a poor area but now turned into a hip neighbourhood.
For a nice evening out, check out the Grand Canal Square. Full of various restaurants to choose from, the buildings and sculptures are lit up beautifully when the sun goes down. You can even go to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and see a nice musical theatre piece.
Text by Júlia Verger Navarro
Images by Júlia Verger Navarro and Heike Perioli