Since I moved to Northern Ireland I’ve been to Dublin several times and every time I go I always find new things to do. From Belfast you have the Enterprise train that connects Belfast to Dublin. The journey takes two hours and if you book in advance you can get a fare online starting on £10 per way. The first train departs at 6.45 am from Belfast and the last train departs from Dublin at 8.50pm during week days and Saturdays (on Sundays the train departs at 9am from Belfast and returns from Dublin at 7.05pm). Plenty of time to enjoy this vibrant city!
If you want to have a taste of Dublin I leave you my favourite things to do on a day trip to Dublin.
It is probably the easiest way to know Dublin if you have just one day as it will take you through the major attractions and then you have the chance to decide which ones you would like to visit. The journey has a duration of 90 minutes if you choose the red route and 120 minutes if you use the blue route. The price has a discount of 15% if you buy the tickets online and the cost is £20 per adult. During the way you will also be provided with useful information about each spot. This is a good way to have a better knowledge about the historical facts that happened in Dublin and at the same time you start to get familiarized with the streets.
I would recommend you start your journey here as this is a very popular place and during the afternoon the queues are longer. Besides, this is the furthest place from the city center (around 4Km).
If you want to learn more about Irish history this is the right place. Kilmainham Gaol was a prison from 1796 until 1924. From hangings, child arrests for minor crimes, the great famine to imprisonment and execution of Irish rebels you will learn about it all. You will feel the atrocious conditions in the oldest part of the jail that people had to bear during their imprisonment there.
The jail was also the stage for many movies such as: In the name of the Father, Michael Collins, The Escapist, just to mention some.
In 1960 Kilmainham Gaol became a museum. It is open daily and offers guided tours that last one hour (you can also see the permanent exhibition in the end). The price is £8 (adult). The opening time depends on the time of the year starting at 9am and finishing between 5.30-7pm.
Founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness it is the largest brewer of stout in the world. Follow the 250 years of history of Guinness through 7 floors with several interactive exhibitions that explain the history of how this worldwide famous beer is made and finish with a free pint of Guinness at the last floor, the Gravity Bar with amazing views to the city.
The visit has a duration of 2 hours and a cost of £18.50 (adult). It is open daily from 9:30am to 7pm, but the last admission is at 5pm.
This beautiful castle was once the site of the Vikings and also a Norman fort. It was ruled by the British until 1922 when the Irish free State was established as a result of the Anglo-Irish treaty.
The old castle from the 13th century was severely damaged by a fire that happened in 1684 but a new castle was put in place during late 17th century and 18th century.
Don’t lose the trip to the Viking fortress from the 13th century
The Castle is open seven days a week from 9:45am to 5:45pm and if you decide to do a guided tour, which I highly recommend it has a cost of £10 (adult). The tour lasts 70 minutes.
The library which is the largest in Ireland is a building from the 18th century. It is also the home of the famous Book of Kells.
The book of Kells is the ex-libris of Trinity’s College library as it is a copy from the 9th century of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus written in Latin and with magnificent illustrations.
Another highlight is the Long room with 65 metres long, 200 000 books and a copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from 1916. If you really like books this is the right place to be. You will be stunned by the beauty of this place and all those old books. Unbelievable!
Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett are two of the famous alumni who studied in Trinity College. I leave you these two names as you will come across with them when visiting Dublin.
The library is open all days of the week and the entrance has a cost of £11.
Dublin offers you some free museums. The Natural History museum is one of them.
Come and enjoy the Victorian cabinet style of the museum built in 1856 that exhibits two million species (one million are insects) from Ireland and many other places of the globe some of them already extinct, the skeleton of the giant Irish deer at the entrance in the ground floor are one impressive example.
The museum has two floors open to public. The ground floor is all dedicated to Irish animals. The first floor displays mammals from around the world.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. On Sundays is only open from 2pm to 5pm.
After all the walk and all you have learnt you deserve a drink and of course the journey wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Temple Bar.
Temple Bar is located in a vibrant area surrounded by many other bars and shops. Due to its colour, bright red, it is impossible to miss it. The inside is really nice, very well decorated and inviting.
Did you know that it has the largest of Ireland’s collections of whiskeys? 450 different kinds!
It is the right place to end your night with a delicious meal, good company and live music. Enjoy!