On a recent cruise around the UK we found ourselves with a day in Dublin, and as this was a first visit to Ireland, we were determined to make the very most of our time there. With a little research and some on-line bookings to reduce the time we would have to spend in possible queues, we managed to pack a lot into one day; here’s what we managed to do.
One day in Dublin
Whenever we have a very short amount of time to see a lot of sights, we choose the Jump-on-jump-off Bus, which is really great to help you get your bearings and learn about the history of a city. This time was no exception, and we found that the tourist bus could take us to all the main attractions on our list, such as Trinity College and even the Guinness Storehouse, where we had made an on-line booking for a tour to learn all about Irelands’ most famous export.
Trinity College, Dublin
Our first stop was famous Trinity College, where we joined a walking tour; Trinity is a great place to stroll around admiring the architecture or just sit on a bench for a while and absorb the atmosphere; don’t miss the amazing Library.
After touring Trinity we were back on the bus and off to the Guinness Storehouse for our 11am tour. The Storehouse is a modern showcase to the Guinness empire, built beside the famous original brewery at St James Gate. You wend you way slowly up several floors, while you get to learn all about the history of Guinness. Finally at the top of the building, you get your free pint to sip while admiring the 360 degree views over the lovely city of Dublin. All very polished and well worth a visit, although I would have preferred to have a peek into the old Brewery, complete with noise and smells!
By now we had worked up a good appetite and headed off for Temple Bar, an area of Dublin known for its’ many cobbled streets and abundance of restaurants and pubs. This is a very pretty street which has retained much of its’ Olde Worlde character, and is the perfect place for a drink or meal.
A most pleasant surprise is that you can visit most of the museums in Dublin without paying a cent; we choose to visit the Dublin City Gallery, where you can see a reconstruction of famous artist Francis Bacon’s studio. There are also some other really fun and quirky museums you can visit if you have the time, like the Butlers Chocolate Experience, The National Leprechaun Museum, and loads of others.
Traditional Irish Pub
You can visit several traditional Irish Pubs on your own, but we decided to opt for the Traditional Irish Musical Pub Crawl, which was great fun and we all learnt a lot about Irish traditional music. Just make sure you have some cash as many pubs do not accept credit cards.
We were very tempted to go and see the famous Riverdance Irish Dancing show which was on in Dublin that month, however, the show only starts at 8.00pm which meant we would have been hard-pressed to get back to our ship on time – a great pity!
Usually port visits are about 8 to 10 hours long, and it was great that Royal Caribbean give you a little extra time in Dublin; we docked at 7.00 am and only left at 11 pm, giving everyone the opportunity to experience an evening in a genuine Irish Pub, or even attend a show.