Daytrips from Dublin – Howth, Ireland

Daytrips from Dublin - Howth, Ireland

What do you do if you’re spending a week or so in Dublin, don’t have a car, but want to get out of town and see more of Ireland than the big city? A day trip to Howth could be just what the doctor ordered.

It’s easy to get to on the DART, walkable, offers beautiful views, good dining options and is not far from the center of the city.

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EAT: The House Restaurant & The Brass Monkey

When you go to Howth, you should go hungry so you can enjoy the little pubs, cafés, and, of course, the world-famous smoked salmon from Wrights of Howth.

We wandered up the main street up into the hills (take a left out of the DART station, bear right onto Church Street and continue on up the hill to the right to Main Street) and into this adorable restaurant called The House Restaurant. Continue reading

A Winter Weekend in Donegal, Ireland

A Winter Weekend in Donegal, Ireland

My stepsister got married at Harvey’s Point hotel in Donegal, Ireland on New Year’s Eve this year, so we spent a few days in Dublin and then a stop in Cavan for a night on the way up to Donegal for the festivities. I so wish we had been able to spend more time in Donegal and had gotten to see more of it , and would LOVE to return during the summer season in the near future and really experience the town in all its splendor. Despite the wintry weather, I would counsel anyone to make the trek to Donegal during a trip to the Emerald Isle.

Donegal Castle

Donegal Castle

Apologies first because we barely took any photos of the hotel itself, as with the wedding, it was a whirlwind weekend full of events (and merriment!).

DRINK AND EAT IN DONEGAL: OLDE CASTLE BAR

Although we had a full rehearsal dinner to attend, hubs and I snuck off to town with a friend to check into his hotel and walk around and see the town for a few hours before our call time. As such, we didn’t have a whole lot of time to do much sightseeing, but I had done a bit of research before we headed in and decided that we should drop in to the Olde Castle Bar for a pint or two. Continue reading

Top 15 Reasons to Love Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland is one of my favorite cities in the world. There are several reasons for this. And, without further ado – here are my…

top 15 reasons to love Dublin, Ireland

  1. Its Size

    Population-wise, Dublin has about 527,000 inhabitants, and covers an area of about 44.4 square miles. Much of what a tourist wants to see and do is packed into only a few square miles in the city center and this results in a very accessible, walkable town.

     

    Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

    View of the Millennium Spire through the Samuel Beckett Bridge

    I’ve spent a day walking one end to the other – starting around the Grand Canal Dock at Samuel Beckett Bridge and strolling along the Liffey all the way to Phoenix Park and Kilmainham Gaol. It takes a few hours if you stop here and there to see the sights, and it may not be great if you have older folks in your group, but it’s a definite plus that you can see most of the sights on foot if you want.

  2. Ease of public transportation

    You can take public transport all around the city and skip taxi cabs all together if you like. Take the DART from the outer neighborhoods to Tara Street and you’re smack in the middle of Temple Bar, for example. Or, take the DART out of the city to Malahide or Howth and take in the beautiful sea views.

    The Luas, a relatively newer light rail system, hits the city’s shopping streets north of the river, but it doesn’t go many other places that a tourist would want to visit.  Nevertheless, DART and Luas tickets are cheap and are a great option for travelers who are solo or are in small groups (when splitting a taxi doesn’t make sense).

  3. Direct flights to Dublin from many cities

    Dublin’s status as the capitol of Ireland and a tourist destination means that it’s easy to get to from many world cities. There are direct flights daily from the U.S. cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Orlando, for example.  The best airlines to get you there would be Ireland’s own Aer Lingus, or the other major carriers like Delta, American Airlines/US  Air, and even Emirates. I love Aer Lingus personally because you start getting the hospitality and flavor of Ireland the minute you step foot on the airplane.
    Continue reading

The Marker Hotel Dublin

Get Your Sleep On – The Marker Hotel (Dublin, Ireland)

My husband and I decided to stay at The Marker Hotel in Dublin, Ireland for 2 nights this winter on a whim when stopping back through Dublin during New Year’s week after a family wedding in Donegal. It is seriously the nicest, most comfortable, most friendly modern luxury hotel we have ever stayed in (and we are hotel snobs, if you didn’t already realize).  It is clear why this property is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.  The hotel just celebrated its second birthday this April, and is as spotless as if it just opened yesterday.

The Location

The Marker Hotel Dublin

Grand Canal Dock

The hotel is situated in the sort-of-recently gentrified and renovated Grand Canal Dock, right next to the Bord Gáis theatre, the largest theatre in Ireland. For a listing of what’s on at the theatre, you can click right here.  There are Dublin Bike stations right near the hotel and little cafés and restaurants within a 2 minute walk, including the popular pizza chain Milano.  Temple Bar is about a 10-15 minute walk down the quays and the beautiful, modern Samuel Beckett Bridge is just a short 2 minute stroll, too.

The Room

The room was beautiful, HUGE, and Continue reading

Brunch at Brother Hubbard (Dublin, Ireland)

American hipsters, eat your heart out. Brother Hubbard in Dublin, Ireland has your foodie brunches beat with its local, homemade and quirky Mediterranean-influenced food that will make even the grumpiest, most ironic tourist or Dubliner cheer up and shut up about that band that you’ve probably never heard of.

While I’m lucky to call Dublin a second home, and have friends and family there to show me around and make sure I’m not committing any Dublin faux pas (even though I willingly do, from time to time – I am a tourist, after all), the funny thing about this place is that half the Dubliners I know that I mention it to have never heard of it.  That’s like hipster GOLD!

Anyway, my good friend Eoin and his lovely friend Claire took me and Luke here during our New Year’s Week jaunt to the Emerald Isle after I requested something delicious for brunch. My prayers were answered. Situated Continue reading

Pic of the Day – Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

I’m on a roll, folks.  Two days in a row counts as a roll, right? I think so.

Today’s pic of the day is from our New Year’s Eve jaunt to the Emerald Isle (that’s Ireland… in case you’re living under a rock), during a stroll around the south side of the Liffey.

Date Taken: January 4, 2015
Location: Trinity College Campus, Dublin, Ireland
I’ve been to Trinity College maybe 6 times or so out of the dozen or so times I’ve visited Dublin, and it never gets old. I can never help but be envious of the students who actually attend school there. Lucky. But, I guess the Irish are known for luck?