My 23 yr old daughter and I will land in Dublin on a Saturday afternoon at the beginning of September and fly out of Dublin 4 days later on Wednesday afternoon. Any suggestions for the best use of our time or a proposed itinerary? We've never been there before. We are not really big on tourist attractions unless they just can't be missed. We love mixing with locals and meeting people. Thanks!
St Patrick's Cathedral was amazing. Go there for mass on Sunday morning even if you aren't Catholic, expressly to hear the pipe organ and choir. Christ Church Cathedral is also amazing!
The Guinness Storehouseis touristy, there is no getting around it, but you must go and have a pint on the top floor, which is also the highest point in the city. Then, do a pub crawl in the temple bar district.
You can always tour the castle and museum nearby, but there will be people. Everywhere.
If you want to get a local vibe, stick to the pubs, especially at night. The shops all close around 5, and everyone goes to the pubs to have a good old time. Expect the unexpected. Bring your rain gear. Bring warm clothes and shoes that you don't mind to walk around in. The public transportation system is fantastic, but you will still do a fair bit of walking.
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The good news is that the weather is usually pretty decent in September. Right now it's raining and windy! Do you want to stay in Dublin or travel around the country a little bit? Dublin city has a lot to offer, in terms of location and things to do, good restaurants and bars, coastal and mountain walks. There are a few touristy things worth doing: Kimberly suggested Guinness Storehouse and St Patrick's Cathedral Both are worth seeing. I like Irish Museum of Modern Art for the building and location as well as the art. Lots of tourists are drawn towards Temple Bar but locals tend to avoid the area - we can do better than that! There are some really good pubs a little off the beaten path, where you will for sure meet Dublin people: Grogan's The Palace Bar Mulligan's are great places to go for Guinness and a chat. For me a good night out is an aperitif in Mulligan's followed by dinner next door in The Vintage Kitchen where the food is really good and you can bring your own wine and music.
I highly recommend a trip along the coast on the DART Dublin Area Rapid Transit - you can travel from the city centre north to Howth a lovely fishing village with some excellent fish restaurants and amazing coastal walks (e.g. Howth Head - a cliff walk with lovely views) all the way south to Greystones in Co. Wicklow, a large village with a nice beach and some very good restaurants and shops. The entire trip from Howth to Greystones takes about 90 minutes, the journey has some wonderful beach and sea views and costs just under €6 each way. There are some worthwhile stops along the way: Dalkey (Views from Killiney Hill Park, Finnegan's Pub), Sandycove (James Joyce Museum) and Malahide (Malahide village and Castle)
Powerscourt Gardens and House is located about 45 minutes from Dublin city and is worth the trip if the weather is good.
If Irish history interests you visit Arbour Hill Cemetary to see the memorial and graves of the 1916 leaders. A walk along the quays to Custom House Quay will bring you to the Famine Memorial and World Poverty Stone and also a full-sized replica of a famine ship.
Have a great time!
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