Visiting Dublin on a hen weekend might not seem the ideal opportunity to sample the culture of Ireland’s capital, however the city offers a surprising amount of sightseeing and history all within close proximity. Arriving in Dublin on a Friday afternoon allowed us to make the most of our trip, and even though a good deal of time was spent on organised activities, we were still able to enjoy the city’s culture.
Dublin operates numerous sightseeing buses enabling visitors to see several key attractions on the two hour trip. The buses make regular stops around the city, providing a hop on hop off service to anyone who wants to take a closer look at some of Dublin’s architecture. The drivers are extremely knowledgeable, giving detailed explanations of each place (along with hilarious comments about other people’s driving abilities). The tour takes in sights such as Dublin Castle, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College, and parks such as St Stephen’s Green and Phoenix Park. The latter contains the residence of Ireland’s President, whose car we passed as we headed in. The buses are operated by two different companies and cost 18 euros for a two day ticket.
Grafton Street is the city’s main shopping street, and can get very crowded due to the amount of tourists attracted to the area. The street combines chain stores with more exclusive brands, and the pavements are taken over by street artists; these can vary from singers and musicians, to jugglers, human statues and circus acts. Just off Grafton Street are a number of bars, cafes and restaurants; in good weather it is the ideal place to sit outside with a coffee and people watch. Grafton Street is also where you can find the famous Molly Malone bronze statue. This originates from a song about a hawker who sold her wares on Dublin’s streets in the seventeenth century, and has now become an unofficial anthem of the city.
Guinness has become an icon synonymous with Dublin, and the Storehouse allows visitors a chance to see how the drink is brewed and marketed, finishing with a pint in the rooftop bar. The processes involved in creating Guinness are portrayed over several floors, and includes interactive displays and videos to illustrate traditional methods. The bar on the top floor has amazing views; floor to ceiling windows mean that on a clear day, visitors can look out across the whole of Dublin and the mountains beyond.
The famous Temple Bar area is central to Dublin’s nightlife. A variety of traditional pubs line the cobbled streets and they are extremely welcoming towards visitors. The area is usually packed with large groups of people looking for a good time and there are many bars and clubs to choose from. The eighties club on Nassau street is a bit of a walk from Temple Bar but its good fun, playing a mixture of music from the eighties and nineties, and providing an unnecessary excuse to dress up in neon.