If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a quick recap:
I’ve been selected as one of the potential travel bloggers who will go on to become Aer Lingus’ official correspondent for New York City. The winner is decided by public vote, and I’m currently sitting at number three (of 19). I would be very grateful if you could swing a vote my way! And, just by voting, you stand a chance of winning two flights to NYC, plus £1,000 in spending money – not too bad!
I’ve already spoken about what I would do if I got the chance to visit New York City, but what about this opportunity to fly via Dublin Airport?
As we know, the biggest benefit of flying this route with Aer Lingus is the US Customs Border Protection pre-clearance, but I also happen to know that I wouldn’t be able to pass up the chance to explore Dublin while en route to the States.
I’ve been to Ireland before, but Dublin has thus far evaded me. As luck would have it, though, this place has been on my travel radar for a long time. Without further ado, here’s how I would make the most of my Dublin layover.
|The castle of BEER. Image from here.|
Don’t judge me for the fact that this is the first item on my list; we’re in the home of Guinness beer after all!
The Guinness Storehouse celebrates everything connected to this world-renowned dark beer – even the fermentation tank has been remodelled to look like a gigantic pint of the stuff.
Guinness beer has been made here since 1759 and, while a visit is meant to be educational, the complimentary pint at the adjoining bar certainly doesn’t hurt.
Travel bloggers have all raved about this spot and it’s no wonder – the Guinness Storehouse has been voted Ireland’s top visitor attraction for three years in a row now.
|Colourful street art in Dublin. Image from here.|
I love finding street art in the cities I visit, and Dublin’s public art scene has been making the news in recent years.
While graffiti is normally discouraged all over the world, this isn’t the case in many parts of Dublin. In fact, in certain areas like Camden Street, street art is even encouraged and supported by the city council.
The result has been high-quality artworks dotted all around the city, to the point where numerous tours are available to take you to the very best of these. This would definitely be a priority item on my itinerary.
For someone who might be on a budget (*ahem* me, always), you may be relieved to hear that many of Dublin’s major museums are completely free to visit.
These include the National Museum, the Natural History Museum, as well as the National Gallery and Irish Museum of Modern Art. The city’s parks, including the photogenic St Stephen’s Green, are likewise free for you to explore.
Layovers mean that you’re tight for time, which presents a bit of a problem for someone like me. While I love exploring a destination’s historical attractions, getting acquainted with the place’s food scene is just as important.
Since I probably won’t have time to explore Dublin’s cafes and restaurants at my leisure, I’ve found the perfect solution: a food tour!
I even have a particular tour in mind after hearing only good things about it: the Dublin Tasting Trail with Fab Food Trails. A 2.5 hour walking tour of the city’s best markets, food shops and restaurants? Count me in.
|The stunning Trinity College. Photo from here.|
No visit to Dublin seems to be truly complete without a stop at Trinity College. The university, which was founded all the way back in 1592, is composed of three faculties and 24 schools, all of which are spread across 47 acres. That’s quite the set of numbers right there.
Naturally, a university with such a long history will most likely feature some amazing architecture (evidence above), and there are special tours offered in the College’s centrepiece – its massive library.
How did a cemetery land up on here, you ask? Well, I can’t help but be drawn to the quirkier attractions in a city, but this particular cemetery ranks highly as one of the more popular Dublin stops on travel itineraries. Given the fact that Highgate Cemetery has been one of my favourite sightseeing experiences in London, I’m sure I’ll be just as fascinated by Glasnevin.
Run by enthusiastic guides, you can get a free public tour of the cemetery. In the words of Glasnevin employees, the tour aims to give ‘a valuable insight into this unique Victorian burial place and into the final resting place of the men and women who have helped shape Ireland’s past and present’.
Stepping back in time at Farmleigh House
|The grand Farmleigh House. Image from here.|
I’m a sucker for historical homes (hello, National Trust membership!), so I was delighted to hear that Dublin features a rather impressive one.
Located in Phoenix Park about 5km from the city centre, Farmleigh House is a perfect representation of the Edwardian period in which it was built. Inside, you’ll be able to see era-appropriate furnishings and artworks, but it’s what you find outside that will cause your camera to go into overdrive.
Walled gardens, ornamental features, a scenic lake and even more gardens (this time, sunken)… Farmleigh is a photographer’s dream.
I’ve chosen a mixed bag for my Dublin layover itinerary, but I think this goes to show just how varied this special city really is.
From graffiti art to stately homes to food tours to a massive swig of Guinness – I don’t think my problem would be finding stuff to do, but rather trying to pick between all of these enticing options!
Conclusion: Best extend it to a weekend trip then.
Until that awaited trip to Dublin, please remember to vote for me in the Aer Lingus #ThrutheQ competition (follow the steps above). There are a few days left and I really need all the help I can get!