Brigitta, the Tourist Experience
Why Dublin? The question that I always get asked once I expose my American accent.
I was drawn to Dublin because it’s where one of my favorite rappers grew up, how unique I know. Like I always say, come for the hip hop, stay for the history and the pub scene! As an American intern at DublinTown, I was blessed with the weather! And on my days out exploring Dublin, they sure were pretty hot days – and that’s coming from a Californian!
Having so much I wanted to do and no idea where to start first, I stopped by the DublinTown Information Kiosk at North Earl Street, which is just beside the infamous Spire. Ambassador Dave was super knowledgeable, and quick to recommend the DoDublin Hop On Hop Off Tour Bus to ensure I made a good dent in my large Dublin bucket list.
This tour bus, known affectionately as ‘The Green Bus’, takes you all around Dublin, and each driver puts their own unique spin on narrating the wonderful sites. My first stop to Dave’s recommendation was the lovely shopping area of Grafton Street in the aptly named Grafton Quarter. What stuck out to me the most was the amount of live music and street performers dispersed throughout the street – buskers sure are everywhere!
I decided to stop by Bewley’s, the famous café who introduced tea to Ireland. Bewley’s holds a special place in the heart of Dubliners, and has been doing so for 180 years. You should also stop by for their incredible pastries and have a look at the iconic Harry Clarke stained glass windows.
My next stop was The Irish Whiskey Museum at the bottom of Grafton Street. The extent of my whiskey knowledge involved Jack, Jameson and Fireball. Oh boy was I in for a treat! Not only did I get to try three different kinds of Irish whisky, but I also had a wonderful tour and history lesson from Grace, lovely, lively and pretty hilarious!
I decided to end my first day of touring Dublin’s fair city by stopping into my now-favorite donut shop, The Rolling Donut on South King Street. Being lactose intolerant, this place is a godsend with their delicious vegan selection. Go and get yourself a vegan vanilla and taste exactly what I’m talking about!
Back at it again, for my second day out in Dublin I headed over to The National Wax Museum Plus on Westmoreland Street to check out what all the hype was about. With multiple stories, this museum guarantees at least one of your favorite celebrity sightings. You can walk face-first into a mirror in the room full of mirrors (I may have done this!), and if you’re not too scared, head downstairs with some of your most trusted friends for a walk through in their Chamber of Horrors!
Henry Street is where there’s a shop for everyone. With two indoor shopping malls (Jervis Shopping Centre and Ilac Shopping Centre) and a strip of outdoor stalls on Moore Street – I can’t imagine anyone leaving the Dublin One area empty handed.
I also visited Dunnes Stores, a department store with a full-blown grocery store in the basement (I still can’t get over that!), and the gigantic Penneys on Mary Street (and they’ve another on O’Connell Street), which is Ireland’s major retail for all things fashion, accessories, homeware, beauty and more. “Thanks hun, Penneys!” is a phrase I heard over and over again!
My final stop in Dublin One was Carroll’s Irish Gifts on O’Connell Street, a souvenir shop with all things Ireland. Here I found everything I needed to bring back Stateside from teddies and flags to Irish jewellery, mugs and jumpers, as well as anything you may need for St. Patrick’s Day!
That evening I also hit up The Grand Social for Irish live music and to really experience Dublin by night! This place was hopping, and their beer range is really awesome. I may have had a couple of new Irish beers that I wish were in the bars back in California!
So there you have it, Dublin it all from tourist spots and history, to food, drinks, shopping and nightlife!