Tina, the Tourist Experience
If you are lucky enough to get a chance to travel to Dublin in the next while, or if you have been wanting to visit the historic city that’s filled with incredible people, sights and pints, then keep reading, because I have the perfect tourist guide for you!
As an American intern at the wonderful DublinTown, I have officially taken on the role as ‘Tina the Tourist’, where I can share my experiences with everyone exploring this amazing city through DublinTown’s Instagram, and website! Each of my adventures will be posted on DublinTown’s Insta-story, followed by a detailed blog for you to read later.
Now, let’s talk Dublin!
So, for my first excursion, I decided to visit the most attractive areas around town, but before I knew exactly where to go, I stopped at one of DublinTown’s kiosks to pick up some pointers, and a map of the city. The DublinTown Ambassador was extremely kind, and helpful, which is something I can honestly say about all the Irish I have met so far!
The great thing about Dublin is that because it is a small town, it then becomes easy to get around via foot, bus, or the Luas (the local tram). Although the city is smaller, size definitely does not matter here as you will see that Dublin is FILLED with loads of bars, restaurants, cafés, parks, businesses, you name it! With so much to do in the city, I had my own mini adventures visiting places like St. Stephen’s Green, walking up Grafton Street, visiting Molly Malone and George’s Street Arcade along the way to my excursions! Let’s get down to the dirty details of my first experience as Tina the Tourist!
My First Stop: Trinity College Dublin
I am a student at University of California, Berkeley, so naturally I am in love with my campus because of its beauty and history. But, after visiting Trinity College, I must say that an affair might be brewing! To start, the campus really stunned me with its historic and modern architecture. When I arrived to the gates and walked through Parliament Square, I was greeted by the beautifully aged Campanile of Trinity College.
After getting lost in the campus, I passed by the old library, which I truly recommend checking out, because it is renowned for preserving the Book of Kells, and housing the remarkable Long Room, which is probably the greatest library I have ever seen, (sorry Berkeley, but Doe Library has some competition now). The university is located in the heart of Dublin, which effortlessly attracts tourists and students from all over the world. Additionally, it is one of the many locations that is perfect for an afternoon picnic, or relaxation.
My Second Stop: The Creative Quarter
Hands down, this has to be one of my favorite spots in all of Dublin! Why you might ask? Well, the area is filled with funky boutiques, fashion outlets, cafes, bars, and delicious restaurants (don’t forget, I live in San Francisco/Bay Area, so I was absolutely buzzing!). Similar to the bay, the creative quarter has a “boutique hipster” vibe and the area promotes all sorts of creative independent businesses.
I decided to head into the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre to grab a bite for lunch and I was completely blown away when I walked into the renovated estate. Back then, this estate was a townhouse to Richard Wingfield III, where extravagant parties during Parliament season were held. Nowadays, Powerscourt is filled with an array of cafés, restaurants, bars, as well as fashion and beauty businesses. The Powerscourt Centre has continued to live up to its legacy by brining people together with delicious food, drinks, and good company.
After exploring my options, I decided to enjoy a light yet filling lunch at the Townhouse Café where I tried hake, on a bed of roasted vegetables, and potatoes; a perfect meal that left me energized to continue my day of exploring! The delicious food was complimented by the trendy interior design of Powerscourt, which made the experience that more special. I will definitely come back to Powerscourt during the weekend to check out one of its many bars, but more specifically, Farrier & Draper!
My Third Stop: The General Post Office
Some of you might ask, what is so great about visiting a post office? But, I have to stop you there and say that the General Post Office (G.P.O.) in Dublin is probably one of the coolest historic landmarks that I have seen thus far! This post office was built in the early 1800’s and has managed to survive over two centuries, including the most significant uprising of Dublin, the 1916 Rebellion, also known as, the 1916 Easter Rising.
The events that occurred on O’Connell Street had ultimately led to the creation of an independent Irish state, and for these reasons, the G.P.O. remains as a symbol of Irish nationalism. Also, a little fun fact, if you check out the pillars on the building, you can see the battle wounds from weapons and machinery that were used throughout the rebellion! There is also the G.P.O. Witness Tour, if you fancy learning even more about the events. The G.P.O. is an impressive landmark that exists among a cosmopolitan street filled with shops, restaurants, and cafés, and of course, the infamous Spire of Dublin!
I have to be honest, Dublin seriously exceeds my expectations with each day that I spend here. The food is unreal, the pubs are good fun, the people are great craic, and the weather has been nothing but sunshine for the whole summer!
Touring around town made me appreciate Dublin’s culture even more, because I was able to learn about Dublin’s history, where Irish nationalism began, and how it is preserved to this day. Everything is accessible here, and the fact that I did this tour in under three hours, all by foot, is baffling.
If I can offer a bit of advice to those of you who are reading this, put Dublin on your bucket list if you haven’t already done so. It is a capital city that will not disappoint!