Dublin, Ireland- a city that will steal your heart and break it before you even have to leave, my heart aches still to this day. It pains me a little writing this post, Dublin, goddammit you stole my heart. A perfect mix between old and new, quaint and modern, this city is quite frankly unforgettable. The food, people, architecture, drinks, art, music, and culture is captivating- an endless amount of things to see and do. We spent 4 days in Dublin, and could easily go back and find more to explore. It is one of those cities, that you could fly into without an itinerary and easily immerse yourself without a strict plan. Live aspiring musicians jam out on street corners, captivating a crowd that stands by to watch. Tourists and locals crowd the streets giving the city a lively and fun vibe. Below, you can find some of the things to explore while in this city.
Simply put, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is Disneyland for beer drinkers. I’ve visited many breweries here in the United States- Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, 10 Barrel, Deschutes (just to name a few), and although most have all had their quirks and stood out in their own way, Guinness blows them all out of the water. Before visiting, I had not done an exceptional amount of research, and WOW were my expectations exceeded. Even if you are not a beer drinker, paying a visit to see this facility is worth the visit.
Standing 7 stories high, you begin your self guided tour on the first level, which walks you through the brewing process.
Throughout the facility, you are reminded of the deeply rooted Irish culture that went into making Guinness the name brand it is today. Old Guinness bottles and advertisements line the walls, along with many interactive lights, videos and more. Included with our ticket, we were taught how to properly pour a pint of Guinness, which we were able to take with us up to the sky bar, overlooking Dublin on the 7th floor.
Walking into the Guinness sensory and tasting room, we were led through a tunnel of darkness and neon lights. Suddenly, your senses are quickly shocked and calmed by an all white room, where a bartender will pour a taster for all the guests. You are instructed to wait until the following room to drink it, and for the mean time to focus your senses solely on the Guinness. Four “flavor fountains” are placed throughout the room, these bubbling vapor chambers are spewing scents of the four most important ingredients of the Guinness recipe; malt, barley, flour, and hops. The pure white interorir of the room served a purpose and served it well. By stripping away any distractions, this experience allowed your senses to focus on the scent of the beer, rather than any of your surroundings. Next you are escorted into the tasting room, also called “The Velvet Room.” You will be taught the proper techniques on how to taste your beer, and learn some fun facts of the St.James Guinness Storehouse. All in all, the tasting experience at Guinness is truly brilliant, and every detail in the building has a unique relationship with this crafted beer.
TEMPLE BAR DISTRICT
Funky, artistic and cheerful are the streets of the Temple Bar District. What we have seen in media and movies of Irish cities, is found here on these streets. Enjoy walking along the main streets and finding smaller side streets to wander and gaze at the art and historical buildings. We found many eateries to satisfy any of our food cravings. At night time the streets turn into a Irish hot spot, and you must stop into a pub for a drink to enjoy the nightlife!
ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL
One of my favorite things about Dublin, was how walkable the city was. We spent most of our days walking towards a sight we wanted to see, but getting distracted by the many other attractions here in the city. St.James Cathedral was one of those distracting sights. After getting an Irish breakfast in the Temple Bar area, we decided to walk to the Jameson Distillery and came across this cathedral along the way. Because we already had scheduled plans for the day, we only stopped in for a few minutes. You have to pay to tour the church, but they allow public visitors to go up the staircase and the hall for free, which had beautiful stained glass. If visiting religious sites interests you during your during your travels, this is a must.
Ahh Jameson! There is nothing like drinking the hair of the dog straight from the source in Dublin, Ireland. Compared to Guinness, which was a self-guided tour, Jameson was scheduled and led by a tour guide. When you walk in, the inside architecture is breathtaking and takes you back in time, all with a modern twist of course.
After touring the building and learning the history of the company, brewing process and such, your tour ends with a whiskey tasting. One American whiskey- Jack Daniels, one Scotch whisky- Johnnie Walker and of course Irish whiskey- Jameson. After the third taste, I think I grew a few hairs on my chest! And because the Irish like to get you drunk, you also get a free drink of your choice from the bar. Your options are a whiskey ginger soda or a pour of straight whiskey.