I always dreamed of Ireland’s rolling green hills and traditional pubs filled with live music and Irish dancing…but experiencing it all in real life far exceeded my expectations. Three days in this beautiful country sure wasn’t enough time, but the small taste of it’s incredible charm was enough to hold me off until next time! I hope my writing of this post in an effort to hold onto its magic forever proves both helpful and inspiring to all of you! Ireland should definitely be on your list if it isn’t already…
After spending an incredible weekend in London to celebrate NYE, we flew British Airways to Dublin, Ireland. We arrived in this beautiful country on New Years day, and it was the perfect way to start the new year! Uber does not exist in Ireland, so we took a quick taxi into the city (we had the friendliest taxi driver – such a warm welcome to Ireland!) and arrived at our Airbnb just after dark.
“I always dreamed of Ireland’s rolling green hills and traditional pubs filled with live music and Irish dancing…but experiencing it all in real life far exceeded my expectations.”
We stayed in the most incredible Airbnb which was centrally located and accompanied with amazing views! I highly recommend staying in Elaine’s place (which you can book here) if you are ever in Dublin.
The apartment was STUNNING and Elaine was an incredible host. She had a welcome basket filled with champagne and treats ready for us upon arrival and she stocked the fridge with eggs, milk, and toast! The place was also very safe (must check-in with security guard every time entering the property) and located literally just minutes from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin’s main streets. Absolutely everything was in walking distance from our place!
Our first night in the city was a bit odd, because we expected the main streets to be filled with people celebrating New Years night. This was not the case, as there was barely any people out and almost all of the restaurants were closed by the time we had gone out, which was only around 8 PM. Hungry and tired, we were desperate to find a table anywhere. After getting turned down by one place that had no available tables (again, Europe is huge on bookings), we stumbled across a cute Italian restaurant called Cafe Amore Wine Club.
We enjoyed some delicious pasta and wine before turning in and getting ready for our first full day in Ireland!
The next morning, we woke up bright and early around 4:30 AM to be ready for our 6 AM bus tour to the Cliffs of Moher. This bus tour was one of the highlights of our entire trip – it was one of the best decisions we made because it allowed us to see a lot of Ireland in one day. We booked our tour through Irish Day Tours, which was a really great company. It was a great way to see a lot of Ireland in a short amount of time. Our tour had four stops, all giving the perfect taste of Ireland’s grand beauty!
We arrived at the Cliffs around 10 AM and had just under 2 hours to explore. It definitely was not enough time, but we enjoyed every second of it, soaking in some of the most incredible views. We also got lucky with the weather because when we arrived, the fog was so dense, we couldn’t even see the cliffs! But, after about 20 minutes had passed, the fog completely lifted and breathtaking views were all that was left!
I mean, does it really get any better than this?
“After about 20 minutes had passed, the fog completely lifted and breathtaking views were all that was left!”
After exploring the Cliffs, we stopped at a super cute pub in the small town of Doolin. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe the views just outside our window as we drove through this town…it truly was something out of a movie! No words or pictures could do it justice…
Our next stop was the Burren National Park which is a beautiful landscape that spreads from mountains to the very edge of Ireland’s cliffs, covered in limestone! It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, and I honestly didn’t expect it to be so beautiful!
Our next and final stop was the city of Galway which was SO much fun. The whole town is popping with so much color and character, and is filled with some of the most unique shops. We had a blast wandering the city, and even picked up some fun souvenirs from one of the shops!
We arrived back in Dublin early enough to still go out for dinner and drinks at a local pub. We stopped for burgers at Bobo’s and took the liberty of asking our waiter for recommendations of pubs that are “off the beaten path.”
We spent the rest of the night wandering the beautifully lit-up streets, and grabbed a few beers at a traditional pub called Grogan’s Castle Lounge. One thing to note is that most pubs in Dublin are cash only. Lots of the pubs do have ATMs, but just be sure you have cash handy!
Our last full day in Ireland started in the perfect way: with crepes and breakfast a Lemon Jelly Cafe. To get to this super cute cafe, we had to cross a bridge that gave me Amsterdam feels! That’s one thing I loved about Dublin – every corner we turned had something new and charming to explore!
After breakfast, we spent the day touring some of Dublin’s best sights. We walked past Christ’s Church Cathedral….
through Dublin Castle…
all the way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral…
before soaking in some rooftop views at our Airbnb and getting ready for our last night out in Dublin!
We decide to be spontaneous about where we went for dinner, walking around and reading menus until we found somewhere we liked. We ended up stumbling across the most perfect place: The Auld Dubliner, where we got to enjoy dinner while listening to authentic live Irish music!
“It felt like a dream…to be surrounded by locals and tourists alike, singing along and dancing to music in one of the most well-known pubs around the globe. Truly a dream come true.”
We then spent a good couple of hours at the famous Temple Bar which gave us all of the Irish vibes we were dreaming of…
It felt like a dream…to be surrounded by locals and tourists alike, singing along and dancing to music in one of the most well-known pubs around the globe. Truly a dream come true.
Afterwards, we went back to the Auld Dubliner for more dancing! We stayed here for a good part of the night, and met some really nice people before heading back and dreaming of all we had experienced.
Our time in Ireland was short, but it was beyond magical. Ireland had been on my bucket list for years, but actually experiencing it all at my fingertips felt unreal…
Next Up: The One Where We Go to Scotland!