When Jay and I (and our baby) arrived in Dublin, we had been on a seven hour red-eye flight from Chicago. We took off at around 5 pm Chicago time, and landed at 7 am local time. Tired we were, but thrilled to have landed Europe in so little time! We were ready to take on Dublin with baby! One thing was on the brain….FOOD!
We quick got an Irish breakfast in our tummies and went to our Bed and Breakfast. We took a city bus from the airport to the B&B for about $3.50 USD/each and in about a half hour, we were at our destination. The neighborhood where we chose to stay was about a 5 minute walk from city center, and near Croke Park Stadium, a well-known local landmark. We chose to be in the city, considering how little time we had in Ireland. Had we more time, we might have saved a few Euros and stayed out-of-town a bit. We were really happy with the location of our B&B. Once we arrived, we took a nap, re-calibrated, and then wandered the neighborhood.
We took in the local buildings, people, and weather. We were pleasantly surprised by all three. The buildings are all older than most American buildings. Apartments, hostels, hotels, restaurants, are all in old structures, hundreds of years old, but maintained. The aesthetic was idyllic, and it made Dublin seem much less like America than I expected. The people in Ireland are so incredibly nice. They are courteous, friendly, and straight forward. They are not unlike the stereotype of “Midwest nice,” but there is a more authentic quality to the average person’s “niceness.” When Jay asked a man in a cafe about Brexit, he remarked with a really honest answer. It was really refreshing. The other thing about Ireland, was the unexpected sun. I hadn’t really thought about the weather in Ireland before we departed (because we didn’t know we would be going there until just minutes before takeoff) but I didn’t expect to see the sun much. Over the three days we visited, it was sunny and mild, and just a misty light rain caught us on the way out on the last morning. That weather was a wonderful relief from the heat and humidity of southeastern Wisconsin this summer.
For day two, we were energized and excited! We took to our feet to wander the city streets. We headed up the main street, across the River Liffey and headed toward the Guinness Storehouse. It is a 7 story interactive and self guided museum. It is state of the art, and being from Brew City, let me tell you, IT WAS AWESOME. Jay and I remarked that we could have stayed there for an entire day! For the connoisseur or the novice, you are in for a thrill. We loved exploring every nook and cranny and being that Jay and I are completely opposite brained…we both loved our time there!
After our tour, we headed over to see Dublin Castle, Trinity College and St Patrick’s Cathedral. All of these attractions were within about a half mile of one another. Dublin has history PILED ON HISTORY! IT’S AWESOME!
All of these attractions were incredibly inexpensive and worth every Euro.
We finished off our day with a stop at O’Neill’s Victorian Pub. This is a must-see destination. It is an authentic pub with little nooks and crannies to have a pint in. The food was fantastic, too.
After that packed day, we headed back to our B&B for the night. You might be wondering how Anouk fared, considering we changed all of those time zones and she’s just a wee little one. Well we did our best NOT TO CHANGE HER SCHEDULE. We had just gotten her to sleep through the night at home, and we definitely did not want to try to adjust her to Ireland’s time. We opted to not keep a stroller but wear her instead, and as you can see in these pictures, she slept much of the time we were out and about. 10 months is a great age for taking baby abroad!
Our last full day in Ireland, we opted to get a day pass to travel on the Hop-on Hop-off tour buses. Three are a few routes that travel around all of the various sites throughout the city and surrounding area. There is so much to do and see and learn, that Jay and I wanted to tour so that we could get our bearings of the city at large. I am so glad we did it! We got a feel for how truly the history is layered on top of more history. From the Vikings to the Middle Ages to Victorian Ireland…we got a pretty good handle of how Dublin developed into the modern city it is today.
Overall, we found Dublin to be very affordable, charming, and friendly. There is no shame in taking a baby with you anywhere you want to in Dublin. THEY ARE THRILLED TO SEE CHILDREN! OH JOY! Be sure to take advantage of the currency exchange and be sure to be kind to everyone you meet. Dublin has found a new place in my heart, and I cannot wait to return!