One of my favorite cities in the world is Dublin, Ireland because it’s alive with culture and there is always something to do, from museums, to cathedrals, to nightlife. The easiest way to get to Dublin from Florence, Italy would be with Ryanair, flying out of Pisa. Tickets should cost about €50 round trip, excluding the cost of getting to and from the Galileo Galilei airport. This can be booked through the Terravision Bus Company, which picks up and drops of from Florence’s Santa Maria Novella Train station and charges €5 each way.
Depending upon how your like your trips organized, I’d recommend doing either the Bus2alps Coast 2 Coast trip to Ireland, which costs €169-189, or planning the trip on your own. The Bus2alps trip includes a hostel stay, breakfast, walking tour, transportation and tour of the cliffs of Moher and Galway, and a tour of the Guinness Factory. If traveling on your own makes you stressed or nervous, this is probably the easiest way to see Dublin. Not only do you have a set schedule, but Bus2alps also provides you with a tour guide.
I, however, chose to do Dublin without a travel agency. Instead, I purchased the Dublin Pass, a card that gives you discounts to dozens of restaurants as well as free or discounted entry to the most famous city sites. The pass can be purchased for one day, two days, or six days and should be bought at the airport in order to receive a discounted price of €44. I stayed in the Temple Bar area in a hostel called “Barnacles Hostel,” which provided not only a free breakfast but also a complimentary walking tour of the city. Barnacles Hostel was conveniently located within a 15-minute walk of all the major sites, and because of its location in the Temple Bar area, it was right in the center of all the major nightlife.
Most hostels in Dublin offer free breakfasts and walking tours. So if you do choose to book this trip by yourself, look for these inclusions. As long as your hostel or hotel costs a reasonable amount, I would say that there probably won’t be too large a gap between the cost of doing Dublin through Bus2alps versus on your own.
My Top Ten for Dublin:
- Do a walking tour of the city! Most of them are free and offered by your hostel. They take you to all the major sites in Dublin, from the river to national buildings. They are more than worth the time!
- The Wax Museum– This museum is really cool! It houses a lot of pop-culture as well as historical figures, and when I went, there was a special exhibition called “the Chamber of Horrors” in honor of Halloween.
- Visit Trinity College! It’s a beautiful area to walk through. Remember to make a stop at the Old Library and see the Book of Kells!
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral -This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe. It’s one of the most popular attractions in Ireland and an absolute must-see!
- Visit some of the National Museums of Ireland – Different museums focus on different things, so you can
- The Guinness Storehouse – This warehouse shows how Guinness Beer is made and gives you a free pint at the end of your trip! The top floor, circular, floor-to-ceiling windowed Gravity Bar has spectacular views.
- The Jameson Distillery – Here, they show you how Jameson whiskey is made. You can volunteer to taste test different types of liquors in order to compare them to Jameson, and, at the end of this trip, everyone gets a free Jameson drink!
- Go to a live music show in a pub! They are so worth it! I can’t find anything like them in Florence but they are all over Dublin. I never came across a bad artist at any of these shows, and I’d definitely recommend checking out as many as you can.
- One of the most picturesque scenes in Ireland is the view from the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. If the weather is decent during your stay, go to the cliffs – the panorama will be spectacular!
- Finally, no trip to Ireland is complete without trying some traditional Irish foods, a.k.a. Fish and Chips. Most restaurants serve it, and, even though I’m not the biggest fan of fish, I’ve got to say it was absolutely delicious in Dublin.
*All these (and more) can be done for FREE (or highly discounted) with the purchase of a Dublin Pass!*
-Arnub, Travel and Culture Intern