Last November I went to Ireland with one of my best friends and her family. We were only there for a couple days but here are some of the things I definitely recommend doing !
- This is a nail salon located in the center of Dublin that has the most incredible nail technicians I have ever seen. It was also decently priced ! I loved the vibe of the place and the girls were super fun. I definitely recommend booking an appointment ahead of time since they are getting more popular.
2. Zozimus Bar
One of the most photographic bars off of Grafton Street, at least by me. We booked a reservation when they came out with the Christmas menu. The atmosphere was really interesting although we waiting a long time to get our food even though it was a preset menu and we chose what we wanted when we made the reservation. Here’s the menu we got to choose from although it varies based on different occasions.
Since we’re each allowed to pick 4 items we all tried to get different things so we could all try it. The risotto balls and the truffle and Parmesan chips were out of this world! We ended the dinner with their famous panicotta. This was also my first and only time trying blood sausage…. my taste buds were NOT happy.
3. Open Top Bus Tour
We did an open top bus tour at night which was probably not the best idea to do in the middle of November since it felt like 20 degrees. But I feel like I would’ve enjoyed it better if it was during the day. It was also difficult to hear the commentator on the mic. The tour took about an hour total as we drove around the city looking at some of the main sights. It was a beautiful sight to see the city all lit up at night.
4. Wicklow National Park
The second day we booked a tour called the Wild Wicklow tour including Glendalough. We were picked up from a meeting point in the city center from a coach bus then headed towards the mountains. This tour took the entire day but it was definitely worth the day trip.
Our first stop of the trip was to Sandy cove where we got to see the Irish Sea where we saw many people take a dip in the ice cold water which apparently is a very popular activity. After that we drove through the countryside to the national park. Wicklow is absolutely breathtaking. We stopped a couple times inside the park to get out and explore. The coolest stop was getting to walk over the bridge that was in PS I Love You.
From Wicklow, we headed to Glendalough. On our way we stopped at this little pub/hotel called Lynham’s Hotel. Our tour guide recommended the Guinness beef stew and right then it became one of my favorite Irish dish. We didn’t have too much time here, just enough to grab a bite and a pint.
After not being hangry anymore, we arrived at Sevenchurches in Glendalough. The history of this place was so amazing to learn about. Our tour guide gave us a whole tour of the cemetery telling us the history of Saint Peter’s cross. Legend says if you can hug the cross having your fingers touch, you make a wish and it will come true. It was NOT as easy as it sounds… there was definitely a strategy to it. But after stretching A LOT, I finally got it and made my wish.
Our tour guide ended the tour by giving us all a shot of Jameson whiskey as we sang and jammed out to some Irish tunes on the way home. I have to say, he was the coolest tour guide I’ve ever had. He was so passionate about his culture and job it made it so much more enjoyable. If you decide to do this tour, ask for John !
5. Titanic Museum in Belfast
Today was another full day, we booked a trip to the Titanic museum in Belfast. Just like the other tour we were picked up at a meeting point in a small coach. Belfast is in the United Kingdom so it was a long drive to get there. We stopped at the Monasterboice cemetery for a quick break to explore and stretch before getting back on the road. We were dropped off in the center of Belfast where we had time to explore the city, however we booked afternoon tea at the Grand Staircase in the museum so we headed straight there.
The grand staircase dining area had all the tables facing towards the staircase. We each chose the kind of tea we wanted and they brought out 2 tiers of food. It included all of the finger sandwiches, appetizers and desserts.
There was no time limit on how long we could stay at the table for so we took our time and enjoyed the music being played by the band.
The museum included of the history of how the ship was built considering the museum was on the sight where it was actually built. If you look out the windows you can see the outline of the ships actually size.
Don’t expect to see a lot artifacts since there really aren’t any. We were told most of the artifacts are in a lot of the American Titanic museums.
If you like beer and live music I would definitely recommend grabbing a pint at Whelan’s bar then seeing what kind of music they have that night. Again this is another great place to visit if you’ve seen PS I Love You. Even though we looked, my friend and I were never able to find the pictures in the venue area.
Depending on the music act, the prices for the tickets are fairly inexpensive. I included the link to help get a better idea.
7. Kilmainham Gaol Jail
Definitely one of the most underrated and under appreciated tours. I would absolutely recommend visiting this jail and taking the tour. You get to see so much history and everything is original. You even get to see the balcony where they would have the local hangings. In my opinion it was one of the top things to go see especially if you love history.
8. Guinness Storehouse
Depending on who you talk to, a lot of people will say this isn’t worth it. However I really enjoyed taking this tour. You learn all about how Guinness is made and you also get to pour your own pint which was a fun experience. It’s definitely harder than it looks. After you get your free pint you can head to the observation deck where you have a full 360 degree view of Dublin.
There’s also a bunch of different restaurants to eat here in the storehouse.
9. Whiskey Tour
Ireland is known for their famous Irish whiskey, although there are many distilleries. We wanted to go to the Jameson distillery since my friend and I are big fans but it was under construction at the time. Since we knew we still wanted to do a whiskey tour we found Teelings Distillery. We were the last tour of the night and although it was quite short of a tour it was very informative. Once the tour is finished we can decide to purchase a tasting package. The package we chose allowed us to try 3 types of their single malt whiskey.
Grafton Street is a higher end area for shopping and eating.
Henry Street is the more affordable shopping area which has shops like Penny’s and H&M. This is where you can find some of the brand names that you would see back home. This is also where I bought my Claddagh rings for myself and as gifts.
Lunch Break: If you’re staying in the area by Grafton Street for awhile, there’s a restaurant called The Church which is literally an old converted church. Is such a cool place to eat since they kept a lot of the original organ pipes and stuff from the church.
Ireland was definitely one of my favorite places. I would definitely like to go back in the spring or summer but there was still a lot to do in November. If you have any other questions about my trip like where I stayed or advice please drop a comment below 🙂