While Dublin is a town full of fantastic experiences, exciting events and some of the most colourful characters you are likely to come across, it can often be overrun with tourists and visitors.
If you would like to experience Dublin like a local, here are our picks of the best experiences, recommended by ‘salt of the earth’ Dubliners and all within a short journey of your ideal Dublin hotel accommodation, Aspect Hotel Park West.
1. Have a pint in a local pub
Although it is one of Dublin’s biggest and most profitable exports, Guinness is equally as popular with tourists and locals. Its creamy, rich taste is said to be most delicious the closer to the Storehouse you are so after you enjoy a drink in the Gravity Bar, take a stroll down one of the local streets and enjoy a pint in one of the local pubs.
We recommend Arthurs Pub, one of the closest to the Storehouse for a pint and bite to eat, or Tom Kennedys Bar for a late-night mixing with friendly locals and staff. Avoid Temple Bar if you can, it’s overpriced, and the quality isn’t nearly as good.
2. Shop like a local
You could head straight to Grafton Street -Dublin’s high-end shopping district- or you could venture a little off the beaten track. If you’d like to update your wardrobe but want to avoid the high street you could take a trip to the colourful George Arcade for some truly unique and vintage clothes and gift ideas. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area, Cows Lane also has a wondering craft market every Saturday selling local and handmade goods.
3. Visit Moore Street for fresh produce
There are few parts of Dublin as truly authentic as the market stalls on Moore Street.
Hidden in the centre of the city, Moore Street is home to a plethora of ‘dealers’ selling fish, flowers and fresh fruit and veg, and announcing it to the world! Our trade roots are firmly planted not only on the cobbled streets but in the hearts of these dealers, some of which have inherited their stalls from parents and grandparents of generations past.
4. Enjoy watching live events at Croke Park
You’ll have to time this one well but if you want to experience Irish sport, make sure your visit coincides with an event in Croke Park. The only sports played here are Irelands National sports, Hurling (wooden sticks and leather balls) and Gaelic Football (a mix between American football and rugby).
Feel the atmosphere of 85,000 passionate fans all rooting for their local team at the same time and make sure to stop by Handball Alley for a quick pint before or after.
5. Feast on local Irish dishes
We’re well known in Ireland for our rolling green hills, a result of the abundance of rain we get each year! But did you know that our wonderful grass ensures our crops, meat and dairy thrive? We are known for our high-quality produce in Ireland, so while here make sure to sample it. Try a very local Irish Stew, a Dublin coddle or a good old-fashioned cheese toasty in the Hairy Lemon pub whose décor matches its unusual name.
6. Visit the beautiful coast of Dublin
Although we are known for our beautiful architecture and world-class museums, Dublin’s coast is equally as impressive. Take a train or drive to Howth to be treated to some of the most beautiful views of the Irish Sea. You could also stroll down to Dublin Bay and walk to the Poolbeg Lighthouse, enjoy an ice cream walking down Dun Laoghaire Pier or Climb Killiney Hill taking in the sights of the entire Bay from the top.
7. Explore by bike
Sign up for a Dublin Bikes card (€25 a year & a small charge for journeys over 1 hour) and explore the city on two wheels. Plan all of the sights you want to see on your visit and don’t forget some of our wonderful green spaces. Stephens Green is the obvious choice for tourists, but you could head to Phoenix Park or the lesser known War Memorial Gardens and enjoy the rose garden and the local rowing clubs weekly races.
Author Bio: Katie McGarr is one of the lifestyle writers for Aspect Hotel Park West Dublin, a modern hotel, delivering exceptional accommodation and dining experiences for leisure and corporate travelers across Dublin. Writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle is one thing she finds enjoyable, next to petting her cat.