5 Things I Love About Dublin

Some thoughts (and photos!) about what to see in Dublin!

I’m a fan of Dublin, Ireland - in case you haven’t already guessed that from all my posts about that lovely city.  It’s a real gem, and I really enjoy visiting there.  I find the people to be super friendly, and the city is full of great things to photograph.  Oh, and if you like to sit in a pub, well, this is your town.

Now I will readily admit that I am not an expert on Dublin (I live in Texas, after all!), but I’ve been there many times on business and at this point have a pretty good feel for the place, as well as having published here on the blog a list of the best things to shoot while you are there.  

I am hoping to return again later this year, and have a few more spots to get to before I feel like my list is complete.  Ok, that’s a lie.  My lists are actually never complete.  I’ll add more every chance I get.  It’s something I love to do.

Anyways, I enjoyed writing my previous post about London (5 Things I Love about London) and thought I would do a similar post about Dublin.  It’s a labor of love.  So bear with me, k?  This will be fun.  I promise. 

While there is quite a bit to see in Dublin, I have focused this list on 5 primary “things”, all pretty much in the central historic district (mostly): Temple Bar, Irish pubs, the Cathedrals, Trinity College, and the Guinness Brewery.  This might be a “touristy” list to some, but I feel like seeing these places when in Dublin is a must.  So, be a tourist if you have to - just bring the camera and be a photographer too!

And by the way, the city is very walkable.  The only wildcard here is the Guinness Brewery.  You can absolutely walk to it from the central historic district but it will take you a good 25-30 minutes.  I took a cab out there, but the weather was so beautiful when I got out that I walked back along the River Liffey and took a bunch of photos along the way.  So exploring on foot is a great thing to do here.  Plus, you’ll need to stop and rehydrate - that’s what the pubs are for!  :-)

So without further delay, here are the 5 things I love about Dublin, Ireland:

1) Temple Bar

Temple Bar is the name of two things: an awesome Irish pub, and the entire entertainment district surrounding the pub.  The Temple Bar district is Dublin’s cultural headquarters and is an area full of great little pubs, shops, and restaurants.  Everyone here is a tourist, and it’s totally ok.  It’s a fun area, and at night it gets crowded and noisy, but that’s part of the fun.  

The Temple Bar pub is the main hub of activity there, and it’s usually the first place I go to get a Guinness.  It’s just cool.  It was established in 1840 and, in my opinion, has a ton of character.  It’s very photogenic.  In fact, it’s a place I make a point of photographing on every visit.  How can you resist, really?  Charm factor 100.

The Temple Bar pub during a beautiful sunrise.

This is a street scene from the Temple Bar district - just so much character!

2) The Irish pubs

Irish pubs are just awesome.  They are so fun, and the Irish people are so kind and welcoming.  You immediately feel comfortable in one.  Plus, they serve Guinness, which adds a lot to my enjoyment!  But seriously, when people speak about visiting Ireland, it seems the idea of visiting an Irish pub comes up.  (I think we like the accent, too.)  

In Dublin, as you can imagine, you have a lot of choices.  I’ve made it to several there in Dublin (ahem) and so far can conclude that I love them all.  That’s not very conclusive, is it?  Well, more research is required, I think.  Did I mentioned how much character they have?  Great spots for photography - just take the photos before you start on the Guinness.  :-)

The Brazen Head - supposedly Ireland's oldest pub!

Another corner with another pub on it - ah, Dublin!

3) The beautiful cathedrals

As you may know from many of my previous posts, I have a serious thing for European churches.  Aren’t they just awesome?  I love few things more than wandering into an old European church and firing away.  And here’s the good news, Dublin fans: there are some real gems in Dublin to visit!

Christ Church Cathedral is my favorite, and is a short 5 minute walk from the Temple Bar, so it’s very central.  There’s a lot to see here (and you will want to shoot the outside as well) so leave yourself plenty of time to get it all done.

The next one to see in my opinion is St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  It’s a little bit more of a walk, but well worth it.  It’s actually the largest church in Ireland (according to Wikipedia at least).  You can’t go wrong with a visit to either of these incredible churches.  Just remember the tripod so you can get some awesome interior shots!

The exterior of Christ Church Cathedral - so lovely!

4) Trinity College

I definitely recommend that you visit the campus of any large university when you go to a new town, because in my experience they have great architecture which is just begging to be photographed!  Trinity College in Dublin is no exception, but note that they do not allow tripods in the central courtyard.  Seems like a dumb rule (and for the record, I didn’t know and didn’t see any signs), and I fired all my shots before the security guard found me, but it was sunrise so it was really early.  I was the only person around for about a half hour.  I definitely recommend a sunrise visit here.

The other thing to see here is the Library, which houses the ancient Book of Kells.  This place is incredible, but again it’s a no-tripod zone.  That’s actually ok because it does get crowded and it’s a small space.  And whether you are there with a camera or not, it’s well worth the time and money to tour the Library.  It’s just a beautiful sight!  Fans of architecture (and bibliophiles) will be drooling.

The main courtyard at Trinity College during an incredible sunrise.

The ceiling inside the Library - what a place!

5) The Guinness Storehouse and Brewery

Did I mention that I like Guinness?  Oh, I didn’t?  Ok, well, I do kinda like it.  It’s tasty, and truthfully, it tastes better in Dublin than anywhere else.  It must be the fresh water.  But whatever.  The Guinness Brewery is quite a fun thing to see, even if you don’t like the drink (I readily admit that it is an acquired taste).  You have a huge indoor waterfall, several floors of restaurants and exhibits, and a skybar at the top with a 360 degree view!  Plus, you get a Guinness when you arrive at the skybar.  It’s a good deal people!  Get on over there!  I spent half a day there, but I can move slow when I am having fun taking a lot of photos.

See?  Isn't this waterfall awesome?

This is near the entrance - just thought the scene looked cool!

Well, that’s a quick little tour of my favorite spots in Dublin.  It really is a culturally rich city, steeped in history and offering up a ton of interesting things to see and do (and photograph, naturally).  Check it out, and don’t forget the camera.  Oh, and lest I forget - stay thirsty my friends!  :-)