Doing Dublin in Double Time

A big thank you to for providing this lucky adventure. As always, all opinions are our own.

Dublin, Ireland

We didn’t have a pot full o’ time to discover Dublin, we had but a day to discover her charms after landing at the airport and before making our way to Dingle and the Wild Atlantic Way.

So we mapped out a plan to hit the highlights in one lucky jaunt around the town.

One thing we knew for certain, we had to start our outing at the city’s top attraction, the Guinness Brewery.

The grounds of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin is so big it's like a city!

No need for the luck of the Irish when seeking Ireland’s most famous brew, a trolley and our feet did the job just fine.

The venerable old brewery at the St. James Gate has occupied the same space in Dublin since 1759, so it was not hard to find – it’s like a city on its own.

Of course it has grown over the years, but the end result remains the same, the world’s most popular stout.

The grounds of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin is so big it's like a city!

Our mission was to learn all about it at the Guinness Storehouse, the seven story former fermentation plant that serves as part brewery tour, part museum, and best of all, part pub.

We began in the tour area, learning about the methods and ingredients that go into creating the celebrated dark ale.

As with all beers water, hops, and yeast are required, but the most important factor is the specially roasted barley that gives the potion its distinctive color.

The water exhibit inside Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
The water exhibit is as bright as the exterior of the buildings are stark.

Exhibit in the Guinness Storehouse of Dublin, Ireland

We continued with the story of the founder, Arthur Guinness, and the nine-thousand year lease he signed on the brewery property.

His fame as a brewer led to his nickname throughout Dublin – Uncle Arthur.

Upstairs we found exhibits featuring the advertising behind the brand.

Many of the eclectic, iconic Guinness posters and signs are on display; including the toucan and the famous slogans Guinness is Good for You, Guinness for Strength, Lovely Day for a Guinness, and Guinness Makes You Strong.

Train exhibit at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland
David the Train nut found himself a Guinness train!
Wait. What? It’s the same Guinness?
Arthur Guinness founder of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland
“Uncle” Arthur Guinness

The first Guinness Book of World Records was released in August 1954 after the company’s managing director, Sir Hugh Beaver, got in an argument over the fastest game bird in Europe.

That gave him the idea to compile a comprehensive list of the world’s fastest, longest, strongest and best.

The resulting book became an incredibly popular resource for satisfying bar bets around the globe, as well as a unique marketing tool for beer.

Pouring the Perfect Pint

On the fourth floor we got schooled at the Guinness Academy’s Perfect Pint Bar.

The Perfect Pint Bar at Guinness Academy were we got school in the art of pouring a flawless glass of Guinness
Our classroom!

The Perfect Pint Bar at Guinness Academy were we got school in the art of pouring a flawless glass of Guinness

Maybe it should be considered an art institute, since the art of pouring flawless glass of Guinness takes a master’s touch.

After our instruction, we were certified by the Academy to step in if we encounter a bartending emergency or an incapacitated barkeep at some point in the future.

We stand ready to pour should the need arise.

What a View!

Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse Brewery in Dublin, Ireland

We did much more pub crawling… check it out!

St. Patrick's Tower in Dublin, Ireland
St. Patrick’s Tower was built in 1805 to grind grain, St. Patrick can be seen on top holding a cross.

With plenty of well-trained backup bartenders available in the Perfect Pint, we felt safe leaving the pub patrons behind and making our way up to the seventh floor Gravity Bar to enjoy our pints while taking in panoramic views of Dublin.

When seen from the outside, the windows form the head on a giant pint of Guinness, but from inside they capped off a bubbly visit.

We hated to leave, but with so much more to see we needed to step it up.

Panoramic view of Dublin from Guinness Storehouse's Gravity Bar.

Stormin’ the City

Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

Foregoing the trams and busses for our return trip, we decided to walk back through town and take in the sights along the way.

First on our list, the one and only Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint of the Emerald Isle.

This is THE church in Ireland, so here there be no debate as to whether the tales and legends about St. Paddy are accurate or not.

Oddly, it does not serve as the cathedral for the diocese of Dublin, the nearby Christ Church Cathedral holds that honor.

While that name may not be as famous, this church dates back nearly a thousand years and remains one of the city’s main medieval landmarks.

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland
Christ Church Cathedral
A Daring (and Disgusting) Escape

Continuing on toward the old city center, we came to another of those landmarks, Dublin Castle. The fortification was built as part of the defensive wall around the old Norman city. Centuries later, it became a royal residence and more ornate touches were added, such as Bedford Tower.

Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland
Bedford Tower
The Record Tower is the last intact medieval tower in Dublin, Ireland
The Record Tower is the only intact medieval tower in Dublin has a famous toilet chute!

Little remains from the original ramparts, but we did spot the only surviving turret from the castle’s early days, the Record Tower, across the courtyard.

We found an interesting plaque on tower, which served as Ireland’s maximum security prison, explaining the castle’s only successful escape.

After Hugh O’Donnell led a rebellion against the occupying English government back in 1593, he and two companions, Art and Henry O’Neill, were tossed in the tower.

The trio managed to make a getaway by climbing out of a toilet into the River Poddle. One might say they proceeded down the privy to the Poddle.

Pub Grub

Corned beef at O'Neill in Dublin, Ireland

If we were going to get everything in before dark we needed to get a move on, but first a pit stop for a late lunch.

Just off the campus we found a perfect spot for a little pub grub, O’Neill’s. (Perhaps an ancestor of the escapees?)

Any Irish pub worth its salt also serves hearty fare so we ordered lamb stew and a slab of corned beef. Oh, and of course, a couple o’ pints.

Picking our poison was no easy task since there were 45 different brews on tap.

Lamb stew at O'Neill in Dublin, Ireland

We did much more pub crawling… check it out!

Filled and quenched we were ready to make our way back to our accommodations at the Morrison Hotel. The route took us right through Dublin’s premier shopping district. Grafton Street, named for Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, has become the epicenter of upscale stores and tourism for the town.

The Tart with the Cart

For a while it was also home to one of the most famous citizens, Molly Malone.

The statue of Molly Malone in Dublin, Ireland
David SAYS he was looking at what Molly had in her baskets, but it sure doesn’t look like it!

The Irish love a song, or a tale, and Molly fills both bills by starring as a fishmonger by day and a street walker by night in the ballad bearing her name.

This has led to her nickname among Dubliners, The Tart with the Cart.

It is quite possible that Molly’s reputation has been unduly sullied, since the lyrics of the song make no mention of her nocturnal activities.

Whatever her moral character, the fictional figure was captured in bronze and unveiled on Grafton Street by Lord Mayor Ben Briscoe in 1988. On our visit we found her pushing a wagon full of cockles on Suffolk Street, where she is residing temporarily due to construction.

Bridging the Gap

Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland

We tore ourselves away from Molly’s statuesque statue and headed toward the River Liffey.

When we reached the south bank we found ourselves smack in the middle of Temple Bar.

While this is definitely the place for pubs and nightlife, it is not named for that kind of bar.

The name refers to a strip of reclaimed land along the riverside, sort of like a sand bar, that was settled by the Temple family.

The Ha'penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland
Why not use the famous Ha’penny Bridge?

Our last landmark of the day was one that proved quite functional, since we had to get across the River Liffey one way or another.

Two hundred years ago ferries were the only way to cross, but then the Wellington Bridge was built in honor of the Duke of Wellington.

In order to keep the ferry operators from being driven out of business, a tariff of half a penny was charged to use the span.

The Ha'penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland

Later the name was officially changed to the Liffey Bridge, but by that time everybody called it the Ha’penny Bridge, because of the toll.

Of course, as time went by many more bridges were built to carry vehicles from one side of the river to the other, leaving the good old cast iron Ha’penny to serve only pedestrian traffic.

Crossing the bridge completed our day, and in doing so we also crossed off almost all of Dublin’s don’t miss sights. There was still one little place, or perhaps we should say people left to see, leprechauns, and Irish luck was with us, because we would take care of that top o’ the next morning at the National Leprechaun Museum.

That would make us lucky – and charmed.

David & Veronica,

Where we stayed: The uber-sleek and in-the-thick-of-it-all Morrison Hotel!The Morrison Hotel in Dublin, Ireland

See all of our adventures in Ireland!

A big thank you to for providing this lucky adventure. As always, all opinions are our own.

YOUR TURN: Where would be your first stop in Dublin? What did we miss that we should see the next time we go?

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29 thoughts on “Doing Dublin in Double Time”

  1. I got keen on Guinness when I was told to drink it when I was pregnant and anaemic, so apparently it’s good for you if you don’t drink too much!

  2. So great to see how you packed a quick trip into such a great city. The line to the Guinness Factory was around the block when we visited, so decided to just stay on the hop on-hop off bus and get an overview. now I’ve had the chance to visit vicariously with you both and see what I missed. I can’t wait to go back!

  3. Everyone says how great Dublin is and now I can see why. There’s so much to see. When I saw the headline, “Tart With The Cart”, I actually thought you had made that up!

  4. Wow! You sure covered a lot of Dublin in one day. The post makes me want to go. I am not a fan of Guinness, but I think a visit to the brewery would still be high on the list of things to see.

  5. Looks like you made great use of your time. I’ve been to Dublin twice, each time for just a couple of days, so I ran around trying to take in as much as possible and there’s still more to see. You got the full experience over at Guinness. Great spot and a must-see. I didn’t know the history of Guinness Book of World Records. Interesting.

  6. Wow, you did a lot in one day in Dublin! I too had just a short time for a visit but vowed to return to explore more of the pub fare. I thought O’Neill’s had a great selection of hearty food – plus all those beers on tap. Looks like you enjoyed it too.

  7. Gosh – there’s so much to Ireland, obviously!
    I am British but have never ventured over the sea to the Emerald Isle. I shall have to make the effort!
    Thanks for sharing this and giving me food for thought.

  8. Ireland is wonderful! It is beautiful, yes, & historic & literary, and the food is great, too, but it was the PEOPLE that made it so grand! It looks like you truly had a blast! I was there in 1981 and dream of returning so I can see a good friend I used to tend bar with- AND do the “Irish Whiskey Trail”! 🙂 (PS- My favorite Guinness is Lulu- check out her handbags & you’ll see why!)

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