Dublin’s youthful energy is alive and well at the classic Temple Bar. // © littleny / Shutterstock.com
Ireland’s once old-fashioned town has a rich and dark history, but Dublin offers a lively and youthful atmosphere with nearly half of the population under the age of 25. From sipping on the famous local brew to listening to Gaelic folklore, here’s the craic (fun news) in Dublin.
Located in the heart of Dublin, the National Leprechaun Museum (NLM) is dedicated to the history of Irish culture and identity and elaborates on the mystical world of these tiny creatures. The museum itself is divided into 12 chapters that recreate an interactive experience of folklore starting in the eighth century, when the first leprechaun was spotted, up to modern representation of the little tricksters. Tours are available daily from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and evening tours are held on Friday and Saturday nights only from 7:30 – 8 p.m. Prices range from $15 for adults, $13 for students and children (ages 12-15), $10 for young children (ages 3-11) and $4 for children under four years. A family package for two adults and two children is priced at $45. NLM has also teamed up with many of the city’s tour groups and offers packages for the whole family.
A Pint of the “Black Stuff”
A trip to Dublin is not complete until you have set foot in the legendary Guinness Storehouse, where this brand has become a part of both Ireland’s culture and its tourist experience. Each floor of its seven-story, pint shaped interior focuses on different aspects of the brewery, from the choice of ingredients to a showcase of the various advertisement and marketing techniques used throughout the years. On the fourth floor, Guinness Ambassadors will teach you how to pour the perfect pint (I was a natural) to complement classic Irish dishes featured on the fifth floor. The Gravity Bar located on the final floor gives you a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Tours are available from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week. Prices range from $20 for adults to $9 for children. Sláinte (health)!
For more than 160 years, the Temple Bar pub has established itself as an iconic watering hole of the Dublin city center. With its bright crimson walls on the corner of Temple Bar Street, it stands out more than a ginger-topped Leprechaun. This particular bar prides itself on its ability to feature authentic Irish music and culture while still maintaining a modern upkeep, winning multiple awards in 2012 such as Failte Ireland Bar of the Year, Bar Manager of the Year and Irish Music Pub of the Year. And, with more than 100 sandwich options, there’s food for everyone. After enjoying a bite to eat, I recommend exploring the entire Temple Bar District to appease your inner Irish spirit.
Of course there is much more to Ireland than simply Guinness and Leprechauns. Take a cobblestone stroll through the heart of Dublin and soon you’ll be at the doorstep of Trinity College. Tours of the campus range from $7-14, which include access to the legendary Old Library, home to the “Book of Kells.” This manuscript dates back to the ninth century and contains the opening words of the Gospel According to Matthew. The library’s Long Room, lined with marble busts of the famous men connected with Trinity, houses around 200,000 of its oldest books in huge oak bookcases — a book worm’s paradise. Temporary exhibitions are also held among the stacks.