Literature and politics.
These are the two themes that permeate Dublin. The city’s legacy includes some of the English language’s greatest writers and the hard fought War of Independence that ended British rule in most of Ireland in 1921.
I wasn’t off the 747 Airport bus (6 Euros) for five minutes before I wandered upon the statue of James Joyce – one of Dublin’s sons of letters. In the mall, Joyce stood alone but that certainly was not the case during his time. Few cities in the world can match the number of fine writers Dublin has, including:
- Samuel Beckett
- George Bernard Shaw
- Jonathan Swift
- W.B Yeats
- Oscar Wilde
Not to mention more recent favorites like Roddy Doyle and Maeve Binchy.
And not a day had passed before I learned of the bullet holes that could still be seen in the General Post Office building where the 1916 rebellion took place.
I went to have a look and spoke with the security guard who was on a smoke break outside.
“Ya, I’m a Derryman. From the bog side…
M’ mother, on her deathbed, told me she was glad I’d never joined the IRA. She didn’t know that my twin brother had.”
He told me of arguments he’d got into with his brother and his brother counting down the seconds on his wrist watch to when a bomb he was party to would go off in the north. Yes, I didn’t have to look far to speak with someone who had a connection with the past.
And now, Dublin on a budget…
Of course, there is much more to Dublin than literature and politics. While I didn’t have much personal time, I was there at the invitation of Hostelworld (I was attending their annual conference), I did enjoy the “best” Guiness in the city at the Stag’s Head and loved wandering Trinity College.
To do Dublin inexpensively, stay at a Hostel. There are many in town. I stayed at Isaac’s Hostel which was very central. While there, check out what’s free. They were offering a free City tour and a free pub crawl when I was there. Also look at what the people at Visit Dublin have to say – they have links to free things to do and more.
And finally, check out these recommendations that members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook gave me before leaving.
Shannon – I actually just moved to Dublin a couple months ago. The Guinness Tour is fun, if a bit touristy. And the Chester Beatty museum in Dublin Castle is free and supposed to be amazing. But of course, the best thing to do in Dublin with a bit a free time is to park yourself in the local pub and chat up some locals. Enjoy my city!
Sandy – Try to get to Avoca on Suffolk St. near the Molly Malone statue. The restaurant at the top is FAB as is the bakery in the basement. Depending on your time for a lunch try to get there by 11:30 to beat the local crowd. my favorite place in Dublin. The woven goods on the first floor are beautiful. The other spot is Cafe en Seine at 39 Dawson street. The most beautiful decor in all of Dublin. Very classy. Both better than any of the tourist sites. Then the national museum on Kildare street is excellent.
Mandy – If you’re a history buff, don’t miss Kilmainham Jail. And there is an excellent restaurant called Farm a short walk from Trinity College. Fresh, fresh food and they can even arrange orders to go.
Christy – Walk the grounds of Trinity College.
Susan – A walk in St. Stephens Green park.
Paul- Kilmainham Gaol….(Google it)…great…then ‘Rashers’ in Sundrive Rd for an Irish grill….Perfect…
Deb – Go to O’Neils and have a pint with a bowl of stew.
Patricia – If you like books, Trinity College Library is a beautiful piece of history.
Michelle – Oh how I LOVED Ireland and Northern Ireland. Dublin’s Writer’s Museum and then a pint @ John Mulligan’s pub (est.1782) 8 Poolbeg St… Noel the barman has worked there 33 years and I chatted with him for hours … ask him the story about what’s in the bottom of the grandfather clock.
Kelley – Trinity college to see the Book of Kells. The National Museum. It’s a real treasure!! Oh and Dax is a fabulous restaurant. City center. Highly recommend!!