Tips for Dublin – Dublin, Ireland

1. Don’t refer to anyone as British.

2. Don’t insult the Guinness. Drink it, instead.

3. If you are put off by the strong flavour of the famous black stout, ask for a dash of blackcurrant in your pint of Guinness. Delicious.

4. Do the Guinness Brewery tour, even if you don’t like it (you can ask for soft drink at the bar at the end, although you realllllly ought to have a pint of Guinness). It’s really cool. There is an exhibition on all the past television ads for Guinness, a lot of them are pure gold.

5. Go see St. Steven’s Green, and Merrion Square. Lie down in the grass and search for four-leaf clovers.

6. Walk down Grafton Street, admire the buskers, push your way through the crowds. Buy expensive clothes (or don’t!).

7. Walk down Henry Street if you want cheaper clothes.

8. If you need clothes/toiletries/sheets/towels, and are on a Backpacker Budget, try Penney’s (O’Connell St, Henry St) or Dunnes Stores (everywhere).

9. Have a good look at the GPO on O’Connell Street. A free slice of history, you can see/touch the bullet holes from the 1916 Easter Uprising.

10. Go to Temple Bar, any night. Don’t let anyone talk you into visiting a nightclub called “Copperface Jacks”, it’s the dodgiest club in Dublin. If you want to get molested by scary old Irish men, maybe try it.

11. Have Irish Stew in a proper old Irish pub.

12. Look for Internet cafes away from the main tourist street. My favourite (and the cheapest!) is near Connelly St. Station, on Talbot Street (ask for directions) – it’s called Cyber-o-rama or something similar (painted yellow, you can’t miss it really) and is only 50c per 30 minutes.

13. Do the Jameson Whiskey tour. Really informative and entertaining. You get a free glass of whiskey at the end. At the start of the tour, they ask for volunteers – wave your hand if you want to be involved in the tasting session following the tour (several free glasses of whiskeys and scotches).

14. Check out the Museum and Art Gallery, and the National Library (free!).

15. Look for “Sli Na Sliante” signs. These are “healthy walks” about the place. In particular, take the Dart train from Dublin city centre to Bray, and walk along the coastal cliff walk to Greystones (you can catch the Dart back to Dublin from here). It’s a gorgeous walk, fairly easy, about 7 kilometers, with gorgeous mountains on one side, and coast/cliffs on the other.

16. If you want to travel outside of Dublin (and you should!) check out prices of buses and trains at www.cie.ie. When travelling to major centres (Cork, Galway, Belfast etc), it is often cheaper to take the Aircoach…a comfortable private coach bus that is often more direct, and cheaper than Bus Eireann.

17. Dublin Castle is overrated.

18. The Book of Kells, and the Long Room at Trinity College are worth a look. However, it is somewhat pricey admission (6.50 euro for a student), and it is always crowded, so if you aren’t that interested, give it a miss and just wander the famous grounds of Trinity instead. You can get a cheap meal at the student cafeteria (just try to look like a student).

19. Get your photo taken with the Molly Malone statue near the top of Grafton Street. (Known as “the tart with the cart” — you’ll see why).

20. If you visit before January 2006, e-mail me and I’ll take you for a pint!

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…20 seems like a lot, so I’ll leave it here. Ask any questions, and if it turns into a decent tip, I’ll post it here. If I think of more, I’ll add.

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