24-Hour Layover: Dublin in a Day
Filed Under: IrelandDublin offers much more than stereotypical Ireland. True, Dublin’s known as the home of fiddle music and St. Patrick’s Day. True, it rains more than a third of the year. True, bartenders pour more pints of Guinness than any other drink. But you can also listen to tin whistle performances on Grafton Street, watch rugby or Gaelic football (the highlight of Irish sports), or boat under Dublin’s bridges on the River Liffey.
So, skip the whirlwind, hop-on, hop-off tour bus, and check out our 5 must-sees in Dublin that mix food with music, and the touristy with the not-so-touristy.
Dubh Linn Gardens tucked right behind the castle. City planners landscaped the garden over what was once a large pool -- Dublin derives from “Dubh Linn,” meaning “black pool”. Now, you can stroll around to different modern sculptures, relax on a wooden bench, or walk the main gravel path that etches a large Celtic design into the earth. Dubh Linn Gardens provides a mid-day break from the city buzz. It’s also the perfect sipping spot for a hot cup of to-go Irish breakfast tea from the Chester Beatty Library outside the gardens.
The Book of Kells sits under glass in the dimly lit Treasury room, inside the Old Library at Trinity College, one of Dublin’s oldest universities, founded in 1592. Ninth-century monks wrote the ornate Gospel manuscript in Latin and illustrated it in color. To see the manuscript and visit the Old Library, walk across the center quad of Trinity’s tranquil campus and enter the Treasury via the library shop. You’ll see the Book of Kells “Turning Darkness into Light" exhibition. It’s on display 7 days a week. Trinity College staff monitor the exhibition and turn the pages every so often so as not to let light ruin the fragile paper. Don’t miss the upstairs’ Long Room, which holds 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books in massive oak bookcases. During summer visits, you can take a 30-minute guided tour with one of Trinity’s students.
brewpub (circa 1996) mostly pulls pints of its own beer. It also sells Ireland’s largest selection of world beers, but opt for an in-house brew and you won’t regret it. Sit down at one of the thick wooden tables below the wood- paneled ceiling, or a wooden stool along the bar. Porterhouse brews its stouts, lagers and ales in small batches without added chemicals, producing Dublin’s best fresh, local, unpasteurized beer. For lighter beer, try the mild Chiller lager, or for darker beer, try the bittersweet Wrasslers XXXX stout. Porterhouse also has live music 7 nights a week, and Temple Bar’s best Irish stew on the stove.
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