ask Laura about
fine dining • cocktail bars • pub • museums • hiking • café • local design
What are the Dublin spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Trinity College Dublin is a must-see for its beautiful architecture and impressive history. A famous and worthwhile exhibition to visit is the Book of Kells, including a look inside Trinity's picturesque library. Temple Bar is also an area that a Dublin first-timer can't miss - it's full of pubs, live music, cobblestone streets and Irish charm. Just expect to pay significantly more for food and drink in this part of the city!
Do’s and don’ts in Dublin: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):
Do: Be prepared for any kind of weather as Dublin can go through all 4 seasons in a day - an umbrella and sunglasses are both recommended! Do: Try and walk as much as possible around the city because it's enjoyable and also because public transport is expensive here. We don't have Uber, only the MyTaxi app, so it would be good to download that before arriving. Don't: Get a taxi to and from the airport (unless you have a high budget!) because it'll be expensive and there are many bus options. The blue and orange Aircoach buses go/come very frequently to/from many different places, just check www.aircoach.ie for precise info.
How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?
This really depends on what I'm doing! If I'm going out for dinner and then drinks/dancing, I'd expect to spend about €30-40 on food (2 courses and wine) and then between €8-10 per cocktail or €5-7 per glass of wine. This of course depends on where you are in the city but anywhere central is relatively expensive compared to many other European cities!
Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?
Temple Bar is enjoyable by day or night, there's always something happening, most often live music! Fade Street is a great place to be in the evening as it becomes quite lively and there's a variety of pubs and bars. Smithfield and Stoneybatter are lovely neighbourhoods to enjoy during the day, as there are many cafés and unique boutique shops to try. Ballsbridge is a pleasant area to stroll through during the day, there's some beautiful Georgian architecture to see and the canal to walk along but it's not as lively as the city centre at night.
What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
I would never wander too far over to the north side of the city as unfortunately it can be unsafe and also there's not much to visit very far north of the Liffey river either (north of O'Connell Street and Drumcondra). Fairview is said to be quite a dangerous area so I wouldn't go there. Sandyford isn't somewhere I'd visit either - it's just business parks and residential areas so avoid accommodation here!
What’s the one place in Dublin you think is underrated?
I think The Liberties is an underrated area. It's an area that's undergoing a significant period of change, with the appearance of more and more independent cafés, interesting boutiques and a variety of food options. It's on the way to the Guinness Storehouse too and is very near the Liffey River so it's great to walk to from the city centre.
Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Dublin?
To any fast food restaurant that offers a spice bag (a mixture of chicken, chips and various spices all mixed together that I only discovered when I moved to Dublin) - the perfect comfort! Most kebab shops/fish and chip shops open late will sell spice bags.
It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?
Step into a pub and grab a pint or an Irish coffee, you won't feel like you're wasting your day, as this in itself is quintessentially Irish!
Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?
To Trinity College Dublin and Temple Bar in the city centre. Outside of the city, I'd always want to take them to Howth, Bray or Dún Laoghaire (and make them guess how to pronounce this place's name!).
Your go-to brunch spots:
Herb Street in Grand Canal Dock has brilliant pancakes and a renowned brunch reputation. Sophie's on Harcourt Street is also a lovely, more central spot with great views over the city. Both places have varied menus so there'll be something for everyone.
Your perfect night out in Dublin includes:
Pre-drinks (somewhere like The Liquor Rooms), a perfect dance spot (like Xico) and then a cheeky stop off for a spice bag (spiced chicken and chips available from most local fast food restaurants) on the way home!
Special views that mainstream tourists don't know about:
Sophie's restaurant in the city centre is one of Dublin's only view-offering eating spots. For an outdoor activity that offers spectacular views, head to the Bray Head Cliff Walk for stunning, rugged coastal scenery.
Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:
Bunsen - delicious burgers that aren't too expensive and a simple menu that won't take you ages to choose from!
Tomorrow’s your last day in Dublin. How do you spend it?
Going to Howth to walk around the marina, go seal-spotting and eat fresh seafood. Dublin's city centre is amazing but what makes this city truly special is its proximity to the sea - getting out and breathing that fresh sea air and eating all kinds of seafood is what will create lasting memories of a visit to Ireland.
You’re meeting the mayor of Dublin - what constructive criticism would you give them?
Easy and comprehensive transport links between different areas. Public transport in Dublin is expensive, often overcrowded and not very well connected if you're going anywhere outside of Dublin 2 (the very heart of the city).