It’s the ideal winter getaway – shopping, sightseeing and lots of Irish singing…
It’s an early start out of Doncaster-Sheffield Airport – the cheapest flights usually depart before at 7am. But there’s a Wetherspoon bar and restaurant serving coffee and breakfast to fuel you for the flight…
Leave the airport and take the airbus to the hotel – it’s six euros and stops at all of the major tourist destinations.
I stayed at the newly built Gibson Hotel at Dublin Docklands.
Chic and contemporary, the glass hotel sits straight outside the 3 Arena and is just a 15 minute stroll along the river to the city centre (or a ten minute ride from the tram stop right outside).
The double rooms have all of the little luxuries you’d expect from a four star hotel – robes and slippers, complimentary toiletries, 24 access to the on-site gym and a relaxation area with heated Japanese spa tubs out on the balcony.
A swish buffet breakfast is served in the Coda restaurant – which also serves European dishes for lunch and dinner; but I opted for an evening in the Hemi Demi Thai bar and restaurant. The third floor intimate venue has a relaxed atmosphere and boasts an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a cocktail or two after your meal.
A visit to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a Guinness and a jig in Temple Bar. Must-visits include: Oliver St. John Gogartys, The Temple Bar and The Auld Dubliner. Expect live music and stag and hen parties dressed as leprechauns on the dance floor.
If you’re looking for somewhere traditional or typically Irish to dine in Temple Bar, visit The Boxty House – serving up famous Irish pancakes and stews.
But if you’ve overindulged on Guinness, enjoy a detox brunch at PogFroyo just off O’Connell Bridge. I opted for a Healthy Belly juice and avocado toast. The menu details the nutritional value of every dish. It’s a dream for those who want to eat clean.
Dublin is known for it’s many bridges. If you take a left out of PogFroyo, its one straight pathway along the River Liffey back to The Gibson Hotel, with plenty of selfie spots along the way.
I braved the Black Friday rush to start my Christmas shopping at Dublin One.
You’ll find all of the big High Street names at Dublin One and O’Connell Street, then just across the river at Temple Bar you’ll find more hidden treasures – food markets and independent boutiques. My favourite find was Folkster – for fashion and home.
If you’re ready to rest your feet, stop off at The Woolen Mills on the riverbank.
Overlooking Ha’penny Bridge, the cafe/restaurant serves up the best scones I’ve ever tasted. Go indulge!
If it’s your first time in Dublin, there’s plenty of tourist attractions worth a visit too – from the Guinness Factory to the Zoo and Dublin Castle. Check out Visit Dublin for more insider tips.