I was unsure about going to Dublin. Reviews from other travellers had not been amazing, many online resources sounded a bit blasé and I was simply not sure about what to see there. But, despite my uncertainty, I backed Dublin in the destination negotiations, figuring it was a capital city and therefore must have something going for it. To my delight, I was right.
Having driven the two hour freeway route from the west coast the day before, Dave and I woke bright and early in Dublin, ready for one day of exploring the city. The sun was beaming and the air was warm… a meteorological wonder that we had not really experienced since leaving Australia three months earlier.
The sunshine certainly set the mood for the day; it was a day made for lazing, wandering, meandering, taking our time and soaking up the precious rays. So, with almost three months of continuous travel under our belts, we decided to enjoy a laid back Sunday… in Dublin.
Here is my lazy-day-in-Dublin itinerary.
0700: Wake to rays of sunlight prying through the campervan curtains.
0800: Sit down to a gourmet campervan breakfast in the sun and read about the world of travel. It’s the first morning all trip that it’s warm enough to laze outside over a cup of tea.
1030: Wander over to catch the first bus into the city and realise that it’s not actually 9.30… daylight savings has started and we are an hour late for the bus. (Ooops).
1100: Actually catch the bus to Dublin city centre. It’s €2.60 for a one way ticket from our site, Carmac Valley, a front double decker seat and views of the proud suburban lawns.
12oo: Take a walk from Dame Street, past the impressive Bank of Ireland building on College Green, down through Trinity College, where you can imagine time rewinding between the wise brick buildings and elegant flowering trees.
1230: Meander past the National Gallery, take a quick coffee stop and then stumble across an open-air art gallery around Merrion Square.
1300: Spend an hour or so on the warm grass of St Stephen’s Green, where immaculate spring blooms brighten the day and people sprawl with their lovers and friends.
1400: Find Metro cafe in South William Street and eat their famous chilli bowl with a glass of white and a side of people watching.
1500: Scout the surrounding blocks and end up at a table in the sun with a bottle of wine to share with my fella.
1630ish: Take a wander down Grafton Street, into Temple Bar and down to the Liffey River, giving change to the buskers along the way.
1800: Chow down some tapas in the cool Sweeney’s Mongrel bar in Dame Street, surrounded by local art, a derelict piano and soothing lounge tunes.
1900: Explore more of Dublin’s streets in the amber evening glow.
2000: Return to South William Street for some Moroccan food and live flamenco music at Dada.
2200: Try to retrace our steps to find the last bus back to our campsite.
2330: Wake suddenly on the bus, realising that we are outside our caravan park.
After struggling to remember the gate access, we are mysteriously buzzed in so we can return to Panda for a good night of sleep before driving to Rosslare the next day to take the ferry to Wales.
Tips for travelling to Dublin:
The only campsite open and available in winter was Carmac Valley, which is conveniently located on the M4 and has a 45 minute bus into the city. The down side of this park is the expensive pitches and the need to pay €1.30 per shower.
Dublin is easy to walk. Just grab a free map and go for it! There are a couple of groups that do walking tours of the city, some free (with tips) and some paid for. We passed as one of them was 3.5hrs long (!!!) and another was not starting until the following week.
Know your streets. In our wanderings, I discovered:
- Grafton Street is for buskers and chain stores
- Temple Bar is for more buskers, bars and takeaway food
- Dame Street is the busy commercial street, with City Hall
- The block between Merrion Street Upper and Kildare Street hosts heaps of attractions – museums, galleries, libraries – all good stuff.
Up next, follow me back to Wales to take a walk through the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Brecon Beacons National Park.
A big cheers to Wicked Campers UK for the awesome van (Panda) and for making this trip possible. So many amazing experiences!
Check out Wicked Campers online for hire info, travel stories and more:
16 thoughts on “A lazy spring Sunday in Dublin, Ireland”
I want to go to Dublin! My chief purpose is to see, at long last, the Book of Kells. Lovely pictures!
Oh I did want to see the Book of Kells but the line was far too long given we only had one day in the city. I hoope you get there soon!
The Book of Kells is beautiful. Unfortunately, there are always too many people looking at it at the same time as you are.
I suppose it would be unethical to start yelling “Fire!” when I enter the room to clear it out for a minute… On the one hand, I might get a quick shot of the Book; on the other, I’d be quickly incarcerated.
I once went to an island that got bad reviews. Staying there
I could see why some might not like it – no shopping no movies
no history, but swimming with dolphins and watching the native
periguine falcons dive for fish while I waited to be searved at
it’s one restaurant – and being stabbed in the foot by a cactus
-like bur from hell I later learned, lived no where else in the world.
Taught me sometimes the pleasures of a place can be subtle.
You may neaver know till you get there. I suspect Dublin is lost
in the slew of attractions that surround it – these islands boast
some of the most famous sights in the world – a city can get
over looked because it has nothing you’ve heard of, I went
to Uk on a school trip but Dublin was canceled. Only now am
I slapping my face. Great picture of the pidgeons by the way.
I’de enter it in a contest if I were you. 🙂
I think you are right rastelly – the lack of immediate ‘big ticket’ attractions obscures the subtle delights a place may offer. Dublin is certainly a place with a lot to offer (so much I didn’t see) and a lot of the attraction is in the people and the feel of the streets. Thanks for the comment about the pigeon photo too. I was pretty happy with that one.
Known wonders are worth seeing – but sometimes treasure is
better when you have to dig for it – Thrill of the hunt and all that.
Wow, you’ve made Dublin look so beautiful! I’ve been there, but I was really sick and definitely not appreciating the beauty of the city. You’re pictures have made me interested in going back and trying again! 🙂
I love the photo of the river Liffey with the Ha’penny Bridge.
Thanks for sharing.
No way – did you only spend a day in Dublin???? It’s my favourite city – I was there just a month ago. Not spotted that Pygmalion graffitti – very cool. Some people think the city’s a bit seedy, but I rather like that aspect of it.
Like the way you covered your tour. I have always tended to prefer steering away from the beaten path.
And I thought the pigeon shot was great, too!
as always sunshine, a delight to read and warm my heart. Your words and the personality and feel i get from your blogs sustains me on my present journey
Thank you! So glad you can see me in my words. Thinking of you always! xoxo