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DUBLIN FOR BOOK LOVERS – Guest blog

“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works” (Oscar Wilde)

This blog was written by Lydia R. from Spain, a guest at Abigails Hostel in May ’16

As everybody should know, Dublin is more than just the Guinness Storehouse, Temple Bar and St Patrick’s Day. It’s true, the city distils beer in every corner, and the spirit of Temple Bar is everywhere, but this stunning place is home to of the some of the greatest writers of all time, and of course, there’s plenty of amazing things to do around books and writers.

I’m a big fan Oscar Wilde, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to go to this amazing city, I needed a picture with the statue of Wilde placed in Merrion Square (right in front of his former house) and I got it! But that was just the starting point. Talking about statues, Dublin has more than 50 of them, some of them dedicated to famous writers such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Tom Kettle or James Clarence Mangan just to mention a few.

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But it’s not only the statues that are great in this city, some of its bookshops are, of course, stunning. For me, the very first one of them is Chapters (Parnell Street), a really big bookshop where you can find any contemporary novel as well as any classic with absolutely amazing covers. Occasionally you will find bargains on classic (and no so classic) books with fantastic editions. I found a copy of King Arthur made with red leather cover and silver pages for just 10 euros! But that’s not everything, on the second floor you will find second hand books, which is an amazing thing. I love second hand books, they have something special, even a special smell… they’re just great (and cheap!)

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The second bookshop I would like to mention is Hodges Figgis (56-58 Dawson St), also mentioned in Ulysses by James Joyce. It is probably the most famous bookshop in the city and let’s be honest, it deserves the title. Four floors with all kind of books, and special sections for the Irish writers (I saw editions of Wilde that I didn’t even know existed!) Very wide and spacious and very nice staff. A total “must” on your literature trip!

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And how can I forget about the Writers Museum? This place, located in Parnell St, occupies an original 18th-century house and is devoted to individuals like James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats and Patrick Pearse. It functions as a place where people can come from Dublin, Ireland and abroad to experience the phenomenon of Irish writing both as history and as actuality.

Aaaaaaaaaand let’s not forget about The Book of Kells! Located in the Old Library of Trinity College, (a place where famous writers studied by the way) the whole building is the largest library in Ireland, and there we can find the Book of Kells (an illustrated manuscript made by Irish monks circa year 800 and also known as “The Book of Columba” which contains the four gospels of the New Testament). After this incredible book, in the next room, you can find the access to “The Long Room”, with nearly 65 metres in length, it is filled with 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books and is one of the most impressive libraries in the world!! A total must for book lovers…and for anyone! The smell of old books and the silences is simply amazing…

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But not everything related to books are bookshops, statues and museums. There’s also literary pubs! As The Winding Stair (40 Lower Ormond Quay) has a little bookshop and a restaurant with amazing views over the River Liffey.

Brazen Head (20 Lower Bridge St)

Rumour has it that the author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift, made this spot his local. Swift was also Dean of the nearby Christchurch Cathedral and so he didn’t have far to walk home after a beer or two. Legend also suggests that Robin Hood crossed the threshold here …

Davy Byrne’s (21 Duke St)

Joyce couldn’t write a book based on Dublin without including a pub, right?
“He entered Davy Byrnes. Moral Pub. He doesn’t chat. Stands a drink now and then. But in a leap year one if four. Cashed a cheque for me once” (Joyce, Ulysses, 1922).

Palace Bar (21 Fleet St)

The mother of all Dublin’s literary drinking dens is the Palace Bar on Fleet Street. Being Pre-Victorian, it has a different feel to many of the other Dublin pubs. Writers have been drinking here since 1843, including Flann O’Brien, Brendan Behan and Paddy Kavanagh.

Toners (139 Baggot Street Lower)

Legend says that Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, was a frequent client of this pub. No less, no more …!

Bachelor Inn/Poets Corner (31 Bachelors Walk)

I must confess, I didn’t go in, but the exterior was simple amazing. And I guess the interior will be as good as the facade!

Bachelor Inn

All this is just a few of the amazing things you can find in Dublin if you are a book lover! And as a bonus… I will give you another personal recommendation about a store that maybe some of you already know, because it has stores all over UK and Ireland:

Forbidden Planet

This store is not just a bookshop (actually it’s not a bookshop at all) but you can find some pretty awesome things as I did (an illustrated version of the life of James Joyce) among all kind of comics, graphic novels, toys and a whole world of amazing things for geeks, nerds and whatever you call the people who love science fiction, fantasy and good stories like I do. Behold! And prepare your wallet because I guarantee you if you like these kinds of things, this place is simply heaven…

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And finally some of my new acquisitions! Irish gift shops… best thing ever!

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Hope to see you again soon, Ireland!

Cliffs of Moher Day Tour – Guest Blog

This blog was written by Emily Lange, a guest at Abigails Hostel in Feb ’16

Dublin quickly became one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to and certainly holds a special place in my heart now. A friend from back home in Georgia suggested that I stay at Abigails Hostel and I am so happy I listened to her. The staff was so friendly, I made a friend the first three seconds I was in my room, and the location could not possibly get any better.

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There are day tours offered through Abigails, but I had a very tight schedule, as I was only in Dublin for three days. I googled other day tours and found the Cliffs of Moher day tour from the Dublin Tour Company. This tour included stops at Dunguaire Castle/ Kinvara, Corcomroe Abbey, Poulnabrone Dolmen, an Irish pub for lunch (best beef stew ever), Ballyvaughan , and of course the Cliffs of Moher.

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Admission to the Cliffs of Moher is included in the ticket for the whole tour. Once you make it to the cliffs, you have about two hours to explore and go through the visitor center which I highly suggest! There’s even a gift shop where you can purchase traditional Claddagh rings.

My tour guide was a gentleman named Gary and he was absolutely incredible. The whole way to the Cliffs of Moher he pointed out interesting things along the way, shared funny stories, and really made sure that we were enjoying ourselves. He made a point to learn where everyone was from. When I had a chance to talk to him, he said that there was no doubt that I’m Irish. I thought he was talking about my red hair and without me saying anything he said, “And I am not just talking about your hair, even your facial structure is Irish.” That was a first for me, but I’ll take it! My Irish Grandmother would be happy to hear that.

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At the first stop, Dunguaire Castle, I was the first to fall down a hill and make a fool of myself; ladies and gents please wear good shoes and pay attention where you step. It wasn’t long after me that a friend I made almost fell but grabbed onto a branch with thorns- again please be careful! I feel like the castle was the perfect first stop, set on the water it was just absolutely gorgeous.

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Surrounded by rolling hills of green, Corcomroe Abbey was definitely one of my favorite stops of the day. I traveled to Ireland solo and was a little anxious about exploring on my own, but sure enough I even made friends during the day tour. At Corcomroe Abbey we were greeted by some cows at the gate and while we were all gathered watching them, I overheard an American accent and turns out this young lady and I lived an hour from each other down in Florida. Shout out to Ellie, Greg, and Laurie!

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We enjoyed some traditional Irish food together at the pub we stopped at just before reaching the Cliffs of Moher. All I ever heard about the Cliffs of Moher is how incredibly windy it is there, but we had some luck on our side that day because the weather could not have been better considering this is Ireland. Pictures just do not do the Cliffs justice. The scenery throughout the whole journey to and from the Cliffs was just breathtaking.

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I highly recommend this tour to anyone traveling through Ireland quickly. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to see enough during my short time in Ireland; however, this tour gave me a great taste of where some of my roots are from. The Dublin Tour Company’s Cliffs of Moher tour enabled me to see not only the Cliffs, but so much more of Ireland’s beautiful countryside.

If you’d like to read more from Emily you can check out her blog at https://whattimeandconsequencehavemademe.wordpress.com/

Day hike in Wicklow – Guest blog

This blog was written by Mark Zach, a guest at Ashfield Hostel in Feb ’15

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When I think of Ireland, I think of the countryside. The rolling hills, mountains, cliffs peering over the shore, and valleys deep and filled with green fields.  The countryside is as picture perfect as if it’s made just for the movies. As I planned my trip to Dublin, Ireland, there was one thing that I had my heart set on doing, visit the countryside.   My girlfriend and I, both visiting from the United States of America, planned a 3-day trip to Dublin Ireland.  Having heard good things about the Ashfield Hostel, we booked two nights there and were very impressed with the quality of the hostel as well as the coziness. We knew we’d spend time in Dublin, but made sure to set a day aside to visit the Irish countryside.  I booked a tour that would take us through Glenndalough National Park and see sites from films such as Braveheart and P.S. I love you.  As my plane began it’s descent into Dublin airport, I was very excited to spend a whole day on a tour of County Wicklow and Glenndalough National Park.

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Unfortunately, my plans did not end up as expected and I could not make it on the organized tour to the mountains.  We were the only ones booked on the tour for that day and the company therefore canceled that tour.  With some help from the Dublin visitor center though I came up with plan B. With a plane to catch at 7 that night I needed to find a way to get to the mountains and back again by 5 pm.   There is one bus company that takes travelers to the heart of the National Park, but it would not get us back in time to catch our flight to London. We ended up taking a local bus (the 44) from the city centre to its last stop out to the North edge of the Glenndalough National Park.  I spent the hour bus ride watching the scenery change from a busy urban city to quiet, open country.

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The bus dropped me off in Enniskerry, a small village in Wicklow.  The town appears at the crossroads and could be passed if one was to blink. I began my journey towards Glenndalough, hiking along the country roads and bridges.  I was immediately breathless at the beauty of the country of Ireland.  Everything seemed much greener, open, and real.  Off in the distance, I could see the mountains of Wicklow towering over the valleys.  What was nice was that I was able to stop and take as many pictures as I liked not worrying about being rushed onto a tour bus to head to the next stop. Another bonus of doing my own personal Wicklow tour was that I was able to interact with the residents of Enniskerry, exchange greetings and even pet their dogs (I am a dog lover).

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The destination of my hike was the Powers Court Waterfall.  The waterfall is Ireland’s highest waterfall at 121 meters.  Located in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, the waterfall is surrounded by giant redwood trees, native to Northern California.  To get to the waterfall though prepare to do quite a bit of walking. To reach the falls I hiked 6 km. Honestly though the views of the falls were worth the long trek. The waterfall and park can be summed up in one word, breathtaking.  I know it sounds cliché but the waterfall is absolutely too beautiful not to see in person.  Trust me when I say pictures do not do it justice.  Even the pictures that I took did not properly justify the steepness of the cliffs and waterfall. My girlfriend, who made this journey with me, was in awe at the towering slopes. We stopped at the waterfall for an hour taking pictures, interacting with other visitors, and grabbing a snack at the concession stand.  It was definitely a magnificent view worth the long hike and I’d recommend the trip to anyone.

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But all good things must come to an end and so we made our way back to the centre of Enniskerry to catch a bus home.  Although we were more tired than before, our spirits were not diminished at all.  Despite our original disappointment in not going on a bus tour through Wicklow, our own tour proved to be a fulfilling experience.  We certainly hiked more than if we would have been on the bus tour.  We were able to take in our surroundings.  The bus fare cost a fifth of the bus tour ticket, and yet our experience was worth much more. Above all, I didn’t feel like a tourist.  If you are traveling to Dublin I must insist on taking the time to see Wicklow and Glenndalough National Park.   I would definitely consider hiking your own path.  You know never what treasures you will find.

If you’d like to read more of Mark’s writing you can check out his blog at www.aharddayswrite.weebly.com

#Dublín Top 5 consejos (Mini Guía)

Xantal fue una huésped en el hostal Abrahams en enero de 2015 y escribió este blog de huéspedes como una mini guía de Dublin.

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Recientemente hice un viaje relámpago a Dublín. Aunque ya había viajado a Irlanda, tenía muchas cosas aún pendientes para ver y que a lo largo de estas semanas os iré mostrando en el blog.
Este no es el tipo de entradas que acostumbro a escribir, pero creo que si al empezar a montar mi viaje hubiera encontrado un artículo como este me hubiera ahorrado tiempo, dinero y algún que otro dolor de cabeza. Así que sacad vuestra libreta de apuntes y tomad nota.

#1. ¿Cual es la mejor época para encontrar vuelos baratos a Dublín?

Sin lugar a dudas: Invierno, los meses de invierno son los más favorables (económicamente hablando) para viajar al norte y al este de Europa, debido al frío ya que la gente prefiere viajar a lugares más cálidos. Obviamente fuera de las fechas navideñas y antes del 17 de marzo que es la festividad de San Patricio, el santo patrón de Irlanda.
Para buscar mi vuelo yo utilicé: Skyscanner donde también tenéis la opción “cualquier lugar” si no os importa mucho el destino… aunque ahora nos centraremos unicamente en Dublín.
A través de Skyscanner compré los vuelos de ida y vuelta con las dos compañías irlandesas: Aer Lingus y Ryanair (ambas tienen vuelos low cost, de modo que si preferís ir directamente a su web ahí tenéis los enlaces)

*Mini consejo: Cuando voléis a Irlanda recordad sincronizar los relojes, pues hay diferencia horaria de 1 hora menos que en España (dato importante si no queréis perder el vuelo de regreso)

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#2: Del aeropuerto al centro de Dublín (O’Connell street)

Realmente moverse por Dublín es verdaderamente sencillo, hay muchas posibilidades y no resulta excesivamente caro. Desde el aeropuerto (sea la terminal que sea, una queda junto a la otra y se puede ir caminando de la T1 a la T2 en menos de cinco minutos) tenemos tres opciones:

Taxi: Nada más salir del aeropuerto los encontraréis estacionados frente a la puerta. El trayecto hasta el centro puede costar entre los 25 y los 35 euros. Esta es la opción más cara y tarda en llegar más o menos lo mismo que los autobuses directos.

Autobuses Directos: Al salir del aeropuerto, a parte de la hilera de taxis, veréis que hay unas cuantas paradas de autobuses ¡que no cunda el pánico! tan solo hay que tener claro de antemano (para los que no sepáis inglés y os liéis con los paneles informativos) que autobús os sale más a cuenta…

De autobuses directos hay dos: Aircoach (esta es la opción más rápida aunque un poco más cara, tan solo realiza 3 paradas: Drumcondra, O’connell street y Grafton street) el billete cuesta 7€ ida o 12€ ida y vuelta (niños entre 5 y 12 años: 2€ trayecto) y opera las 24h del día (buena opción si vuestro vuelo llega muy de madrugada).
El segundo autobús directo es: Airlink 747 este es el que yo utilicé, pasa con una frecuencia de tiempo de 20 minutos aproximadamente y hace servicio directo hasta O’connell street (tiene unas 6 o 8 paradas pero es bastante rápido) cuesta 6€ ida y 10€ ida y vuelta (niños 3€ ida 5€ ida y vuelta) el 747 solo opera entre las 5:45 (domingos 7:15) hasta las 23:30 horas.

* Mini datos: los autobuses directos tardan entre 25 y 30 minutos en llegar al centro, el autobús Airlink 747 tiene señal wi-fi gratuita.
Si os alojáis en Lower Gardiner street (más abajo hablo del alojamiento) el 747 para en esta calle, estar atentos a la pantalla informativa ¡la parada queda justo frente a los principales hostels!

Autobuses regulares o urbanos: Esta es sin duda la opción más económica, totalmente recomendable si no tenéis prisa y os apetece ver más calles de la ciudad.
Si os decantáis por esta opción memorizad: 16, 41 y 102 que son las lineas de autobús que operan del aeropuerto al centro. El precio ronda los 2 euros (hay que preguntar al conductor).

* A tener en cuenta: Los autobuses regulares NO DAN CAMBIO, esto es importante que lo tengáis en cuenta, debéis entregar el dinero justo y en efectivo así que llevar moneditas encima, estos autobuses no aceptan equipajes grandes y pesados así que si lleváis toda vuestra casa encima descartar esta opción (mochilas de 40L no suele haber problema)

Para más información sobre las lineas de bus de Dublín: Dublin Bus

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#3: Alojamiento económico

Antes de ponernos a buscar el lugar donde alojarnos durante nuestro viaje a Irlanda tenemos que tener en cuenta el tipo de viaje que vamos a realizar y la duración, ya que eso nos ayudará a encontrar el lugar ideal.
Hay muchísimas opciones de alojamiento en toda Irlanda… realmente bajo mi punto de vista es el lugar ideal para mochileros y estudiantes que necesiten moverse con frecuencia y encontrar lugares donde dormir seguros y sobretodo: ¡barato!
Descartaré de entrada los Hoteles (que los hay y de todos los gustos) ya que no es el tipo de alojamiento que frecuento y que por supuesto se aleja muchísimo del término “económico”.
Tampoco me centraré (no al menos en este artículo) ni en Couchsurfing ni en Wwoof aunque os dejo los links por si es el tipo de alojamientos que buscáis.
Aquí os hablaré de los B&B (Bed and Breakfast), Guest House (casa de huéspedes) y los Hostels (albergues), pero vamos a lo primero: ¿Cual es la diferencia entre ellos?

B&B: Los famosos bed and breakfast (sobretodo en Irlanda y Reino Unido) son una buenísima opción si pensáis hacer ruta y moveros constantemente de un lado a otro… yo personalmente no me he alojado (aún jeje) en ningún B&B pero según he leído son casas particulares donde pagas por cama y desayuno como bien dice el nombre.
Suele ser económico y hogareño. Y brinda la gran oportunidad de conocer el día a día de una familia nativa.

Guest House: Las casas de huéspedes son similares a los hostales, que acostumbran a ser más humildes que los hoteles. Con la diferencia de que no suele haber ningún encargado de este… pagas por una habitación y normalmente te entregan llave de tu dormitorio y de la entrada al edificio o la casa.
Realmente yo no me he encontrado con este caso (que se supone es el más común) en alguna ocasión me he alojado en una casa de huéspedes y no le he encontrado mucha diferencia a un albergue… (incluyendo el precio).

Hostels (Albergues): Esta es la opción que yo elegí, los albergues o albergues juveniles. Normalmente en los albergues se paga por cama, durmiendo en habitaciones compartidas con más gente (muchos albergues tienen la opción de habitación individual aunque suele ser mucho más cara) y compartiendo ducha y cocina (si el albergue dispone de ella).

Ahora que hemos visto las opciones toca elegir, yo busqué mi alojamiento a través de la web: www.hostels.com donde puedes contrastar la información del alojamiento con la de los clientes que ya han estado allí (algo muy importante para evitar “sustos”).

Después de barajar diferentes opciones, me decanté por el hostel: Abrahams situado en Lower Gardiner street ¡a tan solo 5 minutos andando desde el Spire! (el Spire es el gran palo de acero de 120m que se encuentra en pleno centro de O’connell street).

Se trata de un albergue humilde pero limpio, tiene muy buen ambiente (estaba bastante lleno de gente y eso que he viajado en temporada baja) y el trato de los trabajadores es inmejorable (tienen recepción 24h).
Elegí el Abrahams por la localización, el precio (unos 15 euros por noche en habitación compartida de chicas, con baño dentro de la habitación y desayunos incluidos) y porque el albergue dispone de señal Wi-Fi gratuita para sus huéspedes… además recomiendo que miréis en su pagina web ya que ofrecen descuentos especiales.

*Mini Consejo: ¡En Irlanda los enchufes son diferentes a los de España! en la mayoría de albergues tienen adaptadores a la venta, pero lo que allí te puede costar entre 5 y 7 euros aquí lo puedes comprar por poco más de 3 euros… de modo que si queréis cargar vuestro móvil o la cámara acordaros de meter un adaptador en la mochila… (en el Abrahams cada cama dispone de una repisa con dos conectores usb y dos enchufes, en el caso de que solo uséis usb, en este hostel no es necesario el adaptador)

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#4: Tours

Bien este es un punto más prescindible que los anteriores, pues no es la única opción la de contratar tours guiados para ver Irlanda (mucho menos para ver Dublin), pero si estáis en un caso similar al mio, en el que disponía de escasos cuatro días para ver el máximo de cosas… el contratar algún tour es una buena opción.

A ver, siendo realista, lo mejor es viajar de forma independiente (ahorras dinero y te administras el tiempo como te da la gana) pero por otro lado es mucho más lento que con un tour (a no ser que decidáis alquilar un coche). Cuando lleguéis a Dublín y os hayáis instalado, veréis multitud de empresas que organizan salidas y excursiones de uno o varios días por toda Irlanda… (os aconsejo que no os limitéis a ver solo la ciudad de Dublín sino que vayáis al menos un día a ver “el verde” de Irlanda).

Existe una empresa que se llama: Irlanda en Español que bueno, como indica su nombre, organiza tours y salidas en español. Lo malo es que no hacen salidas todos los días (en mi caso no pude contratar con ellos porque de lunes a jueves no hacían ninguna salida) de modo que si tenéis claro que cuando viajéis a Irlanda queréis un tour mirar las fechas antes incluso de comprar los vuelos.

Como no pude contratar las excursiones en mi idioma nativo por el problema de las fechas, no me quedó otra que contratarlos en inglés (aunque no hay mal que por bien no venga… nunca va mal hacer un poco de inmersión lingüística para mejorar el idioma, que en mi caso es pésimo). Pagué dos tours de un día cada uno, uno al valle de Boyne. Donde se encuentran los principales yacimientos neolíticos celtas como la colina de Tara o la tumba de Loughcrew, y el otro a los acantilados de Moher (bajo mi punto de vista esa es casi una visita obligatoria ¡son impresionantes!).

Ambos tours los contraté con la empresa: Extreme Ireland y realmente he quedado muy contenta, los guías fueron muy atentos y aunque prácticamente no los entendía ofrecían explicaciones de todo (en el caso de no saber ingles estudiaros bien la ruta e ir documentados, ya que el inglés con acento irlandés es mucho más difícil de comprender) muy puntuales, resolución rápida de problemas y buenas recomendaciones para comer (si no queréis gastaros más de 8 euros en comer los días de tour llevad bocadillo en la mochila, ya que a la hora de comer el guía suele llevar al grupo a un pub/restaurante y no suelen haber tiendas cercanas ya que suelen ser pubs de pueblos pequeños. Aunque si no os importa dejaros entre 8 y 15 euros para comer yo recomiendo que probéis la comida irlandesa aunque sea tan solo un día ¡es deliciosa! y las cantidades suelen ser generosas).

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#5: Comida

El último punto de esta mini guía es la comida. Como bien habréis leído o os habrán dicho: Dublín es caro… bueno, esto es una verdad a medias. Sí que es más caro que España, por ejemplo, pero tampoco hasta la exageración. Uno de los productos más caros que he visto en Irlanda es el tabaco (un paquete de Marlboro cuesta unos 10 euros) pero en temas de comida no es extremadamente caro, todo depende donde decidáis comer.

En la mayoría de Pubs que encontraréis en Dublín y en toda Irlanda, suelen hacer comidas y cenas (obviamente más caro que si compras la comida en el supermercado y la haces tu) aquí hay que usar un poco la lógica: un pub situado en Temple Bar (la zona de ocio nocturno más famosa de Dublín) obviamente será mucho más caro que si elegimos un pub en cualquier otra zona de la ciudad (contra más alejado del centro mejor).

En mi caso comí un par de veces en Pubs (ambos recomendados por nuestros guías durante los tours) y la comida fue excelente y tampoco excesivamente cara. El resto de comidas fui variando entre comprar en supermercado (los supermercados Tesco están bien de precio e incluso podéis encontrar algún Lidl) y comidas para llevar (los Spar son una buenísima opción, los hay 24 horas y podéis encontrar platos calientes take away “para llevar”, yo personalmente hacía una visita diaria mañanera para comprar mi cafe late tall “café con leche grande” para llevar) Mc Donalds, Burguer King, Doners Kebabs, Domino’s Pizza… tenéis multitud de restaurantes de comida rápida por todo Dublín, si bien no es la opción más sana a veces por tiempo y dinero son una buena opción.

Sin lugar a dudas, hablando de comida, no podéis abandonar Irlanda sin haber probado la famosa cerveza negra Guinness (que allí no se toma tan fría como aquí, sino un pelín más caliente y más espumosa).

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Espero que esta pequeña guía os sea de ayuda para organizar vuestro viaje a Dublín, si os a gustado no dudéis en compartirla con vuestros amigos y dejarme algún comentario.

 

Para leer más sobre los viajes de Xantal, echa un vistazo a su blog aquí: Mochilera y Artesana

 

4 Places to Find Craft Beer in Dublin – Guest Blog

This blog was written by Ashley Smith, a former guest at Ashfield Hostel and now ex-pat Canadian living in Ireland.

Coming from Canada, craft beer is all the rage.  To admit that you’d rather drink a Molson Canadian than a pint of Barking Squirrel, Mill St, or whatever other craft beer is all the rage at the time, would make you seem like a wildly inexperienced beer drinker.

Although craft beer is a rather new trend sweeping into Ireland, you can still find a handful of great pubs near the city centre that will allow you to drink local and international craft beer.  To name a few…

 

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The Porter House

The obvious first choice, The Porter House has many locations in Dublin including right in the heart of Temple Bar.  Priding themselves as being Ireland’s largest independent Irish Brewery, they have five locations in Ireland, one in London and even one in New York City.  When the Porter House opened its door back in the late 80s, they were a small craft pub fighting in a city built on Guinness, but have been successful at bringing craft beers worldwide into the hands of the local drinkers and tourists.  In addition to the international brews they bring in, they also operate a brewery out of Ballycoolin where they craft a couple handfuls of small-batch brews.  If you love beer you will not be disappointed in The Porter House, plain and simple.

 

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The Black Sheep

Located in Smithfield on Capel Street, just 10 minutes North of the Liffey on foot, is The Black Sheep Gastropub.  They have 23 craft brews on tap with frequent rotations in selections, so you can become a regular and try something new all the time!  They also have an extensive list of bottled craft beers available with choices worldwide as well as plenty of Irish crafted beers.  They have a delicious food menu and a selection of board games, so you really don’t ever have to leave.  I’d suggest the Galway Porter on tap…if you’re asking.

 

Beerhouse

The Beerhouse

Also located on Capel Street in Smithfield is the Beerhouse. They host live music nights, have regular craft beer specials (including a pizza and a pint deal for €10), and an eclectic atmosphere to boot.  With a great selection of Irish and international pints to choose from, you may have trouble deciding which beer is really going to quench your thirst.  The Beerhouse offers Craft Beer Tasting, where you can taste 6 half pints of your choice for around €15.  This is a great place to hit if you’re new to craft beer and want to really dive right in!

 

jw

J.W. Sweetman

If you’re staying at Ashfield or Abigails (possibly reading this right now), then you can walk for about a minute and you’ll be at J.W. Sweetman. Located on Burgh Quay, J.W. Sweetman is the only pub in Dublin with its very own micro-brewery, a fact they are extremely proud of.  You can take a tour or just pop in for a pint.  They offer five beers on tap (fresh from their micro-brewery), a selection of craft bottles from six different countries, and even a selection of craft beer cocktails which sounds weird enough to be great.  If you’re at the hostel and looking to duck out for a quick pint, you know where to go.

Now if Ireland would only import some the fine craft beers from Canada, I would be a truly happy, beer-drinking ex-pat.