Power Trip: Dublin

Ireland’s capital city offers a lot more than Guinness

February 20, 2018 9:00 am

This is Power Trip, a recurring series on lesser-known but always sophisticated experiences in our favorite cities around the globe.

“Did you go to the Guinness brewery?”

Mention a trip to Dublin, and that’s likely the first question you’ll be asked — and for good cause. The Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate Brewery is the city’s most popular tourist attraction, and taking in 360-degree views from the Gravity Bar on the 7th floor after pouring yourself a pint of the black stuff is not an experience to be missed.

That said, it shouldn’t be the highlight of your trip.

From locally distilled whiskey to a massive tomb that predates Stonehenge, Dublin and the surrounding countryside are full of other top-hole options that have nothing to do with stouts and ales. Below, our guide to navigating the city that has inspired millions of readers to start — and some to even finish — James Joyce’s Ulysses.

STAY: Conrad Dublin
Offering 192 guest rooms and suites with nearly every amenity — and variety of charging outlet — you could ask for, this centrally located Hilton property makes a fine starting point for city adventures both large and small. Stay on site and enjoy traditional afternoon tea or a top-of-the-line cocktail at Lemuel’s Bar and Lounge, head out on one of the many tour offerings the hotel is happy to arrange or lock in a Conrad guest rate at the Royal Dublin Golf Club. And don’t forget to have the hotel’s “Occasional Limerick Butler” Stephen Clare write you a poem for the road.

ALTERNATIVEThe Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin
This five-star boutique hotel puts you close to the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street shopping and also makes travel to many of Dublin’s museums and galleries easy as Shepherd’s Pie.

St. Stephen’s Green Park, about 100 years ago

STROLL: St Stephen’s Green Park
Designed in the Victorian style, this 22-acre park sits prominently in the middle of the city and includes attractions such as a waterfall, waterfowl-stocked ornamental lake, children’s playground and summer concerts. A great place to catch up on your Joyce. Or your Oscar Wilde. Or your George Bernard Shaw. Or your Samuel Beckett. Etc.

RELAX: Iveagh Gardens
Located fairly close to St Stephen’s — if you can find ‘em — the picturesque and pristine Iveagh Gardens are known as Dublin’s “secret garden.” Designed in 1865, the grounds are filled with many of the same statues and landscape features that first made Iveagh Gardens a popular spot for locals to escape for a quiet lunch or moment of reflection.

INSTAGRAM: The River Liffey
Crisscrossed by numerous pedestrian bridges — including the photogenic Ha’penny — the Liffey divides the north and south of the city. Stroll alongside the Liffey while watching some of the most well-fed seagulls in the world fight for scraps or pop into a pub to watch the sun go down (or maybe come up) across the water.

REFUEL: Beshoff Bros Fish & Chips
One of just a handful of this small-scale chain’s locations, the Beshoff Bros in Dublin offers up large portions of one of the area’s most traditional dishes. Served authentically on newspaper with a standard side of mushy peas, the flaky fish goes best with a side of curry sauce.

DAY TRIP: Newgrange
Travel about 30 minutes outside the city to the scenic Boyne Valley and visit a 5,200-year-old tomb that predates Stonehenge. Located beneath a massive, grassy hillock, the cruciform tomb is accessible via a passage that’d make Indiana Jones feel right at home.

BRING A CLOAK: Hill of Tara
One of the largest Celtic monuments in all of Europe, the unforgiving landscape of Tara has a special place in ancient Irish religion and mythology. Stand where 142 High Kings of Ireland stood and touch a sacred stone to see if it starts to scream — meaning you’re next. For a tour, book here.

Located on The Hill of Tara, Maguires serves up local favorites like homemade scones and brown bread along with hearty dishes like Irish beef & Guinness stew and seafood tagliatelle.

Pigs ear (3 images)

SPLURGE: The Pig’s Ear
Set in a Georgian townhouse, The Pig’s Ear uses traditional ingredients to create modern dishes that showcase how far Irish cuisine has come in recent years. Lamb, duck and fish are mainstays on the rotating menu; look out for a progressive take on black pudding as well.

RECHARGE: Christ Church Cathedral
Topped by the most hand-rung bells in the world (19), Christ Church Cathedral and its crypt play home to loads of history and artifacts — including a mummified cat and mouse affectionately known as Tom and Jerry that were pulled from a church organ and preserved for posterity.

Smelling of rich mahogany, this 19th-century Victorian pub has a stellar collection of Irish whiskeys as well as a strong selection of local draught beers. Careful coming down the stairs.

A great place to watch a rugby or football match or strike up a conversation with a flat-capped local, Brogans owns the largest collection of Guinness memorabilia outside the brewery.

CRAFT BEER: Alfie Byrne’s
Part of the Galway Bay Brewery family, Alfie Byrne’s has an extensive craft beer list featuring suds from brewers like Thornbridge, 12 Acres and Trouble, as well as a number of selections from Galway Bay. TVs, pool tables and high-end pub fare round out the experience.


Teeling Whiskey Distillery Tour
: Learn how the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years rose to prominence and sample Teeling’s signature whiskies. Fresh, fun and family-owned, Teeling is starting to become more prevalent in the U.S., so get ahead of the pack by sampling their wares.

Coburg Brasserie: Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner made from local ingredients, chef Dmitry Stroykov’s menu is highlighted by seafood bouillabaisse, roaring water bay rope mussels and lobster and prawn ravioli.

National Concert Hall: You’ll have to check the schedule, but this historic hall plays host to an eclectic array of acts, performers and shows that’ll almost always make for a good night out.

British Isle Legacy Cruise Visiting Reykjavik: It’d require some additional planning, but hopping aboard Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity is one a helluva way to show up to Reykjavik in style.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.