When in Ireland, do as the Irish do. This can be taken in a number of ways, but one of the stereotypical activities that ever travel applies to the land of clovers and leprechauns is a visit to one of the local pubs. There are uncountable establishments in the city, but Kehoe’s stands out as one of the oldest and most beloved, despite the claustrophobic toilets (if you’re afraid of tight spaces, you might want to find another pub) – despite this, the ornate wood décor and friendly staff are happy to offer their own points of view on which beer is the best. It’s also a favorite with locals, and a great way to meet some of the more colorful characters around town.
If the Irish love beer, they also love their rugby. Croke Park, located in the northern suburbs, often hosts tournaments and the occasional friendly match. Usually the staff at any hostel or hotel can give you more information about upcoming games and tickets – but be prepared for rain or shine. In fact, the crowds seem to be even livelier on a wet day, when the players below have to battle not only their opposition but slick mud.
Dublin is also a place of learning, and some of the greatest poets of the twentieth century have had the pleasure of calling this city home. A trip to Trinity College and its long open hallways, long cobbled streets, plethora of trees, and impressive stonework makes one feel as if they’re walking through a Harry Potter movie. The college is also unique in that it offers budget accommodation to travelers by renting out a wing of its on-campus residency – for those who want to experience a bit of the collegiate nostalgia. But it’s hard to argue with the free continental breakfast that’s included. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Book of Kells.
Back to pubs: along the main street you will find a number tailored to locals and tourists alike, but if you’re looking for a bit of quintessential Dublin culture, then the Cobblestone is hard to beat. This stone and mortar pub features music in the downstairs area, where one can always hear the upbeat harmonies of local bands ranging from Irish rock to more traditional ballads.
If you’re smart, you’ll also plan your trip to correspond with St. Patrick’s Day. The March 17th festival takes the storm by town, with drinking and carousing carrying on into the wee hours. Often this is an opportunity for breweries, both local in town and in some of the more rural areas, to test their newest batches out on well-suspecting broods of Dubliners. As the saying goes, on St. Paddy’s Day, everyone is Irish. Just be sure you’re wearing a bit of green.