Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
In association with JJ Kavanagh & Sons, Ace Travel blogger Timi Ogunyemi has taken his blog “I am Timi” on the road and has come up to Dublin City to rediscover the Capital.
Trails of Ireland has taken me to many countries, but the end of the journey brings me back to my adopted hometown of Dublin City. If you’re coming for a visit, here are 7 offbeat places you absolutely must go to.
Centrally located and full of options the Gibson Hotel is a spectacular place to base your adventures in Dublin and a favorite with locals as well. Step into the 3rd floor bar and restaurant Hemi for a fresh breakfast while you plan your day and come back for a fancy dinner once it’s over. The view of the Docklands around the Liffey River and modern design can’t be beat, and on the mezzanine level you will find a lovely piece of art painted by Findac of Bono and The Edge.
Even those who don’t drink whiskey will enjoy a visit to Teeling’s new distillery for a taste of Dublin history. Located in Newmarket it is the only functioning whiskey distillery in the city of Dublin, making the craft of distilling a true work of art. Visitors can take a tour that includes the history of the Teeling Whiskey family and walks you through the distilling process from the grain to the bottle. One of the highlights is “meeting” the three massive copper pot stills that are named Rebecca, Alison and Natalie after Jack Teeling’s daughters.
The inviting Pheonix Cafe is downstairs but most come for the whiskey itself, available through tasting tours, the Bang Bang bar or for purchase in the shop. If you like you can even fill your own bottle right from a hand-selected cask. The new building and stunning decor are a tribute to the rich history this place is bringing back to Dublin, and you can taste it in the whiskey they make.
Croke Park is the fourth largest stadium in Europe and home of the Gaelic Games, sports fans will be delighted to take a tour of this massive structure. You’ll be given access to all the behind the scenes areas, starting in one of the famous dressing rooms. Follow your guide through the access tunnels to the field, stop off in the VIP area and climb all the way up to the very top of Croke Park, 17 stories above the city.
Being up in the “nosebleed seats” of Croke Park may not offer a great view of the game but the 360 degree view of the city from 17 stories up is spectacular. Don’t miss the Etihad Skyline Tour during your visit to the stadium, a unique way to see the city. All the best parts of Dublin are visible, and as you walk around the perimeter your guide will talk you through some of the well-known monuments and buildings. There is even an opportunity to strap into a harness and hang from cables to peer over the lip if you’re brave enough.
Another option is the dusk tour, which allows a great view of the sunset as the city lights come to life, but dress warmly as the temperature drops with the sun.
A Wax Museum is a great way to learn about history while feeling like people from those times (both living and dead) are right in the room with you, and Wax Museum Plus on Dame Street has something for everyone.
In the basement, the history of Ireland is brought to life from the middle ages through to independence with each room narrating stories from the various time periods. One of the favorites is the Chamber of Horrors-even though you know it’s coming, Frankenstein’s monster will still give you a fright! There is a separate area for the kids to play (and their grown-up friends will have fun too).
Brothers Mark and John opened their first location on Patrick Street in 2011 to showcase the best Irish art in all its forms, from canvas to ceramics. With a second location open now in Temple Bar there are plenty of beautiful pieces to choose from, all sold on behalf of the artists and designers from all over the country. A visit to Jam Art Factory will always bring to light something new, whether it’s information about a favourite artist or an up and coming new creation. More than just a gallery, come by for a unique souvenir and stay for a chat with the lads to see the love and appreciation they have put into this project.
Located in Temple Bar next door to the Jam Art Factory. The Pieman Cafe is the perfect place to sit down for an authentic and affordable dinner at the end of your day. If their cheeky slogan “Look into my pies” doesn’t charm you, their chicken and stuffing pie will, along with a side of mash and a generous dose of gravy. Cillian and his team are often away at festivals around the country but their permanent home is here, and the local flavour is evident not only in the food but in the beautiful decor and posters for local music. If you’re a people watcher plan to end your day here so you can sit for a while to watch the wide variety of people that pop in and out, tourists and locals both.
With 52 services daily to Dublin City daily you’ve no excuses to start your adventure with JJ Kavanagh & Sons!