When Ryanair opened a Glasgow International-Dublin flight and decided to price it at £20 for the return trip, I knew I had no other option than to hop on it.
This was my second visit to Dublin (first in 2012). As I had done all the touristy bits that time (Guinness Storehouse, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College and the Book of Kells…), I decided to just go with the flow. Here are my week-end highlights and recommendations for any impromptu Dublin city-break.
Visit the Google offices.
Seriously, do. They boast the highest building of the city (13 storey, people, get excited!) and a true corporate Disneyland. So much that I find amazing how employees can focus on their job rather than play and eat all day. I guess the excitement progressively wears out. Mine did not!
In Google European Headquarters, you’ll find: kitchens filled with amazing snacks, fruits, cakes and drinks on every floor; toys scattered all over the open-floors (Nerf guns among others); cosy, colourful and super techy meeting rooms and booths everywhere; massive social spaces for drinks and events; a restaurant with free international food for breakfast, lunch and dinner – you heard me – a doctor; massage room and post office…oh and let’s not forget a swimming pool and hyper-equipped gym. I might have hyperventilated, then. All of this with a pretty cool view over the city (rain included in the package).
I think I would be incapable of working there for sheer focus issues, but I utterly enjoyed the visit!
Having an aimless walk in a city and following the streets to wherever they want to lead you (with the help of your friend Google Maps, let’s not push the adventure too far) is sometimes the best way to discover a city. Get off the beaten tracks and forget about tourist guides, you will see lovely things in Dublin, among which the famous Dublin doors.
Eat, drink, rave, repeat.
And last but not least, the food review! If you fancy a lovely brunch by the docks, go to Herbstreet and try their mushroom-loaded toast. For a chill evening of wine sampling and elegant dining, discover the Dublin Wine Rooms in the financial district. In the mood for a wild party at the heart of Grafton street? Hit Lillie’s Bordello. And try to find your way back home. On the next day, have a recovery brunch at Avoca on Suffolk Street (picture below). Then, meander in their shop for an hour, have a very long walk and refuel with an espresso from 3FE Coffee. You’ve just won the hipster badge. And just because, top it up with a quite decent plate of maki and gyoza from Musashi. Once you have done this and, if need be, had a look at my reviews of these places on Yelp, have a small food coma on the plane back home…
…and give a big thank you to your host for showing you a fantastic time and to your Irish flatmate for being the perfect partner in crime.
Until next time, Ireland!