Help me plan a weekend in Dublin, please.

So, I’ve just been introduced to the concept of a “mileage run,” an end-of-the-year trip taken for the purpose of accumulating enough air miles to maintain or elevate one’s status with a particular airline. Not quite as frivolous as it first sounds if one travels a lot for business as my wife does. When you consider the upgrades and such that come with elite status, it can actually make some sense.

So, AA has some reasonable deals to Europe, and we’ve decided to go to Dublin next weekend. We’ll arrive at about 9AM on Saturday the 7th, and take off again on Monday morning the 9th around 10. I know, I know, not a lot of time, but there it is.

Here are the qualifiers:
[ul]
[li]We’re in our mid-40s and fairly adventurous.[/li][li]We tend to be independent kind of travelers; we generally eschew packaged tours and overly commercial touristy-type stuff unless there’s some compelling reason to engage in that sort of thing. [/li][li]We’re not real big on museums unless, again, there’s something particularly noteworthy to see (for example, I think I’m going to have to go see the Book of Kells). [/li][li]We’re big on local flavor; I’d much rather sit in an unassuming local pub than get a Hard Rock Dublin t-shirt. [/li][li]We like to walk, and we like to get some sense of local history (we’re big fans of the various London Walks, for example). [/li][li]We seem to find ourselves gravitating to churches, the older the better.[/li][/ul]

In seeming contradiction to the second point above, the only definite at the moment is a visit to the Guinness brewery. I know that it will be designed to separate me from as many Euros as possible, but come on - it’s Guinness.

We’ll want to stay in the City Centre. Our preference would be either an upscale hotel or a nice B&B. I’m finding some rooms at the Westin for ~US$210/night for that weekend; this will be my bench mark. Equally nice (or nicer) for that price or less is what I’m looking for.

Pub suggestions? I’d rather stay away from the superpubs. Good pub food is a plus, a welcoming atmosphere even better. I’d like to go someplace with traditional music one of the evenings we’re there.

How about restaurant suggestions? I know there’s been a movement in Ireland to feature high-quality local ingredients; that’s the kind of place we’d like to go. I can get Italian and Indian food in Chicago - I’d like to see what chefs are doing with Irish food in Ireland.

So, that being said, any and all suggestions are welcome. Again, it’s a quick trip, so I don’t expect to see everything, but I’d like to get a sense of what Dublin is, if that makes any sense.

The only pub I ever recommend any more in Dublin City Centre is Grogan’s on South William Street. It is a quiet pub, ie no piped music, and also doubles as an art gallery. A nice, mixed crowd and lovely staff.

For a church with an interesting quirk try St. Michan’s on funnily enough Church St. just on the north side of the Liffey near the centre of town. It has mummies in its crypt, a number of people preserved by the local peculiarities of atmosphere. The Tour costs about €3 and the guide alone is worth the money, he is somewhat eccentric.

You’ll definitely want to stay away from the Temple Bar. For trad music, the Cobblestone is the classic, although in my experiences it can get a bit packed with 20-something American tourists clutching copies of Ulysses; O’Donoghue’s on Merrion Row is the next best.

The Book of Kells is definitely worth it – the ticket includes seeing the book itself, lots of actually interesting historical context, and entry into the Long Room, which might actually be the best part.

Went a couple of months ago, (waves to** An Gadai** and jjimm.) Grogan’s is a great pub, and I’d definitely go along in Temple Bar and O’Connell St.

Public transportation is the way to go.

Jameson’s is supposed to be a much better tour than Guinness’, but I personally went on neither, so not much help.

Loved Ireland, would go back again.

Have fun!

I think you mean Yojimbo not jjimm.

Ooh, Jameson’s, too? Man, there’s an awful lot to pack into 48 hours.

Is there a particularly good newspaper or similar publication to look for when I get there that would clue me into music and other events for the weekend? Something like the Chicago Reader of the Village Voice?

Well there’s The Dubliner which costs a couple of euro and InDublin, a freesheet more like Chi-Reader you can pick up in restaurants and pubs around the city. Also worth checking out is http://www.entertainment.ie

If ye need a guide for pubs etc. on Saturday evening I’m usually about the city centre anyway :wink: .

Thanks for the links. I may take you up on the offer; I’ll PM you before we head over the pond.

Seconding the Book of Kells, and especially the Long Room. My mind was blown!
I loooooved Dublin when I was there last year. Take me too, please!:slight_smile:

Turns out my wife had enough Hilton points to put us up at the Conrad for the trip. Sweet!

SecondJudith, would I be correct in assuming that the Joyce-wielding 20-somethings at the Cobblestone would be fewer on Sunday night than on Saturday night? I was thinking we’d reserve Saturday night for general pub-going and maybe one of the “Haunted Dublin”-type walks, and seek out music Sunday night.

Plan

Friday night:

Arrive, check in to hotel.
Relaxation time.

Saturday:

Book of Kells
Trinity College
Dublin Castle
Guinness Brewery
Joycean literary tour

Actuality

Friday night:

Arrive, check into hotel.
Go out “for one pint”.
Have another one.
Ah go on, you will.
You’re my best mate.
Will we just have one more?

Saturday:

3am - stagger back to hotel.
Coma.
Miss breakfast.
Wake up.
Have huge greasy lunch.
Go back to hotel to sleep it off.
Pub again! Yay!!!

That seems entirely likely! Sunday nights generally get better-quality musicians out anyway, as they know they won’t have to try to play over hen and stag nights and the pre-club crowd.

Probably not too far off, except that we’re not getting in until Saturday morning. :slight_smile:

My rough framework of a plan is to drop our bags at the hotel, then head off on a walk through the city. We’ll probably do the Book of Kells/Long Room on that walk. Later in the afternoon I was thinking of either one of the literary walks, or something more self-guided (the Lonely Planet guide I picked up has some well-mapped walking tours). In the evening, start with a Haunted Dublin walk/pub crawl, which will probably morph into your evening itinerary as noted above.

I think I’ll save the Guinness tour for Sunday; our feet will likely be somewhat tired from Saturdays wanderings. Then find some good music for Sunday night’s festivities.

In actuality, we’ll stop somewhere for a pint during on of our Saturday walks, strike up a conversation with someone, spend more time there than planned, skip the rest of our “itinerary” for the day, and just roll with it. That’s generally how our explorations of new locales go.

If you have to drop just one thing, lose the Guinness brewery. It’s pretentious wank, and the only good bits (IMO) are the advertising section, and the view from the bar at the top.

An Gadai, all you Irish guys look alike…

I agree with jjimm on the Guinness tour, although I did like the really historical stuff. Otherwise, it is waste of time. St. Michan’s on the other hand, was the best thing I saw in Dublin… (other than the three U2 shows). Temple Bar sucked.

I’m English.

I think this might be a reference to the fact I met **Fisha **in Dublin during the summer.

So, we’ve now established not only do I not know who I know, but I have no idea where I am, either. Yet, I still think I should give other people advice.

Cool.

Oh, I thought it was the me/yojimbo mixup. I’ll shut up now.