We set up home base in Dublin at the Staycity Serviced Apartments - Christchurch, and I highly recommend it! So nice to have our own apartment instead of a small hotel room, but still have a front desk to bother with questions. We had booked a one bedroom flat, but somehow got upgraded to a two bedroom corner apartment on the top floor with a huge living/dining room.
Plus, great views. This is what I went to bed to every night (note, it's 10:30pm in this picture. I don't think the sun ever really goes down. It was light whenever I was awake):
If you book with them, just know that while this is how most sites show the building (side note: that top row of windows is our flat):
this is where you enter, and where a taxi will drop you off:
Even though we were exhausted and unrested after our red eye flight, after we settled in a bit we went out exploring! This was our only day without a planned tour, so we wanted to see as much of Dublin as we could in a day. One of the great things about the Staycity location was that it was a 15-20 minute walk to just about every major tourist attraction in the city! And true to it's name, Christchurch is right next door to the building.
So we headed out towards Trinity College. On our way, we just happened to walk by a freakin castle. I mean, in how many cities can you be walking down the street, and just accidentally go by a castle from the 1700s?
Once we made it to Trinity College, we decided to spend time exploring everything Dublin has to offer, rather than spend money to take a tour to see the Book of Kells (it's on the list for next time). But we did take a little stroll around the grounds. It was a gorgeous day.
After getting cornered on Grafton Street by a super-friendly guy trying to sell us Japanese Horoscope Scratchers for kids of addicts, we took a little break to walk through the serene St. Stephen's Green, an oasis in the middle of the city. In the midst of all this greenery we learned something unexpected: there are palm trees in Ireland!
After a visit to the library, we grabbed lunch from the PeacockGreen Christchurch.
PeacockGreen was one of our favorite places to grab a bite or some tea/coffee. Cute little place, great atmosphere, and it smelled delicious! I think our only complaint is that they didn't open til 7:30am, so we couldn't stop on our way to our day tours!
After a little rest at the flat, our next goal was to find the Stiletto in the Ghetto. It's real name is The Spire, but from what I understand, most Dubliners hate it. The government spent millions of euros to build this giant 120-meter-tall monument to nothing, so locals have all sorts of colorful names for it. The Stiletto is the one we liked the most.
We wandered around a bit more, seeing the sites on and around O'Connell Street.
We took a stroll over the Ha'penny Bridge on our way home, which wasn't as exciting as I expected it to be. Just a sort-of-cool bridge jam packed with people.
We ended our day with some delicious take away from Umi Falafel
and some Irish gameshows on the TV, resting up for our tour the next morning. It was a long, busy day, but it was a pretty good first day in Ireland!
Have you been to Dublin? What was your favorite thing?
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