When my mom found out she was going to Dublin, Ireland for work, she asked me if Dublin was on my “list” of places to go. Ireland in itself was, so I started my research. When I first looked at costs, I found round-trip flights for 80$ – now they were up to almost 400; I was losing hope of visiting at that time. I finally thought, why not two different airports – both with easy public transport?! I found flights to Dublin from Cologne, Germany, and found flights leaving Dublin into Amsterdam, Netherlands. Little more complicated than I usually like when I start a trip, but to save that much money, I’d make due. Round trip it was 500€ total – then add the car rental. Still more expensive than I would usually spend, but I was realizing Ireland was not a “cheap” travel destination.
Getting to the Cologne Airport by train by Geilenkirchen is easy; went fast. Transfers were easy and uncomplicated, thank goodness. Airport was easy and uncrowded, and we got through security fast. I was getting excited!
Little (okay, massive!) snaffu in Dublin with our car rental when our Canadian Tire Mastercard Card was cancelled without the company telling us. Made for an extremely shitty night, but had pizza for supper, which was excellent, and excitement to see my parents the next day was nice. We all woke up fairly early and had coffee from the gas station across the street and donuts for the kids. We went back to our room and waited for my parents. From our room we could see the airport runway and kids could watch the planes land. I said at one point “hey, maybe you’ll see a Canada plane, keep looking”, to which Tyler answered, “Mom, I just saw one!”. A couple seconds later I get a text from my mom saying “we landed”. Kids were very excited later when they found out the plane they saw was my parents. Of course, as per my normal-ness, I did not tell the kids we were meeting anyone, so they were extremely surprised when I told them to “go open the door”. After lots of hugs and kisses, we started our day. Kids all got into my parent’s rental, so John and I had a nice peaceful, scary, drive downtown lol
We found the Hard Rock Cafe because we were starving, and it was so good. Next we just went to walk around. The Dublin Pass may have been worth it if we had gotten there earlier, but since the pass is for the day itself, and not a 24hr period, it wasn’t worth it. Honestly, to tell you the truth, Dublin itself is just another big city. Sure, the buildings are beautiful, but it just reminded me of any of big town we have been to.
We found the Temple Bar (apparently the most popular pub in Dublin). We took pictures, but we didn’t go in.
We found Molly Malone.
We found the Christ Church Cathedral which was really nice. My parents took the kids to play at the small park outside while we took pictures.
We found the castle.
My dad and my hubby became Game of Thrones heads – try to find them!
Jameson Distillery Bow St.
We were at the end of our day, and had the choice between the Guiness Brewery or the Jameson Whiskey Brewery. We decided because of where we were, the Jameson one would be best (don’t worry, we did the Guiness the next day 😉). You have to go in the Group Tours entrance, which seems weird, but that’s the one.
It was 20€ per adult, each kid free. That included a free Grog drink – either before or after your tour. We decided to have it before. Grog is a mix of Jameson Whiskey and Ginger Ale. The kids all got their own – minus the Jameson. They liked being included! The drink was delicious; you couldn’t even tell there was alcohol in it.
We were sent upstairs to look around at the Jameson photos on the walls while waiting for our tour to start. N was enjoying his drink!
We were brought into an interactive room where we were explained the Jameson history. We were then brought into a room and got to see / feel / smell all the ingredients on how Jameson is made – it was pretty cool to see the difference.
Next was the best part – the tasting. They had laid our in front of you an American Whiskey, a Scotch Whiskey, and of course a Jameson Whiskey – to show you the difference in each. There was also a glass of water to rinse your mouth between each. The American one was Jack Daniels, and I cannot remember what the Scotch one was. I gotta say though, for not being a straight whiskey drinker, Jameson was DELICIOUS! I really enjoyed it. Everyone was giving me their leftovers, so I was “happy” at the end of it lol
We were able to walk around a bit before heading off. Gift shop was a little more expensive than we were hoping for, so we didn’t buy a whole lot. Was a little short for what we thought in general, but we had fun.
This place was seriously 100% worth it despite the 25€ price. I am usually one to avoid a price of an attraction like that, but this was awesome! Kids under 13 are free too, so that certainly helps.
I read online line-ups are absolutely crazy for getting tickets and to buy online – we didn’t buy online, but had no trouble getting tickets. The tour is self-guided, starting literally at explaining barley and hops. The tour even had a waterfall showing the water they use; it was cool.
There was a ton of interaction for the kids, they never got bored!
With our ticket price, we got a drink included. You were either able to choose your own three flavors in a taster size, get one poured for you, or learn to pour your own. We (hubbby, my dad, and myself) 100% chose to pour our own, while my mom used hers for the three tasters.
The line to pour your own wasn’t actually as long as I was expecting it to be; I guess most people just wanted to have their own poured and sit back and relax.
So it takes two minutes to pour a glass of Guinness; crazy right? so you pour it up almost to the top, then sit it down and wait two minutes for the beer to sit. Once it has settled, you top it up. So the lady “teaching” us to pour told everyone when topping it to to “be generous”. I was the only one who was a little too generous.. See photo below. That really was a lot of fun.
We took our drinks out into the main room to finish our beers – and take pics of course!
We realized after we started walking around that there was a sign on the wall saying that one glass of Guinness has 196 calories – oops. Oh well, no regrets here!
From here we started heading slowly towards the exit (stopping at the panoramic view of Dublin).
I had always heard such great things about this brewery, and it exceeded every expectation I had!!
After this we were done and started heading towards the cars. This was seriously a great time! We were now done in Dublin, and onto our next adventure – starting with a four hour drive to our hotel!!