Guest Post by: Vanessa Chiasson
Forget everything you think you know about Dublin. This picturesque city, with its Georgian architecture, winding river, and soothing harp music has a decidedly adventurous side to it. If you’re looking for a heart pounding, death defying drive, an adrenalin filled sports excursion, a spine chilling corpse encounter, or the greatest pub crawl of your life, you’ll find it all in the heart of the Irish capital.
Corpses, Coffins, and Cathedrals
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Dublin is famous for literature and folklore, but if you really want to hear some tall tales (and don’t mind if the hairs on the back of your neck stand up) it’s time to hop on the Dublin Ghostbus! This haunted house on wheels will take you to the seedier side of the city, giving you access to things most visitors will never see, all while making your heart beat faster! An abandoned graveyard and a crumbling, condemned church are home to the ghost of a murdered child. A drive past the old medical school offices conjures up a lesson in grave robbing. An after-dark visit to Christchurch Cathedral delights the history buffs – and horror seekers will be deliciously titillated by the tales of what happened in the cloisters.
If you need to soothe your soul after so many other-worldly experiences, head to Church Bar & Restaurant on Jervis Street. This 18thcentury former church is the perfect mix of delicious and deadly!
An Extreme Bar Scene
If you ever envisioned Dublin as a quiet, genteel, tea drinking town, a short cruise through the Temple Bar will soon turn that notion on its head. No area captures Dublin’s young, vibrant, fresh, funky feel quite like the legendary Temple Bar. With a heady mix of narrow cobblestone lanes, legendary pubs, renowned cultural institutions (like the Irish Photography Centre), a budding foodie scene, and a weekly fashion market, Temple Bar is the kind of neighbourhood you can disappear in on Friday and not emerge until Monday.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable night in Temple Bar, here are 5 can’t-miss spots:
- Hub(23 Eustace Street) – A basement bar and live music venue with an intense rock and roll vibe.
- The Porterhouse(16-18 Parliament Street) – The perfect combination of microbrews and hearty traditional Irish food.
- Oliver St John Gogarty(58 Fleet Street) – A touch on the touristy side, but always has a lively atmosphere and great trad music. The property is also home to a hostel, making it the perfect base for those into Dublin’s bar scene.
- Czech Inn(Essex Gate) – Is it sacrilege to drink Czech beer in Dublin? Not at all when the pub features some of the best service in the city.
- Queen of Tarts(Cow’s Lane) – Your hangover recovery starts here, with gourmet breakfasts, delectable baked goods, and plenty of strong coffee to get you back on your feet.
Make a Splash in Dublin Harbour
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If you’ve had your fill of the Dublin pub scene (is that even possible?) you might be craving a different kind of adrenaline. Wakedock Dublin offers wakeboarding lessons in Dublin harbor for those looking to get their heart rate up. Just in case you might be a tad unsteady, their cable pull system (as opposed to speedboat pull) offers a more consistent, stable learning platform. It’s an exhilarating experience and a great way to see a whole new side of the city. Nothing gets your blood flowing quite like a brusque wind, a bright sun, and falling flat on your face a few times! It’s slightly terrifying, somewhat embarrassing, and an incredible amount of fun! Fortunately, the staff are very adept at dealing with amateurs and they’ll have you zipping around in no time.
The Ultimate White Knuckle Ride
If Dublin has set your adrenaline to overdrive, you might be tempted to get out of town and take things down a notch. For a day trip that’s anything but tame, I recommend joining the Wild Wicklow Tour to Glendalough. You’ll get a huge dose of the gorgeous Irish countryside – along with a hair raising, knuckle-whitening ride through the mountains. Narrow country roads, dramatic cliff sides, and huge tour buses make for some stomach churning views and head spinning turns. If the rugged countryside looks familiar, it’s for good reason – a lot of scenes from Braveheart were filmed here! By the time the coach stops for a complimentary nip of Jameson’s Whiskey, you may need it to calm your nerves! The guides are passionate about local history and wildlife, just in case you can listen in between heart attacks.
What Are You Waiting For?
Dublin is truly a city with something for everyone and if your tastes run to the extreme, be assured that you won’t be left behind. Whether you visit for a weekend or a month there are enough exhilarating adventures to amp up any itinerary and have an unforgettable Irish experience.
About the Author: Vanessa Chiasson blogs about cozy, affordable travel adventures at TurnipseedTravel.com
For more on Dublin
- Dublin on a budget
- Luxury Hotels in Dublin worth the splurge
- Cozy B&Bs in Dublin
- Dublin Itinerary (1-3 Days)