Dublin always seems to be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to traveling to the Republic of Ireland. As it should! Not only are there a million things to do in this city, but Dublin Airport is one of the airports you can arrive in when traveling with Aer Lingus, the official airline of Ireland. We recommend you stay a few days once you land before going off on another Irish adventure.
The city has many famous streets, such as Grafton Street (one of the best places to shop) and Temple Bar (one of the best areas to grab a pint). Right in the heart of the city is Dublin Castle and Trinity College. We had the pleasure of visiting the Long Room in the Library of Trinity College. This is where you find towering shelves with endless stacks of historic books, as well as the Book of Kells and one of the oldest harps, the Brian Boru harp.
On the Liffey River floats the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship. This is a replica of the original ship that took 193 passengers that were fleeing the Irish Famine. The voyage was from Blennerville, County Kerry, to Quebec, Canada, in 1848. Astonishingly, there were no lost lives during the journey. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is just around the corner, where you will get a deep understanding of Irish history, as well as a look into your own Irish ancestry.
Outside of the central city is Glasnevin. Experience Gaelic Games is located here. This sports club welcomes both members of the community, as well as international travelers looking to learn about and engage in traditional Irish sports with their families. What are these sports, you may ask? From Gaelic football to hurling to handball, these traditional games have been around for hundreds of years, bringing people together and forming an important part of Irish culture.
If you’re looking to venture outside of Dublin, County Monaghan is less than a 2-hour drive away. Here you will find the Castle Leslie Estate. The grounds are breathtaking, especially in the early morning light. You can stay overnight in the Lodge, which has a quaint equestrian theme, or in the castle itself, where each room is unique (and feels quite royal). Although there are many activities you can do at the estate—including falconry, archery, picnicking, and boating—horseback riding is for sure a highlight. The Equestrian Centre is for beginners or experienced riders alike. And what a thrill it is to traverse across the grounds and the lake on horseback! The Leslie history dates far back to Attila the Hun, is intertwined with the Battle of Waterloo, and remains in the Leslie family’s hands.
By: Megan Kudla
Photo credits: Tommy Rhyan
Read another article in this series: “Belfast…and Beyond!”
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Coming in 2022: You can watch the accompanying Ireland episode of “Family Travel with Colleen Kelly” on PBS, the PBS Anywhere app, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.
A WLS AM 890 Chicago radio podcast about the Republic of Ireland can be found at https://www.wlsam.com/round-trip-with-colleen-kelly/.