Top Things to Do in Dublin & Surrounding Area - Natural Sights

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

Dublin and the surrounding area are some of the most beautiful regions I have ever been to the world. Although the constant rain and dreary conditions deter many people from travelling to visit , the hospitality of the locals here make up for the the lack of nice weather year-round. For those of you who have heard the popular song “Galway Girl”, from Ed Sheeran, the Galway that he refers is located here in Ireland, around 2 hours drive from the famous Cliffs of Moher. From the Guiness Storehouse to the Cliffs of Moher, there is so much beauty to be discovered in Dublin. The Irish are a strong folk; their nation has been plagued by great atrocity and every-time I think of Ireland now, I recall the novel Angela’s Ashes, where best-selling author Frank McCourt recalls his up bring growing up during the impoverished times of the time in Ireland. It is a story you must read when connecting it to the faith and the culture of the Irish People. If you only have a weekend or couple days, what are the top sights to see?

Brief History:

As a nation, Ireland and its capital Dublin was always well aware of the ongoing threats and opportunities that the outside world presented. Religion has always been a source of conflict for the members in Northern Ireland, who consisted mainly of Catholics who aligned with the Republic of Ireland and the Protestants who wanted to be loyal to England, and issue that divides citizens to this day. Regarding early history, Ireland was first conquered by the Vikings in the 8th and 9th century. During 1169 it was came under Norman Rule and during the 1800s; shortly following, there was surge of overpopulation, as the great Irish famine occurred from 1845-1850. This period resulted in a lot of immigration to other countries and forced changes on the part of the Irish People. After a period of blood-shed transition finally in 1916, the Republic of Ireland was enacted and Ireland slowly moved towards democracy. Today Dublin and the country of Ireland is an industrialized nation with many modern sculptures and values.

Top Attractions:

1.Cliffs of Moher: Although the the Cliffs of Moher are not located directly in Dublin, they represent some of the most awe-inspiring places you have to see in the world, and is often a top recommended trip away from the city centre. The greyhound bus often picks up tourists in one of the convenient locations in the city centre and takes on a tour of the countryside and the little towns and locations on the way to the Cliff of Moher. If you have a place to put on your bucket list for sure to put the Cliffs of Moher on your list , as it is no doubt one of the best. Rising 214m above Atlantic Ocean and stretching 8km, you will feel like your in heaven on earth as the ocean waves below you relieve of your stresses. The way that ocean waves rumble against the rocks also makes this the idyllic location for several famous movies that were filmed here, including one edition of the Harry Potter series. Be sure to take the 13 hour or half a day tour bus from Dublin, as this tour bus not only stops on various other attractions along the way and passes through miles of the Irish countryside and ocean, but it give you a background of the geological and historical elements of the Irish countryside.

2. Dublin Downtown

Most people like to head to Dublin to drink local beer and whisky at local establishments, especially at the world-renowned Temple Bar, where local and historic drinks line the menu. This is a popular street on St. Patricks Day, where the streets are packed with spectators when not in the pandemic times. It is here that you may also witness famous and start up musicians lining the streets playing their own music and popular songs, adding to the dynamic of the crowd. The atmosphere is a friendly and inviting atmosphere that you have to experience at least once in your lifetime.

3. Guiness Storehouse - The museum and storehouse dedicated to beer is shaped like a interior Guiness drink and contains brewing history within all 6 stories that will keep you exploring for a couple hours, finally taking you to the Gravity Bar on the 7th floor, where you can witness the brewing elements in action and how the drinks are made behind the scenes. Be sure to notice the various quotes and history located all throughout the establishment, as this is one of the most famous attractions in Dublin. One of my favourite quotes from this museum is “ Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”, signifying that there are still better days ahead of us and that even though right now seems like an eternity, nothing is forever in life. When I went, there were also many Canadians in my tour group and people from all over the world.

4. St. Patricks Cathedral

This Cathedral was built in 1911 and for 800 years was known to be famous because of the author Jonathan Swift, the author of Gullivers travels and Dean of the Cathedral, resided here. Many of you may have studied Swift’s "A Modest Proposal" in high school, where he effectively used metaphor and personification to point to the disastrous conditions of Ireland at the time of writing. However, it is more famously known for the location that Ireland’s founding saint, St Patrick baptized people over 1500 years ago. In regular times, the Cathedral hosts tours of the grounds that dive deeper into the history and the various uses of the cathedral throughout the years.

Credits to Robert Montgomery

Hidden Secrets:

  1. Bull Island- If you have time, take a bike ride out of the city centre to Bull Island and try the Howth cliff walk along the beach. Also, be sure to explore the many trails located throughout this region including Ticknock Halt and others to explore Ireland and it's natural beauty.

Credits to Miuseppe Milo

Chelsea Reviews: 4.5/5

Dublin is a wonderful city that I enjoyed most for its natural scenery and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean overlooking the Cliffs of Moher. I went to Dublin during the St. Patricks Day long weekend and enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Irish during my visit during the cold weekend. Next time, I definitely want to spend more time exploring the history and culture of the historic castles and bike ride to see the natural scenery away from the city centre. During my brief time, I was most impressed by the way that history and architecture connected beautifully; it is only through history that we can understand cities, understand the way that cities are shaped and the life and intentions of their societies. That is why I am grateful to Dublin, for teaching me the importance of the intersection of history and architecture, in a way that subtly accentuates the way and propels cities to move forward.

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