I decided that I want to spend my 50th birthday (August 2013) in a pub in Ireland. We decided that Dublin is the best place for all to travel to. Does anyone know where in Dublin is the best place to stay (specific hotel or area) so we can safely walk to quaint and interesting pubs and back to our room?
If it was up to me, would go to west coast. Dublin is a city as you know but we found pubs in smaller places much more intimate and a little less commercial, in my opinion.
As far as quaint, I did not see that in Dublin. As far as safety, never felt anywhere we went was unsafe.
Thank you for the tip. Is there any place in particular we should stay? Dingle? Galway? Cliffs of Moher?
Out of that list Dingle is really the only place I would stay. The cliffs of Moher are in the middle of nowhere on the coast - it's worth seeing but your only choice in that area would be a BnB somewhere in the surrounding countryside. That means probably a very small town somewhere along the coast. I personally didn't care much for Galway - if you're going for "old countryside Irish charm" I didn't find much in Galway but is everywhere in buckets in Dingle. In Dingle you can wander from pub to pub almost any night and hear live Irish music with some connection to the traditional. You can drink in a pub that's a hardware store during the day but they push the shelves back and serve drinks after 5:00. So if this is the kind of thing you're looking for I would vote for Dingle without hesitation. I'll second that there wasn't anywhere in Dublin that I ever felt unsafe. The area of Westmoreland Street just across the O'Conner bridge I found somewhat off putting in it's "big city and it's problems" feel but never felt unsafe. If you're looking for something special in Dublin I would definitely plan ahead - wandering the Temple Bar area looking for a notable restaurant is kind of like walking through a spring break scene somewhere and I found it frustrating. There are some good things to see and do in Dublin but it doesn't scratch as much of the "Irish" itch that foreigners and usually looking for. If you elaborate a little more on what kind of experience you're looking for and what other interests you might have (castles, old ruins, literary etc.) people might have some more suggestions. My $.02,
I agree with Dingle. We went to a pub called I think Small Bridges or something like that for good music, central in town. Need to get there early though as gets very crowded. Another option is tiny town of Doolin ,near Cliffs of Moher with a couple of good pubs for great music. Where do you plan to fly into, that would help to make your choices of towns better.
We have decided that Dingle it is for my Birthday thanks to you all!!! We are open to all suggestions at this point. We haven't made any firm reservations or booked our flights yet so we can fly in to where ever we want at this point. We like history, mystery, pubs, music and good food. My husband and 17 year old son will be with us. We want to drive around most of the island over a period of a week or so. We just didn't know how to prioritize or where to start!!! Thank you so much for the input. If there is anything else we MUST go, please fire away!!!
I heartily agree with the Dingle selection. Although Donegal is on our next trip agenda. We absolutely loved Dingle. The Slea Head drive is incredible. I would definitely get Rick's Ireland book. He details the Slea Head drive down to the tenths of a mile. There are lots of good B&B's BUT the Lighthouse is our favorite. It's short walk to town and has a gorgeous view of the Dingle Bay. Mary fixes a great breakfast. There are lots of good pubs. It's also only about an hour over to Killarney and you can check out the Muckross House and Killarney National Park. Have a blast we'll be back next year!