Over the summer, I had the amazing opportunity to spend 6 weeks in London as part of my university’s study abroad program. This post is the third in an 8-week series of travel posts, where I’ll be sharing everything from my favorite places in London to my adventures in other parts of Europe (5 countries + Scotland) to my travel tips and hacks.
Our trip to Dublin began with a 3AM bus to Stansted Airport, which is about an hour outside of London. After going through security, we made our way to James Martin Kitchen where we enjoyed some delicious waffles at 5:45AM.
We flew RyanAir to Dublin Airport, and then took a bus from the airport to our hostel (Avalon House). In the lobby, we found a super cool Pringles vending machine that I really hope comes to America soon!
Also in the lobby, a little bit of travel wisdom!
After settling in to our hostel, we walked along some of Dublin’s main streets to grab lunch before we headed off to the Guinness Factory! The Guinness Factory is 7 floors of the history behind Guinness and their unique brewing process. The first part of the tour starts in the atrium, where they have the original 9,000-year(!) lease for the land that the Guinness factory sits on, signed by Arthur Guinness in 1789. During the tour, you learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and also the correct way to taste Guinness! The 7th floor is a bar with panoramic views of Dublin where you can enjoy the pint of Guinness that you just poured! The Irish word for “cheers” is Sláinte (pronounced “sil-lawn-chah”).
County Wicklow Day Tour
The next day, we took a full-day bus tour of the Irish countryside! Our first stop was Powerscourt Gardens, ranked the third-most beautiful garden in the world by National Geographic. If this is the third-most beautiful garden in the world, I can only imagine what the top two look like!
After lunch in the cute little town of Enniskerry, our bus driver / tour guide pulled over in the middle of the Irish countryside so we could see the bridge from “P.S. I Love You”! Fun fact: Gerard Butler is Scottish, not Irish!
Our next stop was Guinness Lake, which (surprise!) is a lake owned by the Guinness family. I heard a rumor that they imported sand to the lake to make the lake seem like a pint of Guinness with the signature foam head, but our tour guide informed us that the sand was there when the Guinness family bought the land. Still, I love how the lake does look like a perfectly poured pint!
Our final stop on the tour was Glendalough, which is a 6th century monastic settlement. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, and it was really neat to walk around the cemetery and in the remnants of the town.
After getting back from the bus tour, we explored the Temple Bar area of town. This part of town is very touristy but it was neat to walk around and pick up some souvenirs from our time in Dublin!
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The next day, we each went our separate ways in the morning. My two roommates went on a walking tour of Dublin, and I checked out Saint Patrick’s Cathedral! The floors and the stained glass were amazing.
In the afternoon, we made our way to the airport and back to London!