Explore: Dublin, Ireland
My Aer Lingus flight to Barcelona allowed for a 12-hour layover in Dublin so I headed into the city to do some exploring.
My flight landed at 5:30AM and after checking my bag at the 'Left Luggage' counter (yes, the name sounds counter-intuitive) at the airport for a few Euro I was already on my way into town by 6AM. Now, not a whole lot is open at 6AM in Dublin and I already had my sights set on Brother Hubbard for breakfast so I wandered around to see what I could find. Much to my surprise, there was a pub open with a roaring fire already built and a few people sitting at the bar. Obviously, I joined in and had myself a pint of Smithwicks. After that, a delicious breakfast, and some much needed espresso, I explored the city.
If you do one thing and one thing only in Dublin it has to be drinking a pint of Guinness at the Storehouse/Brewery. It's the best pint you'll ever have of the stuff. Yes, I'm aware this is off-the-charts tourist-y but it's totally worth it.
NEED TO KNOW
Both domestic and international flights come through Dublin Airport. To get into the city from the airport, there are a number of busses that run regularly (Airlink, Aircoach, etc.) that are extremely affordable and arguably the best method of transport.
There is a lot to learn about pub culture in Dublin so take a second to do a quick Google search on what to do but especially what not to do. For example, do order a Guinness but don't try and grab it before your barkeep is done pouring it (yes, it takes around 3 minutes to pour a perfect pint). And if someone buys you a drink you best reciprocate. Rounds are paid for in full and keeping tabs open is frowned upon.
WALK THIS WAY
The city isn't too large and if you're used to walking around then you'll have no problem with exploring by foot. If you get tired there are local buses and the tram.
LOCKED AND LOADED
Whatever you do, DON'T ask if a bar is going to close up shop and do a "lock in". Yes, they happen but tourists are very rarely included. It's all very hush hush