If I'm being honest you probably only need a day or two in Dublin city. The locals may disagree with me but I think you can see all you need to in that time like St Patrick's Cathedral, the river Liffey, Trinity College, St Stephen's Green and the Guinness factory (which is really interesting and has a great roof top bar) or the Jameson Distillery if whiskey is more your style. But that's not to say you don't need more time in Ireland because outside the city is where the country really shines. We hired a car and headed for the hills [literally] spending a day driving around the Wicklow mountains area - the scenery was spectacular! Places to visit include Powerscourt Gardens, Enniskerry, Sally's Gap and Glendalough. It's a beautiful drive, we even found some freshly fallen snow on the way but beware of ice on the road if you visit in winter.
Dublin itself has an array of buses and trams that you can use to get around the city. Walking on foot is a good option too provided it isn't blisteringly cold. If you visit I would highly recommend hiring a car for a day or two so you can venture out into the countryside. There is so much to see beyond the walls of the city and it would be such a shame to miss it.
We made some sheep friends in the country
There's an Irish saying, "it would be a good puzzle to cross Dublin without passing a pub," rather an impossible puzzle I think because pubs are everywhere! You can't visit Ireland without venturing into a few watering holes for an obligatory Guinness. There are also plenty of great places to eat around the city. I really enjoyed my evening at The Bank which is a restaurant on College Green; as the name suggests it is an old bank and the interior is spectacular with marble columns and ceiling roses. Also around that neck of the woods you'll find the Temple Bar area which is full of places to eat. Be sure to try a traditional stew and some colcannon (mashed potato) while you're at it!
An old statement on Guinness's health properties - hilarious
The ruins in Glendalough, or as I liked to call it - Rapunzel's tower
After my visit I can truly say I'm in love with the happy spirit of Ireland and its people, and more than a little bit crushing on their accent - it's fantastic! I keep trying to mimic it myself but for some reason I always end up sounding Scottish - I'll keep practising!
Photos by Krissie.