This is just a few of the things I enjoyed. There is a lot more than this to see in Dublin.
The Book of Kells
This illuminated manuscript, more than a millennium old, is at Trinity College. The admission fee gets you into an area full of educational displays about such manuscripts. I learned a lot from these. At the end, one can view the Book of Kells itself, along with several other manuscripts.
I found it breathtaking to gaze at this, and think about those who worked so hard on this, so long ago.
The Old Library
Within Trinity College is The Old Library. It is the iconic university library. The center aisle has historical artifacts on display. Busts decorate the sides. If you have an affinity for books, this place will feel like a cathedral.
Jo’Burger was the first burger place to excite me in a long time. In addition to the usual choice of meat and bread, ordering the burger involved picking from a long list of styles. The list had some pretty exotic choices. My favorite was caramelized chili banana, bacon, and goat cheese.
They brought the burgers to the table skewered in a way that let us see all the ingredients, like an exploded diagram of a machine.
Jo’Burger gets bonus points for handing us what appeared to be a beat up hardcover textbook about how to be a good parent. The pages inside had been replaced with the drinks menu.
I enjoyed Jo’Burger when I visited the Temple Bar district in 2017 and 2018. Sadly, their web site now has an announcement that they will be closing.
National Museum of Ireland
This museum is split into two buildings: one for archaeology, and one for natural history.
The natural history side contains displays of preserved animals from around the world. It’s a good place to take kids. I enjoyed looking for examples of birds I had seen in the local parks, so I could learn their names.
The archaeology side was my favorite. From bronze age artifacts on the lower levels, to viking era displays up stairs, there is a wide range of exhibits about local human history. There is an area displaying bodies pulled from bogs.
If one looks for it, one can find a section up stairs with mummies from Egypt.
Guinness Brewery Tour
I was expecting a tour of a brewery. This was more of a self-guided, walking multimedia experience. Rooms that had once been used for brewing work had been refit as artistically arranged educational spaces. I enjoyed them, but then I like learning things. I had fun taking a class on how to pour Guinness correctly. At the end of the tour, I took the elevator to the bar at the top of the brewery. The view was impressive.
The Jameson Distillery
There are multiple tours to choose from. The setting is not as grand in scale as the Guinness facility, but I thoroughly enjoyed the wit of the tour guides.
The first tour I tried was the “Bow Street Experience”, which went over the history of the distillery and ends with a tasting that contrasts American, Scottish, and Irish whiskeys.
The second tour I tried was the premium whiskey tasing. I can attest that the whiskeys were indeed premium.