Romantic Minibreak – Dublin

So, I may have been single travelling to Dublin, but I’m more than aware that a lot of people who regularly read 30 Dates aren’t single, so I thought I’d give you a lowdown on the city as a potential weekend break destination.

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I flew out from Gatwick Airport, with Aer Lingus.  There were cheaper flights available with Ryan Air, however the Aer Lingus flight times were a lot more practical.  I managed to avoid travelling to the airport really early, and arrived in Dublin with plenty of time to get settled on Friday afternoon.  As a budget airline, Aer Lingus were pretty good – the inflight food was actually pretty decent, and they weren’t super strict on cabin baggage.

To get from the airport to the Ballsbridge area where I stay cost me around 35 Euros by taxi, however on my way back I took a Paddy Wagon – a bus transfer service direct from the hotel, which cost just 4 Euros.  Obviously it took longer as we had to collect other people, and tour various hotels en route, however if you’ve got time, it’s dramatically cheaper.

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As I travelled out the same week as St Patrick’s Day, a lot of the hotels were really busy.  I didn’t want to spend much over £50 per night for a room, so in the end I used Secret Hotels, via to book a room.  Before you book the hotel, the site will show you a radius on a map of the city, giving you a rough idea of where you’d be staying, and the main features of the hotel.  I ended up paying £130 for two nights at the Grand Canal Hotel, which I would highly recommend.  My bedroom had both a double and single bed in, free internet, a good TV, and a hairdryer.  The staff were all really helpful, I managed to get late check out for free, there were always cabs outside, and they booked my seat on the bus back to the airport for me.  The hotel was clean and safe, and in a relatively nice area of the City.

I tended to get taxis in and out of town, and this is somewhere you can easily wrack up costs.  It cost me between 7-10 Euros to get in and out of the centre of Dublin.

Central Dublin is all easy to walk, and really picturesque.  As you can see from the date posts I already posted, there’s some beautiful architecture, and the Temple Bar area, is full of bars, pubs, restaurants and amazing colourful wall murals.  You genuinely are spoiled for choice of places to eat and drink, wherever you are in the City, and if you’d like a more cultural trip, there’s a whole list of guided tours, and museums, including the Leprechaun Museum!

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Dublin is a city often linked with drinking, and whilst it doesn’t rank up there with the likes of Paris and Venice for romance capitals of Europe, love is heavy in the city’s history.  Both Saint Valentine and Saint Hallmark are buried in the City centre, as well as many other famous couples.  However not wanting to do a tour of graves, I decided to visit an impromptu romantic spot – The Ha’penny Bridge.

These days a number of places around Europe are famous for their lovelocks.  I have to admit the first time I ever heard of the concept was watching Hollyoaks! (Yes, and I wonder why I’m single ….!!!)

It’s interesting, because the idea is a real cause of conflict.  Personally I love the romance of the idea.  Closing a lock to symbolise the permanence of a relationship.  And I think the clusters look beautiful.  However, as the various signs on the Ha’penny Bridge explain, the locks cause damage to the bridge – predominantly the paintwork.

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I’m not sure about any longterm structural damage (I would guess, if the paint is damaged, then the bridge could get rusty and then weaken?), but as a result the locks are regularly removed, which I think is a real shame.  It’s such a beautiful footbridge, and I love the romance of it being painted in a way where it could support the locks.  However that doesn’t seem to be an option, so perhaps they could build some purpose-built structures nearby on the riverside for lovers to hang their locks from?

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Anyway, regardless of whether you go to Dublin to close up a love lock, it’s definitely a city I would recommend for a mini-break.  It IS an expensive City – one round of drink for two was often around the 16-20 Euro mark – however it’s nice to be able to jump on a plane for as little as an hour, and find yourself in a foreign city.

I really enjoyed my weekend, and would imagine heading out there with someone you love would be even more fun! 🙂

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx


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