Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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The Perfect Trip to Ireland Is Two-Part

A storied castle, a historic farmhouse, and a stunning university campus—these are the things that any design buff would plan a dream trip around. And yet, on a visit to Ireland, they can be just the half of it. Therefore, we’re sharing a two-part guide to the island nation, whether you find yourself planning a trip there for sooner or later. 

Explore Dublin

What to Do:

As a city, Dublin is as charming as it is manageable—highly walkable and doable in two full days. To start things off, head over to the Guinness Storehouse for a quintessential Irish beer experience. No doubt most visitors will give their top marks to the Instagrammable pint-pouring exercise (the full lesson includes the chance to imprint a picture of your face on the beer’s foam, à la extra latte art). But for architecture aficionados, the time is also likely to be well extra spent.

Entering Dublin, it’s nearly impossible to miss just how large the original Guinness factory looms, even if it’s far from the city’s outskirts. What is more, not only is the multi-floor tour chock full of design moments—a lighting installation from one of Madonna’s world tours is one of the first things that greets visitors—but its conclusion is also a breathtaking experience. Once visitors reach the top-floor bar, they are greeted by the chance to grab a Guinness while taking a 360-degree look at Dublin’s views. Thanks to the fact that the city is notably flat, it’s easy to gain a great sense of the architectural landscape from up above. 

Colorful doors in Georgian Dublin.

Photo: Stefan Auth / Getty Images

Next up, go for a walking tour of Georgian Dublin. Unlike London, which had many of its Georgian-era buildings destroyed during the Blitz, the Irish capital’s equivalent examples remain in excellent shape. For those looking for key points on which to anchor said tour, consider four charming parks: Merrion Square, St. Stephen’s Green, Fitzwilliam Square, and Iveagh Gardens. Each area of greenery is wonderfully composed.

On day two, you can explore the shops and restaurants of Grafton Street before heading over to the storied Trinity College. First founded in 1592, it features many more excellent examples of Georgian architecture. Nonetheless, no visit to Trinity can be considered complete without a stop into its Long Room Library and a look at the famed Book of Kells. The illuminated manuscript is one of the most important surviving examples of Medieval art. 

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