Visiting Dublin for the Euros – Days Off
If you are coming to Dublin next week for the tournament as a player, mentor or fan you might like some tips from a local on what to do on days when there is no footy. Dublin is an exciting, compact city full of tourist attractions and is buzzing all year but especially in summer. Here’s my tips, although not a Dub I’ve lived here long enough to give you a good steer.
Sunday – Croke Park All-Ireland Football Quarter Finals
After you’ve recovered from game day 1, had your protein gone to the sea to recover etc. it’ll be time to see some Gaelic Football. Luckily at this time of year for sports fans the Gaelic Football season is reaching the critical period. On Sunday in Croke Park (the MCG of Gaelic Games) there is a double header of football quarter-finals. The traditional kingpins of Gaelic Football, Kerry take on Cavan and then reigning All-Ireland champions Donegal take on last year’s beaten finalists Mayo. There may be reduced priced tickets for tournament attendees, ask around DCU on Saturday.
Monday – City Centre
After the excitement of the Gaelic Football you might like to chill a little on Monday. Wander up Grafton Street and watch the street artists. If you have cash to burn drop into Brown Thomas to get designer fashion. If the weather is nice go for a stroll around St Stephens Green. No trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit to Guinness and maybe if you like your whiskey try the Jameson Distillery also. You can use the city bikes to get around quickly and rest the legs for game days.
Wednesday – See the Sea
Maybe you like the sea air more than the city smoke? Today might be a good day to visit the sea. Dublin is built on a bay and either end of the bay provides great views of sky, sea and mountain. I’d recommend getting on the DART (urban train) and going to either Howth or Dalkey. Both are beautiful places but I’ll talk about Howth as I was there on a cycle this evening. Howth is like an island but it is actually a peninsula with a narrow strip of land connecting it to the mainland. It is a fishing town and you can get great fish and chips here. Once off the DART after wandering around the harbour area I recommend heading along the cliff walk to Howth Summit. This is a lovely walk that feels a million miles away from the hustle of the city. Being Ireland once you reach the summit as well as being rewarded with fantastic views of Dublin Bay and the Wicklow mountains there is also a pub to rest your legs. If you don’t want to walk back you can get a bus back to the DART station.
Friday – The Aga Khan at the RDS Horse Show
The RDS Horse Show is one of the most famous horse events in the world. Ireland is known for it’s horses and horsemen and the show represents the pinnacle of equine talent. The Aga Khan Trophy is presented to the winning show jumping team in the Nations’ Cup competition, where teams of four compete over two rounds with the nation with least faults winning. Eight nations will compete France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, the Ukraine and the USA. So as you are already kitted out in your national colours it’s worth cheering on your nation if they are jumping. I’ll actually be working here on Friday (fitting a lot into my week). The RDS is only a short distance south of the city centre, take a bus or the DART to get there. More information here http://www.dublinhorseshow.com/