When it’s blue skies in Dublin everyone is out soaking up the precious rays of sunshine. Forcing yourself inside a museum will only make you feel awkward and guilty for not taking advantage of the situation. Here are five outdoor spots to stroll around, people watch or lounge about in Dublin, when weather permits.
1. Walk through Trinity College
Feel like a student again and check out the campus of Ireland’s most dignified university. The buildings are of stunning Georgian design, and when the sun’s out it’s a great spot for people watching. Hoards of guided groups come in, and many pay to check out the Book of Kells. But skip that hoopla, grab a cheap coffee at a campus cafe and take a seat outside with the students. It’s perfect for listening in on some juicy college gossip!
2. Lunch at Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is a beautiful, prim and proper garden that offers all the ingredients for a peaceful day in the park. The gorgeous gazebo, sparkling creek, and colorful collection of tulips will put you in the mood. There are many paths to follow, and it’s a great place to stop for a breather.
3. Busking and people watching at Temple Bar
There is no shortage of buskers who perform at Temple Bar throughout the day and early evening. From traditional folk and bluegrass to female soul and funky blues, it’s impossible to not run into musical talent on the Temple Bar streets. True, the area is a tourist trap, but your coins are well spent on the people who fill the streets with music. Take a seat on a nearby step and stay a while.
4. Walk of fame on O’Connell Street
A walk up and down this shopping street might be chaotic, but you can also learn about the city’s history from the street’s many statues. There’s the 400 foot Spire that serves as the city’s main meeting point, but also the bronze statue of Daniel O’Connell, the patriotic figure of Catholic Emancipation. James Larkin’s statue represents the ongoing presence of trade unions in Ireland, and just south sits the statue of writer James Joyce. Add Charles Parnell and Father Theobald Mathew into the mix, and you’ve got a great walk through Dublin’s history.
5. St. Patrick’s Park
Saint Patrick, the guy who brought Catholicism to Ireland, has a massive church made in his honor. While admission will cost you €5, the park surrounding the north side is free and gets lots of sun. Locals usually grab a paper or snack at the nearby Spar convenience store and let kids run around the family-friendly area. Pick a spot near the fountain or by the walls of the massive cathedral and kill some time before heading into Temple Bar.
BONUS: Saturday’s outdoor food market in Temple Bar from 10 am to 6 pm has some of the cheapest eats in town, fresh and locally brought to patrons hungry for a bite of baked goods, oysters, ciders and more.