Although it doesn’t have an iconic landmark — like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Big Ben in London — Dublin, Ireland, has plenty to see and do. Come explore her beautiful Georgian architecture, sip a Guinness, and take a walk up O’Connell Street in this Everyday Postcard from Jennifer, the travel blogger behind Sidewalk Safari.
With seven continents, nearly 200 countries, and more than 7.5 billion people in the world, there is a lot to experience. The world is so vast and amazing that even the most avid traveler with a large bank account couldn’t truly do it justice in one lifetime!
Through the Everyday Postcard series, one of the world’s everyday wanderers shares postcard-worthy photos and real-life travel experiences to bring a piece of the big wide world to you.
After starting her day with a full Irish breakfast of eggs, bacon, and a side of black and white pudding, American expat Jennifer penned this postcard from Dublin, Ireland, the European capital that has been her home for the past decade:
Greetings from the Emerald Isle! I’m here in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city. I’m simply in love with Dublin’s Georgian architecture. Everywhere you turn there are amazing and colorful doors. What’s the best way to find the doors of Dublin? Head for one of the city’s Georgian parks like Merrion Square, Mountjoy Square, or Fitzwilliam Square. Wish you were here!
Meet Jennifer from Sidewalk Safari
Jennifer (aka Dr. J) is the voice and photographer behind Sidewalk Safari travel blog. She’s a fortysomething American expat and part-time travel blogger living in Dublin, Ireland with a busy full time “day job” as a project manager at Google. Jennifer aims to inspire people who have a demanding job to see that it is possible to achieve work-life balance and travel extensively, making use of every business trip and vacation day to see the great wide world.
In addition to her blog, be sure to follow Jennifer’s adventures via social media:,
For those of us who haven't visited yet, give us an overview of Dublin
Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland. Dublin has a small city feel but capital city perks. You won’t find a better theatre or music scene anywhere in the world. Dublin was home to a variety of famous literary figures and poets throughout history including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Brendan Behan. Take some time to steep in the culture.
Catch a free traditional Irish music set at a variety of pubs around town. Browse for works by Irish writers at one of Dublin’s independent bookshops. Visit the Abbey, Ireland’s National Theatre, for a classic performance or check out something more modern at Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar.
Dublin features over 1000 years of history and it always blows my mind to see buildings and artifacts dating back for centuries. Viking artifacts are often unearthed in Dublin during construction projects. Dublin is definitely a city rich in history!
Why did you move to Dublin?
I moved to Ireland 10 years ago for a job opportunity. The assignment was supposed to be for one year, but I’m still here a decade later because I love Ireland so much. I moved to Dublin having never set foot in Ireland before, but as you can see, I haven’t looked back.
At the time, Dublin was appealing because it’s English-speaking with a reputation for friendly and welcoming people. I stay in Dublin because the city has so much to offer and the quality of life here is amazing. It’s possible to live close to the city centre and walk everywhere. Public transportation is not among the best in the world, but the buses and local trains and trams will get you where you need to go. Taxis are plentiful for those times when you just want to get from Point A to Point B. Dublin’s intercity rail service is also a great way to explore Ireland by train. I love that Ireland is a small island nation and that you can get from one end of the country to the other in just a few hours. Dublin opens up so many amazing travel opportunities.
What's the best way to get to Dublin?
Dublin is well-served by both national and low-cost airlines (e.g., Ryanair) in Europe. All the major airlines in the U.S. fly to Dublin International Airport (DUB). As an added bonus, Dublin Airport features U.S. Preclearance so when you fly back to the United States, you clear customs and immigration in Ireland so that you land in the domestic terminal at your destination with much less fuss.
What sights cannot be missed when visiting Dublin?
Unlike other European cities like London and Paris, Dublin doesn’t have a single iconic attraction that people flock to. That said, there is so much to do in Dublin! I’ve come up with more than 20 different ways that you can spend a day in Dublin City.
When in Dublin, you must visit the Guinness Storehouse. Many people say they don’t like Guinness, but the fact is, Guinness doesn’t travel well. Try a pint at the source in Dublin. It’s the only way to know for sure if you really like (or don’t like) the black stuff.
Pro Tip: Explore Dublin with this fun interactive scavenger hunt!
Check out Merrion Square for the fantastic Georgian atmosphere. Not only will you find fantastic photo ops with some beautiful doors, but you can commune with nature and maybe even buy some art. Local artists set up their paintings for sale on the weekends on the fence surrounding Merrion Square. Look for a jaunty statue of Oscar Wilde carved from a single piece of marble in one corner of the park.
Learn about Irish history with a walk up O’Connell Street. Look for bullet holes that are over 100 years old in the facade of the General Post Office, a key focus of the 1916 Easter Rising which was a defining moment in the fight for Irish independence from England.
What activity do you enjoy the most in Dublin?
I love spending time on the water. Dublin is situated right on the Irish Sea. Take a walk from Dublin City Centre to Poolbeg Lighthouse which dates back to 1768! You can take the DART train to Dublin’s North and South Coast and experience nature at its finest. Howth and Dalkey are two of my favorite Irish coastal towns. I love birding and because Dublin is a coastal city, you can easily commune with nature without leaving the city. Consider taking a short ferry ride to Ireland’s Eye (about 15 minutes from Howth) where you may even catch a glimpse of puffins in the spring and summer.
One of the best parts of travel is experiencing the local flavors. What is your favorite meal in Dublin?
Breakfast is the best meal of the day in Dublin. Sit down for a full Irish breakfast complete with eggs, bacon (Canadian bacon-style), mushrooms, tomatoes, and sausage. No Irish breakfast is complete though without black and white pudding. What is black pudding? Blood sausage. No, this doesn’t sound super-appetizing but in reality it’s very delicious if you give it a chance. White pudding is similar but foregoes the blood. A full Irish breakfast is the best meal to eat after a night of drinking at the pubs of Dublin. It’s a perfect and comforting hangover cure.
Have you learned any local expressions in Dublin?
In Dublin, it’s all about the craic. But what is craic (pronounced “crack”)? Craic translates to ‘fun’ or a certain buzz when you’re out on the town. Craic is most definitely not a drug, but the craic in Ireland can be just as addicting.
What’s the craic?
That was some mad craic.
Having the craic.
You’ll likely hear all these phrases if you visit. Dublin is a city where you can’t help but have fun so make sure to join in. You’ll be very welcome!
What's one thing travelers can't forget to pack when they visit Dublin?
If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. That’s another popular expression here that describes Dublin to a tee. Because of this, make sure you come prepared for anything. Bring an umbrella and raincoat for sure, but don’t forget your sunglasses either. Dublin never gets too hot or too cold with temperatures in summer maxing out in the 70s and hovering just around freezing in the winter. It generally doesn’t snow in Dublin. Layers work best for maximum comfort year round.