Travel Guide Dublin: Top Instagramable Spots

Recently, a realisation hit me. I love writing posts about the countries I travel to, yet, I’ve somehow never posted about the city I love and live in. Dublin. I’ve decided that I might try writing a few posts. After all, it would be mad to not rave and rant about where I’m from.

I live in Dublin which is a bustling city, full of many beautiful places – both well known and hidden. One thing which people love when they go on holidays is to take photos which are worthy for their social media platforms. Dublin, like any city, has many gorgeous places which are great for posting photos online. Read on to see where I go to get some nice photos.

  1. Killiney Hill

 

I have to admit I am biased when it comes to Killiney Hill as I grew up near this area so I spent a lot of my childhood climbing the hill. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of hiking up this hill will know that the steep hill is well worth the hike as the view is amazing. (Not a friendly spot for anyone with mobility issues as it is a very steep walk.)

The hill is 153 metres high and has one obelisk. From the top of the hill there are many amazing sights to be seen – Dublin to the northwest, the Irish sea and the mountains of Wales to the east and southeast, Bray head and Wicklow to the South.

When walking around this hill, there is an area which is full of Granite which was used to build the Victorian Piers in the nearby town of Dun Laoghaire (Dun Leary is the pronunciation). This hill has a wide range of history too for any history lovers – Prince Albert donated it to the public in memory of Queen Victoria’s jubilee.

There is a lovely tea room at the entrance of the hill which sell ice cream, cakes, and tea. The tea rooms also give water to any dogs which may be walked in the area. For anyone bringing kids along, there is a great playground.

Killiney Hill
The view from the Obelisk at Killiney Hill, Dublin

2. Trinity College Dublin

Trinity has some of the prettiest architecture in Dublin which I hate to admit as I attend the rival university of Trinity.

The college was founded in 1592 making it the oldest university in Ireland. Not only does this college have some beautiful architecture, it also is the current home of the book of Kells (there is an entry fee to this but to enter the campus grounds is free and open to the general public.) The library is also a must see part of the university. Notable alumni of this university includes Oscar Wilde!

This college is handy for tourists as it is located in the very centre of Dublin City Centre and is the third top thing to do in Dublin according to Trip Advisor.

Trinity
Trinity is the second best place to take photos

3. Howth

The next most instagramable spot on my list is the small coastal town called Howth. This area contains a 15th century castle (Howth Castle), some 19th century Mortello Towers (not the exact one which James Joyce describes but fairly similar), and, a clifftop trail which has some beautiful views which are perfect for posting on the Instagram.

If you have time, visit the island there which is called Ireland’s Eye which is a fifteen minute boat ride from the mainland.

Looking for something to eat? Great, Howth is known for its restaurants and a walk along its pier will introduce you to many amazing restaurants such as the Abbey Tavern where there is live music in the evening. For people who like seafood, Howth is full of restaurants such as the Brass Monkey which is known for their amazing seafood tapas.

Howth best spot in dublin
A sunset seen at Howth, Dublin. This is one of the best instagramable spots in Dublin

4. The Ha’penny Bridge

When in Dublin, both tourists and locals alike will often stop on this bridge to get a selfie. Why? The bridge has a great view of Dublin and on sunny days makes a great picture. This bridge – which is officially called the Liffey Bridge- was built as a pedestrian bridge in 1816 in order to allow pedestrians to cross over the river Liffey which divides Dublin into two sections.

The bridge is affectionally known as the Ha’penny bridge when in the early 1900s, the toll price was raised  to a penny and a half. Luckily, there no longer is a toll for pedestrians crossing the bridge making it a free spot to take a fantastic photo.

Ha'Penny
The Ha’penny bridge on a sunny day in Dublin

5. Temple Bar

Now before I actually write anything about this location, here is a disclaimer, I am recommending this spot for taking photos, not for eating or drinking. Temple Bar is beautiful. From the buildings to the quirky shops to the graffiti.

However, this part of Dublin’s city centre is known locally as a tourist trap. The food and drink often tends to be far more expensive than other areas of the close by city – I often hear tourists complaining about the price of the drinks here, I would recommend Harcourt street or pubs around O’Connell street for better night outs.

However, when it comes to taking a beautiful photo -which will look great on the ‘gram-, I would 100% recommend Temple Bar. As mentioned before there is lovely street art – one of my favourites is a hotel which has some of James Joyce’s characters painted onto the walls – to the cobbled streets, there’s a certain vibe to Temple Bar which is transferred to photos of it.

Temple Bar also has one of the most famous pubs in Dublin which of course is called The Temple Bar (pictured below). This part of Dublin has a very interesting history and contains a huge whiskey collection with 450 bottles of rare whiskey from all over the world.

Temple Bar
The Temple Bar in Dublin

Well that is it for this post!

The above five are my favourite spots for a great photo to post on my Instagram. What areas in your city would you view as the best places to take a lovely Instagram shot? If you’re from Dublin, let me know where you go to take photos/ to feel like a tourist at home!!

Thanks for reading!!


 

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See my last travel related post here!!


 

(Disclaimer – A lot of my photos of these areas contain pictures of my nephews who are minors. For that reason I used stock photos for this post and I claim no right over those photos.)

 

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Bucharest Trip

Recently I was lucky enough to travel to Bucharest, Romania with some friends from Uni!!

Although this blog is very much a Beauty oriented blog, I do like to post about my travel experience every now and again.

I plan to write a couple of posts in relation to Bucharest such as the following; Tips and advice, Things to do, What to eat, etc!! My next trip will be Edinburgh next month so I will have plenty of posts up before then.

Scroll down for my pictures!!

Thanks for reading!! These were just a few of my photos as I plan to use my other photos for future posts!!


If you liked this post, please see my last post. See previous posts on Travel here!!

How to Plan a city break on a Budget

Happy Friday, friends!!

As a student, money isn’t something that I have a lot of at the moment. Traveling for me is something that can I can only do if I budget really well.

Wanting an inexpensive trip is something that I can imagine many people like the idea of. Some people of course can afford to pay for pricier flights and pricier accomdation. This guide however is for anyone who is in need of a cheap holiday asap!!!

Step 1: Pick Your Budget

How to travel on a budget

Being based in Europe, I have to keep all of my trips within the European Continent as I can’t afford to fly any further than that. For any followers not from Europe, I would imagine neighbouring states or countries would probably be the cheapest time to fly abroad.

Before you can pick where you want to go, check what your budget it for each part of your trip. For Europe, I try to pay no more than €50 for return flights. Hostels and hotels tend to vary in price based on where I’m going. Once you have decided where you want to go, next you have to find out when it the cheapest time of the year for that particular place. My favourite time to travel is in May and September. I tend to find that the prices are not at peak yet, the weather is warm but not too hot, and, it probably isn’t tourist season.

Step 2: Book your flights and book a hotel

Cheap airline hacks

Whenever I’m booking a hostel or a hotel, I always make sure to book one that doesn’t require prepayment and which allows free cancellation. This will mean that I won’t have to worry about the payment just yet. Booking.com is a great website for finding great hotel prices and is the website I use most. Other options include Airbnb or couch sharing if you’re brave enough. My tip when booking a hotel is to check where in the city it is based, and, what the public transport system is like. If the city has a reliable and cost effective system, it may be worth it to commute around. Check if your airport has a train station. Some airports don’t have a trainstation which may mean you will have to pay for a coach or transfer. This can quickly add up for families who are traveling.

When it comes to flights I tend to buy them as far in advance as possible. I also try to travel only on week days. The cheapest time to book flights is three months before you plan to fly. The most expensive time is two weeks beforehand. One of the things which allows me to have cheap flights is to be flexible with my dates.

To summarise

  • Fly on Weekdays – Tuesday being the cheapest
  • Be Flexible with your dates
  • Book within Three months of your trip.
  • Travel in offpeak times – you can save up to 15%!!!
  • Know when the school season is in the country.
  • Make your the airport has a train station to city centre to avoid paying extra fees.
  • Check if your hotel has free wifi – a lot of hotels do and this is a cost which can be avoided.

Step 3: Find out what free things there are

Cheap but fun travel destinations

Every city has tourist attractions which are worth paying money towards. However, there are many things which are free to do. I also enjoy finding out what the locals like to do as I believe that sometimes visiting non-tourist attractions is much more of an adventure. People traveling with children can find so many free attractions too.

Step 4: Food

cuisine when traveling

One of the easiest ways to overspend and go out of budget when traveling is when buying food. I tend to budget how much I am willing to spend and see how much I have left for eating. One of the main things I do if find out what places have the best quality food and avoid overpriced restuarants. I also look to stay in hotels which have a communal kitchen so that I can make my own food.

I tend to eat at lunch time when traveling – the menu is cheaper and a big meal will fill me so I don’t have to buy dinner. When drinking, I buy local wines and beer because they are cheaper. I often try to avoid the main tourist areas when eating as these are more expensive.

Step 5: Buy A Travel or City Pass

Public Transport when Traveling

In some cities, it is well worth buying a travel pass. In Berlin, I bought a daily travel pass which made life so much easier since Berlin is such a big city. Some cities won’t need such a thing. If you are traveling with young children, it’s always a good idea to see what age it’s free until (many cities in Europe under 3’s are free). If traveling to a city which speaks a different language, check how to buy your tickets and how to validate them. The last thing any tourist on a budget needs is to have to pay a fine.

Step 6: Find out what you are entitled to

Many countries have free entry to certain tourists spots if over 65, under 25, or, a student. Students may get discounted transport prices. Rules apply differently in different cities so read up on what applies for different people.

And most importantly… Have fun!!!

Well these were my tips on planning a holiday on a budget. What ways do you save money when going on holidays?


 

Read my last travel post here!! Read my last post here.

 

Places I will be visiting this year

Good Morning babes’ (or evening depending on where some of you are.)

2019 for me is going to be defined by three events.

  1. I’m turning 21 this year (I am so old yet so young).
  2.  In September I’ll be entering the final year of my Bachelor degree (I really don’t want to leave college, I adore it so much.)
  3.  I’m traveling a lot this year.

I can’t wait to turn twenty-one. I hated the decade that was the ages of ten to nineteen. I felt awkward and out of place in my life. When I turned twenty last year, I felt like I had been reborn. I was suddenly confident and outgoing in ways which I had never been capable of. One of my co-workers once told me that being an extravert is part of becoming an adult, and I guess he was right. My sister is coming home for my twenty-first too, which makes the event even more exciting for me!!!

In one way, I can’t wait to graduate college and in another way I want to spend another four years doing my degree. In college I have really discovered myself and I have made friends who I can say confidently say will be my friends for life. I have discovered interests in college which I never thought I would have and I have felt inspired throughout my college career. However I feel tired with my degree. I love one of my majors (politics) but the other I struggle to love (history). Yet I am already planning my masters to start straight after my graduation (have to keep my gpa up this year lol).

Ever since I was thirteen and I visited London for the first time, I’ve had the desire to constantly explore the world. I love the feeling of awe of being in another country and enjoying the culture, the history, and the cuisine of course. Unfortunately I come from a family where travel has never been the priority (my parents love to travel too but it’s expensive). I feel this is a universal concept for many people. Now that I work part time, I try to budget (badly) my money towards travel and experiences. Memories are more value to me than money. Next year, I probably won’t be traveling much so I’m trying to get the travel bug out of my system.

Read on below for the beautiful places which I’ll be visiting and see my reasons why i chose these places.

Disclaimer: I own none of these photos.

Bucharest: 

The first place which I will be visiting in the next couple of months will be the capital of Romania, Bucharest. I’m actually going with one of the societies which I am a part of in my University. Some of my closest friends are going as well and the members of the society are all so friendly, that I’m super excited to visit this city. Known as the Paris of the East, this city looks super beautiful, and I’ve never been to Romania before. My group is staying in the old town, and as a history student, I am super excited to visit all the museums and learn about the history of Romania from the prospective of Romanians themselves. I know very little about Bucharest so I’m going in to learn a lot about the city.

 

Edinburgh:

The next city I will be visiting after Bucharest will be Edinburgh. I will be traveling there in late April as an early birthday gift from my mother for my twenty-first birthday. For this city, I will be traveling with my mother, which I am looking forward to as we’ve never gone anywhere just the two of us. As one of five, and the middle child, time alone with my mother is always a sacred thing to have. We have so many plans of what we want to do over the three days we’ll be staying in Edinburgh. In general, Edinburgh looks so beautiful and I can’t wait to stare at all the architecture (especially since some of it inspired Harry Potter spots.). We are definitely planning to visit the Edinburgh castle and probably the old vaults, and the old town. We’re both pretty easy going so we’re probably take our time visiting and enjoying this city.

 

Oslo:

I will be visiting Oslo as one of my summer travels. My best friend is from Norway and I can’t process the thought of not seeing her everyday during the summer so I decided to visit her for two weeks. This is going to be my longest trip in 2019. I’m currently trying to learn a little bit of Norwegian (I know everyone in Norway can probably speak English better than I can, I just think it’s polite to be able speak a bit of a country’s language when visiting it). I know have many plans of what I will be seeing in Norway. My friend lives twenty minutes from the city centre, by the sea, so swimming and visiting the city will probably be two of main things I’ll do. I definitely am relying on my friend to steer me away from the touristy things and instead show me a more authentic side of Norway, I.E. how the locals spend their time and where the locals like to eat.

 

Lisbon:

For our family holiday this year (first family holiday in years) I am traveling to Lisbon with my parents and two little sisters. I love going away with my family. In general, I love to spend time with my family so I can’t wait to experience this city. Something I am really looking forward to is the heat of Portugal. I love visiting hot countries like Spain and France, so I know that I’m gonna bask in the rays of the sun in Lisbon. We’re going for five nights so we’re going to get a lot of things done. One of the days we plan to leave the city and travel to one of the coasts beaches, which is one of the reasons we chose to visit Lisbon. We wanted to visit a city which was by the sea as we wanted a combination of sea and city. Lisbon is another city which has an intriguing history which both my dad and myself will be interested in.

 

Cologne:

One of the last trips that I have planned is to Cologne. One of my very close friends has been accepted to do her Erasmus in Cologne, starting in October 2019. It was without question that I’m going to visit her many times over the next year, so while I don’t have flights booked, I know that I’ll be aiming to visit this German town two or three times over the next twelve months.

Well that is the current list of the places which I will be visiting this year. Where will you be visiting this year? Leave me a comment and let me know!!!


If you like this post, please have a read of my last travel post which you can read here!!

My last post!!

Autumn Travel Destinations

With the colder weather starting to kick in, I find myself craving a holiday. Truth be told, I haven’t been away in over a year. With college starting to get busy, I probably won’t get to go away again until the new year at the earliest. However this doesn’t mean that I can’t make a travel dream list. For this list, I’ll be looking at European travel ideas. I will be straying away from the top capitals such as Paris or Rome as I want to experience a new place. I will be looking at the most underrated travel destinations in Europe that I would love to visit soon.

Lyon:

The first city on my list is Lyon in France. Lyon is the capital city of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region. With over two thousand years of history, it’s a wonder that this city hasn’t pushed Paris out of the travel picture yet. With great historical attractions, there is also a busy nightlife in Lyon with a busy clubbing scene. Lyon is also the home of a great University.

Some of the attractions of Lyon range from the Musée des Confluences to the Opera de Lyon to the Cathédrale St-Jean-Baptiste. The Musées des Confluences especially interests me due to its ‘Origins’ exhibition which centres around the origins of our planet. Another exhibition which really interests me is the ‘Societies’ exhibition which focuses on how humans are organised and how we interact. The Opéra de Lyon was built in 1831 but modernised in 1993 by architect Jean Nouvel. From underground concerts to family friendly shows, this is fantastic for the whole family.

With over 3000 restaurants and over 150 hotels, Lyon is the perfect travel destination.

Gothenburg:

Gothenburg is situated on the Göta älv river on the west Coast of Sweden. With Dutch style canals and boulevards like the Avenlyn (main thoroughfare) which is lined with many cafes and shops, this seaport town is a perfect alternative to Stockholm. One particular feature which really catches my attention is the fountain of Poseidon by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. This fountain is found in the public square Götaplatsen which is the cultural hub of the city. I have a huge love of Greek Mythology so I would really like to see this fountain in person.

Gothenburg is also home to the Gothenburg museum of Art which contains a collection of nordic paintings from the 19th century. The Gothenburg Botanical Garden shelters over 15,000 plant species!! For anyone with kids, there is an amusement park called Liseberg nearby (and they have a Halloween theme in October and a Christmas theme from November onwards!!) Another thing I would like to do in Gothenburg is to try some seafood at the Feskekôrka which is a fish market hall.

Porto:

My next travel destination is perfect for anyone who loves wine. Porto in Portugal is the home of Port wine and is a coastal city in the northwest of the country. Like Lyon, Porto’s history dates back to the Roman times and is a romantic port city with a rich history and culture.

Some places in Porto which I would like to visit range from the Clérigos Tower to the fishing port Matosinhos. The Clérigos tower is the baroque bell tower which belongs to the Clérigos Church. Taking a walk along Matosinhos, tourists should expect a wide range of seafood restaurants including grilled sardines available as streetfood. The Ribeira District also interests me as its the oldest district of the city which is filled with old houses and cobbled streets giving a feeling that one has travelled back in time. I would definitely be interested in doing some Port tasting tours while traveling to Porto.

The Porto travel guide recommends that to see everything in Porto, a person would need two days. This shows me that Porto is an excellent travel destination for a weekend trip.

Ljubljana:

Ljubljana is Slovenia’s capital city and is the largest city in the country. Known for it’s University population, it’s no wonder that this city has made my list. With great green spaces- including the beautiful Tivoli Park- this city is definitely a must see destination.

The curving Ljubljanica River, lined in outdoor cafes, divides the city’s old town from its commercial hub. Ljubljana has many museums, including the National Museum of Slovenia, displaying historic exhibitions, and the Museum of Modern Art, home to 20th-century Slovene paintings and sculptures.

Ljubljana hosts many distinctive structures by native 20th-century architect Jože Plečnik, including the iconic Tromostovje (Triple Bridge) over the river. Many notable sites are near the Tromostovje. These include the Prešernov Trg (central square), with art nouveau buildings and a turn-of-the-century statue of the plaza’s namesake poet, France Prešeren. Nearby, the baroque domed cathedral has twin towers. Moving south, Plečnik’s palazzo-style National and University Library features Roman archaeological remnants at its base. The hilltop Ljubljana Castle, a medieval fortress, is connected to old town by a funicular. (The destinations of Ljubljana as described by Google)

Probably the thing that interests me the most about this city is the Ljubljana castle. This was originally a medieval fortress and is thought to have been constructed in the 11th century before being rebuilt in the 12th century. This castle carries centuries of history and as a history major, I love old castles. The ramparts of the castle are said to give some of the best views of Ljubljana itself. The castle houses an exhibition on Slovenian history and contains historical rooms such as the Chapel of St George. A quirky fact about this castle houses a nightclub and two restaurants. The tours available are at a very reasonable price of €10 per adult!!

What travel Destinations do you want to visit? Have you been to any of the areas that I want to go to? Let me know!!

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Read my last post here.

Reboot

When I first made this blog over three years ago, I envisioned myself as the type of person who would post constantly. Naïve of me? Maybe. Now, years later, I’ve decided to try and reboot this little blog. This time, I have a goal of this blog being my creative outlet with no big goals and no big commitments. Just a nice, calm place where I can discuss interests that I have; beauty, primark hauls, travel experiences, yoga, and, cooking.

Hi, my name is Cadhla (pronounced Kylah) and welcome! On this blog, I will be sharing my travel experiences, recipes, beauty reviews, and, college guides. I’m a college undergrad studying History and Politics from Ireland.

My main goals on this site is to share information, write, and, make friends with other people on this site.

My trip to London: Day 1

Spending only four days in London, I quickly fell in love with the city. Read more to see why I love this city!

The other day, I arrived home from London. I was only there for four days and three nights but it was an amazing holiday. I honestly wish I was still there. I’m a huge city girl, and I loved the buzz that I felt around London. Ever since I first visited London when I was thirteen, I have loved the city. My family decided to visit because I just finished my exams so it was a bit of a treat for me. It’s kind of bitter sweet, thinking about the holiday now because it flew by so quickly, and I already wish to go back. I decided to make some posts about what I did while I was there.

Day one of my London trip began at 3.a.m. in the morning. Despite the early hour, I felt wide awake and fully prepared to take on the day. The excitement from the fact that I was going on holiday gave me all the energy that I needed. The only drawback was security. For some reason, going through security machines in both the airport or shops always makes me extremely nervous. I don’t know why as I have never stolen anything nor do I own dangerous items. I brought no liquids with me on my carry on to be completely safe. I also made sure not to wear any metal on my person. Once through security, it was maybe 4.30.a.m. We had gotten through the check-in part of the terminal very quickly and security was also very quick to get through. I then headed with my family to get some breakfast which was stressful. Anyone who has been in terminal 2 of Dublin airport will know that the layout is terrible in the food court – especially when it’s busy. It’s long and narrow making it hard to actually access some of the food. Much to our dismay, by the time we got through the long queue, our food was cold. By the time we were finished, it was 5.30 a.m. and suddenly, our flight was having it’s final boarding.

Terry’s Cafe

We had to rush to the place where our plane was taking off from and finally got on. It was odd that we boarded so early. Then it actually took about 45 minutes to lift off. At 6.30, we had arrived in Gatwick airport. I soon learnt the hard way why packing light is vital when travelling. We got a train to London Bridge train station. There I had my first black taxi experience. I don’t know how Londoners feel about them, but I am obsessed with the traditional London taxi’s. Irish Taxi’s are just normal cars and really boring at the best of times! We were staying near Borough Market- although we never actually had time to visit the market place itself- in the Borough area. We went and had a proper English breakfast in a lovely, authentic breakfast cafe, called Terry’s Cafe. The food there was actually the nicest food I’ve had in a while, but it was really the decorations that I loved the most. From old pictures of London to wireless radios and old boxing gloves, I felt like I had traveled into the past while I was eating Brunch.

 

 

The outside of the Imperial War Museum 

After eating the best breakfast of my life, I headed to the Imperial War Museum, which was amazing. For a free tourist attraction, it had a lot of exhibitions. It had old war tanks and old world war 2 uniforms. From Bomber jets to Victoria Cross medalists, the museum told the story of different people who lived during different wars, both in the past and more recently. They had exhibitions on life for a London family during the Second world war, which I loved. It’s one thing to know the facts about the war, it’s a different thing to discover the way it effected the people who lived during the history we casually learn in school. I then got an ice cream while my sister bought about ten key rings from the gift shop.

It wasn’t until two o’clock did we get to check into our apartment that we were staying at. I was exhausted at this stage, and the thought of going anywhere else was looking very doubtful. However, later on in the evening, we boarded a bus – which was exciting because it was the first time I had ever been on a red bus which is such an icon for London in the eyes of a foreigner. Getting the bus to Kings Cross station, I achieved what every child dreams of- going to Platform 9 and three quarters! I lined up for about an hour but it was so worth it. My sister and I donned the red and gold Gryfindor scarves and got our photo taken. I nearly went for a Slytherin scarf to annoy the attendant who had a clear disdain for the house. Once I had purchased my picture, I bought some house pencil and a box of Berty Botts sweets.


My first day in London was long yet amazing. Looking back on it, I wish I could be in a time-loop and do it all over again! But there is no stopping time. I love family holidays because I love getting to spend time with my parents and my two little sisters.