Exploring Ireland: Dublin & Cork


After countless train rides, 10 countries, 20-some cities, and too many peanut-butter-banana sandwiches to count (I really would rather not know the number!) we finally made it to Ireland, the last country to explore during our backpacking adventure.

I’m so glad we saved Ireland for last.

This country did not disappoint.


All in all, we had a solid week in Ireland. While most of those days were spent driving the beautiful countryside (that post coming your way next!) we did make pitstops in both Dublin and Cork to get a feel for the Irish city life.

And of course, to sip on a few pints of Guinness. Because, hey, when in Ireland, right!?

ireland_dublin_temple bar

Dublin had such an eclectic and fun vibe. Not to mention the city was so colorful. Which we all know I am a BIG sucker for color. The brighter, the better.

ireland_dublin_green door

See what I mean about color. Almost every door we walked past was painted in a bright and bold hue. It made the streets feel so alive!



It’s no secret that the library at Trinity College is probably on everyone’s bucket list when visiting Dublin. I can’t tell you how many times I saw pictures of the library on Pinterest so there was no question we had to squeeze this in. Even though we had to wait in line, it was so awesome to be able to see this mesmerizing room in person. It was definitely one of those jaw-dropping moments.

ireland_dublin_trinity college library

After spending a few days in Dublin, we hopped in our teeny-tiny rental car and made our way to Cork. It was such an interesting time riding on the other side of the road. I won’t lie, I continuously had to tell Derek “Left, left, leffftt!” but after a while he finally got the hang of it.

ireland_colorful town

Cork was another gem. Although a lot smaller than Dublin, this city had such a quaint and unique feel. The pace was much slower here, which we enjoyed.

ireland_cork_shakey bridge

Once again, the color. So. Much. Color. No wonder Irish people are so happy and friendly. The colorful houses and buildings instantly will put a smile on your face.

The house below stole my heart. I don’t know what it was about this particular house, but my eyes could not stop staring. Maybe it was the bright orange windows and door? Or all the little imperfections this house had. I’m not exactly sure but I did spend a few minutes envisioning what life could be like living inside.

ireland_white orange house

We stayed in a small town about 30 minutes from Cork called Kinsale. Even though we enjoyed our time exploring Cork, I am so happy we chose to stay outside of it. Being able to explore small towns, such as Kinsale, was so much fun, and allowed us to see a slice of how the locals lived.

ireland_kinsale houses

Can you imagine seeing this view on your drive home from work every day? Ah, if I lived here I don’t think I’d ever leave…

ireland_kinsale_sail boat

The picture below makes me smile so much. I don’t exactly remember the reason, but Derek and I had gotten in a tiny tiff earlier that day. (Probably stuck in the car together too long!) Anyway, I had raced down to the edge of the hill to get a better view of the water, and noticed him picking random wildflowers. Turns out, he made me the tiniest bouquet that ever existed. When he pulled this colorful bunch of flowers out from behind his back, I couldn’t help but giggle.

His gesture was so sweet.

And by that point, we didn’t even know why we were even bickering in the first place. I tried to keep this bouquet and preserve the dried flowers, but it didn’t last long with our backpacks. At least I’ll always have this photo 🙂


Our Airbnb hosts told us we had to stop by Bulman, their favorite local pub, to have a pint of Murphy’s. See, Guinness was the beer of Dublin, but to local Corkians, Murphy’s was where it was at. To them, Guinness didn’t even exist.

ireland_kinsale_bullamn bar

After tasting both, I’ve got to say: I’m a Murphy’s girl.

ireland_murphy beer

The sweet and colorful charms of Kinsale…


ireland_hungry knight burger joint

Door goals…

ireland_bright pink door

Again, the color. Who knew Ireland was this colorful?!

Rainbow streets EVERYWHERE.

ireland_colorful houses

ireland_rainbow houses

When we made the drive to the Cliffs of Moher (post coming your way soon!) we came across another sweet town known as Dingle. Ah, this place was like an Irish dream. It had that dreamy small town feel, colorful streets, and the friendliest people you will probably ever meet. Not to mention the cutest name.


ireland_dingle town

ireland_dingle_murphys ice cream

If you’re ever in this area, PLEASE, please, please stop by Murphy’s. Such delicious homemade ice cream. And it tasted so fresh, too. A lady told us all the ingredients were locally sourced. By that, she meant the milk and cream came from cows in the pastures up the road. Now, that is some farm to table!

ireland_murphys_ice cream

ireland_seaside town

Looking forward to sharing more on our time in Ireland! To read more on our trip, be sure to click here.


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