. A walk in the rain through Dublin Castle : Budget Travel Adventures

A walk in the rain through Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle walk in the rainA cool, gray mist blanketed the sky on a late summer day.  For many people, this may be an ominous sign to the start of a European vacation.  In Ireland, this was nature’s way of welcoming me to the Emerald Isle with a friendly Irish hug.  As I walked the grounds of Dublin Castle, I was at peace.

While Temple Bar, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Guinness Factory top the list of popular things to do in Dublin, a walk through the grounds of Dublin Castle is the perfect introduction on how to experience Ireland.

An introduction to Dublin Castle and Irish history

Dublin Castle walls tower

A tour of these walls gives you insight into Irish history

After flying all day from California, I arrived in Dublin at 8:30 am.  I came to Ireland to watch a football game and see as much of the city as possible.  In my attempt to avoid jet lag, I set out to see the city on foot.

After walking through Temple Bar, I set my sights on Dublin Castle.  The green grass, castle walls and colorful gardens, and gray skies were quintessentially Irish.

Dublin Castle was commissioned in 1204 by King John of England in an attempt to protect the city from invaders.  Located on a high ridge near the Liffey River in the heart of the city, Dublin Castle has served as the home of justice, treasures, parliament, and government.

Today it hosts European leaders, heads of state, businesses, and tourists. The castle has played a vital role throughout Irish history with English rule, Irish rebellion, wars, and assassinations.  With its various castle towers, State Apartments, national treasures, and must-see Chester Beatty Library, a Dublin Castle tour is a perfect introduction to Ireland.

However, today was not the day for a tour, a museum, or a lesson in Irish history.

A walk in the rain through Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle gardens Record Tower

A walk around these walls allows you to experience Ireland

As a kid, I remember playing in the rain and stomping through puddles.  As an adult, I no longer had time to do those things.

Wandering through the castle, it was time to let Dublin soak through me.

As I walked through the castle grounds and gardens, the grass seemed greener and the pastel colors of the buildings brighter.  I watched as little kids ran across the lawn and played on the walls.

With the castle in front of me and towers and walls around me, I was protected from the outside world.  Dublin Castle didn’t want to let the distractions in or let me escape.

Yet escape I did as I left the adult me behind and found that kid inside.

I remembered what it was like to walk in the rain and enjoy it.  Within those walls of Dublin Castle, I wanted to experience Ireland and not just see it or learn about it.

After walking through Dublin Castle, I spent the rest of the day exploring green spaces and parks in the city.  This was one of those memorable travel experiences when life slows down and nothing else matters.

Dublin Castle was the perfect way to begin my trip to Ireland.  The next few days would be filled with football games, tours, pubs, and seeing as much of Dublin as possible.  However, I learned some valuable life lessons from the Irish people and the city.

Slow down, be still, and experience the world around you.  In Ireland, a walk in the rain through Dublin Castle isn’t a bad day.  It’s a perfect day.

Now when it rains in California, I may go for a walk.

Tips for visiting Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle Chester Beatty Library The Coach House

Whether you go to Dublin castle for a tour or a stroll through the grounds, Irish history and experiences surround you.  Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Dublin Castle experience.

Location:  Dublin Castle is located at 2 Palace Street, Dublin 2 just south of the Liffey River in the heart of the city (Google maps) 

Dublin Castle map directions

Directions:  The castle is a few blocks from the Temple Bar area of Dublin.  Palace Street entrance is located on Dame Street between Parliament Street and Sycamore Street.

Entrances are located at Cork Hill, Palace Street, and Ship St.  The closest car park entrances are located at Parkrite Christchurch Carpark on Werburg St.  Dublin buses 77, 77A, 56A and 49 from Eden Quay and 123 from O’ Connell St stop at Palace Street Gate.

Hours:  Current hours for Dublin Castle are Monday – Saturday 10 – 16:45 and Sunday and holidays 12 – 16:45.

Tickets: Adults € 4.50, Senior Citizens and Students €3.50, and children under 12 €2 for entrance and tours.

Information:  Get more information, tickets, and a history of Dublin Castle

A walk in the rain is always free.  If you want a great review of the tour as well as history and a little fun, check out Everywhereist’s tour of Dublin Castle.

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in a new city or place?

Chester Beatty Library Dublin

Chester Beatty Library

Dublin Castle Bedford Hall Upper Castle Yard

Bedford Hall in Upper Castle Yard

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  1. Michael says:

    Yes, I’ve heard of the reputation of Ireland as a very rainy country. I had a friend who stayed there for a week and on each and every day, it never stopped raining. But she said she still enjoyed it.

    • Here’s the thing about Ireland (or any other destination). Expect the rain, plan for it, and be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t. I actually had a lot of time with sunshine. My first couple of days were cloudy and rainy but after that it was beautiful. I had the same experience recently in Oregon.

      More importantly (and given your recent post), I realize that walking around and exploring in the rain isn’t so bad.

  2. Just beautiful! I hope to visit one day.

  3. Peter Lee says:

    Ireland has unspoiled natural beauty with amazing architecture which make your experience worth a visit. The best way to exploring Ireland is by walking because you can enjoy the Irish weather along with beautiful buildings.

    • I loved walking in Ireland. Doing it in the rain just gave me a different perspective. There are some good public transportation options in the city of Dublin. However, I encourage everyone to start out your first day in any city by walking and exploring!

  4. Leah Travels says:

    What a well-written piece, Jeremy. I went to Dublin and Ireland in the spring of this year. Most thought I was crazy for going in the typical rainy season, but I didn’t care. It sprinkled a few times, but that’s all. I kind of like the sprinkles. It made my Irish experience typical.

    • Thanks Leah. Thankfully, I didn’t have rain the entire time. However, it did seem rather Irish. We’ve had crazy weather here the last week (over 7 inches of rain) but my time in Ireland made me appreciate the weather here a little more. I think that’s what got me thinking about my time in Ireland. In hindsight, I enjoyed the walk in the rain.

      After a cold, rainy weekend in Oregon two weeks ago and then coming back to all this rain in California, maybe someone is telling me something about getting out in the rain :)

  5. It is always great when you can land in a country and within a day hit a bar and a castle.

    • I can honestly say I didn’t hit a bar/pub when I got to Dublin although I did walk through Temple Bar before heading to Dublin Castle. However, I more than made up for it on Saturday night as I had a lot of fun with the Irish people and the craic in the Irish pubs.

  6. Ireland is one of those countries I cannot believe I have not been to yet – but I’m certainly getting great info from blog posts like this. On the rain thing, while it seems odd, I actually think rain can add to the experience. One place where I thought the rain actually helped was when I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. It made the mood somber as we walked around and saw the evidence of a horrible past…

    • Raul, I wish I had seen more of Ireland. Because of the purpose of my trip and my short amount of time there, I only got the chance to see Dublin. I definitely want to go back. However, I know what you mean about the rain. With Ireland, I expected rain and it only made my experience better. That first day of walking in the rain made me appreciate the rain again like I did as a kid.

      Like you, I’ve been to Auschwitz. While it wasn’t raining the day I went it was cold and overcast. Seemed appropriate.

      While beaches are made for sunshine, there are some places where rain just fits. While I haven’t been to Scotland, I would think a walk in the Highlands would be another good place for a little rain (although I’ll take the sun any time).

  7. Christy says:

    There are so many castles I want to see in Ireland! Great tips for visiting the castle. Are you planning to be at TBEX in Ireland next year?

    • I never got a tour of Dublin Castle. I stood in line to do it but changed my mind. For me, this was a great reminder to explore and enjoy the rain, my surroundings, and the experience.

      As for TBEX next year, I plan on going yes. However, I had a ticket for Spain this year but couldn’t go. I hope to be able to go so I can see more of Ireland. Love the Irish people (I wrote a post about them too)! :)

      Are you going to TBEX?

  8. Chris says:

    Ahh I do love a visit to a castle so much history to take in

    • I enjoy the history as well. Castles have that fairy tale mystique that make them so much more interesting. However, this was a day about walking in the rain and enjoying the views. Sometimes, those are pretty good too :)

  9. Suzy says:

    When I did my Ireland tour in the month of March, I expected rain and lots of it. I think it only rained a few days on my month with the country. It must have been an off month. I certainly do the same when I get to a new place. I like to walk through it and get that jet lag out of my system. It’s funny how those first few moments when you touch down have this sort of dream-like, unimaginable feel to them.

    • I don’t think Ireland is as rainy as some people think it is. Sure, it has that reputation and definitely has more rain in some months. However, I don’t think they often get the downpours people may imagine when they think of Ireland.

      Walking and exploring when you arrive is a great way to get acquainted. For me, this experience wasn’t as much about seeing Dublin as it was experiencing it from a different perspective. This was learning to be a kid again with the wild eyed fascination between the drops of water.

      As for those moments feeling dream-like and unimaginable, I believe that is very true – I think we call that jet lag :)

  10. Best way to slow down and take it all in is to walk. Something about making contact with the ground always provides a different kind of connection for me than if I got on a tour bus. And what a beautiful place to slow down!

    • Loved your comment about contact with the ground. Was just discussing this yesterday. Spending time walking around the city is the best way to EXPERIENCE it. You can see more quickly on a bus. However, it’s really about the experience!

  11. The Guy says:

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve been to Dublin many times but don’t think I’ve ever been through the Castle. Must do it next time, after a Guinness of course ;-)

    • I’ve never been through the castle either! I was going to but didn’t have a lot of time. I tried to do it but this was late in the afternoon and I just missed the next tour. I didn’t want to wait an hour for another so I thought I would come back. I never made it but did enjoy the walk in the rain. Next time I am in Dublin, I will do this as well.

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