We're a friendly bunch here at Homestay.com who love to travel and soak up the best of local experiences. Before he jetted off to his next location, we sat down with David, a Marketing Intern here at the Homestay HQ.
As a native of Dublin who has lived abroad and travelled extensively, we asked David to share some of his favourite places in his hometown, as well as some travel inspiration from his own adventures in the last few years.
The River Liffey in Dublin City Centre
It has to be the city centre on a (rare!) sunny day. I love walking over the Ha’penny Bridge on one of those evenings, when people are finishing work and heading for a drink with their friends, or popping into the park in Stephen’s Green to catch some rays.
I just think there’s something very refreshing about it. Irish people don’t get many chances to enjoy the weather – and I think it creates a really positive atmosphere in the city when we do. There isn’t a nicer place in the world than Dublin when the sun is out.
Image courtesy of The Bakehouse Café
I cannot stress how much I adore The Bakehouse on Bachelors Walk. It doesn’t matter how full I am, I’ll always make room for their pancakes! They’re so delicious that they don’t really need any embellishment, but the plate comes with lots of maple syrup, strawberries, bananas and a berry compote. It’s unbeatable!
If you want to stay healthy though, their chicken salad is also pretty good.
Image courtesy of Sophie's Dublin
I also have a fondness for Whitefriar Grill on Aungier Street. You’ll find it hard to come across a better steak in Dublin. And its location means that, once you’ve finished your dinner, you’re surrounded by plenty of cool bars in which to have a drink afterwards.
I have to give an honourable mention to Sophie’s on Harcourt Street, at the top of the Dean Hotel. Not only is their brunch exquisite, but the panoramic views of Dublin you get through their huge windows give the place a real upmarket vibe that make you feel a little bit like a celebrity.
Aerial shot of the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin
If you’re looking for a quiet walk, run or lie-down, Iveagh Gardens is a great spot. It’s a park in the heart of the city that's used for concerts and comedy events in the summer but, for some reason, is underused by the public for most of the year.
Although parks like the ones in Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square are more famous, they’re often thronged with people, so it’s nice to have a similar place you can use to get away from it all.
Iveagh Gardens has a big green area to kick a ball around in, read a book or lie down– and also plenty of trees and walking areas, so you don’t really feel like you’re in the city anymore.
River Vltava in Prague with tourists using the pedalos
This is tough. My girlfriend and I went inter-railing in the summer and pretty much loved everywhere we went, but I suppose I’d have to say Prague. It was the first time I’d visited there and I just don’t think it can be beaten. There is stunning architecture and so many activities that you simply aren’t given a chance to get bored.
I think what makes Prague even more special is that it’s perfect for all types of holidays: couples, families, stag and hen parties, holidays with friends. My tip is to try taking a pedalo out for a spin on the River Vltava on a sunny summer day. You don’t get much more chilled than that.
David with his tour guides in Morocco last March
This one’s easy! We went to Morocco in March and because we wanted to see as much as possible, booked a week-long driving tour around the country. We were picked up at Marrakech Airport and taken to our riad, which is a type of Moroccan B&B, with a personal experience delivered to you by the hosts.
We were given traditional Moroccan biscuits and mint tea when we arrived as we chatted with the extremely friendly French owners – and spent the night in one of the cosiest beds I’ve ever slept in.
The next day, we were picked up by the tour company and driven from Marrakech all the way to Fes, where we stayed in another out-of-this-world riad that over-delivered on its promise of hospitality!
In between, we had the adventure of a lifetime: with our guides, we drove high into the Atlas Mountains, drank mint tea with local Berber people, rode camels across the Sahara Desert and slept in sumptuous tents under the stars, before watching the Sahara sunrise in the morning. What’s more, we became great friends with our guides and we can’t wait to go back and visit them in a few years.
David stops to take photos of the sand dunes at dusk
I’m moving to Italy shortly, so I’m really keen to explore as many parts of that country as I can. We’ll be living near Bari, but I’m determined to see Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Turin, Naples, Sicily and Genoa.
You can probably tell from that list that I’ve never been to Italy. Where we’ll be living is apparently only a boat ride away from Greece, Croatia, and Albania, so I’m certain that we’ll make those voyages as soon as possible.
Exploring Dijon during a trip to France
I’ve always had a desire to see South America. I’m a big football fan, so I think I’d fit in well with the locals in Brazil, Chile or Argentina. If I had unlimited funds (and time), I’d spend it by travelling all around South America, using as many different forms of transport as possible. My girlfriend would prefer to see Asia, though, so we may have to compromise on that one!
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