Meet Barnacles staff – Helena

Name: Helena Murphy
Age: 31
Where are you from: Dublin – born, bred and buttered
Hobbies: Going to the theatre, going to pub quizzes or watching TV quiz shows, travelling both in Ireland and abroad

Favourite country you have visited: South Africa or Mexico I think

Why is it your favourite? 
South Africa was just so different from anywhere I had visited before or since. The culture was very different, the landscape is beautiful and the people are so friendly.

If someone else is travelling there, what should they see?
I wish I had travelled a bit more along the coast, I mostly stayed in the Cape Town area – I would definitely recommend trying shark-cage diving. It was one of the most epic experiences of my life

Dream destination you would like to visit next? Why? 
I haven’t been to Asia yet, and I would love to go to Vietnam. I did a project on Vietnam in school and it always struck me as a very exotic place with great people and from what I have heard since, it is a beautiful place to visit.

Your favourite bar /pub in Dublin? Why? 
Fitzgeralds, on Aston Quay. Always and forever. Good food, decent pints, not too expensive. The staff are always up for a chat and I don’t think I’ve ever been there and been able to stay for ‘just one pint’…


Check off the bucket list. Fitzgerald’s bar in Dublin🍻

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 Your favourite restaurant in Dublin? Why? 
This changes quite frequently but I was recently in Monty’s of Kathmandu on Eustace Street and the food was amazing. I love the Mykonos Taverna on Dame Street too, they do a great selection of Greek Mezedes if you like sharing food with a few people (although I find this difficult as it’s all so delicious)

How would your perfect day in Dublin look like? If the weather was nice, I would probably try to do a good bit of walking as it is such a great city for a stroll. I would hit the Dame Street, Georges Street, Grafton Street area, and all the little side streets around there. You can see Trinity College, City Hall, Christchurch Cathedral, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Marsh’s Library. I do enjoy a whiskey and I am a big fan of Teelings Distillery in Newmarket. I would make my way to the Little Museum of Dublin off Stephens Green – they do a history of the city in 29 minutes and have really quirky little exhibits. From there I’d have to take a trip to one of (or all of!) the pubs on Baggot Street. Great atmosphere guaranteed!

What should people not miss when visiting Dublin? 
It is really hard to pick just one!! I love the tour at Kilmainham Gaol – they have limited tour numbers and it sells out so I would advise to book in advance. The Glasnevin Cemetery Tour is also really interesting.  

What are your favourite spots in Ireland? Where should travellers go after Dublin & why? 
This is also a tough one as there are so many places and things to see outside of Dublin. I am a big Game of Thrones fan so when I went up North to the Giant’s Causeway, we stopped at a few of the filming locations which was awesome (actually, you can read more about Game of Thrones locations here). I was in Westport, Co Mayo for the first time at New Year’s and it is a great little spot. Cork during the Jazz Festival is always good fun.

Irish expression everyone should know before coming to Ireland? 
Definitely ‘what’s the craic?’ We use this as a way of asking how you are/what’s going on/any news and it can confuse an awful lot of newcomers!


Say hello to Helena next time you are staying in Barnacles Temple Bar Hostel!