Tuesday, 26, August 2014

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The Croke Park

The Family Day Out - Dublin On a GAA Match Day

Bewley's Cafe, Grafton Street

The first rule of going to a GAA match is to have a hearty breakfast. Take a stroll down Grafton Street and stop at  Bewley’s Cafe for an Irish traditional breakfast. It’s perfect for watching the world go by on Dublin’s famous shopping street. If the weather is fine, get a fresh pastry and hot chocolate from  Butlers Cáfe on Stephen’s Green and feed the ducks in St Stephen’s Green park, which also has a large playground.  

If you book in advance, you can see what goes on behind the scenes in Croke Park. Take a  Croke Park pre-match stadium tour and get in before the stiles open. You’ll see the players’ dressing rooms and lounge, and get a bird’s eye view from the media stadium. If you've time, it’s worth visiting their exhibition Hair Hurling Balls: Earliest Artefacts of Our National Game, which showcases 14 historic hurling balls from over 800 years ago. Croke Park also has a cáfe that does breakfast and lunch. 

Croke Park Stadium tour

Another fun option is  The Science Gallery on Pearse Street which is part of the Trinity College buildings. Its open-plan space and ceiling-to-floor windows make it an oasis of calm in the city. Visit the gallery’s nearby MakeShop, on Lincoln Place, where you can learn everything from DIY robotics to how to build your own radio, or do a bit of shopping – magnetic rocks, Pacman Soap on a Rope or a Love Dublin mug, anyone? 

Science Gallery, Dublin

Before you head home, book a Big Bus Tour or a  Viking Splash tour to catch the city’s most iconic attractions like Dublin Zoo, The Phoenix Park and The National Wax Museum. 

To get to the match, Croke Park is in Drumcondra, approximately 10 minutes from the city centre. Dublin Bus operates many bus routes from O’Connell Street in the city centre. The  Dart or  LUAS both bring you to within easy walking distance of the stadium, which also links to Connolly and Heuston Station. 

The buzz on a match day is unforgettable so whether you walk, take a bus or train, the craic will be mighty.