The Guinness Storehouse is the number one attraction in Dublin and this is a title well earned as it is undoubtedly a wonderfully polished package. You’ll need at least two hours to make your way through the spiritual home of the famous black meal of a drink with plenty to see and do like pouring your own pint, tutored tastings and a complimentary pint up in the Sky Bar with 360 degree views of Dublin. The shop is a merchandising Mecca and could easily be your one-stop shop for all your friends’ and families’ souvenir needs from your Ireland adventure.
However, it’s important to know some pretty significant caveats to this recommendation as the popularity of a venue always comes with drawbacks. Most importantly for a comfortable visiting experience, the Guinness Storehouse gets ridiculously busy at times. Coming on a weekend over the Summer you will find yourself in a queue to get a ticket (for the love of God, pre-book online to skip the queue) and then queuing inside for all the good bits whilst crawling nose-to-tail through the attraction. The climactic pint in the Sky Bar will turn into a struggle to find a space anywhere near a window and much eyeballing of soon-to-be empty seats.
For a nearly €20 admission fee, you expect a quality experience especially when the place you are visiting is a visitor centre rather than a working brewery. One way to do alleviate the crush is arriving prior to 11.00am and the early arrival means you can always have lunch in one of the decent on-site restaurants.
A cool way to bump up your Guinness experience is to book a table at the Open Gate Brewery bar. This bar, showcasing the brews of the Guinness-affiliated Open Gate Brewery, is onsite at the brewery but not within the Guinness Storehouse. The great thing about the Open Gate Brewery is that the Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening only opening hours and a compulsory online booking requirement add a little bit exclusivity. The € 8.00 entrance fee includes a tasting paddle which is great value for money.