Akita's Guide to Dublin for SaaStock 2019 Attendees
In preparation for SaaStock Dublin, we asked our Co-founder, recovering Archaeologist and one time Dublin Tour Guide Barry Devon to suggest 7 things to keep you busy around the event.
7 things to do in Dublin for SaaStock attendees:
1. Can you recommend a pub?
The Stag's Head, Dublin.
Take a look inside.
Just one? One of the joys of Dublin is you’ll never run out of pubs to try. Pubs are what we’re known for and pubs are what we're good at. The only place to avoid is the Temple Bar district, where you’ll only find Irish themed pubs...in Ireland...huh? Yes, 😕.
My favorite - The Stags Head. This beautiful Victorian-era boozer is a dark, wood-paneled, stained glass sanctuary from a day talking tech at SaaStock. Put your phone away, drink plenty and talk nonsense. Don’t - order a cocktail, tell anyone about your start-up or shout loudly on your phone. Notable mentions in the ‘heritage’ category - The Long Hall, McDaids, Toners.
If you fancy something with less grey hair and better cocktails. You can’t go too wrong with a visit to The Chelsea Drugstore or The Bar With No Name. If you’re feeling flush and want some luxury, try the bar at the 5* Shelbourne hotel.
What about nightclubs Barry? Hahahahaha, I have a 6-month-old baby, ask someone younger.
2. Where’s good for coffee?
If you’d like a large bucket of coffee flavored ditchwater, there’s always Starbucks. Otherwise, I can offer you 3 suggestions...
The most famous coffee house in Ireland is Bewley’s Oriental Cafe on Grafton Street. Our recent boom-bust-boom economy and rising rents nearly killed it off, but thankfully Bewley’s has clung on. It retains much of its original 90-year-old charm and is home to some incredible Harry Clarke stained glass windows. Probably don’t go at peak times as its ridiculously popular but it’s definitely worth a visit.
Bewley’s Oriental Cafe, Grafton Street.
Take a look inside.
The most popular café among the tech/hipster community is 3FE down on the ‘silicon docks’. Run by coffee innovator Colin Harmon, you won't be disappointed if you’re a coffee connoisseur and don’t mind paying a premium for your cuppa.
Founded by an American emigree Katie Cantwell, KC Peaches is a real Dublin success story. They now have 4 cafés across the city where you can get budget wholefood eats, a great cup of coffee and fire up your laptop. I favor their spot on Dame Street.
3. What’s a good route for a walk/stroll from the conference?
Dublin is home to the international HQs of some of the largest SaaS operators, most of whom are located walking distance from the RDS. This route takes you past the offices of LinkedIn, Zendesk, Wrike, Intercom, Qualtrics, Facebook and Google. You’ll weave through some of south Dublin's most salubrious and oldest neighborhoods, along the Grand Canal, through the city center and down to the ‘Silicon Docks’...oh, and back.
Tech walking route, from SaaStock and back.
View on Google Maps.
You may not want to do the whole 8.6km, try this shortened route along the canal to Zendesk and back in under an hour.
Most of these companies have swanky new offices they are justifiably proud of. I’m sure if you reach out in advance and tell them you’re attending SaaStock they would be happy to stand you a coffee and show you around. Say I sent you…(maybe not 😉).
4. Where is good to work out nearby?
There are seemingly limitless torture chambers across the city that offer a multitude of ways to get those endorphins flowing or give you cardiac arrest. The 2 below are the only ones I can attest to:
Flyefit run no-frills gyms across the south of the city that offers 1-day memberships for €10.
If you need a CrossFit fix, you can drop into Crossfit Perpetua run by the original Dublin Crossfit pioneers, the Price brothers. €25 drop-in fee.
5. Speaking of cardiac arrest, can you recommend a good jogging route?
You have options. Dublin is coastal, so from the RDS you can make your way to the Sandymount seaside promenade and run all the way by the Irish sea to the pier at Dun Laoghaire and back if you want.
Deer in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
View on Google Maps.
My favorite place to run is across the city in the Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed city park in Europe. An internal lap (it’s a walled park) is about 10 km and will take you through some beautiful mature wood and parklands and past the residences of the Irish President and the US ambassador (as well as Dublin Zoo). You may well encounter the herd of semi-wild deer (yes, within the city!). I would suggest a start-finish at the Phoenix Cafe.
If running’s not your thing, there’s also the option to rent a bike.
6. Do you have a favorite museum?
Fruit-eating bat. The Dead Zoo, Dublin.
Photo by Rob Hurson
I love The Dead Zoo (Natural History Museum). It’s a museum of a museum. With 20th century Ireland in semi-permanent recession, most public buildings didn’t have the resources to invest in keeping their interiors or exhibits up to date. Hence the Dead Zoo is a Victorian time capsule filled with antiquated exhibits and feels like something from a Conan-Doyle or RL Stevenson story (it's been used as a location on Ripper Street and Penny Dreadful). Duck in if you’re passing, it’s free!
7. Is there a local event we should check out?
SaaStock isn't the only game in town this week! The Dublin Festival of History is running until October 20th with over 150 walks, tours, exhibitions and talks taking place across the city. There's also an exhibition from local signpainter Vanessa Power, a Food & Drink Festival to indulge in, and a concert from Grammy award-winner John Mayer. If all else fails, you can't go wrong with some traditional Irish music at The Cobblestone pub.
A typical "trad session" (traditional Irish music).
Photo by Kelly Taylor