My Top 5 things to do in Dublin, Ireland

by Michelle on March 1, 2015 · 8 comments

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My trip to Ireland happened pretty spontaneously when my American friend Tania decided on doing a Eurotrip for a month, and we were deciding on where we’d like to meet up. A Ryanair flight to Dublin at an irresistible price came under my radar and that settled that. My Canadian friend Miriam who’s currently living in Zurich decided to join as well last minute, and before you know it, a girls getaway to Ireland was planned!

While I’m still in the midst of working to finish all my papers for uni, a mini break was definitely much needed.

Ireland has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit, although I’ve never felt that particular pull towards it as I had with other places like London or Barcelona. Yann always raves about how much he loves it there, and after my trip there, I can definitely see why! During our four days in Ireland, we stayed in Dublin for 3 of them, and spent a day at the Cliffs of Moher and its surrounding towns in County Clare (more about that in the next post).

Lots of people have also commented that Dublin especially can be quite expensive, but when we were there, we found tons of things to do that were either free or extremely affordable. Take a look at some of my highlights from Dublin!

Free Walking tour

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I’ve done quite a few free walking tours around Europe, but this one was particularly fun. The Irish have always been stereotyped as being fun and talkative, and our tour guide was no exception. The tour was pretty long (3 hours of walking!) but somehow it seemed to go by super fast. Walking tours in general are a great way of checking out all the main sights of a city. The history lessons are also really interesting although somehow I always forget it all too quickly (I blame my vacation mode brain!).

I really liked the one we did in Dublin because of all the interesting facts we learned about Irish history, the Irish language, and that Molly Malone song, which by the end of our trip, I couldn’t get out of my head! Since the tour guides tend to be locals, they usually give out some really good recommendations on restaurants, bars, cafes etc to check out. It’s also a great way to meet some new people!

One thing to note about free walking tours is that while they are “free,” it’s a good gesture to always tip the tour guide since their wages usually comes entirely from these tips. I’ve seen some people sneak off at the end of a tour which I find so rude!

The National Gallery of Ireland

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Similar to London, many museums in Dublin are free. Since the weather is also pretty unpredictable in Dublin, the museums are fun to do when the weather outside is looking a bit dreary. My favourite is the National Gallery of Ireland, which has a small but nice collection of Impressionist paintings (my favourite!). Amongst them, there’s some Monets, Yeats, and my favourite Irish painter – William Leech.

A visit to Trinity College

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The campus is so gorgeous it’s definitely worth checking out. They have one of the most impressive alumni lists I’ve ever seen ranging from Oscar Wilde, to Samuel Beckett to Jonathan Swift. If you’re into literature, Dublin is one of the best cities in the world. For an English lit grad like me, Dublin was like paradise! 😛 Also, If you’re into Star Wars, the library at Trinity College is a must-see although the admissions price is a bit hefty. Since none of us are into Star Wars, we passed on it.

Trying the fish and chips

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I love fish and chips, and Dublin definitely has its share of them. One of the best fish and chips I’ve had was at a place called Super Miss Sue, which is a super popular amongst students and locals. If you have a student card (even an international one like me) remember to bring it with you, since you can get a heaping portion of fish and chips for 6,50 euros!

The food was so good I’m craving it as I’m writing this!

Live music in the Irish pubs

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I’m sure everyone has been to an Irish pub at some point in their lives since they can be found around the world. The pubs in Dublin are great. The ones we went to had such good live acts and the fun atmosphere is pretty contagious! I know Dublin is the place for Guinness but I’m not a fan of it at all since I find it way too bitter. If you like your drinks on the sweet side, Bulmers cider is amazing!

In Dublin, the Temple Bar area is full of bars with live music, although the drinks at many of them can be quite expensive (especially when you’re so used to German beer prices). In the more touristy ones, they can range from 7-9 euros a pint versus the more local prices of 5-6 euros. Quays Bar was a fun one with pretty decent drink prices. When you’re in the Temple Bar area though, the infamous Temple Bar is not to be missed!

One other thing I found cute were all the pigs they had scattered around the city when we were there. There’s 100 of them and you could win prizes for finding them. So cute!Here’s a couple I found…

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And of course I had to get some souvenirs for the boyfriend…

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Have you guys been to Dublin? What are some of your favourite things there?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike March 1, 2015 at 8:58 pm

How ironic, as I for real watched the first Star Wars last night, Michelle! I’m a huge lifelong fan so I would absolutely want to visit the library at Trinity College. OMG, Irish Whiskey Fudge? Are you kidding me? Feel free to mail me some of that my friend LOL 🙂 I looked up the Cliffs of Moher and the coastline is jaw-dropping beautiful. Ya know, I always so admire how you find the free and inexpensive things to do in your travels…and that allows you to travel. I admire you as a traveler overall too. Fish and chips…oh yes, I do love fish and chips. We have a place here in town that makes them with salmon. Absolute heaven. I can’t wait for your next post! 🙂

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Michelle Michelle March 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Awww I’m sure you would like the library then! There’s something for everyone! 😀 Yes it’s so good! Aww if I had known I would’ve bought more. Next time! 🙂 Yes I hope you’ll get to visit the cliffs someday! it was such an amazing experience! Wow salmon fish and chips sounds so good!!

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Agness March 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm

I actually didn’t know that Dublin offers so many things to do and explore. Adding it to my bucket list!

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Michelle Michelle March 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Yes it’s a wonderful city! Hope you’ll get to visit!

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Sara @ Simply Sara Travel March 19, 2015 at 10:35 am

Looks like a wonderful girl’s trip! I know very little about Star Wars, so I’m intrigued what the connection is with Trinity College Library. I did see the library when I was in Dublin, and it is GORGEOUS! You’re an English lit grad like me – i think you would have loved this library too, though I don’t remember the cost of admission.

Those pigs are adorable too! I would have loved to run around Dublin looking for them. I went two years ago, and I don’t remember seeing them…but if they were there at the time, I’m disappointed to have overlooked them!

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Michelle Michelle March 23, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Yea I had so much fun! The pigs are only there temporarily as part of an art instillation around the city that’s to be auctioned off, so don’t worry you didn’t overlook them when you were there last! 🙂

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Aleksei Maide May 7, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Fish & Chips, haha, considering moving to Dublin for a few months, since I’m nearby In London right now, what do you think, would it be culturally different?

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priyarao May 20, 2015 at 7:43 am

Trinity College and national gallery are attractive and climate of Ireland is very Good

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