Your first few weeks in Dublin will probably be spent in the more touristy areas. Having a pint in a Temple Bar pub and hitting the shops on Grafton Street are pretty much ‘rites of passage’ for all students who are new to the city. Once you’ve settled in, though, it’s time to try out different parts of the city and figure out which ones you like best, because making the most of your free time away from studying is hugely important.
So here are a few suggestions from us, just to get you started…
St Stephen’s Green
As fun and exciting as metropolitan life is, we all benefit from a little break away from the hustle and bustle every now and then. In Dublin you can achieve this without actually leaving the city!
St Stephen’s Green is a peaceful patch of paradise that has provided Dubliners with much-needed respite since the 1880s. Nowadays it’s wonderfully maintained by the Office of Public Works, making it one of the most picturesque city parks you’ll ever see.
Perfect for picnicking, studying, reading a book for pleasure IRL, jogging, or whatever, St Stephen’s Green could well become one of your favourite spots in the whole city.
(Website, FYI: http://ststephensgreenpark.ie/)
The Light House Cinema
Who doesn’t like watching films? (Oh.)
Most people love a good trip to the movies, and if there’s ever a time you’ll broaden your cinematic horizons a bit, it’s during your college years.
The Light House Cinema is Dublin’s ‘art-house’ cinema, which basically means it only shows the pretty good and/or intellectual stuff, including foreign-language films and one-off screenings of classics. (In other words, if you’re after the seventeenth or eighteenth Fast and Furious film, you’re probs better off going to Cineworld in the Parnell Centre.)
The Light House is much smaller than your average cinema, with only four screens, so it’s nice and intimate, not to mention much better kept. Each year it hosts part of the Dublin International Film Festival, which is pretty cool.
(Website, FYI: http://www.lighthousecinema.ie/)
The ‘Hipster Triangle’ Area
This is where you’ll find a lot of craft beer joints, cocktail bars, and fancy food spots. Highlights include…
- The Hairy Lemon – a pub that’s as kooky as its name suggests.
- Super Miss Sue – hipsterific fish and chips, with a special deal for students!
- The Chelsea Drugstore – food and cocktails.
- Jo’Burger – yep, you guessed it: hamburgers mainly.
- Murphy’s – ice cream!
- Kaph – coffee etc.
- The Bald Barista – coffee etc. again.
Then just a few streets away you’ll find George’s Street Arcade – a gorgeous old red-brick building with weird and wonderful little shops inside. Definitely worth checking out at least once (if just to Instagram the living daylights out of the exterior…).
Pubs & Bars
Given that socialising is a massive part of student life, we thought it’d be useful to dedicate a little section to cool pubs and bars that are also student-friendly (both in atmosphere and cost!). So here you go:
- The Ginger Man (Address: 40 Fenian Street, Dublin 2) – a proper Irish pub that’s cosy and welcoming.
- Howl at the Moon (Address: 7/8 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2) – huge bar and nightclub split across four levels!
- O’Reilly’s Bar (Address: 2 Poolbeg St, Dublin 2 – right underneath Tara Street Station) – a super-cheap place that serves great food as well as all the drinks you can imagine.
- Doyles (Address: 9 College St, Dublin 2) – down-to-earth pub that’s something of a Dublin institution, and only a short stroll from Trinity College!
- Woolshed Baa & Grill (Address: The Parnell Centre, Parnell Street, Dublin 1) – a huge sports bar where you can eat burgers, drink beer and watch pretty much any major sports event.
Of course, you and your new flatmates/coursemates will find your own favourite spots over time – these are just good starting points.
Go on, what are you waiting for?