Now that Dublin is basking in sunshine, and for many students, exams are finished, it is a good time to explore Dublin.
There are many, many websites online that will offer you traditional advice about things to do when living in Dublin. For this blog post, we thought it might be fun to share less well-known (secret?) things to do in Dublin, which won’t cost you that much money.
1. Cheap lunches
Dublin can be quite expensive but if you know where to go, there are plenty of places to have quite cheap meals. Govindas on Aungier Street is a great place for Indian, vegetarian food. Just ask for a small plate with everything and you’ll get a huge meal for less than €7. University campuses offer cheap lunches to students – here in DIFC, you can eat at Arthur’s restaurant. If you are in the city centre, you can go and eat in Trinity College at The Buttery (even if you’re not a student there).
Going to the cinema is a great way to practise your English. But it can also be expensive. A lot of cinemas offer student rates and a few even offer low rates on specific days. In Cineworld, the cheap tickets are Tuesday. Odeon have cheap days depending on which cinema. In Dun Laoghaire it is €5 on Thursdays. In Stillorgan, the cheap tickets are on Wednesdays. You can use this fantastic webpage to look at all the cinemas on one page.
If you are new to a city, the worst thing is needing to use the bathroom but not knowing where to go. Often you have to go to McDonalds but if you are unlucky they may say “customers only”. If you are near Grafton Street, go to the top floor of Brown Thomas. They have beautiful facilities, Molton Brown soap and lovely relaxing music.
If you are in the city centre and want a coffee, this often means queuing up in a small cafe, paying over €3 and sitting beside a complete stranger. For a more relaxing coffee drinking experience, go to the Marks and Spencer café at the top of their building on Grafton Street. You can sit outside, drink a lovely coffee and you have a bird’s eye view of Grafton street.
The Dublin library system is fantastic. There are libraries everywhere. You can go and read the newspapers or study in peace. Another great advantage, that many people don’t know about, is that you can order any book. The book might not be in your local library, but you can ask them to order it for you. This will only cost you 50 cent! You can do it for DVDs as well. The most impressive and beautiful of the libraries is in Dun Laoghaire.
After a long week of studying, it is important to get a bit of exercise. Obviously, there are lots of beautiful parks in the city centre but if you would like something a bit more adventurous, a great walk is the Cliff Walk from Bray to Greystones. It takes about 90 minutes to walk and you get beautiful views of cliffs and the sea. And when you arrive in Greystones, you can have the most delicious meal in the Happy Pear. Then take the Dart back to Dublin.
7. Classical Music
There is no better way to relax (and feel more clever!) than going to a classical music concert. However, they are often expensive, full of snoring old people and a bit stuffy. In the summer time, every Tuesday luncthime from 1pm to 2pm, there are short classical music concerts in the National Concert Hall. The programmes are usually light and accessible, the building is beautiful and you step out feeling refreshed.
8. Going underground
There are loads of ancient buildings to see in Dublin. A less well-known, and quite unusual place is St. Michan’s church. You can go there, go underground and see the crypts and mummies there. And it’s much cheaper than other similar attractions.
When people go to Trinity College, they often just go to see the Book of Kells, wander around the campus a little bit and then leave. However, if you go to the far side of Trinity College, you will find the Science Gallery. There is always a really interesting science exhibition. And completely free!
If you can think of other fun things to do that we didn’t mention, please let us know.
Enjoy the sunshine 🙂