If you are wondering why study in Ireland, you are probably considering a number of factors related to the education system and the quality of universities. While Ireland does have great universities and an attractive post-study work visa, the reasons why study in Ireland go beyond university life. Ireland is an ancient and culturally unique country famous for being very welcoming, the home of the most hospitable people and many interesting legends and myths (like Saint Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland).
To help you explore why studying in Ireland can be even more enjoyable than you think, we have prepared a list of our 10 favourite things to do in Dublin over the weekend.
History & Culture: Big reasons why you should study in Ireland
Your experience in Ireland will not be the same if you don’t take the time to dive into Irish history and culture. But learning about the country’s history and understanding its cultural aspects doesn’t have to be something boring. Here are four places you can go to explore Ireland’s rich history and culture over the weekend in Dublin.
1. EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum
Winner of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards ’19, ’20 & ’21, EPIC is a museum experience like no other, an interactive journey that explores how a little island had a significant influence on the world. EPIC is a beautiful and fun celebration of the Irishness around the globe, and certainly, one of the top attractions that prove why studying in Ireland is an experience that goes beyond classes and assignments.
2. Kilmainham Gaol
Considered Ireland’s most notorious prison, Kilmainham Gaol is also one of the most famous jails in the world. Some of the country’s most notable leaders and individuals who have sparked political change were held in this prison. You will learn about persons who were imprisoned as regular criminals as well as those who battled for Irish independence.
3. National Gallery of Ireland
The gallery holds Ireland’s national and European art collections. It is located in downtown Dublin, with one entrance on Clare Street, and another on Merrion Square, next to Leinster House. The best time to visit the gallery is Thursday evening when there are fewer visitors and it’s open late.
4. St Patrick’s Cathedral
Built between 1191 and 1270 and located in the historic Liberties district, St Patricks Cathedral is Ireland’s largest and arguably most famous church. The building is one of the few left from medieval Dublin and it’s also famous for its choir. The garden outside the church is always busy on sunny days crowded with people lying on the grass enjoying the sun and the view.
Love Nature? Here’s your reason why studying in Ireland and what to do on the weekend
There is a reason why Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle: it’s very green! The vast greenery throughout the island is accurately described by the term. You will find scenic green lands crowded with sheep in the countryside, but you will also see beautiful large parks in Dublin city. If you love being surrounded by nature and are still wondering why studying in Ireland is a great option for you and what to do on the weekend, here’s your answer.
5. Phoenix Park
Home to Europe’s oldest zoo and a big herd of fallow deer, Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed park within any European capital city. On a sunny day, enjoy a stroll at the park, see the deer (but don’t feed them), and lie down. If you like cycling, this is certainly the right spot for you too. Grab a bike and explore the 709 hectares that make up Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
6. Portmarnock Beach
Portmarnock Beach is a sandy beach located in North Dublin. With a lovely view of the Howth Harbour and Dublin Mountains, Portmarnock is jam-packed on the warm days of Summer. There is also a path leading to Malahide, which is totally worth a visit.
Enjoy the Irish ‘craic’
Irish pubs are famous worldwide, with Temple Bar being the most popular area among tourists. But if you want to go somewhere else, there are plenty of pubs, restaurants, and bars for you to have fun on the weekend. Understanding the history of traditional brands like Jameson and Guinness is also a great way of getting familiar with Irish culture.
7. Jameson Distillery Bow St.
With a firm focus on storytelling, the fully-guided unforgettable experiences at Jameson Distillery Bow St. are an invitation to explore this historical landmark and praise the art of brewing Irish whiskey. Touch, smell, and taste Jameson in an interactive tour of the original Bow St. Distillery buildings.
8. Guinness Storehouse
Guinness Storehouse is one of the most popular attractions in Dublin. This seven-story museum is dedicated to the company’s history and how the beer is created. At the end of the tour, you can test your pouring skills and have a pint of Guinness at the Gravity Bar, an atrium bar on the top level where you will have a stunning panoramic view of the city.
Devitt’s is a family-run traditional Irish pub in central Dublin where you will find talented musicians plying their trade. Located at Camden Street Lower, this highly recommended pub serves drinks and homemade food until late.
10. The George
Looking for an LGBTQIA+ spot? The George is the place. This iconic venue hosts some of the top weekly performances in the city, like Shirley’s legendary Sunday night bingo and Space’ N’ Veda cabaret and drag.
Why study in Ireland? This short list of 10 things to do in Dublin on the weekend is just a little taste of Ireland’s diversity. If you are coming to Dublin to do your pre-masters or English foundation course with DIFC, we also organise a regular programme of activities designed to help you make the most of your time in Ireland. If you are still looking for reasons why you should study in Ireland, look no more! Talk to our DIFC team about how to apply for a course.