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Brianna, BUNAC's program coordinator, spent a summer abroad in Ireland a few years ago and fell in love with the country. She has complied a list of her top things to do in Dublin for those participants doing our Work In Ireland program, or just headed to Ireland for a visit.
DUBLIN – Metropolitan Hub of Ireland
My home away from home. This gem of a city is where I spent two months living, studying and meandering about my 19th summer of life. As one of the coolest cities on the planet, there is a plethora of activities to do. Things that you MUST put on your “to do list” while here include:
• Partake in a full Irish breakfast – Liberties area recommended – post up with a full pot of tea, bangers, eggs, mash, oh my! Better than your mama’s breakfast (don’t tell her that though)…
• Go on a pub tour (of any kind – I went on a literary pub tour, where they performed scenes of major Irish plays of the past century) – Trinity College Area Recommended.
• Watch a football game at a pub – During my time in Ireland, it was the Euro cup. Our Irish college neighbors invited us to go to a pub with them to cheer on the Irish to victory. It might be the most intense group of fans you ever experience but definitely one of the most fun ways to integrate into the culture!
• Visit the different neighborhoods (Trinity College Area, Temple Bar [touristy for sure, but worth going to at least once], Old City, Liberties, St. Stephen’s Green/Grafton Street [my favorite], Fitzwilliam & Merrion Squares, O'Connell Street (North of the Liffey River)
• Shopping by day/Bar-hopping by night in Grafton Street area – Some of the most expensive and inexpensive shopping in the same area. Once the sun sets, the bars are glowing with lights and Guinness signs.
• Go to a traditional music “session” in one of the local pubs – Irish music is the soul of their culture. I went to a session to do some research on a project I was doing about the commercialization of Irish pub music. You want to hear the authentic stuff? Go to a session. Locals from near and far come with their instrument of choice and join in on some traditional folk songs. If you’re feeling confident, jump in with a harmonica, they’ll love it.
• Irish Story Telling – One of the most entertaining (and FREE) things I did was attend an Irish story telling event. One of the oldest traditions of man-kind, humans from near and far come to this event hosted by the nonprofit “Cookies and Milk” to tell their literary creations to the public. Some were obviously better than others, but it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.
• Irish House Party – Add an Irish House Party event or any other type of Irish step-dancing show to your list of activities. It’s an interactive show that includes the following: dinner, beer/wine, step dancing, traditional Irish instruments and an overall fun time. I went with a group of 17 friends and we stole the audience component from the rest of the room. It was great craic!
Have questions about Brianna's time in Ireland or how you can experience life in Dublin? Contact the BUNAC staff today!