Got a fever for finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? Why not some leprechauns too? Well then, get yourself to Ireland! Though I can’t guarantee you’ll find a pot of gold when you visit Ireland, I can almost certainly guarantee you will find joy, good times, happiness, beautiful scenery, a charming culture, and a vibrant nightlife. After spending 10 days in the Dublin region of the beautiful country of Ireland and falling in love with everything the country has to offer… here’s why you should go and some ideas for when you visit!
1. Cliff Walks – Walking along the cliffs of Howth, a town only a 30 minute DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) ride north from Dublin city, was something I will never forget and will always long for. I’ve done tons of hiking over the last 2 years, but I must say Howth may have offered the most breathtaking views, emotions, nature, and tranquility of all. I’ve never seen such powerful and vivid shades of green along with a vast range of untouched wild plants comfortably overlooking a magnificent sea with rocky, marvelous, secluded beach coves. Apparently there were seals too…although I didn’t see any! Nevertheless, simply beautiful and something you must experience. Also, if you get the chance… check on the Cliffs of Moher located in the southwest part of the country. Do a quick google image search and you’ll know understand.
2. The Pub Scene–It got dark around 5 o’clock this time of the year (November) in Dublin which was disorienting at points, but overall it was awesome because it only made the extremely enjoyable and unique “night life” scene start earlier. I’ll never forget walking into my first Irish pub and being surrounded by people dancing and smiling while live acoustic music blasted through the speakers and bartenders listened intently to those ordering drinks over the jamming of the local musicians. No matter what pub you walked in to, you’d get this same environment of music, happiness, and enjoyment. And they are everywhere! It’s a great scene and definitely a most enjoyable one as well. Wander into the Porterhouse, enjoy the three different floors of the pub and live music, and try the unique and tasty local beer called Oyster Stout. Also, you have to go into Temple Bar, the main tourist attraction, and buy a Guinness…just because.
3. Full Irish Breakfast – You have to love the Irish culture. Oh how tasty were the pork sausages, free range eggs, black pudding, porridge, hashbrowns, bacon, beans, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Coming from Italy which more or less only has coffee and pastries for breakfast… this was a godsend. I loved the porridge and black pudding which was really the first time I had eaten either and also the freshness of all the ingredients and food! No matter if you were at a hotel, hostel, or bed & breakfast… you could get some kind of version of the Full Irish Breakfasts. And of course every restaurant in town also could provide you with some of this amazingly filling and delicious taste of heaven. Don’t forget to add a little honey with your porridge for even an even more gratifying bowl of delight.
4. The People – I was lucky in that I got to stay with an amazing family who lived right outside of the city of Dublin. They were both well-traveled and had two adorable daughters who were 3 and 4. Along with this, they had a student from Sweden and a student from France living in their house who both studied at Trinity College in Dublin. And the first three days, my host’s childhood friend from Romania also stayed at the house! Needless to say the cultural conversations were nothing short of entertaining, amusing, and enlightening. I will miss their family and the house dearly… and everyone else I met was amazing, helpful, and friendly as well! Definitely the main reason I will want to go back to Dublin.
5. Corfu Restaurant – This was the best restaurant which I frequented three times with my girlfriend while she stayed with me towards the latter part of my time in Dublin. It’s in the Temple Bar District..and has nothing but exquisite food, a friendly atmosphere, and amazing workers! We befriended Demetrius who was the youngest of the staff (24 years old) and who was born in Greece with a great sense of humor. We had some funny conversations with him the first night we were there, then told him we would come back, and ultimately went out to a bar with him after his late night shift on our final night. When I return, this will be the first place I go to eat! Nearby, there’s also an excellent Persian restaurant called Zaytoon which you don’t want to miss either.
Along with these ideas there are also millions more.. like Phoenix Park, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin Castle, Malahide Castle, the Guinness Storehouse, the Botanical Gardens (Beautiful and highly recommended) and Wicklow Mountains just to name a few. You will never get bored.
What are you waiting for? Go check out StudentUniverse’s cheap flights to Dublin and find your pot of gold!