“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
Our time in Ireland was a series of adventures, misadventures, wrong turns, right turns, and overall just a lot of exploring. Each day we tried new things, created great memories, and visited new places. Half the fun was wondering around the streets of Dublin, dipping in and out of interesting looking shops and restaurants. However, we all agreed it was nice to have a short list of must-see places given to us by previous visitors. So I few us put our heads together and created a list of essential tidbits of advice as well as places in Dublin I may have missed in previous posts. So now, we bequeath what we learned to you all – the next wave of Dubliners:
- “Go to Karaoke at The Workman’s Club. If you’re looking for a club in Galway, Electric is recommended by the locals. It’s a bit like a dark, smokey maze but the dance music is on point! – Rohan, senior.
- “If you want the best loaf of brown bread in Dublin go to Le Petite Parisian! But don’t wait to visit late in the day because they do run out of bread near the closing hours. Also when your craving something light and healthy Alchemy Juice Co. is the place to go. Two final notes: 1) go to Pygmalion for lunch and order a side of sweet potato fries 2) The soup of the day is ALWAYS a good choice.” -Ella, junior.
- “Yogism Frozen Yogurt is a must, as is Candy Lab. On a different note the club scene is Dublin is great, we had some fun nights at Diceys Garden Bar, Copper Face Jacks, and The Academy. But be aware that there’s a cover charge around 5 euro everywhere!” – Kaitlin, junior.
- “HATCH N SONS! Best breakfast in Dublin.” -Kathleen, senior.
- “Don’t bring rain boots to Ireland, it’s a waste of valuable packing space.” -Meredith, senior.
- “If you need groceries in Dublin, Fallon and Byrne is the place to go. But it’s a bit on the pricey side.” – Whitney, senior.
- “Don’t go on the Gravedigger Bus Tour in Dublin. It’s extremely underwhelming.” – Claire, junior.
- Go to Jo Burger and order the “ikqezi” burger. One of the toppings is a caramelized banana, which sounds disgusting but it’s actually wonderful.
- Good nights always start with Bulmers Original Irish Cider.
- When in doubt order a Jameson and Ginger.
- One very important note on clothing: Pack at least 2 thick sweaters you can re-wear, a warm fleece jacket, more than 2 pairs of pants, and a cute long-sleeve shirt to go out in. When we arrived we were not prepared for the very chilly weather, so these are all things I bought.
- If you find that you forgot to pack something H&M is a lifesaver, while Penneys is known for being very cheap (think Forever 21) when we arrived in May they had already made the transition over to their summer collection. Despite the fact that it was still 60 degrees everyday. Why anyone in Dublin would be wearing shorts, tank tops, and summer dresses I have no earthly idea.
- Don’t even try plugging in a hairdryer or straightener from the U.S. into a converter, the warning labels are true, it will explode.
- The best places to shop for gifts to bring home to your friends and family are:
- MAgne – It’s a unique Dublin boutique and everything they sell is handmade by local craft makers from the area!
- ThunderSolas – An amazing little leather store where you can buy custom handmade key rings, bags, belts, cuffs, bracelets and much more. The cuffs and key rings can even have unique messages printed on them. One of my favorite purchases was a gold brass bracelet that has the coordinates of Dublin on it.
- Guinness Storehouse – While initially you may think that this is the most cliche place to buy souvenirs ever, at the Storehouse there is an option to purchase customized Guinness pint glasses. My dad adored the glasses I brought him that had our last name printed on it and also read “Thanks for letting me explore Ireland.”
- Monte Cristo Antiques at Powerscourt Centre – If you are looking for a gift with originality and beauty or are seeking something quite special and unusual they may have just the thing you want. And unlike the other antique shops in the centre they have items that suit all budgets.
- If you don’t like tomatoes before you visit Dublin you will by the time you leave.
- Embrace the pub songs! You’ll find yourself humming the staples like:
- All For Me Grog
- The Crack Was Ninety In The Isle of Man
- Seven Drunken Nights
- Rocky Road to Dublin
- I’ll Tell Me Ma
- Molly Malone
- Whiskey In The Jar
- The Wild Rover
- I cannot stress the importance of savoring every last drop of Raspberry Jam from The Pepper Pot Cafe.
- If you’re traveling for an extended period of time sending items home is fairly reasonable to do. I sent a 16 pound box to the states for 65 euro.
- Birkenstocks are much cheaper abroad than in the states, so if you’re looking to buy a pair of “Birkey Berks” wait until you leave the country.
- Buses stop running at 11:00 p.m. so be prepared to pay for a cab home if you’re going out for a night on the town.
- If you are ever in need of WiFi while in the city there is free WiFi in every Carroll’s Irish Gifts. Since there is a Carroll’s on every other street it’s not hard to dip in and discreetly look up directions.
- Fun Fact: Google maps continues giving directions even when you leave WiFi if the map is started while you still have it.
- Kopparberg Cider tastes like a Starburst.
- A “bookmaker” doesn’t mean a place where they make books…but if you’re looking to place a bet on a sporting event you’re in the right place.
P.S. If you’re a fan of The Bachelorette, this season is pretty hard to watch. But they do visit Dublin, Ireland! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL5aJPa5CtE