Are you heading to TBEX Dublin next month? First time to Dublin? Well, I have you covered. I may not have my pulse on what’s super cool right now, but I spent a semester in Dublin and have been back 7 times total. So there’s that.
- Take the Airlink into Dublin city centre from the airport. You’ll get dropped off right on O’Connell Street (or a rail station, Luas line, or Busáras). It’s only 6 euro for a one way ticket or 10 euro for a roundtrip ticket.
- Speaking of buses, you’ll need to state your final destination when you board city buses as that determines your fare. If you don’t have exact change, be sure to keep your receipts so you can claim your change at the Dublin Bus office on O’Connell Street.
- One last bus thing, if your bus is approaching, you’ll need to step towards the curb and stick up your arm like you’re hailing a cab. Buses won’t automatically stop as many stops are shared by multiple routes.
- Take advantage of the many free museums in Dublin such as: The National Museum of Archaeology (pictured above), the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Irish Jewish Museum (yes, that’s not an oxymoron), the National Museum of Decorative Arts, or the Dublin City Gallery. Though the Book of Kells is TOTALLY worth the entrance fee. Just remember that it will be dim to preserve the book’s integrity.
- If you like crowded, loud pubs full of travelers and students, go to a pub in Temple Bar. If you want something a bit quieter, look for a pub near Merrion Square or on a side street in D2 or the south side of Dublin. I liked The Bank near Trinity as a study abroad student.
- Another pub tip: DO NOT ORDER AN IRISH CAR BOMB OR A BLACK AND TAN. Order a boilermaker or half and half instead. You’ll get the same exact drink without being culturally offensive.
- Last pub tip: ladies, some of the older, smaller pubs in Dublin but especially outside of Dublin will automatically give you a glass (half pint) if you order a Guinness rather than a pint. It wasn’t considered ladylike to have a pint of Guinness back in the day, so you need to specify. That said, if you’re doing rounds of drinks with your friends, it may be easier to keep up by ordering a glass rather than a pint.
- Speaking of the south side of Dublin, while there are some cool places on the north side (the GPO, Gin Palace), it’s not exactly a place you should wander at night unless you’re in the theatre district. Stay on the south side in the evening if you’re alone.
- If, and this is a big if, the weather is nice, go for a stroll in Phoenix Park, St. Stephen’s Green, around Trinity, Blessington Street Basin, or the Iveagh Gardens.
- ALWAYS HAVE AN UMBRELLA WITH YOU. It may look sunny when you leave, but it will rain at some point. Or all it will do is rain.
- Grab a cup of tea at Bewley’s on Grafton Street. The facade and stained glass date from the 1920s and 30s, plus you must have a cup of tea at some point in Ireland if not multiple times a day.
- Take the (EDIT) DART out to Howth (hoe-th) and Malahide, north of Dublin, if you get a chance. Or take it south to Dun Laoghaire (dun leery). Both are pretty seaside towns.
There’s so much to do in Dublin let alone in Ireland, so don’t try to cram in too much around TBEX.