A quaint capital brimming with personality, rainy Dublin, Ireland, delivers on diverse nature – from rocky shores to lush parks – remarkable food and drink, inspiring history, to amazingly scenic small-town vibes. You can delve into history by connecting with tales of Vikings and Irish clans at the Museum of History and Archaeology, and then go cliff-walking and seafood binging at Howth all in one day. Former Dubai-resident now based in Ireland, fashion-enthusiast and freelance makeup artist Gilbert Reid tells us why Dublin should be the spot for your next adventure.
Before you go
Before visiting any new country in general, travelers should prepare for a couple of things. For one, prepare for the weather. Ireland is called the ‘Emerald Isle’ by many because it’s so green – and this is because it rains pretty frequently. So, bring a raincoat. As for winter, pack some heavy clothing options, and lighter ones for summer. Jackets are always a must! Travelers should also know a little bit about the country itself. Being aware of Irish culture, customs, and rules comes in very handy.
Must do’s and must see’s
Coastlines, cliffs, mountains and long walks – we have it all! If you love nature, Ireland is the place to go! There are numerous walking/hiking/bike tours that allow you to explore the city and its natural wonders in a more active and surreal way (activities like this can be found here: www.visitdublin.com/). Aside from this, you can take the boat and visit quaint coastal towns like Dalkey and Howth in Dublin bay for a truly beautiful daytrip escape. Traditional pubs, small towns, and castles are definitely to not be missed.
What to be aware of
As a travel enthusiast, I’d say never avoid anything! As long as you are being a smart and mindful visitor, being open to new things by fully immersing yourself wherever you go helps you enjoy your stay even more. Do be aware however that it rains all year round.
Besides, Irish people are great craic (fun)! You will always be greeted with a smile, some of the friendliest and most empathetic people I have come across. I’ve never felt like I was an outsider to the country – they are an unreal bunch!
Traveling on a budget
Typically, city-center prices are more expensive. One tip for travelers on a tighter budget would be to visit smaller towns and villages near Dublin. So, hop on a bus or a train and visit a small town like Malahide, north of Dublin. Home to the picturesque Malahide Castle, you could definitely spend a relaxed day here getting lost in the lush green spaces. While here, you can also visit the waterfront part of Malahide by foot and get your grub at the local pubs and cafés. Alongside this, always compare prices, and make sure you get the best possible deals in hotels, food, tours, and even at pubs. You can save money by packing your own little nibbles when traveling.
How to get around
Dublin has a good bus system and a couple of tram/railway lines. However, walking brings you pretty much everywhere. Walking provides you with that authentic active Irish lifestyle, and brings you closer to the locals.
Best foods and places to eat
Spuds! Irish people have a great love for their spuds (potatoes). This is the number one ingredient for the best Irish stews, fish pies, and shepherd’s pies, along with bacon and cabbage. Traditional chippers (places that serve fish and chips), local pubs, and fresh food markets are aplenty in Dublin, and grabbing some food at these places is the best way to introduce yourself to the local palate.
One word – pints! Not a place, but an activity. There are many interesting nooks across the city that deserve to be explored, but having a pint is the absolute best way to socialize with the locals – an activity often left out of a visitor’s itinerary. You get to speak to anyone and everyone once you set foot in a pub.
Best time to visit
It all boils down to you, and your preference. Every season provides you with the opportunity to experience Ireland in different ways. If you’re a lover of the cold, autumn and winter, if you’re looking for milder temperatures, spring and summer.
In every city, town, and county there is a Filipino presence. You will never run out of activities, and home comforts as they still practice our ways. Communities are welcoming to new members and will never let a kabayan be left behind.
Gilbert Reid is a former Dubai-based resident who is now based in Dublin, Ireland. Working as a freelance makeup artist, he is also an avid explorer and fashion enthusiast.
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