Dublin Through the Eyes of a New Yorker




When I told a close friend of mine who’d studied abroad in London last year that I’d be doing the same this summer, one of the first recommendations she had for me ironically included leaving the city. She said that I absolutely had to visit Dublin. She beamed as she told me stories of encounters she’d had with friendly locals, delicious food and breathtaking views. Having just returned from a weekend in Dublin, it’s safe to say that her complimentary words were anything but empty. Here are a few things I learned:

Local Talk is Anything but Small

Throughout my visit, I never met a Dubliner that wasn’t keen for a conversation at any given moment – and I mean any moment. How often do you end up talking about the Irish Civil War of 1922 in a pub after midnight? Speaking from personal experience, I’d have to say not too frequently, and that’s a shame. David, a friend I’d made while listening to live music at a bar called The Mezz, was eager to educate a foreigner on Ireland’s militaristic history, and I was just as excited to unexpectedly learn about it from something other than a textbook.

Go Hungry

It turns out that you can be both starved for adventure and an actual meal. I was lucky enough to stumble upon Arthur’s Pub. Located on 22 Thomas Street (one of the oldest streets in Dublin), I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie. Even though this is a traditionally English dish that I have yet to eat in England, it was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had while studying abroad. A home-cooked meal away from home is always appreciated, and can definitely be found at Arthur’s.

Get Intentionally Lost

I am aware that this particular category is a cliché one to mention while writing about traveling. Nevertheless, this doesn’t change the confidence I feel in including it. There is more culture in a narrow, cobble-stoned Dublin alleyway than I could’ve ever imagined, and I never would’ve learned this if I hadn’t taken a wrong turn on my way to Trinity College (which is David’s alma mater and what he proudly referred to as the “Yale of Ireland”). This acclaimed university on its own is definitely worth a visit. Aside from its lush, green campus grounds, you should check it out because it is home to the Book of Kells. Considered to be one of Ireland’s finest treasures, the Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin that contains the four Gospels of the New Testament.

Book Your Stay in a Smart Way

I believe that where you choose to stay when traveling abroad is crucial in defining how great of a trip you have. While in Dublin, I stayed at Abigails Hostel. While there is typically a stigma attached to the term “hostel,” I couldn’t have had a better experience. Located just minutes from Trinity College and the Temple Bar nightlife district, Abigails is just the place for those who want to save without sacrificing necessities like safety (there is 24-hour security and lockers that cost two euros) or a central, buzzing location.

You know that feeling you get in anticipation for a new adventure? That feeling of simultaneous excitement and unease? As a self-proclaimed control freak, it’s both a blessing and a curse. I arrived in Dublin armed with my plane ticket and a carry on with just the essentials, and I wouldn’t have approached visiting it any other way. I look forward to coming back to the city that was able to hold a sense of both familiarity and novelty, a rarity nowadays.