As a DCU student you have no excuse not to visit the Botanic Gardens. Make the short 15 minute walk from campus and you will be well rewarded with one of Dublin’s hidden gems. From ginormous glasshouses and vegetable gardens to art exhibitons; this place has it all, and all for free!
Bring bread and make friends with ducks on the pond before strolling to the streams to find some fish. Their café boasts healthy, delicious food and they serve a mean mocha. Upstairs you can find a gallery displaying plant inspired art. Instagram worthy photos guaranteed.
Another journey well worth making is from Howth to Greystones via DART. Try to avoid rush hour and pay €4.40 for a return. Pick a seat, get comfortable and put on your headphones.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the views of Dublin Bay accompanied by your favourite playlist. You will pass through the Aviva before finally hugging the cliffs from Bray to Greystones. It’s cheap, it’s cheerful and a wonderful way to spend a few hours regardless of the weather.
On your return journey stop off in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin’s boutique seaside town. Walk the pier, have a peek around the shops and enjoy lunch on the waterfront. Don’t leave Dun Laoghaire without paying a visit to the holy grail of ice cream shops; Scrumdiddlys.
Their wall echoes what you were already thinking: “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream and that’s kind of the same thing.” With over 2,400 combinations, some of the best ice cream and service Dublin has to offer; they have every topping and sauce under the sun available. Go for the ‘Scrumnoffee’ with fresh bananas and caramel sauce; you won’t regret it.
There is nothing quite like nightlife in Dublin, but if you don’t feel like traipsing around Temple Bar or tripping around Coppers, fear not there is more in store. If you’re in the mood for a laugh head to the Laughter Lounge on the quays or the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield has cool late night movie screenings.
If all else fails you can’t go wrong with O’Neills Bar on Church Lane off Westmoreland. Great atmosphere, drinks, food and live music. It’s away from crowded Temple Bar but is a 100% authentic Dublin pub with a lovely rooftop terrace. Enjoy yourself in the second friendliest city in the world.
Image Credit: Alana Laverty