Experiencing the hidden gems of Dublin, Ireland

Oftentimes when we think about the various places we want to travel to, it’s the destinations closest to us that get left behind and underappreciated. But only a short distance away, either by flight or ferry, is Ireland, which is special in so many ways and has many hidden treasures that more people should get to experience. Whether you want a city break or a country retreat, you are spoilt for choice.

While Ireland may most traditionally be known for its green fields and rainy weather, there is so much more to it. And if you are lucky enough to catch the Irish countryside in the sun, there is no greater view and you too will find it to be one of the most magical and beautiful destinations in the world.

Ireland is full of hidden country paradises and many different cities to explore, but Ireland’s capital city of Dublin remains a most underrated travel destination. While other city breaks to more tropical climates are often favoured, here lies a lively city full of history, the perfect place to soak up a rich city atmosphere and an important part of the culture that this small but beautiful country has to offer.

Whether you want to immerse yourself in history, sport or Dublin’s infamous nightlife, there is something for everyone. A trip to the Guinness Factory is a must, whether you drink or not, as this is a unique experience to learn the tale of Ireland’s famous beer. Dublin has a rich history and there are many cultural hubs open to the public, which allow you to immerse yourself in Ireland’s turbulent history. From Dublin Castle to the National Museum of Ireland, these really are the destinations for you if you love to soak up the culture of a new city.

What is amazing about Dublin and Ireland in general is that wherever you have a bustling city, green spaces are never hard to find. Within Dublin itself lies the scenic Phoenix Park, described by many as its own inner city forest, perfect for a cycle, a stroll or a picnic.

Or to go slightly further from the city to experience the beauty of Ireland’s landscape, the Wicklow mountains or the coastal town of Howth are only a short journey away and provide the outside air we all crave, particularly after COVID-19 has left us all stuck inside for so long.

It’s hard to take a trip to Dublin and not experience the city’s passion for sport, whether it’s national sports such as hurling and Gaelic football, or the more internationally recognized rugby. A trip to Croke Park as part of an Irish sporting crowd is an experience like no other, truly highlighting the heart and community of this incredible city.

If I were to sum up what makes Ireland and the city of Dublin so unique and special, is its quality to be a home away from home. Ireland is best known for its friendly people, comfort food and green scenic landscape. To get a taste of the former, a trip to Dublin’s famous Temple Bar or any Dublin pub for that matter will make you fall in love with all the city has to offer.

Experience the gracious locals, the infectious music and you’ll be left with a special memory and a desire to relive it all over again. Often, when we travel, by the end of a trip we are left yearning for home, Dublin however will leave you feeling energised and most definitely yearning to return to this special city.

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Emma Lyons

May 2021
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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