Ah Dublin, a world of its own. People flock here for the heritage, the history and the Guinness. But there's a lot more to the capital of the Emerald Isle. With a few surprises and some inside information, here are 17 things you need to know about Dublin.
17. We use the Euro
Yep. Ireland has been a part of the Euro currency since 2002. So there's no need to worry about changing your money if you've come from any other Euro-using country. Grand.
16. We don't have a metro
Nope. We only have the two tram (Luas) lines, our regional train service the Dart and Dublin Bus, Dublin's regional bus service. My advice? Avoid using the bus as much as possible. It's expensive, unreliable, but the bus drivers are usually the loveliest human beings you'll ever meet. The good news? Most hostels are the inner city so you probably won't need to use the bus anyway!
15. You cannot run out of great places to drink
This is very true. Dublin is a city consisting of over 1,500 glorious watering holes, filled with live music rather it be traditional, rock or indie there's always something on. Sweeney's (pictured above) is a fan-ta-bulous place to catch some great love music and it's always hopping with people.
14. We eat more burritos than Guinness stew
Although we may be known for our love of potatoes (which isn't necessarily untrue) we freakin' love
burritos. They're the nation's favourite delicacy. Boojum (pictured above) is Ireland's renowned favourite burrito spot. Be wary of the time you go at, because as you can see, you might be waiting a while!
13. Dubliners will happily spend 10 minutes giving you directions
Believe what you've heard, the Irish are the friendliest fellows on planet Earth. We're always happy to help out a lost soul, however, we also talk a lot.
So we'll probably give you three different routes to your hostel, advice on where to get the best Guinness, which places to stay away from, along with our life story and what we had for breakfast. Just be prepared.
12. There's friendly competition between the Northside & the Southside of the city
Dublin is divided in two by the river Liffey: so depending on which side of the river a Dubliner is from, the North side or Southside, is sewn into their identity. In Spice Girl terms, the Northsiders would be Scary Spice and the Southsiders would be Posh Spice. But it's all in good humour. You'll notice Dubliners throwing punches at each other over it but fear not if a Dubliner makes fun of someone it generally means they like them.
11. Temple Bar may be known as Dublin's cultural centre, but you won't find one Dub drinking there
Temple Bar may be featured as Dublin's "cultural centre", but really it's for tourists. That's not saying you shouldn't check it out. It's popular for a good reason as it's full of incredible pubs, stunning galleries and music venues. Not to mention it's cobbled streets and markets are worth a wander.
10. Chicken fillet rolls are a favoured dish
There's not much sophistication behind a chicken fillet roll: but it's the saviour of our hangovers, the gem of our lunchtime and our cheeky cheat meal at 4 am on the weekend. You can pick one up in any grocery store or newsagent with a deli. The cost? Between €3.50 - €5 depending on how many toppings you. For Dubli,n it's a pretty cheap snack and filling too!
9. When Irish people say "Craic" we don't mean crack cocaine
I can't count how many times people have taken this word the wrong way. You'll hear us saying the word "craic" a lot, usually in the context of "What's the craic?" or "Any craic?". We're not looking for drugs, it is, in fact, the Irish word for fun and it's well intertwined into our daily conversation.
8. The bars close early
Not like the rest of Europe, our bars close around 3 am on the weekends. It's rare you'll find a place open past that time, unless you're fortunate enough to get caught in a "lock-in". This is where the pub locks all the doors and the time you can spend there can be until 7 am. But this a rarity. So take advantage of some afternoon beers before you head out or join the Backpacker PubCrawl
, one of Europe's largest pub crawls, if you're looking to meet other backpackers and want a shit ton of drink discounts.
7. And drinking on the streets is illegal
Now you'll probably won't get more than a slap on the wrist and your vodka thrown in the bin, but it's good to know right? However, acting disorderly will have you thrown in the drunk tank. So hide your booze and drink responsibly.
6. Most Dubliners think The Spire is a complete joke
When the whole millennium was coming up Dublin City Council decided that they should do something to celebrate it, like create a landmark. There was a massive competition where architects, sculptors and artists from all over the globe submitted their ideas... and the big metal pole won. Dubliners have a great sense of humour calling it the "Stiletto in Ghetto" or "The Stiffy at the Liffey".
5. We like parks
Notorious for being the country with 40 shades of green, Dubliners like their green spaces. St. Stephen's (pictured above) is one of the city's major park, with beautiful gardens and bandstands it serves as a great hang-out place for people watching, relaxing and a few sneaky cans.
4. There is always something on
No matter what day of the week Dublin is buzzing with events. From free comedy shows to sample some Irish humour, to live music gigs and fantastic theatre shows either professional or amateur, there is always something to check out!
3. We've got a sh*t tonne of history
Celts, Vikings, the English, we had them all. When you're walking through Dublin you're walking through history. Only a few parts of the city have been affected by gentrification which certainly adds to its charm. Another good thing? All our museums are totally free! So you can go from museum to museum without breaking the bank. Not too shabby eh?
2. Cigarettes are reeeeeeeeally expensive
Be expected to pay at least €8.70 for a pack of smokes. This is what catches most backpackers off guard! What do I recommend? Either buy rolling tobacco or buy your cigarettes before you come. You'll save a fortune.
1. You always, ALWAYS say thanks to the bus drivers
Despite our drunken rowdy reputation, we believe in manners. Not saying thank you to the bus driver can is seen as a feckin' crime. How important is it? Recently Dublin Bus attempted to introduce the idea of getting passengers to exit the bus through the middle door. Everyone ignored it. The bus drivers needs to know how thankful we are.
That's my top advice guys! I hope you enjoy my hometown as much as I do!
By Dubliner and Northsider native, Catherine Munnelly.