So much about Dublin surprised me: it’s a small city packed with music, history, parties and great places to hang out. It’s the perfect location for a weekend adventure, as you can walk everywhere and see...
Describing itself as “a sub-terrain queer club in the heart of Dublin”, Mother serves up healthy portions of electro and disco at The Hub on Eustace St every Saturday night.
5 Things I Learnt in Dublin
A small but mighty city
They speak Gaelic. I know, you’re probably like ‘DUH!’ it wasn’t something that I’d ever really come across. On arrival, I saw all these signs in Gaelic and was suddenly like ‘Oh riiiiight’. You don’t need to try and learn the language, though. Everyone speaks English, and pretty much everything is written in English. It’s just that their original language has been preserved as well.
You don’t have to go through passport control if you’re coming from the UK. It confused me when I flew from Dublin back to London as I was ushered through a side door that allowed me to skip passport control. I was “wait…. what?” It freaked me out, and I wasn’t sure why I didn’t need to go through any checks. It turns out there’s a Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK, which means passport control isn’t required. I wonder if it will still be like this after Brexit, though?
It’s more like the UK than I thought. I always think of Ireland as being more strongly associated with Europe than the UK. However, I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that they have UK power sockets and drive on the left as they are physically closer to the UK. Yes, leave your continental power adaptors at home as they use have UK sockets.
Music is everywhere. Once you start thinking about how many famous Irish musicians and bands there have been, you realise how much music comes from this tiny island. Think about it. There’s The Pogues, The Cranberries, Sinead O’Connor, My Bloody Valentine, Thin Lizzy, Ash, Two Door Cinema Club – oh yeah and U2, The Corrs, Hozier, Snow Patrol and Boyzone. Dublin has so many pubs where you can go and watch locals sitting around playing traditional music for hours on end, and you should do this at least one evening on your trip. I recommend the proper old boozer, The Cobblestone, where the drinks are cheap, and the locals are friendly.
It’s not that big. Ok, so I was surprised by how small Dublin is. You can walk from one end of its centre to the other in under an hour. The city has only about 553k people, while Greater Dublin is just shy of 2M. The whole of Ireland is only 4.7M, which is less than the population of Sydney (5.1M) – a fact that blows my mind. I think it’s because so many Irish people so many people have left the country for numerous centuries that our sense of people who are Irish are spread far across the globe (apparently, 80 million people worldwide claim to be of Irish descent). So I was expecting Dublin to be a much bigger city, but in fact, I think its size made it very charming. It felt very charming and cosmopolitan, packing a lot of punch into its small size.