There are three ways to get around Dublin. The first is on foot. The second is with the excellent public transport system. The third is on a bike. Launched in 2009, the Dublin Bikes (DB) scheme allows users to pick up a bike at any of 44 “stations” around the city and drop it back at any other station. A three-day pass costs just €2, and provides free 30-minute rentals, or you can get a long-term pass for €10. If you use the bike for more than 30 minutes, you will be charged a small fee. You will need a credit card to hire a bike. Find out more at www.dublinbikes.ie.
March 17th is the day the world turns green! (Many people look a bit green on the morning of March 18th… this could be related.) St Patrick’s Day is a celebration of all things Irish and events are held all over Ireland and Northern Ireland to celebrate. People take to the streets, wear green and toast a pint of Guinness or two to the Emerald Isle. It’s hard to believe that, up until 1970, most Irish pubs closed for the day out of respect for Ireland’s patron saint.
If thronging crowds aren’t to your taste, you could instead head to Croke Park Stadium to watch the All Ireland Senior Club Hurling & Football Finals. Amateur teams from every village and town in Ireland compete throughout the year until only two remain. The final is played in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day.
Dublin’s theatre scene is at the heart of the city’s cultural life. Nowadays, the plays of Beckett and Wilde are performed alongside contemporary works from a highly creative local community. The annual Theatre and Fringe Festivals in September and October constitute Europe’s oldest specialist theatre festival and involve more than 500 performances in 25 venues across the city. A trip to the theatre will complement your English course in Dublin
Get out into the countryside
Just a short journey from the city centre, Fingal is serene. The local motto "Flúirse Talaimh is Mara" means "Abundance of Land and Water" and that is exactly what you can find here. Charming villages, sandy beaches and rugged coastline offer a peaceful alternative to the city. Ancient forts dot the coastline, including Malahide Castle and Howth Castle. South of the city, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown is the smallest county in Ireland (which coincidentally has the longest name) and offers breathtaking coastal walks.
Dublin City Council runs a series of language exchange events at libraries around the city. You spend half of the time speaking English and half of the time speaking your native language with someone who is learning it. The events offer a great way to meet locals, learn more about Irish culture and practise your English for free. Find out more : dublincity.ie.
Veronica Guerin (2003) Director: Joel Schumacher
Michael Collins (1996) Director: Neil Jordan
Intermission (2003) Director: John Crowley
When there is a movie premier in Dublin, one place stands out above all others: The Savoy (www.savoy.ie/) on O'Connell Street is Dublin’s oldest working cinema and has been entertaining Dubliners since 1929. The Irish Film Institute (www.irishfilm.ie/) on Eustace Street is dedicated to promoting Irish films but shows quality movies from all over the world on 2 screens. The Lighthouse (lighthousecinema.ie) in Smithfield is Dublin’s other popular arthouse cinema and is now re-opened with government backing after closing when the landlord doubled the rent overnight. The Cineworld (www.cineworld.ie/) on Parnell Street is the biggest cinema in Ireland and shows films for all tastes.
My Left Foot by Christy Brown
The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle
Dubliners by James Joyce
Live and Dangerous by Thin Lizzy
The Joshua Tree by U2
The Script by The Script
The Dubliners’ Dublin by The Dubliners
Dublin music venues
Vicar Street (www.vicarstreet.com/) on Thomas Street offers all kinds of music and comedy, making it one of the most popular venues in the city. Pod (www.pod.ie/) includes a number of venues and is superb for both club nights and live bands. For folk, acoustic and traditional music, Whelan's (www.whelanslive.com) on Camden Street is a longstanding favourite. Temple Bar is overflowing with live music venues and nightclubs, some of which are targeted squarely at tourists, others are more eclectic. The Temple Bar Music Centre (www.tbmc.ie/) on Curved Street hosts gigs followed by club nights at the weekend. The staff at our partner language schools in Dublin will be happy to help you find out about events happening in the city.