2. Bicycles…bicycles everywhere. Thanks to the government’s cycle-scheme, cycling became one of the most popular sports in Ireland in the last decade. Dubliners cycle to work every day or get together on the weekends and go to the nearby Howth and enjoy the view over the Dublin Bay.
3. The Irish spirit in general. Irish people will always stop and ask with a wide smile if you need help or give you an advice on where to find the best beer in town. However, they might get upset if you mention you like Gerard Butler. “PS I Love You is a movie with the worst Irish accent ever.”
But in the end, no matter what you say or do you are guaranteed to have a good time (or as the Irish would say: craic).
4. Irish music can be heard all over Dublin – not just in the typical tourist areas. Yes, you will hear Galway Girl at least once every day, but you will also hear traditional Irish music spontaneously played by the locals in an all-locals pub or enjoy in Irish punk-rock (Stiff Little Fingers, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly and The Pogues just to name a few) while sipping a pint of Guinness.
5. Guinness – I absolutely love it. If you are not a fan of this glorious drink and its creamy foam (it is true that it tastes differently in other countries), you can try other Irish beers. One of my favourites is Galway Hooker and yes, I giggle each time I order it. Or just take a random pick and try it all: from stouts to ales.
It is not unusual to see an Irish going to work in a suit and tie before 9AM while drinking a beer from the plastic cup. Sláinte!
6. The pubs – all of them. The pub crawl is probably the best choice if it is your first time in Dublin. Yes, you should go to the Temple Bar area, but also go to the more rustic pubs outside of the town center. You will be surprised how different each pub is.
7. Grafton Street and its mixture of the tourists and the Irish. To be honest, the reason why I liked it so much is because I really like the movie Once (2006). Walking around Grafton St and listening to the people busking made me feel like I am in the movie.
8. Town’s History; While taking a stroll from the Viking’s ruins through the Medieval and Georgian houses to the St Patrick’s Cathedral and the post-British rule buildings, you can actually see how the town used to look like in the past.
9. Nature – Dublin has a lot of wonderful parks. St Stephen’s Green is the most popular one. However, Phoenix park is bigger than all the parks in London put together and twice the size of Central Park in New York.
If you are not that big fan of the city parks, Dublin is just a bit over 15 minutes train ride away from the sea, cliffs, forests and mountains.
10. Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, W. B. Yeats – they all lived in and wrote about this magnificent town. Enough said.