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Dublin: 6 Things to Avoid in Ireland‘s Capital

A fire eater performs during a street festival in Dublin
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  A fire eater performs during a street festival in Dublin

Dublin is Ireland’s cultural, administrative and business centre. It is home to the country’s largest harbour that serves as a gate to the Irish Sea. And even though the name of the city comes from the Irish language – Doubh-linn means “black pond” or “rush-covered town” – it certainly is no mirror to its actual face, as Dublin shines in hundreds of different colours. It’s the birthplace of one of the world’s most popular rock bands, U2, and is considered a city of writers, students and bars. There are, however, some things that might weaken your trip to the capital, so, for once, we offer you a list of things not to do while in Dublin.

1. Don’t Go Drinking to the Temple Bar Street

One of the most famous bars in the city, "Temple"
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  One of the most famous bars in the city, "Temple"

Even though the tiny district of Temple Bar is the symbol of Dublin’s bar culture, it’s also a place where you won’t see much apart from hordes of drunk tourists. Prices here, quite appropriately, are much steeper than elsewhere. With this in mind, we recommend you head to the famous street during the day: visit the Irish Photography Centre, the Temple Bar music centre and the Irish Film Institute. As for fun in the evening – just follow the locals. Rest assured, you won’t have to look very far and wide – Dublin’s musical and cultural life is very rich.

2. Don’t Expect Parties to Last All Night

The night life in one of Dublin's bar and cafe street
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  The night life in one of Dublin's bar and cafe street

Most visitors of Dublin come here with the notion that the capital’s night life lasts until the next day. It’s a myth. On weekdays, most bars close around 12 PM, staying open a few hours longer on weekends. On the other hand, most weekend parties eventually move to private spaces. To get to one, however, you’ll have to do a fair bit of talking with the locals in an Irish bar beforehand.

3. Don’t Bother Visiting Oscar Wilde’s Home

Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin's Merrion Square park
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin's Merrion Square park

The home of the famous writer, located on 21 Westland Row is not a museum – it’s a writing centre for the students at Trinity College. Here they’re taught creative writing and have courses on Irish literature. So remember, if you try to barge into the former home of O. Wilde, you might find yourself barging into a lecture.

If you want to see the house where the writer grew up, go to 1 Merrion Square. Here you’ll also find a sculpture dedicated to him. On the other hand, don’t get too attached to just one writer. Dublin is a whole city of writers and literature – there’s plenty to see here.

4. Don’t Forget about the Vikings

People enjoying a Viking Splash Tour in Dublin, Ireland
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  People enjoying a Viking Splash Tour in Dublin, Ireland

Officially, Dublin was founded in 988. Its first inhabitants were Vikings, and the Irish had to constantly fight for their city. In the 9th century, it was seized by the Danish, only to be expelled by the English in 1171. For this reason, Dublin still has a small number of things related to its former masters from the North. Don’t spend you whole time studying the Irish Civil War or British colonialism – there are special tours dedicated just to Viking history.

5. Don’t Look for Traditional Irish Music or Dances

An Irish pub in Dublin with live music
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  An Irish pub in Dublin with live music

Traditional Celtic dances are relatively popular all around the world. Rhythmic, synchronised dancing performances, violin players and colourful signs attract many tourists in the streets of Dublin. But if you want authenticity, you’ll have to go outside the city where the old traditions, music and dances are still truly alive.

If you're after some real culture in Dublin, we recommend that instead you find a stand-up comedy club and have yourself a fun evening listening to Dubliners' jokes. That way, you’ll get to experience the Irish and British humour culture and have an excellent time to boot.

6. Don’t Write Off the Irish Cuisine

A traditional Dubliner meal: a pork sausage with potatoes and onions
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  A traditional Dubliner meal: a pork sausage with potatoes and onions

Unlike the French or Italian cuisines, the Irish cuisine has quite a poor reputation. Over the ages, the whole island had gone through many difficult periods, which is why most travellers expect the Irish cuisine to consist of potatoes – a plant that had saved the nation from starvation many times – and such unappealing meat products as pig legs.

However, those who think that are simply wrong. Dublin’s modern cuisine is very rich – it has not just retained its old traditions, but also gained a lot of new ones. Not to even mention the international influence and the many restaurants the serve foreign dishes. Add to that the traditional Guinness beer and Irish whiskey traditions and you’ll get a true gastronome's paradise.

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