The Weekly Read: Attention college students, how to enjoy Dublin on a fiver or less
Take it from a girl who has given more attention to her LinkedIn (begrudgingly) than her Facebook map the last two summers in a row.
It’s becoming a bit of a pattern at this stage to find myself relatively stuck in Dublin’s fair city with little time and/or no money to spend.
However, the relieving news is that it is very possible (easy, even) to have just as memorable a summer as those bastard friends who are off getting burnt in the Hamptons. Here are five things you can still get up to this summer even if you’re living on a shoestring, literal or otherwise.
1. Fiver Flicks in Merrion Square
Against all odds, the beautiful people at Happenings have gained access to Merrion Square each Thursday (weather permitting) to show a movie to crowds there for the humble price of a pint (€5).
Last week’s offering was the boyhood classic Stand By Me, and between the sweet potato fries, tea-light lit Portaloos and applause at the end, it was actually kind of magical.
Happenings also organises outdoor films in the slightly more posh FitzWilliam Square but charges €10 for them. Catch Dirty Dancing tonight in Merrion Square when the rays finally leave the city. If that wasn't cute enough, they also do fiver yoga classes on Saturday mornings in Dartmouth Square.
2. Hit the galleries
For some reason, us Irish only tend to visit exhibitions when we’ve left our fair isle, which is a waste when many of the best ones in Dublin don’t even charge entrance fees. The following galleries won’t cost you a cent:
-1. The Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin (beside the gym), which often has interactive displays and serves as a great place to take your nieces, nephews, cousins or smaller siblings.
-2. The Natural History Museum. Who doesn’t secretly love looking at a load of different monkeys in the same display, or reminding yourself just how lucky we are that wolves don’t roam Ireland any more?
-3. The Hugh Lane. For those of you who have fallen in love with other modern art museums around the world, the Hugh Lane is definitely worth a visit. If just to be stunned by just how much Francis Beacon needed to clean up his studio.
-4. The Collins Barracks, Dublin. Right beside the LUAS, this one’s an absolute must for history nuts. They even have the jacket that Michael Collins was shot in, which as Irish history goes, is kind of the Holy Grail.
-5. National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology. Hiding between the many government departments on Kildare Street, this museum may seem like a total snore-fest, something I can confirm couldn’t be further from the truth.
For people who are interested in history and crime alike, it has a pretty extensive collection of dudes they found in bogs who are still looking extremely fresh. Fingertips, murder weapons and all-history almost come to life.
3. Live it up in Phoenix Park
Aside from Phoenix Park boasting of gorgeous grounds and playing host to a variety of events like colour runs, Bloom gardening festival and a bunch of lions in a slightly overpriced zoo, there’s also a free weekly event that is well worth doing.
At 10.30am each Saturday morning, leaving from the visitor’s centre is a tour of the Michael D. Higgins’ digs in Aras an Uachtarain. Not a bad way to spend a free morning, seeing our favourite president’s stately home. I wonder is he a Barry’s or a Lyon’s man? If that sounds like a right snooze, you can also rent bikes and have a cycle around Phoenix Park for as little as a fiver for a few hours.
4. Do a free walking tour
The lovely guys at Sandeman’s New Dublin Walking Tours offer free tours of our fair city everyday at 11am and 1pm from beside City Hall on Dame Street, and tips are very much optional.
They will teach you facts you never knew about the likes of Christchurch, Temple Bar and Dublin Castle. Free is a very hard price to beat.
5. Cycle the city
Whether you’d like the adrenaline rush of cycling in the city centre or would prefer a more relaxed roll towards sea views in the likes of Howth, the county is well and truly your oyster.
The extremely successful Dublin Bikes scheme have bike outlets scattered all around the city from Kilmainham to Ringsend to Phibsborough. If you have your own, check out the Cycling Ireland app which boasts of 100 routes that you can track yourself on, with routes and difficulty levels included. They also offer a ‘lite’ version of the app with four routes for free if you can’t afford the €4.99 price tag.
With thanks to campus.ie