10 of My Favorite Spots in Dublin

Mariana Considine headshot
Mariana Considine
November 16, 2023
A cloudy sunrise is reflected in the River Liffey, viewed from a bridge.

As I near the end of my time in Dublin, I feel finally qualified to give my Dublin travel recommendations. All of these options can cost you <€20 to travel to and experience. In no particular order. 

  1. Token Arcade. Great weekend hangout. They have a wide variety of classic arcade games. Some of my favorites there include Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat, and Pac-Man. They have a bar and food as well, and the drinks are pretty reasonably priced. My pro-tip is to go earlier in the evening or on a weekday, because once it hits like 7pm it gets packed and you have to wait ages for games.
  2. Dublin Castle. Located right outside Temple Bar, Dublin Castle is a beautiful area to walk around in. The courtyard garden and square are free to enter, and have such a nice relaxed environment. Tours or entrance is ticketed, but not too expensive either.
  3. National Museum. Totally free! It’s a bit of a walk from Beckett House, but it’s totally worth it. They have multiple floors exploring the history of Dublin, including Viking artifacts and Golden Age items. Personally, I was most interested in their exhibit on bogs, with real remains and items that had been discovered within. The gift shop also has a wide variety of items from local artists and writers.
  4. Phoenix Park. A short Luas ride out of the city center, Phoenix Park is an expansive stretch of nature and a great place for some exercise. You can spend hours wandering around, and grab a snack or drink at the Tea Room located at the center. If you continue further into the park past the Tea Room, you may see the local deer that live in the park. I was expecting a huge crowd of people, but it was just a group of about 4 other people, all standing so quietly and respectfully in the field. And the deer are so chill - as long as you don’t get too close. 
  5. ILAC and central library. As a student, if you’re ever looking for a quiet place to study, the ILAC shopping center has a public library upstairs with study nooks, charging stations, and tech rentals. They have a huge music library, and even an electric keyboard you can reserve and play with headphones. The ILAC itself is a large shopping mall with a variety of shops, but my favorite part is that their bathrooms are free to use - a luxury in central Dublin if you’re ever in a pinch. 
  6. Irish Film Institute / IFI. Movie theater just outside Temple Bar. While IFI May not show your next favorite Marvel movie, they have a wide variety of independent and international films. And, if you bring a form of ID, you can sign up for a 22 and under card which allows you €5 tickets for EVERY MOVIE. Where else will you find that? Plus, they have a cafe attached, so if you arrive early to your film you can hang out and grab a meal or chat with friends.
  7. The Black Sheep. If you’re looking for a quieter pub experience, the Black Sheep is located at the corner of Parnell and Capel Street, and has a variety of board and card games to play while you hang out. They don’t have much in the way of food, but it’s usually a lot quieter than most pubs and a great place to catch up with friends. 
  8. The Hideout. Pool hall in the city center. You can reserve a pool table for €15-€20 per hour, for any number of people. They also serve coffee and some refreshments, so it’s an enjoyable escape for any time of day!
  9. St. Stephen’s Green Park and shopping center. This area is just a short Luas ride or walk from Beckett House. The park is a beautiful area with lots of space to sit, run around, or go bird watching. Often there are swans and other birds that like to hang out. The shopping center is right across the street from the park, and even if you don’t have any money to spend, it is worth it to pop in to look at the architecture or explore the art gallery at the top floor.
  10. Endgame Escape Rooms. Most reasonably priced escape room my roommates and I could find, and the staff was so nice and chill. Highly recommend for a weekend night out. About €20 per person, with games lasting about an hour. (Or 40 minutes, if you’re as great at it as we were.)

Honorable Mentions

  1. Lidl—Cheapest groceries in the area, 2 locations within easy walking of Beckett House 
  2. St. Vincent’s—Closest charity shop to Beckett House. 
  3. Penney’s—Close equivalent to Walmart, sorta. Cheap clothing, housewares, hygiene supplies, almost anything you need. The one on Parnell Street even has a small vintage shop in the downstairs corner. 
  4. Bambino’s Pizza—Best pizza I’ve had in Dublin. Had to be an honorable mention though, because it is a little pricey.

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