You’re studying abroad in Dublin and as the months pass by, your family and friends from back home want to come visit you. What do you do? Where do you take them?
In the early days of your living in a new country, there can be excitement to get to all the touristy spots and city highlights, but if you know you’re going to have visitors, you may want to save those sites to do with them. In addition, there are many everyday Irish locales and activities that can serve as places to take your friends to show off your new host country.
Below are some places and activities I recommend doing with friends and family that come to visit:
- The Guinness Storefront: Ok, if you even search “Ireland” in google, it will tell you that the Guinness storefront is a must-do experience. It’s one of those tourist activities that really is worth it, and with many tours at different price points, there is something for everyone! Pro tip: get tickets for the Stoutie experience and watch the bartender super impose your selfie on top of your fresh pint!
- St. Steven’s Green and Grafton Street: This park and popular shopping district are frequented by tourists and locals alike. The park offers wide open green spaces, the perfect picnic hideaways, and truly exceptional bird watching. Just watch out for the seagulls, they’ll steal your food! From the park, you can cross over onto Grafton street where buskers serenade pedestrians and people flit in and out of trendy shops and pubs.
- Croke Park: In this stadium, catch a match of Gaelic Football or Hurling, two sports unique to Ireland. The matches each last about an hour and a half and depending on when you go and who is playing, tickets are cheap. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and get involved with some Irish rivalries. If you don’t feel like sitting through a whole game, the stadium also serves as a museum and there are guided tours available every day.
- Take a day trip to Howth: Just outside Dublin, about a 40-minute bus ride away, is the village of Howth. This seaside community is renowned for their fish and chips and boasts amazing views of the sea. No need to go all the way to Moher, there’s a trail high above the village that takes locals and tourists around some stunning cliffs. Don’t like heights? Explore the grounds of Howth castle or go to the village market in the town center.
- The Rolling Donut. One of Dublin’s best-kept secrets is how much the city loves donuts. While there are many, many, shops to choose from, the Rolling Donut has some of the best and most Instagram-able treats. I particularly love the Biscoff cookie donut with a whole cookie on top and cookie butter stuffed inside. Your friends and family won’t know what hit them until they are already ordering seconds for breakfast tomorrow morning.
Visiting family doesn’t have to be stressful if you know where you want to take them. All they really want most is to see what you’ve been up to, so breathe deep, and show your host city off in style.
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<p>Sammi Bilitz is a junior at Indiana University enrolled in the Writer's Program in Dublin, Ireland. She is studying journalism and international studies and is so excited to explore what Ireland has to offer. In her free time, you can find her huddled up in some bookstore with a steaming cup of tea in hand.</p>