This may seem random and irrelevant but one of the things I always notice abroad is the difference in the bathrooms. First and foremost, the bathrooms in Ireland (as with much of Europe) are simply referred to as toilets. Which makes sense. Because that’s all they are. Anyway here are the toilets that most stood out to me during my time in Dublin.
Satan at Fibber's, 10/10
Fibber Magee’s became my favorite bar in Dublin. They play hard rock and metal music and draw a diverse and down-to-earth crowd while being home to one of the best and most iconic beer gardens in Dublin. For those who love billiards, they have over a dozen tables scattered throughout their many rooms and it’s a great way to meet people and hang out. Back to the toilets. The stalls in Fibber’s are all very decorated with various art and phrases. This particular toilet had writing above it that said “Sniff glue and hail Satan.” So the toilet itself is pretty average but many of the things people write in the stalls are hilarious and are a reason in and of itself to visit Fibb’s.
**A note about Irish toilets in general: many of the tanks, such as in this case, are hidden behind the wall so the handle is generally on the wall and not on the toilet itself.
Two in One Flusher, 8/10
This toilet is a prime example of the majority of flushing mechanisms in Dublin. It has an option for solid or liquid waste, which is great and demonstrates the city’s care for water consumption. This stall also has a waste bin (all of them do in Ireland, at least in women’s restrooms), making it more welcoming and respectful. However, this one was unremarkable and boring. Next.
Handicap Toilet, 7/10
In an old city, it can be very difficult for disabled people to get around or have their needs met, so I commend Dublin’s frequent handicap-accessible toilets. They feature many bars for supporting oneself and lowered sinks, toilets, dryers, and handles. This particular toilet was a public restroom at the pier in Howth and was quite dirty (note the dirty diaper on the back of the toilet). Despite this, a good effort on the part of the city to be more friendly for all of its residents.
Archaeology Museum, 10/10
A majority of the stalls in Ireland have walls that go from the floor to the ceiling, quite different from the States where you can see the whole struggle of the person in the next stall if you try hard enough. At the archaeology museum (free and lots of interesting historical exhibits!), the stalls had ornate locking mechanisms, plenty of room, clean and run-of-the-mill toilets, and gorgeous floor tiling. All in all a very pleasant experience and I would highly recommend it.
This bar (whose name I forget, an indicator of a fun night…) had toilets that threw me for a loop. It took me a phat minute to realize that the tank was suspended above the toilet bowl and had a chain instead of a handle. This was not the only time I saw this in Dublin, so beware that the Irish like to yank your chain a little too and have fun with bathrooms. Definitely good fun though.
Last but not least: Mema’s. A great little pub on Parnell St. with awesome wings and even better cocktails. The whole place is well decorated with artsy and quirky items. Example, the pizza oven is a tiled clay oven in the shape of an ostrich. They also have live music twice a week and usually have great taste. Anyway, their toilets are incredible. The women’s toilet itself is average, but the doors are decorated with fun, slightly scandalous art. As per my male friends, the urinals are made out of old beer barrels. What I cannot get enough of is the sink. The best sink experience of my life. Perfect pour into an ornate bowl. The whole thing. Incredible. If you don’t go for the food music or drinks at least go to the toilets.
The end. I hope this provided you with insight as to the diverse nature of toilets and ambiances in Dublin. Also, all the places I mentioned were worth the visit. Not just for the toilet.
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Stella is currently a mechanical engineering student at the University of Colorado Boulder, where her goal is to always have at least one foot out of her comfort zone. When she is not on the engineering grind, she is passionate about playing guitar, backpacking, climbing, dancing, or really anything that will get her outside and soaking up the sunshine. Being raised in a French/English bilingual household, she grew up with an appreciation for other cultures and traveling. As she continues on her journey toward adulthood, she hopes to keep experiencing the unfamiliar and become an increasingly global citizen.