After being in Ireland for a month, I’ve spent much time in cities close to Dublin for day trips, less than a two hour bus ride or a DART away. For those who don’t want to go out for a full weekend or can’t afford to do so, these are five towns I’ve been to, and where I’ve spent less than 15 euros at each location.
This town is a quick DART away from Dublin, the nearest station being about a 12 minute walk from our accommodation at the Beckett House. Just outside the DART stop at Howth, there is a cute little restaurant, where you can get soup and fish and chips, along other dishes. I figured fish and chips where a must at a coastal town, at least once.
At Howth, there is both a pier from where you can see an island in the distance through some binoculars that charge one pound.
However, my favorite part of Howth was venturing off towards the cliff walk with a friend. On the way there was several people that would kindly greet you. There, I found the Howth Castle, though I could not see much of it up close, as there was filming in progress at the moment. Something about nuns.
To get to Bray, I got on a regular TFI Dublin bus, so the fare was only once euro, and the way I made it there was entirely by accident. My friend and I picked a random bus and hopped on it, to see where it would take us. And we ended up in Dun Laoghaire. Now, to be fair, we didn’t get to see much of the town itself because not long after arriving, we had to look for the DART back home to make dinner on time. What we did see there, however, was a good number of good restaurants and cute shops.
Much like with Bray, I made it to Wicklow in an extremely random fashion. I hopped on a bus for Glendalough, missed my exit, so chose to continue down to Wicklow. The cliff walk here is absolutely stunning, and there are steps that lead down to the beach on a couple of areas. When it’s warm and it’s not seal season, it’s a beautiful place to go for a swim. If you go, I recommend stopping by the Firehouse Bakery near the bus stop. They have a delicious sandwich and desserts to take for the road.
This is probably the most expensive destination on this list. If I recall correctly, it was between 5 and 8 euros each way. Getting the tickets online might be cheaper. There is a lot to see in this town, from the Castle, the movie theater, the boat ride, and the shopping district just to name a few activities. I was able to get a couple of souvenirs for my family at a wellness shop in Kilkenny.
This is another coastal town I reached through DART. There is a small little square by the sea, where you can eat ice-cream from a nearby shop, and there is a lovely walk that leads down to a beach and camping area. From where I stood at the edge of the water, I could see in the distance, people riding horses. However, my favorite part about Malahide was going to the local sports pub during a rugby game. Several locals were there enjoying themselves, and the ambience was warm. Almost as good as the fried chicken with garlic aioli, and the onion rings and potato chips.
If you go to any of these towns, do let me know what you think! And of course, these are just the places I have been to, but there are many more that are close by. Greystones, Drogheda towards the north, and Maynooth are a few others I have heard great things about.
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The first time I met one of my best friends, she thought I hated her. I was just busy thinking of things we could have in common to continue the conversation. Since then, I have gotten better at the talking part. I'm not sure I've gotten better at the friendlier appearance part. Just know that I'm always excited to meet someone new!