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Best Things to Do in Dublin for Students





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Dublin is one of the most exciting student cities in the world! While Dublin is known mostly for Guinness, it has a far more complex culture than first meets the eye and there are a plethora of fun things to do in the city. 

We understand how lonely it can be for students moving to a totally new country and city, and experiencing the local culture – whether through trying the food, learning the history, or exploring the underrated haunts – is essential if you want to start feeling at home there. 

We’ve written about some of the best things to do in Dublin for students. Whether you’re a big history buff and want to crawl the city’s many museums and historical sites, or you want to find the best spaces to relax after seminars, there is something in this list that will take your fancy. 

Make sure you look into a Leap Card to save money on transport as you hop around the city! There are countless opportunities to have fun in Dublin on a budget, and here are some of our top picks.

Get to Know Ireland’s Most Popular Drinks

Ireland’s pub culture is as famous as its signature drinks, and students abroad may be curious about Ireland’s rich history of producing world-renowned alcohol brands. Here are some of the best places to go on a whistle-stop tour of Dublin’s famous alcoholic drinks: 

  • Guinness Storehouse is very close to our Ardee Point accommodation and is widely considered to be one of the best things to do in Dublin! It offers a thorough insight into the Guinness brewing process, you can also learn how to pour the perfect pint (so you don’t end up with a glass full of foam!), and the experience ends in the rooftop Gravity Bar with a glass of Guinness in hand as you look over the city. What could be better?
  • The Whisky Museum provides a great introduction to the colourful history of Irish whiskey, with tasting experiences included. You can book tours online and get a student discount! 
  • The Jameson Distillery on Bow Street has been a cultural landmark for Irish whiskey lovers since it was founded in 1780. Bring your friends or family along to blending and cocktail-making classes, premium tasting sessions and tours of the former distillery. The Bow Street Experience Tour has a student discount available, but the workshops and group classes are only available at full price – explore the options here

The Teeling Distillery is a very unique, as it is the first new distillery to be established in Dublin in over 125 years! Established in 2015 (also just down the street from Nido Ardee Point), this is a sleek and modern way to get the Irish whiskey experience and is in proximity to some of the best bars in Dublin.

Marvel in a UNESCO City of Literature

Dublin is a cultural hub for literature lovers – many influential figures in literary history, such as Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, and more have made their marks on the city. Dublin is extremely proud of its literary heritage, and you can find testaments to this everywhere.

Firstly, we have to mention Trinity College! An architectural marvel (which supposedly inspired the sets of Harry Potter), the Long Room in Trinity College is the longest single-chamber library in the world and houses some 200,000 books! Student discount for entry to the Old Library and the Book of Kells. Bookable online, this is absolutely one of the best places to visit in Dublin.

Marsh’s Library was the first public library to be established in Ireland! Lined with beautiful 18th-century historical texts, it has been preserved in the same state it was in when it was founded. It’s been visited by great authors like Bram Stoker and James Joyce, whose signatures you can find in the visitor ledger, and new visitors continue to breathe life into this historic building every day.

If you walk through Merrion Square, you should find a gorgeously-coloured statue of Oscar Wilde leisurely reclining on a rock, his iconic face captured in stone. 

And finally, The Winding Stair is one of the oldest surviving independent bookshops in Dublin. There are some one-of-a-kind finds here, as the Winding Stair prides itself in stocking unusual and unique books you won’t see in a regular bookshop. It also has a restaurant serving great food made with local produce and excellent wine, a wonderful place for students to go to when their families are visiting.

Explore Dublin’s Rich History

There are many great museums, galleries and places to visit to give you insight into Ireland’s rich and layered history, but we’ve listed the must-sees and free options for a budget-conscious young historian!

The National Museum of Ireland offers an expansive collection of exhibitions, covering everything from natural history and geology to revolutionary-era Ireland, with plenty of interactive activities and fun workshops to attend. Best of all, admission is free!

The National Gallery of Ireland offers key insights into the important figures and movements in Ireland’s artistic history. Entry into the permanent collection is free, and there are many affordable exhibitions, workshops, talks and classes on offer to explore. 

Kilmainham Gaol Museum is a former prison that offers poignant insights into how Ireland’s revolutionaries and political dissenters lived when incarcerated. Tickets are considerably cheaper than some other historical destinations, and the experience you get is invaluable – we consider it one of the best places to visit in Dublin for key insights into its history.

Relax in Dublin’s Beautiful Green Spaces

Every now and then, it’s important to get away from your desk, and Dublin is full of beautiful parks and gardens to help you get back to nature.

St Stephen’s Green, for instance, is a hop, skip and jump away from Ardee Point, the perfect place to visit when you need some space from your desk. It features an abundance of beautiful wildlife – with lots of ducks and swans to feed – and monuments like Fusilier’s Arch to explore. You can download a free audio guide on their website if you’re interested in looking around, but otherwise, sit back and let the beauty wash over you!

There’s also Phoenix Park, which is one of Europe’s largest parks (once a Viking burial ground). Full of frolicking deer, this is one of the best places in Dublin to rent a bike and cycle around, or even just sit under a tree and enjoy the view! If you like animals there’s also a zoo within its borders that you can visit, but otherwise, this is a great place to just take a walk through and keep your mind away from your coursework for an hour.

The Castle Gardens are also a brilliant place to relax. Dublin Castle is an amazing historical landmark, and its gardens are no different. Did you know this is the original site of the “dubh linn” or “black pool”, a trading hub Vikings set up that eventually earned the city its name? This is now a gorgeous, quaint green space that’s perfect for relaxing on sunny days. And of course, it’s free to visit!

Visit Dublin’s Best Shopping Districts

The Grafton Street and Henry Street shopping districts are a haven of big brands and independent boutiques, boasting no limit to one-of-a-kind finds. Henry Street is home to the flagship store of Arnotts, the biggest department store in Ireland, and at the top of Grafton Street, you can find the St Stephens Green shopping centre. 

The George Street Arcade is a long-established enclosed market, full of unique independent shops to get lost in. Jewellery, books, records, vintage and alternate clothes, crystals, ornaments, and far more – this market is a treasure trove you shouldn’t pass over! We also believe it’s home to some of the best restaurants in Dublin.

Dundrum Town Centre is Ireland’s largest shopping centre, with almost 170 tenants, and a brilliant place to visit. There are many great retail outlets, as well as a theatre and an adventure golf course – you could get lost there for a whole day!

And if all you can afford is to window shop, no worries! Grafton Street and George Street Arcade are lined with buskers and performers you can watch at no charge! This is one of the best free things you can do in Dublin.

Enjoy your best student life in Dublin with Nido Living

So, where can you see yourself in Dublin? Would you be swanning around the city’s wonderful libraries, or soaking in centuries of history through the best of Dublin’s museums? Or maybe you see yourself in a more active role, cycling through Phoenix Park or hunting for bargains in George Street Arcade? However you want to experience Dublin, Nido will be behind you all the way! 

If one of Dublin’s excellent universities is your top choice, we at Nido can provide you with top-quality student accommodation to make sure your life here is unforgettable! We’ll take care of you from Freshers Week until the end of your stay, supporting you with the facilities and resources you need to thrive. We care immensely about creating a safe, warm and welcoming space for our residents, which is all part of the Nido Difference

We have some wonderful offerings here in Ireland with our Dublin and Cork residences, but we also have buildings in Denmark, Spain, The Netherlands, and Portugal. Follow our blog to learn more about them, and contact us to enquire about our rooms. We hope you’ll become part of the Nido family next year!