By Sarada Symonds, Visiting Student Blogger
The Cliffs of Moher are definitely a must-see if you’re visiting Ireland.
Dublin is one of those cities that is steeped in history and culture, and Trinity College is right at the heart of it. However, Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle for a reason, and you should definitely plan to get out of the city and explore the rest of the island. Ireland has plenty of sites to see, and you’ll probably recognize some of those sites from movies and tv. However, while some of these sites are relatively close to Dublin, others require several hours of driving to reach. Other times, you may want to leave for a few days and see what the rest of Europe has to offer. Here’s some of the best ways to make sure you take advantage of your time here in Ireland.
I planned my trip to Amsterdam over Reading Week before I even arrived on campus.
- Make a List
A lot of people who come to Trinity to study abroad probably also can come up with a huge list of places nearby where they want to travel. Not only do you have iconic places such as the Cliffs of Moher and Castle Blarney in Ireland, other major capitals of Europe are just a short flight away! I know I certainly had a lot of places I wanted to visit while I was here, but once the semester starts, it can get really busy, really fast. I also had classes five days a week, so I had to plan my trips out of town pretty carefully. I also realized that even though it’s way cheaper to explore here than it is in the United States, I didn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on travel. So I made a list of places I absolutely wanted to visit while I was in Europe, such as the Cliffs the Moher, Scotland, and Amsterdam. Then I started thinking about when I could travel to these places and started tracking flight costs and looking into hostels. If there are some places you absolutely want to visit while you’re here, you should start with a short list of places you absolutely want to go and plan those trips early.
- Find Friends
It’s cheesy, but asking your friends is a great way to get travel advice and suggestions. Students who have been here a while will usually have a pretty good idea of the best places to visit around Dublin, like Howth, the Cliff Walk in Bray, and Glendalough, and they might even have suggestions for places to visit for longer weekend trips. They’ll also be able to give you suggestions of what to see at popular weekend spots around Ireland, like Galway and Cork. You should also try to find some friends who are also studying abroad because chances are they’ll want to travel as much as you do. It’s always good to have travel buddies, especially if you plan on staying at hostels. While it can make organizing your trip a little more difficult, it’s worth it to have someone else around when you’re getting lost in a new city or trying to figure out Ireland’s bus schedule.
I was blown away by how green Ireland is.
3. Sign Up for Clubs
Of all the things I did to explore outside of Dublin, I think joining a club that traveled was the best thing I did during my time at Trinity. Societies like the International Student Society or the Hiking Society usually offer several trips each semester to some insanely beautiful places in Ireland, and it’s a great way to meet new people. I ended up joining the International Student Society, and took trips to Belfast, the Ring of Kerry, and Galway. Each trip included visits to the major local sites, such as the Cliffs of Moher near Galway and Skellig Michael near the Ring of Kerry. Each trip usually included some activity like swimming, archery, or biking which made it a lot more fun, and it was much cheaper than if I would’ve gone on my own. There’s also the benefit of having most of the trip organized for you (no need to worry about transportation or buying tickets), and having a huge crowd to hang out with when you go out.