Tag Archives: Summer

Exploring Ireland: The Cliffs of Moher

By Madison Tucky (Visiting Student, Study Abroad Blogger)

In Ireland there are a lot of different places that people told me I should visit, and the most frequently mentioned one was the Cliffs of Moher. The people that I talked to who had been to Ireland before said that I had to visit the Cliffs, that it would be an unbelievable experience I needed to have. I’ll admit, I was kind of skeptical. I’ve seen cliffs before. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon in America. I didn’t think that the Cliffs of Moher would be anything crazy special. They’d be really cool and I was definitely going to go, but to be honest I had very low expectations for my trip out there. While there are a few different companies that take tours to the Cliffs from Dublin, I actually took the bus to Galway and used a tour company there, as I have a friend studying there who wanted to go with me. It was a very nice, easy, and early bus ride to Galway, and then the bus for the tour left from the bus station that I’d been dropped off at, so it was a very easy start to the excursion.

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Make Yourself At Home | Part 2

Last week we offered tips on how to decorate your student room to make it more homely, and while the internet offers an abundance of style tips and inspiration, where can you buy things without breaking the bank? We offer some ideas below.

Go to IKEA

From bed linen to wall hangings to quirky knick knacks, IKEA is a one-stop shop for all your student needs. However a bit of planning will be needed in advance if you aim to buy bulky goods and bring them home on the bus. Check out here for advice on the best way to get to IKEA, which is located in north Dublin, about 45 mins away from Trinity College by bus.

Check out Tiger

Located on Nassau Street and in the Stephen’s Green shopping centre, Tiger is often described as a mini-Ikea. It boasts a range of different decorations, handy  organisational knick-knacks and quirky ornaments, all at affordable prices. Tiger is a great store to wander around and see what jumps out at you. While it’s less then 60 seconds away from Trinity, you can check out their website before you make a trip to see what they have.

Homeware sections of stores

Many department stores, such as Dunnes, Tesco and Marks & Spencers to name a few, have specific homeware sections in their larger stores. Offering all sorts of kitchen, bedroom and general living room wares, these stores offer good quality goods at low prices. Even better, they are located throughout the City and are easy to get to. Stephens Green Shopping Centre and Henry Street are two great places to check out.

Online

Why limit yourself to what you can find in shops? As we suggested last week, sites such as Pinterest are a great way to find inspiration for decorating your room. So why not continue your search for decorations online? If you have specific ideas in mind, then sites such as Amazon or Ebay are great places search. If you’re not sure what you want, why not check our places such as Etsy and see what catches your eye.

George’s Street Arcade

George’s Street Arcade, less than a 5 minute walk from Trinity College Dublin, is an enclosed Victorian market where you can enjoy ‘independent’ boutique shops and stalls ranging from trendy clothing, jewellery, funky music, collectable items, souvenirs and much more along with wonderful dining and food options. Take a look around and you may be able to find unique treasures for your room or home.

Marketplaces

Finally, marketplaces and second hand stores can be treasure troves for homely decorations. Did you know there is a book market in Temple Bar on the weekends? How about the Designer Market? Temple Bar, Dublin’s Cultural Quarter, is packed with markets at the weekend. Take a wander through the cobbled streets and hidden avenues and see what you can find amongst the stalls and second hand stores. Market days and times can be found here.

David  is a marketing intern working with the Global Relations team, and is a current student of Trinity College Dublin.

Make Yourself At Home | Part 1

It’s not always easy settling in as a student. It is hard feeling completely at home in a new place, especially when that place is a dorm room, or a bedroom in a house with 5 other people. Help is at hand however, as we compile a list of some student hacks and DIY touches you can use to settle into Dublin and make yourself at home.

Bed Linen

First things first, you have got to sort out your bed. It’s more than likely taking up a large amount of space in your room, so you might as well make it colourful and easy on the eyes. Ditch the drab monotones and choose colourful bed sheets which will complement the style of your room.

Lights

Lighting is very important in student rooms. Fairy Lights and fake candles add a warm and inviting mood to your room. Equally getting coloured lamp shades (or draping coloured cloth over regular lamp shades) will help negate the harsh white lights often found in student apartments.

Plants

As long as you remember to water them, flowers and plants are a lovely, easy way to bring life and colour to your room.  If you’re simply not the gardener type and your plants are likely to die within days, invest in a cactus instead – they require zero maintenance! Equally, plenty of artificial flowers look quite real and can be bought from a variety of homeware stores.  A potted plant or two will do wonders for your room.

Wall hangings

The walls in student accommodation are often neutral and bare. With repainting them not an option the next best thing is to cover over them up. Posters and photos are a great way to add a personal touch to your walls. Hang photos with pegs from a piece of string, or use some blu-tack so you don’t mark the walls. Stick up photos and memories from home and if something makes you smile, hang it up so you can always see it.

Colour

If in doubt, just try and add colour. Whether it be through furnishings such as rugs and cushions, or simply colourful pictures, the more colour you add the more homely your room will feel. Paint some photo frames in vibrant colours and hang them on your wall. Or recycle some old jars and paint them in bright colours, leaving them on your shelves. Paint your hangers, shelves and furniture or cover them with colour tape and ribbons. ,l.

Need more Inspiration?

Lacking ideas? Try Pinterest and see what other people have done on the cheap to make their halls feel like home!

David  is a marketing intern working with the Global Relations team, and is a current student of Trinity College Dublin.

Museums of Dublin

Fancy soaking up a bit of history and culture while you’re in Dublin? Why not visit one of the many museums and cultural exhibitions around the city. From Modern Art to Natural History to Leprechauns, Dublin has a lot to offer.

– The Artistic

National_Gallery_of_Ireland_Millennium_wing_outsideNational Gallery of Ireland

Dating back over 150 years and packed full of fantastic pieces from both Irish and European fine art, the National Gallery of Ireland is one of the best ways to spend an inclement afternoon in Dublin. You can take your time exploring the many wings of art and sculpture that it has on offer for free. Take a free audio guide from the information desk or take a free tour to properly immerse yourself in the European and Irish masterpieces, you’ll soon find that many hours have passed along with the bad weather. Entry: Free| Location: Nassau Street

Barry_Flanagan_The_Drummer_IMMAIrish Museum of Modern Art

The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), is Ireland’s leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. In addition to the collection IMMA presents a dynamic and changing programme of exhibitions from Irish and International Artists, and complimentary education and family programmes throughout the year including a dynamic Talks programme and the IMMA studio and national programmes. The Museum is housed in the 17th century Royal Hospital building in Kilmainham, Dublin, whose beautiful grounds include a formal garden, meadow and medieval burial grounds.  Facilities include a café, bookshop and free guided tours of exhibitions. Entry: Free| Location: Royal Hospital Kilmainham

– The Historic

Dublin-National-History-Museum-2012Natural Museum of Ireland – Natural History

Natural History Museums are common in every European capital and there’s a good reason why. Both adults and children alike love to marvel at the animals and creatures of the past and Dublin has one of the most impressive zoological exhibits. Located within the same complex as the National Museum of Ireland, the natural history building has been operating since 1856 and was restored in 2010 to allow visitors to get more up close and personal with the collection. The ground floor is dedicated to Irish animals, featuring giant deer skeletons and a variety of mammals, birds and fish. The upper floors of the building were laid out in the 19th Century in a scientific arrangement showing animals by taxonomic groupEntry: Free| Location: Merrion Street

National_Museum_of_IrelandNational Museum of Ireland – Archaeology and History

The National Museum Of Ireland was built in the 1880s and today is the national repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland and is the home to over two million artefacts. The Treasury exhibition space has recently undergone a major refurbishment where you can see iconic artefacts such as the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Derrynaflan Hoard. As well as these priceless artefacts,  other permanent displays include Irish Silver and glassware, the Viking exhibition, the War of Independence exhibition and more. Make sure to visit the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition which includes recently found bog bodies! Entry: Free| Location: Kildare Street

Collins_Barracks_Museum_courtyard_westNational Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History

Collins Barracks in Dublin City could be said to be the National Museum of Ireland’s largest artefact, having had a unique history all of its own in another life. Collins Barracks has been completely renovated and restored to become the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History, charting Ireland’s economic, social, political and military progress through the ages.

Artefacts on display range from silver, ceramic and glassware pieces to weaponry, furniture, examples of folk life and costume. All of these are displayed with imagination in innovative and contemporary galleries, which entice you to go further, look harder and examine more closely. Entry: Free| Location: Collins Barracks

– The Unconventional

LeprNational Leprechaun Museum

Irish people have told stories about the Leprechaun for more than a thousand years. There are many tales about him and the people he meets. The National Leprechaun Museum, the first ever attraction dedicated to Irish mythology, opens up a fun and magical world full of fascinating folklore, mythology and enchanting stories. Based in the heart of Dublin, you will explore the museum on a guided tour with a storyteller. They will bring you through the spaces and tell you more about Irish folklore and mythology. You’ll explore spaces that reflect these stories, or recreates experiences typically associated with leprechauns. The result is a series of captivating, interactive experiences – from the first ever sighting back in the eighth century, through to modern day representations of the leprechaun in film and popular culture – and plenty of adventures in between. Entry: €10 for Students| Location: Jervis Street

Little Museum of DublinThe Little Museum of Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin opened in October 2011. The museum is spaced out on 2 floors of a Georgian house. It recalls what Dublin was all about during the 20th century and the exhibition has been widely praised in the international media. The Little Museum of Dublin tells the story of Dublin city from the year 1900 up to 2000 and showcases the remarkable transformation that the city went through in the last century. Visitors to the museum will witness the violent birth of the Irish nation, the conservative years that followed the false economic hope of the 1960s and the Celtic Tiger boom of the 1990s. Photographs, art and newspapers are some of the artefacts that tell the story of the city along with the influence of politics and power.  Entry: €3 for Students| Location: Stephens Green

National Wax Museum PlusNational Wax Museum Plus

This unique Dublin Museum is an outstandingly original visitor attraction and has been designed to deliver an interactive experience unlike any other museum in the city.  The museum is full of characters and exhibits, from historical figures to cartoon characters, and everything else in between. As indicated by the PLUS in the name, it’s not only wax figures either. The museum has much more to explore and experience, such as the Science and Discovery Zone, Recording Studio and the Wax Factor Green Screen. It’s great fun for all. Entry: €10 for Students| Location: College Green

David  is a marketing intern working with the Global Relations team, and is a current student of Trinity College Dublin.

Breakfast in Dublin

Why not treat yourself some morning and go out for breakfast? Dublin has tons to offer in terms of breakfast bars and early bird deals throughout the city centre. David rounds up some of his favourites and lists them here.

Lemon Crepe & Coffee Co

Two cafes in Dublin’s city centre; one on Dawson Street, (Lemon HQ) and the other on South William Street, (the supposedly trendy one) make up Lemon. Both cafes serve rich coffee and have full breakfast menus with freshly prepared crepes, sandwiches, omelettes, and pastries. The Dawson street café even does Belgian waffles. Check out the menu here. 

Metro Cafe

Styled as a Parisian café, Metro is a top notch Dublin bistro. The friendly staff and outdoor seating area stretching the length of the café are only some of Metro’s many features which make it a great breakfast haunt. Open seven days a week, it offers a great choice of breakfast options, with the pancakes always being a popular choice. Check out what’s on offer here.

KC Peaches

KC Peaches, right beside Trinity, has a great selection of food for breakfast. Ranging from organic yogurt  and fruit, to hot paninis  to the classic irish tea and toast. This bustling café will certainly wake you up with its lively atmosphere and great food. Their menu can be found here.

Fixx Coffeehouse

Based halfway down Dawson Street, Fixx Coffeehouse offers a huge amount of space, filled with low slung couches and even has its own library. This cosy atmosphere is only made better by the great selection of food they have on offer each morning, the greek yogurt, granola and berries being a particularly splendid way to start your day.  Check them out here. 

Hatch & Sons

Hatch & Sons is hidden away opposite St Stephen’s Green in the basement of the Little Museum of Dublin, between Kildare and Dawson street. It’s well worth a visit, as this tiny restaurant serves up simple but really tasty local Irish cuisine. Simple, wholesome breakfast inspired by the traditional kitchen cuisine,  Hatch & Sons is a charming spot for breakfast; check out the menu here.

Marks & Spencers Rooftop Cafe (Grafton Street)

While M&S cafe’s are nothing extraordinary, they do offer a fine selection of food and hot drinks. However it is the rooftop terrace at the top of its Grafton Street store that makes this cafe worth checking out. Visit it on a sunny day, and its lovely to sit outside with a nice cup of tea and hear the sounds of shoppers and buskers rise up to greet you.

Yogism

Fancy an alternative way to enjoy breakfast, how about some frozen yogurt? You can do it yourself, filling up your bowl with all sorts of healthy granolas and berries, or choose from their Breakfast Club menu which includes options of porridge and pancakes. Only downside is it doesn’t open till 9 am. Find them on Facebook.

Queen of Tarts

A charming cafe and patisserie, just off Dame Street, which is run by two sisters (who trained as pastry chefs in New York City in the 1990s). Everything is baked and prepared fresh on the premises adding to a lovely smell and atmosphere throughout the café. They offer a  range of breakfast options, from homemade granola to scrambled eggs with smoked irish salmon, and all are reasonably priced. Check out their menu here.

Brother Hubbard

This small cafe, based on Capel Street, prides itself on being independently run and solely focused on offering you the best food in Dublin. Their simple, but packed, breakfast menu is accompanied by a range of pastries, made fresh  each day by them. They try and source all their produce from local supplier and even filter the water used to make tea and coffee; in short they do all they can to ensure you have a great meal.

David  is a marketing intern working with the Global Relations team, and is a current student of Trinity College Dublin.

Cinemas in Dublin

Dublin City has a lot to offer in terms of cinemas and movie theatres. From the latest blockbusters to foreign language films, Dublin has it all on show, as long as you know where to look. David lists five cinemas in the city centre that all movie lovers should check out.

1. The Screen Cinema

Located right beside Trinity College, though easy to miss (walk out of Front Arch and turn right), the Screen Cinema is known for its mix of modern films and older classics. The Screen is Dublin’s longest running art house cinema with the cinema’s proximity to Trinity College attracting a young, arty student crowd. There are the obvious Hollywood blockbusters on show here, but the Screen regularly sneaks a good deal of foreign language films and childhood favourites onto its two screen. It has special offers on Thursday nights where tickets are only €5. Check out what’s playing there now. 

2. The Savoy Cinema

Situated right on O’Connell Street, the Savoy Cinema is Dublin’s oldest working cinema. Built in 1929, the Savoy is full of atmosphere, from the spacious wood-panelled foyer to the upstairs lobby. The Savoy regularly plays host to the glamorous film premieres of Ireland. It shows a large variety of the latest hollywood films in its seven screens. Check out what’s on here.

3. Cineworld

The largest multiplex cinema in Dublin’s city centre boasts 17 screens and an IMAX screen. Based on Parnell Street, Cineworld shows a wide range of Irish and international films with all the big blockbusters coming through its screens. It boasts a large selection of Box office treats and sweets. Cineworld has everything you need to enjoy a trip to the movies. Check out what’s showing here. 

4. Rathmines Omniplex Cinema

Situated slightly outside the city centre, on the Rathmines road, the Rathmines Omniplex Cinema (previously the Swan Cinema) is a newly renovated complex with five screens showing the latest big blockbusters. All the screens have reclining seats with ample leg space and totally unrestricted views. Only a 20 minute walk from Trinity College (or 10 mins on the bus) the cinema is surrounded by a host of restaurants and pubs so you can extend your night out. Check out what’s on now. 

5. The Lighthouse Cinema

Possibly the most colourful cinema in all of Dublin, the Light House Cinema is a specialist, art house cinema committed to programming the best Irish and international films. It’s eclectic schedule includes feature films, shorts, classics, foreign language and animated films, feature length documentaries, inventive special events and festivals. Located in the up and coming Smithfield quarter north of the River Liffey, the Lighthouse champions independent world cinema and offbeat Irish productions. The brand new, high tech building features four screens and has the some of the comfiest, and colourful, seats in Dublin. Check out what’s on here.

Best Student Friendly Restaurants in Dublin?

No matter the time of year, students are always on the look out for opportunities to eat out without breaking the bank, David rounds up some of his favourite student (and budget) friendly restaurants in the city.

1. The Mongolian Barbeque

Mongolian BBQ in Temple Bar prides itself on being one of Dublin’s most unique dining experiences. The idea is simple, you get a bowl and fill it with raw ingredients; from fresh meats to a huge array of seasonal vegetables. Add some Herbs and spices of your choice, and finally top off your creation from the specially selected sauces. Then just hand your bowl to one of the grillers and they will stir-fry it to perfection, right in front of your eyes. The more you can manage to fit into your bowl, the more food you can have! One trip to the buffet costs €5.90 with their Lunch Special (12pm to 4.30pm), and they offer student discounts on top! Check out the menu.

2. Tolteca

One of the closest burrito places to Trinity, Tolteca is a favourite for many students due to its good food and fast service. Located on Suffolk Street, just off Grafton Street, Tolteca offers a €6.50 Student Deal which covers a full burrito and a drink (with free refills!). Check out the menu.

3. KC Peaches

One of the closest, if not the closest restaurant to Trinity, KC Peaches offers healthy and filling lunch and dinner options. They have a range of different sized takeaway boxes and eat-in plates, starting from as little as €5. With a large variety of self-serving salads and hot meals, you can mix and match what you want and fill your plate for a great meal! Check out the menu.

4. Yum Thai

Less than a 3 minute walk from Trinity, Yum Thai is situated just off Dawson Street, Yum Thai is a tiny restaurant but packs a lot of punch. Choose from a range of tasty thai dishes, all for only €5 with a student card, and they’ll pack your takeaway box to the brim. Beware though, there’s hardly any room to sit inside, so keep an eye on the weather in case you don’t want to have to eat outside.

5. Skinflint

This seriously cool pizza parlour is located on Crane Lane, just off of Dame Street, and has a wide selection of tasty pizzas (which are rumoured to be named after the staffs mothers). The regular prices (€8-12) are very reasonable but they sometimes do 2-for-1 deals for students (with valid student cards) so keep and eye out for the worthwhile meals! Check out the menu.

6. CrackBird

Who doesn’t love fried chicken? Based in an old Chinese restaurant on Dame Street (it still has the original decor), CrackBird offers a simply yet fulfilling menu of fried chicken, with the quality of their chicken that really makes it a cut above the rest. You can opt for a full or half chicken in either buttermilk batter or soy and garlic. The sides are all reasonably priced and you can wash it down with a large jam jar full of lime and ginger spritz or homemade lemonade. Similar to Skinflint, CrackBird occasionally offer 2-for-1 deals for Students; making it even better! Check out the menu.

7. Neon

Asian Street Food is how this place is advertised, it does good food fast, not fast food. Based on Camden Street, Neon offers a wide range of excellently prepared and affordable Asian dishes, all of which you can enjoy at their large, communal tables. Each meal comes with an ice cream cone and for desert there’s a Do-It-Yourself ice cream machine; just remember to bring your own chocolate flake! Check out the menu.

8. Wagamama

Part of an international chain of Japanese Noodle Houses but much better than the average chain restaurant. You can spend a lot here – it’s definitely the upper end of budget – but students can avail of the 2-for-1 mid week meals, making it excellent value for the variety of Asian dishes you can try. Check out the menu.

9. Captain Americas

Tucked away near the top of Grafton Street, Captain America’s offers classic, wholesome American food. From burgers and chips, to steaks and pizzas, Captain America’s is a lovely family diner during the day and a lively student hangout at night. They offer 2-for-1 meal deals during the week and from Monday to Wednesday. Captain America’s is worth the trip simply just to see the decor inside; wall to wall is dressed with a variety of signed music merchandise from past and present music legends! Check out the menu.

10. Jo Burger Town

Jo’Burger’s a trendy joint; a sibling of Crackbird and Skinflint, it has a similar vibe while also being unique in its own way. There is a casual atmosphere  with a menu which mainly specialises in burgers but there are other choices for those in the mood for something else, including options for those with dietary needs. Delicious, tasty food at affordable prices. Check out the menu.

David  is a marketing intern working with the Global Relations team, and is a current student of Trinity College Dublin.