Although Dublin isn’t the largest capital city in the world, it has enough character to compete with the rest. It offers crazy nightlife, great colleges, and everything else that any student could possibly want from their educational experience.
There’s plenty going on in the city to keep you entertained throughout your degree, but if you decide that you want a change of scenery for a day or two, Dublin is the perfect base for you to head out and explore the rest of Ireland.
In fact, the Republic is pretty small in the grand scheme of things, so you’re never really more than a three-hour drive from everything that our glorious country has to offer.
If you’re scratching your head wondering which excursion to do first, then look no further, because we’ve listed the best activities for you and your mates to get stuck in to.
The Giant’s Causeway is a result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption that left 40,000 interlocking basalt columns protruding from the North Atlantic Ocean. You’re going to want to head off early for this one, because it’s a three-hour drive from Dublin.
Remember that you’ll be crossing country borders between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, so it’s advisable to bring some sort of identification along too (although there are no formal border-crossing procedures, carrying your ID will be handy if you come unstuck).
The Giant’s Causeway is one of Ireland’s most famous landmarks, and there’s plenty to see while you’re there: if you’re a serial instagrammer, there will be plenty of opportunities to get the perfect snap, and if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll be happy to know that you can find Ballintoy Harbour just a short drive away, which is the filming location for The Iron Isles.
If you consider yourself to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie but you don’t fancy spending a small fortune to find that perfect wave, you’re in a great position to get your fix on home turf. The rugged Irish coastline, believe it or not, provides the perfect backdrop for anybody who’s on the lookout for a blood-pumping experience. With high wind speeds and big waves, you can expect to find at least one or two kitesurfing hotspots.
The best part is that you won’t even have to leave Dublin to find that perfect spot, because Poolbeg, just outside of the city centre, gives you great waves and a great view over Dublin Bay. Tucked between the power station and the port, you’ll be surprised at how well this industrial spot works for extreme-sports enthusiasts. If you’re just starting out, there are plenty of companies that offer lessons in the Dublin area, with Pure Magic Kitesurfing offering discount if you book as a group.
If kitesurfing seems a bit too extreme for you but you still feel like you’d enjoy an adventurous activity, you and your mates can load up the car and head out to one of the rural adventure centres near Dublin.
Xtreme Ireland offers plenty of activities to keep you and your friends engrossed for the day. You can try out their zipline experience or take on their climbing wall, and if you’ve got your driving licence handy, you can have a go at their 4×4 off-road driving experience. The Xtreme Ireland adventure centre is located just a 30-minute drive outside of Dublin, meaning you can enjoy a great day out without having to make a long journey home.
Like any capital city, Dublin is a busy tourist hub, meaning it can get a little crowded from time to time (which we’re sure you’ve seen for yourself!). Although this means that there’s always something going on in the city, you might feel like getting away from the hustle and bustle – which is where the countryside’s beautiful scenery and small towns come in, for you to get out and enjoy when you want a break from city life.
If the weather is nice, you and your mates can chip in for a cheap tent and head to one of the many camping spots located outside of Dublin. You can take the 40-minute drive out of the city to find North Beach Caravan Park, where you can set up camp on one of the country’s most scenic beaches – then it’s completely up to you whether you visit the local attractions or just find yourself a local pub and grab a few drinks.
There’s Plenty to Do in the Irish Capital
If you don’t fancy leaving the city, there’s still loads going on in Dublin. With countless attractions and plenty of bars and pubs, you’ll never get fed up of living there. If you’re looking for more things to see and do in the capital, take a look at our city guide for our top tips on Dublin life.