Dublin's Best-kept Secrets
When you think of Dublin, images come to mind of Guinness, Jameson whiskey, and the River Liffey. The capital of the Republic is steeped in history and culture, with some of the world’s most prominent writers, actors, and musicians hailing from the city. It may be a small place, but there is plenty on offer to people who visit.
You might think that you can see it all in the space of a few days, but as anyone who calls Dublin home will know, there is more to this city than meets the eye. Hidden bars and ancient forts are just some of the things that make this such a unique place to live and study, so we’ve decided to highlight a few of our favourites.
It’s not unusual for wine bars to be located underground; a basement offers an intimate atmosphere that complements the vino. But Bagots Hutton takes this to the next level, with an underground space that consists of bare stone walls and dim lighting. This rustic finish creates an unconventionally cosy atmosphere, making you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the Renaissance period.
This is one for the literature students, or anyone who is familiar with James Joyce’s writing for that matter! Sweny’s Pharmacy is referenced in his book Ulysses, with its protagonist Leopold Bloom visiting to buy face-cream for his wife. The shop is maintained by volunteers, who are dedicated to keeping the same layout and atmosphere that Joyce describes in his writing. Why not visit “the worst pharmacy in the city”?
The Hellfire Club
If you fancy yourself a bit of a ghost-hunter, this next location is for you. The Hellfire club is perched on the top of Montpelier Hill, high up in the Dublin Mountains. This former hunting lodge was built in the 18th century by William Connelly.
It is said that building was doomed from the start, with a series of tragic events striking the lodge. After Connelly’s death, a secret society called the Hellfire Club used the building as its base for occult practices and wild behaviour, making this one of Ireland’s scariest destinations.
Located near the famous fruit and veg market, the Hacienda Bar is one of Dublin’s hidden gems. Although the opening hours are inconsistent, it’s worth heading down to see what’s on offer. To get in, you have to ring a buzzer and answer some questions, but the owner, Shay, is a legend in his own right. He can regularly be seen in photographs with the celebs who visit the pub. Famous visitors include Ed Sheeran, Matthew McConaughey, and Kate Beckinsale.
The Forty Foot
Weather permitting, the Forty Foot offers some of the best outdoor swimming in Ireland. It’s something of a Christmas Day tradition for locals to head to this cove and take the plunge into the Irish Sea. Another spot made famous through Joyce’s Ulysses, the Forty Foot can be enjoyed in high or low tide, making it a popular diving spot for locals and visitors alike. Perfect for adrenaline junkies who are ready to brave the cold.
Temple Bar Book Market
Every Saturday and Sunday, from 11am to 6pm, you’ll find a market that will please any bookworm. The Temple Bar Book Market gives you the opportunity to lose yourself to literature with this small but well-stocked outlet. You’re sure to bag yourself a bargain on anything from literature to old vinyl records – the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Stay in the Heart of the Action
Dublin is a small city, so you’re never too far from something to do. Our accommodation always puts you right in the heart of the action, and with so many attractions on offer, you won’t get bored throughout your studies.