I’ve spent most of my summer in Dublin and I have discovered some serious likes and dislikes about this city:
1. HATE: horrible weather
If you’ve been following my posts you already know how I hate the Irish weather. I honestly thought it’s British weather that’s bad, but even British summer seems nice now compared to the one in Dublin. The temperatures are low – around 16-18 degrees and at night they can drop down to 12 degrees. Plus it is constantly raining. I only saw 3 days where it didn’t rain at all. The air is damp and chilly. I had a constant cold, even though I was wearing my autumn jackets and thick scarves. I learned that most Estonians get sick when they first arrive in Ireland. Summer what, where?
2. LOVE: Irish hospitality
Even though the weather sucks, people don’t. The opposite to it – they are friendly, warm and helpful. Also very fun! They say hello, they smile, they want to give you a hand. There was this one hot summer day in Dublin (hottest day in 3 years) when I took the bus and almost passed out because of lack of air and water. This young man approached me, asked me how I was and kept asking until I was able to give him an answer. Then he gave me his bottle of water and made sure I felt better. There are many places where people wouldn’t approach you like that.
3. HATE: Crazy traffic
Gosh I’m happy I wasn’t driving in Dublin. People do not know anything about turn signal lights, speed limits or the difference between green and red light. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit but everyone is breaking the rules. Even pedestrians just cross whenever they get the chance and sometimes walk inbetween cars. Not to mention people on their bicycles – they drive with cars but don’t care about red lights or any kind of regulations. Altogether it’s a scary mess to be in. In Estonia pedestrians wait behind the red light even when there is no traffic – it would look ridiculous over there.
4. LOVE: Lots of green spaces
Ireland is the Emerald Island and Dublin not doing so bad either. There are loads of beautiful parks where to have picnics and go on long walks. On the few sunny days we had, all Dublin parks were filled with people enjoying the weather. Plus parks had many pokestops.
5. HATE: The bus system
Both inside the city and outside the city – the Irish do NOT know how to put together a well-functioning bus system. Inside Dublin the buses are almost always late – sometimes for more than 20 minutes and there isn’t a proper schedule up. You just have to check the real time bus information which means it is impossible to plan anything ahead. The bus stops don’t have names so you either have to know a 4-digit stop number or the street name. When you are new in the area it gets quite tricky because on some buses nothing notifies you of the next stop coming up. You just have to know yourself if it’s your stop that’s coming up. A tricky thing to do when it’s your first time in Dublin. Plus it is expensive for a service like that – about 5 euros for a return trip within Dublin city. Oh and when you take a coach from one Irish city to another you don’t get an allocated seat, you don’t even get to book a specific trip. That means that they sell unlimited amount of tickets for the same day and you just have to be there early to get a seat. One time a lady had to beg someone to get off the bus because she had to go to the airport. She had a ticket but the bus was full. So this kind man was willing to get off the bus and wait for the next one which was about to arrive in an hour.
6. LOVE: Architecture
Dublin is an old city. This ancient city that was first settled by the Vikings has reminders from all different episodes of history. And it’s simply amazing. I especially love the area around Trinity College Dublin. Oh, and all those crazy coloured doors on Georgian terraced houses!
7. HATE: Not feeling safe walking around at night
Coming from one of the safest countries in the world, Dublin does not feel so safe to me. And the statistics back it up as well. Dublin has a huge issue with drugs and walking around alone at night might be dangerous – especially in Northern Dublin where the Irish mob resides. Every week I read about new murders in Northern Dublin. But to be honest, most of the murders were related to gangs’ inside issues. Just watch out where you walk in the evening and at night.
8. LOVE: Irish pubs
You’ve got to love Irish pubs! I mean, they are famous worldwide. I’m not even the type of a girl that would usually go to a pub, but they are just awesome in Dublin. Always live music playing and fresh Guinness flowing from the pipes. There are loads of them in Dublin. Almost one on every corner. The most famous area is Temple Bar but that wouldn’t be my first choice because it gets awfully touristy around there. My favourite pub in Dublin is The Cobblestone. It’s extremely authentic, not touristy and you can count to hear some traditional Irish music while sipping on your beer.
9. HATE: Life is expensive in Dublin
When I first arrived in Dublin I thought this can’t be too bad. Dublin didn’t seem like an expensive city to me. I mean, I lived a bit in Geneva and just visited London. True, Dublin is less expensive than Geneva but I didn’t see too big of a difference between Dublin and London. Tiny bedroom in Airbnb in a shared apartment costs at least 900 euros per month. What I understand, the rent prices in Dublin are quite crazy. The food wasn’t cheap either but luckily they have chains like Lidl and Aldi where you can buy good quality fruit and veggies for a normal price. I did miss cheap lunch deals in Estonia where you can get quality food for 3-4 euros. In Dublin I got a lousy sandwich and a coffee for about 10 euros. Monthly bus card is about 130 euros.
10. LOVE: Guinness beer
This might seem like a silly thing to end this list with but Guinness is awesome. The Irish really know how to make beer and whisky. And this is coming from a girl who never drank beer or whisky. It is smoky, dark and rich and tastes a lot different from the Guinness we are sold in Estonia. Even my dad told me that it’s one of the best beers he has ever tasted. It’s pure art.
However, to be honest. I could easily continue with reasons why I love Dublin, but I ran out of the reasons to dislike it. Dublin is a really cool city, do visit it.