Locals Know Best
So you’ve arrived in a new city and you want to explore it. You have your Lonely Planet in one hand, your camera in the other and off you go ticking off the big sites. They’re all fantastic and you get the cool photos, the nice memories and a few small keepsakes. But what about the other things you missed? Maybe if you had a local guide you would’ve learned more, or some advice from someone who knows the city of Cork, Dublin, Belfast or Galway that bit more intimately than the person writing his travel book… Well, hopefully we can help you. Here are some tips from Ultimate players around the country that we think will help you see more of each place you visit. Enjoy!! DUBLIN
- Marko: Get a southbound Dart train from the city centre out to Greystones – the views along the sea are incredible, particularly after Dalkey station. Alternatively go northbound out to Howth where you can eat deliciously fresh fish n chips and walk Howth Head, a beautiful and easy walk.
- Hogi: Zipit – http://www.zipit.ie/welcome-to-zipit-forest-adventures/ – might be on the more expensive side of things to do for tourists, but I’ve seldom had better craic in Dublin. Likely need a car to get to it though!
- Dave F: One of my favourite tourist activities in Dublin is visiting St.Michan’s church. There is a crypt there with some real mummies (500 years old, you can actually touch one!), which are preserved by the unchanging atmosphere in the crypt. It’s a quick visit but well worth the 5 euro admission, http://www.stmichans.com
- Liane: Get the dart to bray and walk along the beautiful coast to greystones
- Michaela: HOWTH – Dude this place is crackin if you are a tourist. Also a local. But still. Go on a sunny day, walk along the waterfront, take some sick photos for Instagram and the like, get some Urban hiking in, and then finish with some damn good fish n’ chips and a pint of Guinness in literally any of the awesome (and actually fairly reasonably priced!) Seafood places. Easy bus or Dart out there. Totally worth it.
- Sinead: Wander through Trinity and check out the cool Science Gallery there. Drink locally brewed pints in the Porterhouse and eat delicious brunch in any of Eden/Cake Cafe/Bibi’s.
- Marko: Kayak up the River Liffey for a unique look at the city from the water – http://citykayaking.com
- Hogi: Footgolf – this is a nice course: http://footee.ie/contact/ – not too pricey. Bring your own ball! It costs €2 to rent a ball I think, which isn’t two bad (see what I did there?), but they’re super heavy so they don’t travel as far.
- Michaela: SKINFLINT Bomb pizza place just outside of Temple Bar in Dublin (19 Crane Lane, to be specific). Their pizza is UNREAL. And if you go on Mondays, they have a 2 of 1 Pizza deal that is out of this world. Plus their cocktails delight the tastebuds just prrrrrfectly.
- Dave F: Not quite off the beaten track but maybe a useful tip: Cycling. While cycling in Dublin can be intimidating it is safe. I cycle everyday in Dublin City centre and have a few routes close to the city centre. Phoneix Park has some great scenery like magazine fort and the herds of deer wondering about. Alternatively Clontarf has a nice cyclepath and if you’re looking for a half day trip it’s an easy spin out to Howth (and you can just take the dart back to the city centre).
- Marko: Head south to Dun Laoghaire where you can walk out the Dun Laoghaire pier, get a famous Teddy’s ice cream and go for a swim in the Forty Foot.
- Hogi: Places to eat: Boojum – obviously! Cactus Jack’s – Beside North side Boojum; tapas – so many cheap options, but small portions – can recommend their very nice chicken wings and/or nachos!
- Michaela: INDIAN SCULPTURE PARK, WICKLOW Basically a rich old Irish guy was a monk in India for 30 years and when he returned decided to invest his wealth in a weird but super cool park thing. 2euro entrance so stupid reasonable, but need a car to get there. You might even run in to him! His life story is worth the trip in and of itself.
- Dave F: Dun Laoghaire is a short trip by dart, has some lovely swimming spots (the 40 foot is a legendary spot for a brisk dip). Stay on the Dart to Dalkey and climb killiney hill for excellent panoramoics of Dublin City Centre, must be immediately proceeded by pints in the local pubs.
- Sinead: Devitts pub on Wexford is a great boozer and they have Trad Music nights on Thursdays. Well worth a look!
- Michaela: CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY – For major nerds, 5euro suggested donation for a close look and analysis of amazing world illustrations and illuminated old manuscripts. Easy and cheap way to kill 2 hours while filling your brain with awesome information!
- Aine: My dad organised a conference last year and has a lovely list of things to do in Dublin. Its not a personal account like the above but there are some great ideas here: http://www.icpc2014.ie/local.html & http://www.icpc2014.ie/tours.html
- Marko: Sit outside Neachtains pub in the sunshine and watch the world go buy. Then go and eat tapas in Cava just around the corner. Their food is perfect.
- Liane: In Galway, walk out to Salthill and jump off the diving board and into the sea in Blackrock (make sure the tide is in!).
- Marko: If you’re still in the country the Galway Arts Festival is always incredible – http://www.giaf.ie/events.
- Liane: take a trip out to Connemara which is an Irish speaking part of Ireland to see some incredible landscapes and meet friendly locals (this will be in all guidebooks but it’s there for a very good reason!). If you have the time, you could get the boat over to the Aran Islands for amazing views and picturesque island life…