A small capital city perhaps, but one with a big personality that is shared by its inhabitants. Students head to Dublin for the heritage, the history, the culture and the local Guinness
Dublin has loads of pubs - you can't miss them. The trick, though, is to get to the traditional establishments that still have plenty of character.
Try Kehoe's on South Anne Street, which is a great dark, old pub in a situated across two floors in a townhouse.
Another good pub is Neary's on Chatham Street, where the barmen still wear bowties and they don't play music.
Bars are also increasing in number. Some good places to try out are Hogan's on Fade Street and the bar above it called Snail Bar, but known by everyone as 'the no-name bar'.
There is also the Bernard Shaw, an old pub-turned-hipster-paradise with a great garden out back that has a giant blue bus that serves pizza. They also sell Buckfast over the bar.
Club-wise, Harcourt Street is the place to go for trashy clubs, the most famous of which is Copper Face Jacks. This is the most renowned club in Dublin, where people go to 'shift' (Irish country slang for 'pulling').
Otherwise, the Twisted Toucan on Abbey Street and the Button Factory in Temple Bar offer something for the more discerning clubber.
The city centre, in particular Grafton Street, is full of shops, the most well-known being the smartest department store Brown Thomas.
Most major brands have stores in Dublin, so you won't miss out on anything but the city does not offer the glamorous shopping experience of London or Paris.
Almost all the shops you'll ever need are located within about a square mile in the centre, so you'll be sure to discover new places just by ambling around.
However, there is a relatively new shopping centre at Dundrum, which also houses cinemas and eateries.
Dublin is good for eating out but can be pricey. For a decent meal, main courses will probably set you back €15 - €30.
Also, vegetarians should be aware that there are only two or three vegetarian places in town. However, one of them, Cornucopia, is worth a meal even if you are an insatiable carnivore.
A real joy in Dublin is the Chinese food on Parnell Street, north of the river. Drop into almost any one of these places and you'll be blown away by the food and the prices. From the outside they look awful but don't be fooled, they are really excellent.
Also on Parnell Street is a dodgy looking pub called The Shakespeare. Step through the door and you'll see that it's actually a great Korean restaurant.
These places aside, you'll find yourself in a 'chipper' (chippie) at some point, where garlic, cheese and chilli chips are a classic - that's chips, with garlic sauce, cheese and chilli sauce.
Gigs are particularly good in Dublin, as the venues are small and you can see some well-known artists in relatively intimate settings. Good venues include The Academy and The Village. The major venues are the O2 Dublin and the Aviva Stadium.
Also try and get to a rugby match, be it Ireland or Leinster. Even if it's not your thing, the atmosphere can be electrifying.
Rent is cheap by London standards and expensive by general UK standards.
Trinity College students should try to get a room in halls, or take a look at Temple Bar, which is close to college and in the heart of town. It can be a bit expensive and noisy, but you're unlikely to ever be more than a 15-minute walk from home after a night out.
Smithfield, north of the river, is a great area and is generally cheap. It can be rougher than other places but retains a lot of character. It's also further from college, but the number 39 bus goes straight to the door.
If you want to live in a house, try the Dublin 6 postal district, in particular Ranelagh and Rathmines. These are beautiful parts of town; leafy, quiet and an easy walk or tram ride into college (40-minute walk at most, and 15 - 20 minutes on the tram). These two areas are close to the University College Dublin (UCD) campus.
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