Ireland is a country rich in history and cultural heritage, offering a host of things to do for tourists and students visiting for a short or long stay. Three Irish cities were recently named in the world’s top ten friendliest city list by leading travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller and the country continues to grow in popularity with international students.
As an international student in Ireland, the range of experiences you can have is so enormous that there can never be a dull moment. The country has a lot to offer to history buffs, festival fanatics, and to the quiet admirer of nature’s beauty, among other things. With top-ranking Irish universities offering impeccable education through their programs, you can surely have a great academic journey enhanced by the myriad experiences in different parts of the country.
As Ireland has a well-connected public transport system, it is easy to explore all this beautiful country has to offer. Irish universities are situated in vibrant cities like Dublin and Cork and small picturesque towns like Galway and Limerick.
If you are keen on studying in Ireland, read below about the nine interesting things to do in Ireland as an international student. If you wish to begin your Ireland study application, arrange a free consultation with SI-Ireland today.
Must-do Things When Studying in Ireland
1. Explore Dublin
Dublin is Ireland’s iconic capital city, full of historical sights and brimming with eclectic and exciting nightlife. Home to the most renowned Irish universities, including Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, the city has a vibrant mix of international students. It offers equally diverse cultural venues and activities to enjoy. From the City Castle, the Guinness storehouse and the leprechaun museum to the earthy nightclubs, pubs and live music scene, there are plenty of things to explore in Dublin.
2. Try famous Irish beverages - Guinness and Irish Whisky
The Guinness storehouse in Dublin is one of the most visited places in Ireland, buzzing with fun loving locals and tourists. Kehoe’s, Gravity Bar, Grogan's, Mulligan's and Toner's are amongst the best pubs in Dublin.
3. Discover the Book of Kells
The library of Trinity College Dublin stores Ireland’s finest national treasure, the Book of Kells. It is an immaculately preserved ancient Celtic relic which is also considered as the oldest book in the world. It is believed to be created by the Columban monks around 800 AD and contains the four Gospels of the New Testament.
4. Visit a top surfing spot in Donegal Bay
Besides Guinness, Irish folk music and friendly Irish people, Ireland is also famous for sports and other adventurous activities such as surfing. Donegal Bay, off the west coast, is known as one of the best surfing spots in the world. For those who don’t surf, Donegal offers many more activities, including rolling dunes, picturesque beaches, natural reserves and the lush countryside to make up a memorable experience. Nearby international universities are the University of Galway and the University of Limerick.
5. Witness true Irish culture in the Aran Islands
Aran islands, a group of three islands in the Galway Bay area, is famous for the Celtic Music Festival, where you can experience Irish musical tradition. This three-day cultural event includes musical performances, Celtic folk dances, literary readings and storytelling.
6. Explore Cork
Cork is Ireland’s second-largest city and the location of renowned higher education institutes in Ireland, such as University College Cork, and a number of design and art colleges. The city has rich cultural and historical offerings for visitors, the most popular being the historic St Patrick’s Street, the Red Abbey, the city's medieval architecture, the Cork Opera house, Cork Film Festival and the Cork Jazz Festival.
7. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s most celebrated cultural and religious festival. If you are studying in Ireland, experiencing the revelry of St. Patrick’s Day is a must-do. The day is celebrated the Irish way by wearing green, consuming Guinness, and enjoying Irish music parades and performances.
8. Immerse in the festivities of Galway
The city of Galway proudly calls itself the festival capital of Ireland and has a calendar full of events celebrating everything from horse racing and oysters to jazz and literature. The Summer Calender of Galway has a lot to offer, including the Tulca Festival of Visual Arts, the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Film Fleadh, the Connemara Marathon, the Baboro International Arts Festival for Children, and the famous Galway Races.
Being close to the University of Galway, students can be an active part of these festivals, giving them a chance to live in the most enjoyable ways.
9. Experience a unique winter solstice at the Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb
The Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb is among the most famous pre-historic sites and is older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. The tomb is a 45-minute drive north of Dublin City, making it an easy day trip, but it can give a unique experience. It is best known for the shaft of sunlight reaching the chamber floor on the shortest day of the year. This site was first admired by humans some 5,000 years ago, and today also, it can be seen on the winter solstice. The chance to experience this moment is chosen by lottery, but the guided tour of the Tomb includes a re-enactment of the sun appearing in the chamber at sunrise.