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I’m a world traveler who’s seen some beautiful places – like the Maldives and other amazing spots in Asia, Europe and South America. But I keep coming back to Dublin. In fact, I’ve been to Dublin four times just in the last year or so! So, family members and friends often ask me:
“Why do you love Dublin so much?”
Unlike London or Paris, it’s a “little-big” city, like a large version of a small town. People are really friendly – even taxi drivers open up to you like you’re family. You can just sit down somewhere for a coffee or a beer – or just a park bench – and you’re bound to meet locals. I’ve amassed a group of fun Irish friends with very little effort!
The people here seem happy, and proud of both their city and their country. This was my experience of the city even back during the recession, when Ireland’s economy was in truly horrible shape. Luckily the economy is doing better these days, but Dublin is still a bit less expensive than a lot of European capitals. For instance, you can go out and get a beer for the equivalent of $5 or less.
Irish food isn’t renowned for being the best, but I find Irish food to be great! In fact, one of my favorite restaurants in the world, Pichet, is here in Dublin. If you’re planning a trip to the city, I highly recommend having a meal there, but there are also tons of new restaurants opening up all the time.
The nightlife is pretty good, too. The Temple Bar area is known for attracting drunken, rowdy tourists, but there are plenty of other, quieter neighborhoods that might just become your favorite spots. To get the lay of the land, check out our Destination of the Week write-up on Dublin.
On this particular trip to Dublin, I’m staying in an Airbnb house rental. Normally I stay at The Westin Dublin or one of the Radisson Blu properties in town, but a bunch of friends are here with me, and we all wanted to stay together so we decided to rent a house right in the heart of town that will give us really fantastic views of the St. Patrick’s Parade. We can hardly wait!
But it’s not just about Dublin for me. Ireland is not a huge country and it has a great train system, making it easy to take quick, beautiful side trips from Dublin. Just this weekend – probably while you’re watching this video on Sunday – I’m taking a two-hour train ride to Belfast, my first trip to Northern Ireland. It’s simple to check out a bunch of tiny little towns, like I did over a long weekend with my parents a couple of years ago.
The other great thing about traveling here? Dublin is really close to the US. From New York, it’s only about 5.5 hours, especially with these crazy tailwinds we’ve been experiencing lately. And it’s easy to get here using British Airways Avios since Aer Lingus is a British Airways partner airline, and booking a flight on Aer Lingus with Avios only incurs $2.50 in fees each way – a great way to avoid British Airways’ high fuel surcharges.
Make sure to check out the review of my Airbnb property, but there you have it – why I love Dublin so much. Now I’m off to have a pint!