As the new academic year kicks off, there is a sense of relief and happiness across campus as both students old and new return to face-to-face learning for the first time since March of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic changed life as we knew it. Most students are back on campus, and for some, for the first time. Many UCD students have come to Dublin to stay and study for the first time, so for students not only new to campus, but Dublin city as well, The College Tribune has drafted a guide for some of the best places to go to get a real feel for what our fair city has to offer! 

Summer may be over, but there’ll be plenty of time to still take advantage of what Dublin’s great outdoors has to offer before the cold well and truly kicks in. On a student budget, it is essential to make use of the areas in Dublin that you can enjoy for free. Only a short spin on the dart line, it would be rude not to mention Dun Laoghaire as it is so close. Not only does it have a picturesque pier to enjoy an ice cream on, but it is also home to the cheap and student-friendly Wetherspoons, meaning there is something for everyone with this little gem. Take the bus into the city centre and you have luscious Stephen’s Green, guaranteed to be filled with students and city centre natives. However, that’s not the only green area the city centre has to offer, with the Ivy Gardens often overlooked. This spot is not only quieter but arguably more picturesque than Stephen’s Green, making it the perfect place for a coffee break with your favourite book. Staying southside, an ideal way to get your steps up is the trek up to the Hellfire Club. It has a variety of short forest trails and provides wonderful views of the city from the south-west and at the top, if there is any truth to the stories told, some very strange things are believed to have happened. Why not go see for yourself, if you’re brave enough? If it starts to pour, not to worry, there’s plenty of indoor activities in Dublin too. Hop on the bus to Dawson Street and you can walk to the free National Gallery or National Museum and enjoy the art and history on show.

Saving best for last, what you all really want to know is where to get a nice pint. It is essential to mention some go-to spots to get a pint of plain. The city centre holds many great establishments to acquire a pint of whatever you fancy, but the pubs around Stephen Street Lower such as P’Macs, The Hairy Lemon and Dakota would tickle any student fancy. Further, towards the river, student-friendly hangouts such as The Workman’s Club and Riot are top picks for a few drinks as not only do they host good alcohol, but cheap and tasty food such as Wowburger and New York-style pizza.

Whatever you fancy, Dublin has something for everybody, especially its students!

Ruth Delaney – Arts and Lifestyle Correspondent