There are many reasons to choose Ireland as a destination for an exchange program. In addition to studying the content of the syllabus taught, thus learning or reinforcing your command of English (and, why not, Gaelic as well?), you will have free time for recreation. In this article we will tell you the five things you should not miss if you go on exchange to Ireland.
Strolling through the streets of Temple Bar
Temple Bar is today one of the most important neighborhoods in Dublin. It is the epicenter of culture and leisure in the city. It is located in the center of Dublin, between the Liffey River and Dame Street, and has narrow streets surrounded by Irish pubs and restaurants frequented by urban artists and tourists, who also enjoy the splendid nightlife of the place.
This neighborhood was named after Sir William Temple, who purchased the land on which it is located in 1600. For a time the area was in decline and was even slated for sale for the construction of a bus station, but this project was eventually abandoned.
Despite the above, artists remained in the area so things began to improve for Temple Bar, with 1991 being the turning point in this regard when Dublin was chosen as the European Capital of Culture.
Going for a pint at the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Waarehouse was built in 1904 for the purpose of fermenting Guinness beer, a function it fulfilled for 84 years, and it was not until 2000 when public access to the place was allowed. At the beginning of the tour you will see the lease of the site signed by Arthur Guinness himself, a lease that stands out for having a duration of 9,000 years.
Next, there is an exhibition of the ingredients with which Guinness beer is prepared, as well as the machinery used in the process. This is followed by advertising campaigns, an interactive games section and the history of the building. The tour ends at the Gravity Bar, located on the rooftop of the building, where you can appreciate the city while sipping a pint.
Fishing in Howth
Half an hour from Dublin is Howth, a quiet coastal town mostly dedicated to fishing. There is a port there that was of great importance until the 19th century, but today it serves as a dock where sport boats are stationed, but it is also frequented for fishing. It is also characterized by small houses, as well as the remains of castles and fortresses.
Howth’s particular attractions include its Viking background and salmon fishing; and its main tourist sites include Baily Lighthouse, Howth Market, Howth Castle, Bog of Frogs Loop and Lambay Island.
Feeling “the Force” in Dingle
Dingle was described as “the most beautiful place on Earth” by National Geographic. Like Howth, it has a Viking past, but it is also a site of interest for Star Wars fans, since scenes from Episode VIII of this saga were filmed here.
There are many places to visit in Dingle; to name a few you can visit Inch, famous for its white starry nights over the blue ocean, but also walk along the Clogher cliff where you can appreciate views worthy of a Pulitzer. Likewise, you can’t leave Dingle without eating seafood at Doyle’s and ice cream at Murphy’s.
Witness a performance of traditional Irish music in Connemara.
In the west of Ireland, in County Galway, lies Connemara, an area that contrasts with the typical Irish geography of green valleys, cliffs and fishing villages, as this place is dominated by moors, bogs and granite mounds.
However, in Connemara you can do activities such as horseback riding, hiking and cycling. You can also visit sites such as Inishbofin and Omey that have unparalleled ocean views, or go to Clifden, the capital of Connemara, to enjoy a traditional Irish music show in a pub. Also in Clifden you can walk along the Sky Road where you can see the ruins of Clifden Castle and the peaks of the Twelve Bens.
These are just a few of the many places of interest that Ireland has to offer. Are you thinking of going on exchange to Ireland? Please contact us so we can help you.