Humble Guide to help you find things to do apart from going to a pub in Dublin & surroundings !
I have heard many times already from different people from different nationalities that there is not much to do in Dublin and after more than 6 years living here and going to different cultural events regularly, I think I'm going to start sharing with you my little researches before I decide where to go or what to do, you usually find out after I have done things, so I'm going to try to inspire those people that still think that there is not much to do here, which is totally WRONG.
First of all,not to set up wrong expectations, there are some free events but you usually need some cash for the events I'll be writing about, you need to invest money and time on culture, so spare some euros & hours every week and give it a go!
My first post, I'm going to start with GENERAL TIPS to have an active life full of events (not suitable for people with 5 kids or one kid/baby giving more work than 5..sorry..):
1. Be organized ,I have already started planning on the google calendar what is coming this September, yes, rule number one start using google calendar to remember events that are coming (if you have a gmail account, you have one)! I'm going to do the research for you, so you save that part of going through different web pages and reading newsletters that I'm subscribed to.
2. If you attend one event and you like it, usually they have a newsletter where you can subscribe to and if there are similar events, they will email you. It's a good idea to create an email account only to receive this cultural newsletters. To give you an example, as I'm a big fan of the theatre & musicals,I'm subscribed to the major theaters in Dublin: Gate Theater, Gaiety Theater & Docklands Theater (the most modern one and my fav,also close to my place lol), Olimpia Theater & Abbey Theater. Of course a newsletter you should all receive should be: The one from ticketmaster! Specially if you like going to big gigs from time to time. Upps I almost forgot about the National Concert Hall newsletter where they offer mainly classical music concert (not always though) for a very affordable price (sometimes starting from 10 euros)
3. Of course check your newsletters inbox at least once a week, otherwise it doesn't make sense if you check it one month after the events have taken place! Yeah, you need to dedicate some time to go to the right events, people who seat on their bums at home without checking any information, will not find an event unless they find it in front of their eyes.
4. There is a lot of information out there when you walk around the streets, be vigilant, check the walls, posters and ads, even if you pass by a theater, have a look at the coming events! Same in the cinema. So for those fo you who go by car everywhere, leave it at home from time to time and WALK AROUND!!!
5. What? You are not still a member of the cinemaworld unlimited card, what are you waiting for??!! hello??? Unlimited cinema visits for less than 20 euros a month! Come on! If you go once it's almost 9 euros! With the card, your life will be full of stories to tell about all the movies you will see. Who can live without a new film on their lives every week? I can't!!! o.k. if you can, that's your choice.
6. Don't take me wrong, it's o.k. to go to pubs from time to time but please, if you do, choose the ones that at least have good live music, which, luckily is very easy to find in Dublin, start by going to the "Celt pub" in Talbot street and see the cute family that usually play there from Friday's to Sundays from 21.00, it's really worth it to have a pint with a free live concert!
7. If you have a hobby that you love, like me for example, photography, google it from time to time with the name of your town/city and the month and you should be able to find something linked to it either a course, festival or exhibition and of course if they have a facebook page, join it and you will get all the updates straight away (same for the theaters and deals)
8. If you are a food lover, look for other people with the same addiction to good food, talk about different restaurants you have been to, this way you will not always be going to the same places, for example i can start by recommending a very good Portuguese restaurant that actually a work colleague recommended to me (thanx Allan!), it's called "Nando's" , not suitable for vegetarians, since their main speciality is grilled chicken uhm!! delicious!!! It's located in Drum-Drum outside the shopping centre but they are opening to more branches in Dublin soon.
Another choice is to gather with your food-lovers friends and have a nice meal all together at their homes! Francesco if you read this, we need to do organize another meal soon!
9. As this is the first article,i'm not going to reveal all the secrets (so hold on!), so I 'll leave you with the last one I discovered a couple of months ago , Citydeal and similar pages ('i'm subscribed to 3 of them lol), where they offer events with discount starting from 35 to 50%). It's free to join and you can really find good stuff, you have to be patient and keep an eye because there are some uninteresting deals but perseverance is the key!
More to come soon and special edition for September 2011! After my posts you will be surprised of how much Dublin and suroundigs have to offer, so read them carefully !