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Seven Things To Know Before Moving To The Big Smoke

By Sarah Finnan

August 20, 2019 at 11:10am


Leaving Cert results are out, CAO offers have been made and summer is winding to a close. And so begins the influx of college newbies, all hoping to find their feet in Dublin’s fair city.

For many, this is their first time living away from home, and between trying to poach the perfect egg and successfully navigating Dublin Bus, there’s a lot to be learned. Us countryfolk have to stick together, so read on to unlock my Dublin cheat sheet and you should be just fine!

1. You will never understand Dublin Bus. Ever.

Dublin Bus deserves a whole guide in and of itself…I still haven’t fully come to terms with it if I’m honest. But God loves a trier.

Rule number one? Leave LOADS of extra time, especially when you’re very new to the system. The bus schedule should not be taken as gospel and is subject to change without rhyme or reason. Don’t question it, you’ll only drive yourself mad. Instead download the Dublin Bus app, memorise the stop number outside your gaff and hope for the best.


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You should also note that Dublin Bus don’t give change (unless you count the ‘receipt’ you get in lieu of actual money. I don’t, you never cash it in so it doesn’t qualify). Save yourself the hassle of making sure you always have coins and get yourself a Leap Card stat.

2. Home is wherever will take ya

Speaking of gaffs, finding one is an absolute mare. Prepare to spend countless hours trawling through Facebook and Daft in search of a place. Renters unfortunately can’t afford to be very picky so turn off Million Dollar Listing, close the latest issue of Architectural Digest and bring your expectations back down to earth.

€950 for a Harry Potter-type cupboard under the stairs? Bargain.

3. Ladies and Countrymen

Stereotypes exist for a reason and they are alive and well in la capital. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since moving to Dublin, it’s that anything outside the pale is ‘the country’. Does it matter that the country is actually quite large and encompasses many different counties? No. Ireland has two parts; Dublin and ‘the sticks’.

Consider this forewarning that you’re in for vacant stares and blank faces in response to saying where you’re from. Actual questions I’ve been asked about Longford (pre-Maura Higgins fame, of course): "Is Longford an island?", "Is Longford the capital of Leitrim?", "Is Longford an actual county?" The education system has failed us all.

4. Coppers is a rite of passage

I agree that going to Coppers should definitely be on your bucket list; you have to experience the madness at least once in your life. BUT it is not the only nightclub in the city. Shock, horror. Don’t be fooled into thinking every night out has to end in CFJ, which let’s be honest is not dissimilar to a cattle mart.


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Time for this man to christen his Gold Card! ? #SeeYouAllInCoppers #Sen

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The pub-to-person ration in Dublin envies that of even the top cities in the world so spread your wings and try them all. A good excuse for a pub crawl if ever there was one.

Discover some of the best here.

5. Yer bleedin’ massive

This is in fact a compliment. Yes, you heard me right. Not just an urban legend, Dubliners have their very own language and you’d better study up if you’re to get by.

Here’s my extremely basic crash course in Dublinese:

Story? - How are you, kind sir?
Go for a gargle - meet for an alcoholic beverage…or two or three
Scarlet - absolutely mortified
Flaked - incredibly relaxed, so laid back you’re almost horizontal
Spanner/muppet - a very foolish person, very foolish indeed

Test the waters by throwing ‘deadly’, ‘c’mere till I tell ya’, ‘yer ma’ and ‘happy out’ into conversation. Gauge the reaction and go from there.


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6. There’s a student deal for everyone in the audience

Your student days may be some of the best of your life, but they’re by no means the most luxurious. Although being broke builds character. Teaches you to be savvy. At least that’s what I told myself.

If you’re not ready to give up your online shopping addiction just yet, download the Unidays app and spend to your heart’s content. There’s literally a discount for almost everything, so why feel guilty when you’re getting a bargain? Make your money go further people.

7. Not just big city lights

There’s more to Dublin than Temple Bar, something especially good to know for when you’re missing nature and actual grass. Howth, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Phoenix Park…there’s heaps of outdoor activities to keep you entertained. Bring your brolly and brave the ever-changing weather. Four different seasons in one day? Standard.


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Dun Laoghaire harbour ❤️⛵️ Via @danieltmalone.jpg

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READ NEXT: 6 Dublin Walks That Are Perfect For A Sunday Afternoon


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