Going Beyond the Tourist

By University of Limerick International Student Allyson Quigley

If you Google search “What to do in Ireland?” you will get pages upon pages of tourist attractions… but that’s not authentic Ireland. If you want to experience the long lines and buy the typical souvenirs, then follow the touristy advice. However, if you want a unique and authentic experience abroad, here is a short list of the many things you can do:

  1. Go to a Local Irish Pub and strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Pubs hold a place in Ireland’s history and often times you can find regulars who frequent the places. Chat with them and see what insight you can get!


  1. Start using some of the “local lingo” in your everyday life.

If you start using the local lingo, you will feel like more of an authentic part of the community.


  1. Have fish and chips.

When you visit a port town, the fish is brought in fresh every day. It’s a local favorite!


  1. Watch a rugby game, Gaelic Football game or Hurling game (Or all three!)

These sports are all a huge part of Irish culture. You’d be missing out if you didn’t go to one!


  1. Get on a bus going to a town you’ve never been to before.

Go to a place that you never expected you’d go; you never know, you might find a hidden gem 🙂


  1. Listen to live Irish music.

This doesn’t need any explanation, live Irish music should be experienced by everyone.


  1. Drink Guinness.

It’s pure Irish beer and the pride of Ireland, you’ve just gotta try it while you’re here.

  1. Watch the sunrise in the countryside.

Busy days in the cities and on buses can make you forget how incredibly stunning the countryside is. Get a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise, I promise, you won’t regret it.


  1. Surf in the Wild Atlantic Way (or just enjoy some ice cream on the shore)

Whether you’re a surfer or just someone who wants to stroll on the beach, the Wild Atlantic Way is something that shouldn’t be missed.


  1. Get lost and ask a stranger for directions

You’ll get lost, it’s inevitable, but maybe you can make a friend out of it!


  1. Go to a Céilí

Traditional Irish dancing, what’s not to like?


Honestly, the most important thing is to GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE! When people study abroad, often times they get stuck in their comfort zones, surrounded by their friends. When students get stuck, they do not experience the true culture. I challenge you to venture out and do something that makes you feel a little unsure.


I guarantee, if you try some of the things on this list, and take a step or two out of your comfort zone, you’ll make memories and new friends, and have many stories to tell your friends and family over the dinner table.

By University of Limerick International Student Allyson Quigley

This blog is run by the UL International Student Ambassadors, read more about our  student bloggers here

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