I first arrived in Baile Atha Cliath aka Dublin in 2007. I was still a student in France then and decided to go to Dublin for a summer holiday to improve speaking English. I worked and lived then in hostels, the Jacobs Inn and Isaacs hostel in Dublin 1 area. That was my first experience alone abroad and one of the best. I have met so many people from different countries with who I am still in contact today. Being alone forces you to get out of your comfort zone and go talk to people. Working in a hostel was the best place to meet new people on daily basis and practice speaking English.
I am back to Dublin since 2012 now for work reasons. I really enjoy living in Dublin. I have read last week that it is the second friendliest city in the world after Melbourne, Australia, and I could not agree more. Here are a few reasons why I enjoy to live here.
1. Human size city
Dublin as busy as it looks like is not a big city. you can go from one side to the other in 20-30 minutes walk. It can be strange in the beginning, especially if you lived in big capital cities in the past, but you start to enjoy the fact that it is so compact year after year. It is very handy and also gives you that feeling to belong somewhere as you start to get to know the people of the places you are used to go to. That also means that remaining anonymous will not last long, as people tend to go to the same places where it is easy to recognise familiar faces.
2. Good "craic"
Whether you are in a pub, night club, or a bar, the Irish and people from overseas know how to party and have fun. They are awesome people to hang out with and know how to enjoy the simple things in life. They are very open minded, generous and down to earth people.
3. City identity
Dublin is a very iconic city to live in and the Irish are very proud of their identity. Ireland might be a small island and the population might not be huge but they are known worldwide and many foreign people are actually Irish descendants. Among some celebrities: Quentin Tarantino, Chuck Norris or even Sharon Stone.
The language, the music, the literature, the Guinness or even the whisky are known all over the world. I might live here since a while but I keep on discovering new things every day.
Lately Dublin has become a big melting pot. Africans, Asians, Europeans, South Americans, North Americans, all the continents can be represented in Dublin. Such a small European capital but so multi cultural. And you can see the influence of these cultures on your every day life. Either by seeing couples from different origins walking on the streets, or by going to restaurants of different nationalities. But also in term of lifestyle: going to the gym, doing yoga, going to latin dance classes or even having brunch on a weekend have become new trends.
5. Tech hub
Dublin is now known as the "European silicon valley" attracting all the big US tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, Linkedin or Airbnb to cite a few, to setup their European headquarters. This is an awesome career opportunity if you want to work for these companies without having to travel to the US. Also the magic of Dublin for the millennial that I am is that all public transports and mostly public places have free wifi available and since a couple of year, the fiber optic and 4G data connection.
6. Laid back lifestyle
Life in Dublin is very laid back. The Irish are not in a rush. It is not unusual here to call in late at work because the transport was delayed, not always because of the traffic but because, well...we take our time here. Life is also very simple, people go to the pub after work not only for drinking but also to share their day with their friends or even strangers and listen to a live gig before heading back home.
7. The street art
There are many street artists in Dublin, from buskers to mural artists, the main streets in Dublin are always alive. Henry street and Grafton street are the main places where street performance is present on daily basis. Also I have noticed lately more and more murals from street artists. This city is full of creativity.
8. The proximity to the wild
Dublin is located close to the mountains that we can see from the city centre and close to the sea that is just a few minutes walk along the quays on the Liffey. This proximity helps to get off the busy life from the city when you need it and just enjoy a different lifestyle outside of Dublin to reconnect with the nature.
The landscapes in Ireland are just amazing and still wild as soon as you get out of the city. It is definitely worthy to go explore the surrounding.
9. The gardens and parks
If you do not want to go outside the city, Dublin has still many green spaces. Saint Stephen's Green park, Merrion square or the famous Phoenix park to cite a few are good getaways within the city to spend an afternoon on sunny days for a pique-nique or just spend some time with friends and family.
10. Green, White, Orange
The colors of the flag are the same than my country of origin Ivory Coast. Is it a coincidence? Who knows but I feel great in this city and find some values that are similar to my home country. People are very friendly, open minded, welcoming and always up for a good laugh.
If you hesitate to come live in Dublin, don't. This city is great for a first experience abroad, not too big, not too small, rich culturally and historically, busy nightlife, friendly people and I can keep on going. As an expat, Ireland is the fourth country in which I live. I don't know still how long I will stay here but If I had to leave one day, one piece of me will definitely be Irish.
What about you? Have you lived or traveled to Ireland? What was the one thing that you loved about the city?
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