An American student’s guide to the best tourist attractions in Dublin - PHOTOS
Hint: don’t go out of your way to see the Molly Malone statue
One of the first real conversations I had with the (middle-aged, male) college professor who accompanied my student group to Ireland concerned the Molly Malone statue at the end of Grafton St. in Dublin, a feature of our daily walk to class. My professor was the one who brought it up:
“I mean, it’s borderline pornographic! Those breasts! It’s a fetishization of poverty!” he said.
I decided the academic route was the best approach to the professorial situation at hand, and so we had a conversation including the words: “fetishization,” “socioeconomic status,” and “sexualized persona.” Probably better than a conversation about the statue’s breasts.
(Hi, Professor! Had a great time with you in Dublin!)
So, the Molly Malone statue is overrated - at least for the heterosexual female. But what else to see in Dublin? We tried many of the tourist traps, and decided which were worth seeing and which weren’t. Particular favourites are italicized.
Another tip - don’t just go to Ireland to see Dublin. Take day trips, or longer trips, to find the most beautiful countryside I, at least, have ever seen (also listed here). And finally, if you want to really learn about Ireland, find some friendly people (perhaps at a pub)and strike up a conversation.
Temple Bar -
Everyone will ask if you’ve been here. This is a district of expensive pubs that cater to tourists, and older men who want to meet tourists. If you feel like a visit, try the eponymous Temple Bar pub itself.
Dublin Castle -
The best part of the Dublin Castle tour is seeing the foundations of the city wall from the Norman period. That said, I didn’t go on the tour until over halfway through my stay in Dublin; it’s not essential to getting a feel for the place.
Walk around off the beaten path. Literally, walk through the fields. Also it plays host to Dublin’s excellent zoo, with playful orangutans.