“When I die Dublin will be in my heart,” wrote James Joyce of his beloved Irish capital. In this week’s Women Who Travel Solo, we chat with Yvonne Derksen about solo travel in Dublin, Ireland.
How did you get started traveling?
I have always traveled, ever since I was born actually, simply because my parents always brought me along their trips. I had no choice haha. My parents loved to travel, so I think they influenced me a lot. I myself absolutely fell in love with traveling when I was twelve, when my parents took me to Paris for the first time. That was the first trip I took where I didn’t mind walking a lot, entering museums and churches, and was also the first time that I felt truly amazed by different cultures and other cities.
At the age of 16 I took my first trip without my parents with my boyfriend. Since then I have traveled a lot without my parents. At the age of 19 I was desperate to travel more, but my friends and my boyfriend had a way more busy work/school schedule so I decided to take the plunge and travel solo. I’ve heard much about it from other travelbloggers and decided to go for it. I loved it so much that I travel solo since then. Basically because it is so easy: whenever you feel like traveling.. you just do!
Why did you decide to take a solo trip to Dublin?
To be honest, I wanted to travel but didn’t know where I wanted to go, so I just looked at cheap flights from Ryan Air. It only cost me 30 euros to fly to Dublin and back, so I decided that I would go to Dublin. I’d heard about the city before, but never heard much about must-do’s and must-visits. So I didn’t expect much of it, really. I just thought of it as a quick, easy and cheap get-away. I never expected to fall in love with it the way I did.
Tell us about your experience with solo travel in Dublin.
My trip started really bad actually, ‘cause I had a flight delay of over 11 hours. But I met some great people at the airport who were also flying to Dublin so we decided to hang out in the pubs of Dublin at night. So I had the most fun nights while my days were filled with sightseeing. It was the perfect combination of traveling, experiencing, dining and laughing! I also learned that you can basically see a lot of Ireland when you are just staying in Dublin. I knew that Ireland was beautiful but I didn’t expect I could see much of it because I was only staying in the city, but it turned out to be pretty easy to see parts of Ireland. So next to the perfect combination that I have just named, it was also the perfect combination of city life and nature!
What recommendations do you have for solo travelers in Dublin?
I would say stay in a hostel. Most hostels are only one street away from where it is all happening and it is very cheap and fun! Hostels in Dublin are pretty good as well. Definitely do a free walking tour through the city, visit Trinity College, spend a day out in Ireland with an organized daytrip (to the Cliffs of Moher!) and spend at least one night in Temple Bar.
Eating in Dublin is pretty expensive, but those Irish pubs have the best food. Fish and Chips is the specialty of Ireland so me sure to order that once! Have a pint of Guinness as well, while you’re at it!
What was the best part of your solo trip to Dublin?
I really can’t choose. Basically because everything was so fun. I’ve had the best time and all the highlights I visited were great. I also spend a day at the Wicklow Mountains, which was also amazing to see! My complete trip to Dublin was great. Just great.
What was the worst part of the trip?
The worst part was my 11 hour delay. I mean, it was pretty fun because I’ve met a lot of wonderful people through that delay, however, I would have loved to be able to spend that day in Dublin as well, rather than at a crappy airport. I basically lost a complete day in Dublin, which is a lot of time when you have only planned a short city trip.
Are there any safety concerns for women traveling alone to Dublin?
No. At least nothing I noticed. I can imagine you should be careful walking around alone at night, as those Irish men love to drink and get drunk. However, I haven’t noticed it for myself and I didn’t felt unsafe for even one moment. Of course you should be aware of pickpockets, but then again.. shouldn’t you be aware of them in every city?
What advice do you have for women who are traveling alone?
Just go! Don’t be too aware of being a woman who is traveling solo! Just travel, whether solo or not.. you should do what you love. Of course, you should be aware of safety concerns, but then again: you should always be aware of them, not only when you are traveling solo. If you don’t forget your common sense you will survive. For sure!
Do you have anything else to add to inspire women solo travelers?
Again: just go! You are probably only holding yourself back – just enjoy and do the things you want to do. If you are scared: forget about all your fears and dive into the deep. There is nothing more rewarding than following your dreams.
About Yvonne Derksen
Yvonne is a blogger at The Tourist Of Life, a blog dedicated to her passion of traveling and exploring the world. Yvonne is only 20, but her restless feet have been there for a long time already. At this point she has traveled to over 20 countries, with much more to come! Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
Women Who Travel Solo
Women Who Travel Solo is a weekly column that shares the stories of women’s solo travel adventures in hopes of spreading the message that traveling alone is not only safe, but wildly rewarding. Inspire other women to travel solo by sharing your story with Something In Her Ramblings. Email Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where to Stay in Dublin, Ireland
HotelsCombined offers the best rates on hotels worldwide. Find and book your Dublin, Ireland accommodations below.