There is so much more to see and do in Ireland than just what your university campus has to offer. Why not take yourself off for a day trip or even a weekend away to another part of the country to see what else the Emerald Isle can surprise you with. Our ambassador from Iraq and student at Maynooth University, Zumredah Ali Al-Alibasha shares her favourite places to visit.

When I first moved from the United Arab Emirates to Ireland, I was aware that there would be a lot of differences between the two countries — culture and weather are vastly different! I was most excited about the weather as I have lived in a very hot country for my entire life. The nature in Ireland is awe inspiring and it drives you to explore as much as you can. There is so much to do and see here —museums, mountains, cities and you can even join hiking or cycling groups to help you make new friends and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I want to take you on a short exploration of some of my favourite places to visit in Ireland so far.

Farmleigh Woods

park with deer in the distance

Deer near Farmleigh Woods, Dublin

One of the very first places I visited in Ireland was Farmleigh Woods, out in Castleknock in Dublin. I went there with a big group of people, where we saw deer roaming through the woods,  took part in some berry picking and made tea from what we foraged. This day trip was filled with mother nature’s beauty. I have always believed that it is essential to make some time to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings from time to time.


waves in the ocean

Spend time by the sea in Galway

Galway is the next place I would recommend a visit to. I visited Galway two years ago with my brother and a group of his friends. We rented a house for a few days and explored as much of the city as we could including Salthill for some time by the sea. It was definitely too cold to swim but were still able to enjoy the outstanding views of the Atlantic Ocean as the waves lapped against the shore. Galway is a magnificent city to visit when in need of a break from work and stress, I highly recommended you make a trip here as soon as possible!

The Cliffs of Moher

People gathered at a viewing point overlooking the cliffs of Moher and the Atlantic Ocean

The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are probably the best known natural attraction in Ireland. The beauty of these cliffs is so magnificent that they were even used as a filming location in the Harry Potter films. I would advise paying a visit to the cliffs during the summer months because stormy weather conditions during winter can make a visit to the area difficult. After a short climb to reach the top, the impressive view will take your breath away.

Dublin Zoo and St Stephen’s Green park

ducks by a pond

Feeding ducks in St Stephen’s Green park

The last two places that I recommend to all of those considering coming to Ireland are Dublin Zoo and St Stephen’s Green park. Dublin Zoo is an ideal place to spend a day. There are so many beautiful animals to see. There is a small restaurant which you can visit as well. By the time you are done walking all over the zoo, you will definitely feel hungry! Finally, St Stephen’s Green park is a beautiful green space in the heart of Dublin city centre. I love to go there so I can feed the ducks. Please be careful of the seagulls while you are there, not only do they steal food from the ducks but they will also chase after you for whatever food you might have — these birds can become aggressive so keep an eye on them.

These are just a few of the places I have been to so far and I can’t wait to explore the rest of what this beautiful country has to offer. I hope I have inspired you to take a day trip somewhere new while you have the opportunity to visit Ireland. What new and exciting places have you been to while studying here? Leave me a comment below and share your favourite places.