7 Alternative Ways To Spend Winter in Dublin

Winter may be upon us, but Dubliners always find inventive ways to spend their shorter days. Here is some advice on what to do in the city from those who know it best.

Sweny’s Pharmacy, which featured in James Joyce’s Ulysses
Sweny’s Pharmacy, which featured in James Joyce’s Ulysses

Eoghan Kidney is an award-winning director and animator. Kidney and his company Rotor.ie have worked with Madonna and Nicola Roberts amongst others and can count Kanye West as amongst his fans.

1. Sweny’s Pharmacy

"Go for a reading of James Joyce's Ulysses at Swenys Pharmacy on 1 Lincoln Place - the shop features in the book and hasn't changed much since. They have free lunchtime readings, and readings on Thursday evening and Saturday mornings. For a reasonable price you can grab a copy of the book itself and bar of Lemon Soap (Leopold Bloom does the same) as a special gift for someone back home. It's a nonprofit space, run by people who are passionate about Irish literature so make sure to donate a few euros on your way out! As an added treat, grab the free audiobook and have a listen to Chapter 4 on your way there."

Chewy is co-founder of The Gentleman’s Academy, an organization for the modern man that supports local, independent business (and throws the occasional disco brunch).

2. A dip and chips

"A dream day in Dublin. A leisurely picnic in Iveagh Gardens with frisbee, various dogs and newspapers. Then a cycle out to Seapoint via Sandymount Strand for a bracing dip in the sea, followed by a battered sausage and chips in The Central Café, Blackrock or if I am feeling posh, chowder in Ouzos. The cycle back in would lead us to Grogan’s for an outside pint and cheese toastie where we would no doubt bump into many friends. If we felt like one more, a late night cocktail at the bar of Coppinger Row would end the night."

Tadhg Byrne is part of the Junior Spesh crew, which brings thumping bass and and forward-thinking club music to Twisted Pepper every Thursday night.

3. The Sunday Shaw

"There’s so much happening in Dublin at the moment when it comes to music. We have some great venues like the Twisted Pepper, Whelan’s and The Button Factory, but there are also some fantastic gallery spaces such as Block T and The Joinery that put on gigs. I’ve seen so many incredible acts in Dublin because of them all. One of my favourite things to do is to head to The Bernard Shaw on a Sunday, there’s always some brilliant live bands and DJs playing. It’s a great place to relax for the whole day, and it’s free too."

Fiona Hyde is a writer, working for the Daily Edge. She is co-founder of feminist online magazine, Siren.

4. Pizzatime

"Pizza: even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. That might be solace for those who've had one too many late-night slices, but for pizza connoisseurs Dublin has so much more. First you've got one question to answer – value or quality? If value is your thing, drop into Mizzoni Pizza, ask for Toni and be done with it. If it's quality you're after, however, Dublin has it in spades. Bottega Toffoli is a little-known Italian-Irish gem on Castle Street serving up authentic pizzas in a cosy atmosphere. Paulies Pizza in Ringsend offers wood-fired perfection and unbeatable toppings. Manifesto in Rathmines is worth it for the garlic bread alone. Honourable mentions go to Base, DiFontaines and Ciao Bella Roma. Happy pizza-hunting."

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Joshua Gordon is a photographer who has worked for Vice Magazine, Carhartt and Sony, and is founder/creative director of contemporary culture blog.

5. The Botanic Gardens

"It's good to get your hands dirty sometimes. The Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin is a great place for a mooch. Although it’s added on a modern cafeteria to cater for the more senior quiche-munching visitors, the best parts of the gardens have remained the same for years, and you can frolic through a range of exotic plants to your hearts content; I recommend the palm house."

John Mahon runs the ever-popular Bernard Shaw complex, one of Dublin’s best-loved bars, live venues, cafes and hangouts.

6. Mondays at Butcher Grill

"The Butcher Grill is a small-tiled mecca to meat in Ranelagh and my favourite of John Farrell's stable of eateries (which also include 777 and Dillinger’s). Every Monday and Tuesday they do a big Côte de bœuf on a board for €45, a great way to pat yourself on the back after a busy weekend."

7. Walk the Great South Wall

"It always surprises me how few Dubliners have done this, or even know where it is, but out past the old Pigeon House fort and beyond the Poolbeg Power Station is The Great South Wall - a sea wall built around 1750 that juts about a mile out into Dublin Bay.  A walk to the lighthouse at the end and back will blow any cobwebs off, with an amazing view of the city, mountains and bay to boot."

Just because it's a bit chillier in Dublin doesn't mean there's anything less happening!

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