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Dublin: Tips for solo female travelers

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Altough Dublin is generally safe, be smart about walking around at night. Photo: Philpp Roth
Altough Dublin is generally safe, be smart about walking around at night. Photo: Philpp Roth

There are far more dangerous places for a solo female traveler than Dublin, but still, it’s important to be prepared. During my time living in the city I learned a few tips that I hope my fellow females will find useful during a trip to the Irish capital.

1. Always keep a close eye on your bag.

This may sound obvious, but petty thieves are pretty crafty in Dublin. Many purse snatchers are women, and they target some of the best areas of the city, especially outdoor cafes and pubs.

Don’t hang your purse on the back of a chair. All it takes is one moment of leaning forward and your bag will be gone, on the shoulder of another woman in the crowd.

2. Where’s all the catcalling?

In Dublin there is a distinct absence of catcalling. However, this often encourages solo women travelers to put their guard down. Use common sense when walking alone at night, always choosing lit, busy streets even if the route is longer. Also, beware of overly friendly men approaching in groups of one or two with basic questions such as the time.

3. Avoid the quays.

At night, a walk along the River Liffey might seem like an appealing idea. While some areas along the quays are well lit and perfectly safe, others are pretty desolate with dark office buildings. These spots sneak up rather quickly, and locals know what areas are dark and quiet for drinking and carousing down by the river. To play it safe, avoid walking along the quays alone late at night or very early in the morning.

4. Be aware of closing time.

Pubs in Dublin all have the same closing time, 11:30 last call during the week and 12:30 last call on weekends. This means that all pubs and bars empty out at the same time, filling the streets with mostly merry intoxicated people. While somewhat rare, this can also be the time when scuffles will break out on the street. Be aware that fights are most likely to occur at this time, and steer clear of crowds or head home a few minutes before closing time.

5. Look into guesthouses instead of hostels.

In addition to hostels, Dublin is also home to a range of affordable guesthouses. Instead of automatically booking a bunk in a dorm, check out independently owned guesthouses and B&Bs. You will often get a small room with a twin bed, including a hearty breakfast, for the same (or slightly higher) price of a hostel.

Also, during the summer, actual dorm rooms at Trinity College are available to visitors when students aren’t in session. This is an incredibly affordable way to stay in the safe, very heart of Dublin.

About the author

Jessica Colley is a freelance travel writer and poet. She blogs about Dublin and more at www.thegreatamericantraveldream.com.

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