As you’d expect from a capital city, Dublin’s pretty spoilt for transport links. Dublin Airport is just 30 minutes from the centre, and motorways connect the city with the rest of Ireland in every direction. Regular ferries carry cars from Liverpool and Wales, and train lines from all over the country converge at the city.
Dublin’s centre is compact and easily walkable, the terrain flat and routes well-marked. The bus network is extensive, too, although heavy traffic can make them unreliable at times. Suburban trains are good for getting out along the coast, and the city has recently redeveloped its tram lines, which cover a fair number of the main sites. Both of our BIMM campuses (Francis Street and The Coombe) are very accessible, with bus stops only a few minutes’ walk away.
Food and drink
Being Dublin, you’re never far from a pint of Guinness in convivial surroundings – particularly in the city’s Temple Bar district. For food, Beecker Street Café Bar does a fine line in inexpensive standard fare, and their American Brunch is pretty much an institution, while the former pop-up restaurant Crackbird elevates chicken – and only chicken, as that’s all they serve – into an artform. Dublin’s oldest microbrewery, Porterhouse, sprawls across three storeys – the decor might be rustic but the beer is top-drawer. With its dimmed-lighting and leather booths Dakota makes for some of the coolest surroundings in the city, with a warehouse feel and a hipster clientele. If it’s home cooked fare you’re after, wherever you choose to live you’ll be relatively close to a supermarket of some sort, or you can just pop into the Spar two minutes’ walk from BIMM’s Francis Street campus to stock up on groceries on your way home after class.
Where to shop
Grafton Street is most people’s first call, with its vibrant and colourful array of high-end stores and street musicians, while a short ride out gets you to The Blanchardstown Centre, Ireland’s largest shopping centre and a mecca for brand lovers. More interesting is the antiques quarter of Francis Street (BIMM territory), and All City Records in Temple Bar doubles up as both a record label and a vast repository for CDs and vinyl.
There are no halls of residence at BIMM Dublin, although as registered students of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), BIMM students have access to the Student Services which they provide. While DIT don’t have any accommodation on their campuses either, they do offer student accommodation with other providers, including Griffith Hall and Herberton, both of which are fairly close to BIMM. For more information visit the DIT website.
If campus style accommodation isn’t for you, then a bedsit, flat, shared house or even on a part-board basis with a host family are other options. Try estate agents and websites such as Daft, Let, Rent and Real Estate Alliance for private lettings. For houseshares try Gumtree, or search for Facebook groups with names like ‘BIMM Dublin Accommodation’ and post what you’re looking for.
With a 15% rise in rental prices this year alone, studying in Dublin is no longer the bargain it once was, but with the cost of living still around 30% lower than London, it makes for a good choice. If you’re trying to calculate a budget, it’s safe to allocate around €99 a week (including bills) for twin room accommodation in student halls, or €175 a week for a single room. For a room in a flat or houseshare, allow between€90-€100+ a week (not including bills), plus around €60 for food, mobile phone and utilities, €30 for travel and €40+ for entertainment depending on your likes and budget.
If it’s a bargain you’re after, the ISSU offers a range of exclusive discounts with their €13 iConnect Card for attractions such as Dublin Zoo, high street shops like New Look, Topman and Quicksilver, and online on sites including Converse. Or else just get cheeky – it’s always worth asking for a student discount wherever you go, as lots of places will happily accept a Student ID Card.