Not to toot our own horn, but if there is one thing that most Irish people can agree on, it is that when it comes to friendliness, we know what we’re doing. Now, the results are in to back up this claim.
A recent Readers’ Choice Awards survey from the Condé Nast Traveler website has placed three Irish cities — Cork, Dublin and Galway — in the top 10 friendliest cities in the world. The survey asked readers to rank cities they visited on a general friendliness metric including the ease of navigation around the city, whether or not a local resident helped show them around, and if they felt welcome there.
Whether it’s winning the best fans’ awards at the 2016 European Football Championships or having a unique word dedicated to the simple act of having a good time, it’s fair to say that, for the most part, we try and look on the bright side of life. It should come as no surprise then that this sense of friendliness is one of the first things that visitors to Ireland remark upon when visiting the emerald isle.
So, what makes Ireland such a friendly destination for visitors, and what can you expect to encounter when you arrive? The three Irish cities included in this list may have a shared sense of friendliness built into their respective DNA, but they also each possess a unique set of characteristics that need to be experienced to be believed. So, let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Often referred to locally as the People’s Republic of Cork, the city is situated on the banks of the River Lee and is the second biggest city in the Republic of Ireland, after Dublin. It is also the most southern city on the island of Ireland and is as famous for its generous hospitality as it is for the quick-paced and often high-pitched tone of its residents’ accents. However, once you acclimatize to your surroundings, you’ll find the hospitality of Corkonians is contagious regardless of how many words they can spit out in a minute.
There is so much to see and do in Cork that it would be foolish to try and include everything in one brief section. That said, no trip to the city is complete without a visit to the beautiful English Market, a stroll around the manicured grounds of University College Cork or a pint of Murphy’s (don’t ask for a Guinness) in the legendary Hi-B Bar on Oliver Plunkett Street.
As Ireland’s capital city, Dublin is also home to the country’s largest and perhaps most cosmopolitan population. However, that does not mean that you can expect a frosty reception when you visit the home of Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and Bono. On the contrary, Dubliners are famous for a charming wit and unique sense of hospitality that is rarely rivalled elsewhere.
There is so much to see and do in Dublin that a book rather than a paragraph would be a more suitably sized content frame for this task. Nonetheless, visitors would be well advised to prioritize a trip to the iconic Book of Kells at Trinity College, Dublin. From there, why not make your way to Glasnevin Cemetery or Kilmainham Gaol Museum for an invaluable insight into Ireland’s fight for independence? If you happen to visit or move to Dublin during the summer or early Autumn months, then try and catch one of Ireland’s native Gaelic Games — Gaelic football or hurling — at the iconic Croke Park stadium. Finally, make sure you try a fish and chips from Leo Burdock and a pint of plain (Guinness) at one of the city’s many fine establishments on either side of the Liffey.
Located at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland, Galway is the smallest of the three Irish cities included in Condé Nast’s prestigious list of the top 10 friendliest cities in the world. Galway is in fact the fifth-largest city on the island of Ireland.
Whatever it lacks in size, Galway more than makes up for in culture, vibrancy and the aforementioned craic! Famous for its seafood and more relaxed way of life, Galway is the perfect place to live for those who work to live rather than live to work. What’s more, its friendly and multicultural population make it the perfect destination for visitors from all corners of the earth. A weekend in Galway is probably long enough for you to fall in love with the place. In that time, you really must take a walk along the ‘prom’ and see Galway Bay in all its majesty. Sample some fine cuisine in the Michelin star Aniar restaurant and cap the night off with a pint and a trad session at The Crane Bar or a more uptempo dance at the Roisin Dubh.