The land of the leprechauns, or as others prefer to call it, the Emerald Isle, is a must have in your ‘To visit’ list. Do not get too anxious about the Irish weather, is not always cloudy in Ireland! Anyway, who will be bothered by a tiny raindrop or two?
If you are planning a trip to this beautiful country, you have probably found out what to do in Dublin, Galway ,Cork or even in Limerick. Well, that’s not all folks! If you have a flexible schedule, I wouldn’t leave without visiting Maynooth.
Maynooth is a ‘little’ (is what it might seems at the beginning) town located in the outskirts of Dublin, in County Kildare. Once you’ve put your feet in there, you’ll immediately transport yourself to one of those amazing scenarios you’ve seen so many times in movies. A gorgeous town with a lovely main street full of shops and places where you can eat, but still quiet enough to just walk around lost in your senses. It is certainly a different place to visit and its magical environment will captivate you in a second. But hold on, there’s more!
You wouldn’t expect this location to hold a university, but indeed, it does. Maynooth University, which became independent of St. Patrick’s College in 1997, has its two campuses located in the middle of this town. Its huge community of students fills the area every September and light up the life of this neighbourhood during the academic year. Who wouldn’t like to have the chance to study in the Hogwarts -like institution? Even though you’re not a student, you will surely enjoy a stroll around its charming buildings.
To know more about it, visit: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/
Things to do in Maynooth:
- Walk around: take a stroll near the river or the main street and discover what it has to offer by yourself.
- Seat by the river: take a few photos and listen to the flowing water where ducks and sometimes a couple of swans swim by. If you are travelling with kids, right next to the river there is a nice park where they can play while you enjoy a 5 minute break.
- Have a coffee or tea at Café Bon Bon. Depending on where you come from, you will find it cheap or expensive. But it’s really worth it! Treat yourself with a piece of cake and the rest will be done by the vintage atmosphere.
- Take a deal at Pizza Dog, where you’ll find huge pizzas and soda for little.
- In Centra, you can get a chicken fillet roll and a can of soda for less than five euros.
- If you’re into junk cheap food, you can also try Papa Johns, and if you are more into the classics, just a few minute walk from the main street, you can have your meal at McDonalds.
- For sweets lovers, I’ll advice you to take a look at An Siopa Milséan (you’ll recognize it immediately by the strawberry ice cream cone on the outside) . From Hershey chocolate to Kool Aid, you will even find Wonka chocolate!
- If all you want to do is to go on shopping, Manor Mills Shopping Centre has a good range of opportunities. If I were you, I would not stay just in the Dunness Store.Visit the other little shops inside it, you can find real bargains! If you want to contrast prices or keep looking for that something (maybe a little souvenir) you haven’t found yet, Supervalu might be the place. If all you need is a more shopping centre like place, just next to McDonalds, Tesco will be waiting for you.
- Although it may add a bit of weight to your luggage, if you’re an avid reader, you can buy cheap books in Euro Saver, The Maynooth Book Shop or even in the second-hand store in the main street.
- Yes, you’ve read it right! Maynooth has really nice places to go on a night out. You can enjoy live music a few days a week in The Roost ( Saturday entry is almost always free, but if you prefer to get lost in the crowd and dance, I will tell you to step in on a Thursday night, when you can get in for less than five euros). If you still haven’t had a taste of Irish food, this club has its own restaurant and menus are normally affordable.
- The Brady’s Clockhouse opens its doors to receive the eager students on Wednesday nights. For what I’ve seen, people seem to really enjoy it, although during my stay in Maynooth, I didn’t have the chance to get in. You’ll have to judge it by yourself!
- The Cathedral( former Mantra) has been recently renovated ( it was re-opened last June). When it was known as Mantra, it was quite expensive in comparison to the other places in town and its main clients were students, but for what I’ve been told ( I couldn’t make it to the re-opening night, as it was just a few days before I came home for good) now it is a good place to take a few pints and enjoy some live music.
*All these places have their own Facebook pages, in which you can see better what they are up to.
- Maynooth is really well connected to the ‘outer world’. It is served by Dublin Bus. The lines 66 (through Leixlip) and 67 (through Celbridge) connect it with Dublin City Centre. They are relatively frequent during the day. There is a nitelink service that runs a few buses during the night. The ticket for this service is around 6,50€ (double the price of a day ticket) . REALLY IMPORTANT: Dublin Bus only takes coins, particularly, the exact fare of your journey, as the driver is not allowed to give you change. Be sure you have enough money before boarding!
For more info, take a look at: https://www.dublinbus.ie/
- Maynooth Irish Rail: if you get too dizzy in buses and prefer a shorter journey, you can also get to Dublin by using the train. Take a look at fares in http://www.irishrail.ie/travel-information/maynooth and see if it’s worth it!
- I would advise you to plan carefully your return to Dublin (where you’ll be probably staying) if you decide to visit Maynooth, as a taxi ride can cost you around 50 euros.
- I can tell you based on my own experience that is quite hard to find accommodation in this town. But if you’re only a passer-by, probably your best option is to stay at one of the many hostels in Dublin and take the bus whenever you plan to visit Maynooth.
- If for any reason you would like to stay in town, GlenRoyal Hotel is located in the centre of the town. See http://www.glenroyal.ie//index.html for more info and bookings.
- Ballygoran Lodge, a bit more far away ( in Old Celbridge Road), could be another option.