With its reputation as a social and cultural hub, the vibrant city of Dublin never runs out of places to visit and things to do – especially for couples. We have a plethora of bars and cafes, museums and galleries, parks, and IG-worthy streetscapes which are perfect for your Valentine’s date.
And guess what? Dublin also houses the relic of St. Valentine, the reason for the season.
So if ever you find yourself in Dublin with your lover and you’re looking for equally romantic alternatives to the traditional expensive dinner date, here are 8 unique ideas to keep in mind.
1. Visit St. Valentine’s Shrine
Since it’s the feast day of St. Valentine, it would be nice to go to Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church, Dublin which houses some of his relics.
In case you’re not aware, Valentine’s day has a very dark past. Let’s just say that once upon a time, this roman priest was arrested and imprisoned after being caught secretly marrying Christian couples and helping Christians (who were persecuted that time). He was tortured and beheaded after trying to convert the emperor to Christianity and refusing to renounce his Christian faith.
2. Laugh out loud in a comedy date night
Skip the fancy dinner date and just laugh with the love of your life. Dublin is home to several comedy clubs, featuring seasoned performers, from stand-up comedians to musicians. Chaplin’s Club, Cherry Comedy at Whelan’s, and The Comedy Crunch are just some of the most famous comedy clubs to visit.
3. Sip fine cocktails in the dark at an Irish speakeasy
Don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a park full of slow-walking couples or a cramped, fully-booked restaurant? Go to a secret bar known to only a few. The Blind Pig, Vintage Cocktail Club, and The Hacienda Bar are some of the elegant and cozy hideaways for cocktails, quality liquor, and good music.
4. Catch an indie film festival
Do you share the fondness for films? Skip the cringy chick flicks showing on the mainstream cinemas.
Visit The Underground Cinema, which holds monthly screenings in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire. See their selection of the best indie short films and music videos from Irish filmmakers and filmmakers all over the world. You may also check out all of the on-going film festivals in the city to make your Valentine movie date more memorable.
5. Go to a museum, gallery, or library
A date where you two exhibit your mutual passion and interest in art, history, science, and literature? Yes, please. Dublin is lucky enough to house a plethora of museums, galleries and libraries. These include the National Museum of Ireland, National Art Gallery, National History Museum, The Little Museum of Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), National Library, Hugh Lane Gallery, and Chester Beatty Library. The best part is most of them are free of cost.
Want a fairy-tale-like spin to your date? Visit some of the oldest castles in Dublin.
6. Take a stroll along the Love Lane
Looking for a cheap and simple yet Instagram-worthy date idea? Take a wander down the Love Lane, which links the Temple Bar and Dame street. Read the romantic quotes that grace the wall. Walk hand in hand and take sweet couple selfies along the narrow cobblestone streets of the Temple Bar district, with the vivid murals and quirky storefronts as your backdrop.
7. Ah, the classic picnic in the park
Having a great time with your lover doesn’t have to include fancy plates of steak and expensive movie tickets. Why don’t you go old school and enjoy a nice picnic in the park?
Dublin is home to a plethora of picturesque parks and gardens, including the St. Patrick’s Park, Phoenix Park, Iveagh Gardens, Dubhlinn Gardens, and the National Botanical Gardens. Relax and feast your eyes on natural landscapes, while eating your favorite meals and wine.
Looking for a relaxing yet affordable way to bond with your partner after sundown? Skip expensive hotels and stick to cheap accommodation in Dublin.
8. Speed dating events and singles party
Who said Valentine’s Day are only for couples? V-Day is for everyone, whether you’re in love or not, single, taken, or it’s complicated.
Are you single and ready to mingle? Don’t go solo this Valentine’s day by meeting new personalities. Last year, the largest speed dating experience in Ireland at Dublin’s Custom House Quay (CHQ) Building was a success. This year, there are a lot of speed dating events and singles parties going on for all ages. Quit Tinder and get involved.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the passionate writers for DCU Rooms, a cheap accommodation in Dublin for frugal travelers who’d love to experience the astonishing beauty of the city on a budget. This travel buff enjoys writing and sharing articles about money-saving hacks on accommodation, airfare, dining, and getting around the city.