58 incredibly useful travel tips for visiting beautiful Dublin, Ireland

People come to Dublin city for many reasons as the Irish capital offers various fantastic attractions and must-see sites.

There are, inevitably, many angles to the Dublin experience and f you sketch your visit accordingly, you can enjoy the traditions and culture of this incredibly social nation that has performed very well on the world stage.

While Dublin and West of Ireland get most of the attention and visitors who rush to explore Galway and Ring of Kerry after a few pints of Guinness in Temple Bar, we would suggest staying around for an extra day or two – because in addition to Guinness Storehouse and Book of Kells, there is so much more to see and do.

From castles and beaches to windmills and lighthouses-these are only a few things to savour along the way to make your journey more rewarding.

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One of many Irish Pubs in Temple Bar area, Dublin.

 

Getting there and around

1. Dublin International Airport | Dublin Airport with its two terminals that offer short and long haul flights is the main point of entry for most of the visitors. Air Lingus is the flag carrier airline of Ireland flying to Canada, USA and the middle east.

2. Bus 747 | The express coach is a great way to travel from Dublin Airport to Dublin and vice versa. Tickets cost 6 euros each way or 10 euros for a round trip and can be purchased from a bus driver.

3. Aircoach |Is a private bus that runs between Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre every 15 minutes and its stops include Kildeer Street, O’Connell Street. The tickets cost 7 euros each way or 12 for a round trip.

4. Bus 41 |Is a public bus that serves the Airport. It takes much longer to travel to the city centre due to all the stops along the way yet it is a cost-efficient way to go to and from the Airport with a one-way ticket costing 3.30 euros.

5.  Driving | If you were planning on renting a car, in Ireland, we drive on the left side. There are plenty of car rental companies with desks in Terminal 1 Arrivals Hall including, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Avis and Hertz.

6. Public transport | Dublin doesn’t have a metro, but there are two tram lines known as LUAS, with the Red and Green line services, regional train service The Dart, who can bring you on a scenic coastal journey to visit Howth, Dalkey, Dún Laoghaire, Skerries and Malahide. And Dublin Bus.

7. Dublin Bus | Dublin Buses won’t stop unless you flag them down and they take exact change. The fares are calculated on the stage system and, no matter what, you always say thanks to the bus driver before getting off the bus.

8. Getting around | With 300 square kilometres and just over half a million residents, Dublin is a pedestrian-friendly city, and most of the prominent tourist attractions are within walking distance from each other. You can also join the scheme and hike a bike from Dublin Bikes.

9. Taxis | In Dublin, taxis have a starting fare, ranging from €3.60 – €4.30, before they start moving and they have a large yellow and blue roof-sign and door signage.

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“Sphere With Sphere” is the name of public sculpture located outside the Main Library in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

 

Things you need to know about Dublin

10. Dublin history | Dublin, an old Irish Phrase that translates to Black Pool,  was built by Viking in the 9th century. Irish Gaelic is considered the first official language and English is the dominant spoken language.

11. Dublin city | Dublin, the capital and largest city of Ireland, is divided in two by the River Liffey and the Northside of Dublin was where working-class people lived, and the Southside was for upper-class residents. 

12. Safety | Even if you may have heard about bombs and riots, the Irish capital is a relatively safe place to visit. Of course, as with any major city, crime does occur in Dublin, but most of it is non-violent. Depending on where your loyalties are, there are however few areas worth skipping when visiting Dublin.

13. Nightlife | Don’t expect to party all night, on weeknights, most pubs close their doors at 1.30pm, and on the weekend it’s at 2.30m. Off licences and supermarkets don’t sell alcohol after 10pm, and it’s illegal to drink on the streets.

14. Famous Dubliners | Collin Farrel, U2, Sinéad O’Connor, Maeve Binchy, Frances Bacon, Oscar Wild, Samuel Beckett, Gabriel Byrne, Brenda Fricker, Luke Kelly and James Joyce.

15. Public Holidays | If you are visiting Dublin during the Public Holidays- some might refer to them as Bank Holidays – be prepared for road chaos and seaside spots crowded with locals. There are 9 three-day weekends each year, do your research before your trip.

16. Emergency Phone numbers| In case of emergency, just dial 112 or 999 and you’ll be asked for your location and for the service you need, either Fire and rescue services, Marine and Coastal Emergencies, Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance or the Police.

17. Sports | Irish people love sports and the most popular in the country is Gaelic football followed by hurling and soccer.

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Beautiful winter scenery at Pheonix Park, Dublin.

 

Dublin’s neighbourhoods worth visiting

18. Sandymount | Easily accessible by bus and The Dart, Sandymount is a residential suburb with a beautiful mix of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture.  Nearby Sandymount Strand, a gorgeous Blue Flag-awarded stretch that goes on and on for miles,  attracts walkers, photographers and birdwatchers. Dublin Bay is an essential habitat for several types of wildlife species and, when the timing is right,  you can even witness thousands of Terns who flock to the beach to roost.

19. Dalkey | Situated on the Southside of Dublin, Dalkey is a lovely seaside village that is perfect for a sunny summers day. Here, you can visit the 10th-century church, two Norman Castles, take a boat trip to Dalkey Island or keep an eye out for famous locals, The Edge, Bono, Van Morrison and Enja, all live nearby. To get there, take a Dublin Bus from Kildare Street or hop on Dart.

20. Portabello | because of the Eastern European Jews that sought refuge in during the late nineteenth century Portabello is known as Little Jerusalem. This is where George Bernard Shaw, an Irish critic and playwright,  was born and this is where you’ll find one of Dublin’s best bars named after the writer.

21. Ranelagh | Known for its gourmet food shops, cool bars and lovely eateries, Ranelagh  – a southside urban village – is just a short ride away from the city centre. Walk trough extremely photogenic Edwardian streets, grab brunch at Dillinger’s and check out its classy murals.

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Exploring Trinity College is always a fun thing to do in Dublin.

 

 

Top Places to see in Dublin

22. Guinness Store House | Located in the heart of St. James’ Gate Brewery is one of Dublin’s iconic attractions – the Guinness Storehouse. A ticket to the factory costs around EUR 18 and the Tour through the building that is designed to look like a pint of Guinness will take you through the seven floors. The Tour ends on the seventh floor where you’ll receive a perfectly poured pint of the black stuff at the Gravity Bar offering a 360-degree view of the city.

23. Book of Kells | It is worth to queue to see this national treasure, richly decorated and written by Irish Monks on calfskin.  Keep in mind that in you have to see The Old Library at Trinity College and rows and rows of old books and manuscripts, its one of the most beautiful libraries.

24. Saint Patricks Cathedral |Originally founded in 1191, Saint Patricks Cathedral is the largest church in all of Ireland. The church is an architectural masterpiece with 800 years of history and its where the Johnatan Swift who wrote the Gullivers Travels was laid to rest.

25. Dublin Castle | One of Dublin’s oldest landmarks makes for an enjoyable visit for those interested in history and royals. Dublin Castle dates from the mid-1700s, and some of the highlights include  The Throne Room and St.Patricks Hall. Today the castle is used by the Irish Government for different state events and is particularly pretty during the Christmas time when all the rooms are decorated with trees and lights.

26. Kilmainham Gaol | Tour an abandoned prison where 150, 000 inmates passed through between 1796 and 1924 and hear stories of the rebel leaders and Irish Republicans once imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol. Located just outside the city centre, right beside the Irish Museum of Modern Art it’s an absolute must-see destination for all history lovers.

27. The Cobblestone Pub | Don’t let the outside of the pub fool you, once inside you’ll find an authentic Irish pub experience with acoustic Traditional Irish Music. The pub is tiny, and they don’t serve food yet it has a fantastic atmosphere and friendly service. The Cobblestone Pub is located in Smithfield, and the music sessions start at different times each day – make sure you look it up before you go.

28. Old Jameson Distillery | If you are a fan of whiskey than head to Smithfield where Old Jameson Distillery is located. Watch a film about its history, taste and compare different whiskeys and follow a guide through a recreated distillery scene. No whiskey is distilled here anymore, and the place itself is touristy, yet the Tour is very much enjoyable.

29. Christ Church Cathedral | One of Dublin’s oldest building and a leading visitor attraction were ground in 1028 by King Sitrick. The beautiful church is worth a visit from a historical standpoint with elegant interiors, lovely stained glass windows and many relics on display.

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Squirrels in Dublin’s Botanical Gardens.

 

 

Where to go shopping in Dublin

30. Grafton Street | Entering from Stephen’s Green in the south and winding all the way down to  College Green and the entrance to Trinity College, Grafton Street is a place to shop, eat and admire architecturally luxurious townhouses.

31. Stephens Green Shopping Centre | Located at the top of Grafton Street, Stephens Green is a large indoor shopping centre with great shops, baby changing facilities, cafes and food outlets. Here you’ll find Caroll’s Irish Gifts and Celtic Spirit – great for souvenirs and high-end gifts to bring home.

32. Jam Art Factory | A design shop specialising in local art and products made in Ireland, Jam Art Factory stock jewellery, ceramics, prints and textiles created by talented Irish artists.

33. Celtic Whiskey Shop | For whiskey collectors Celtic Whiskey Shop is where to find a vast collection of rare bottles as well as a wide range of Scottish whiskeys, Celtic ales and world beers. The shop is located on Dawson Street, and you can visit their online site to sign up for whiskey tours and tastings and Celtic whiskey auctions.

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Dublin’s Grafton Street at Christmas.

 

 

Excellent day trips from Dublin less than 1 hour away

34. Malahide Castle | One of East coast jewels is Malahide Castle and Gardens, set on 250 acres of parkland, it’s a perfect place to go for a walk. My favourite time of the year to go back in spring when all the trees are covered in pink flowers and bluebells blossom in woodlands.

35. Skerries Village | The main attraction in town is Skerries Mills Industrial Heritage Museum that is home to a watermill powered by a pitch-black waterwheel, 4-sail thatched windmill and 5-sail tower windmill. You can visit the mills and learn how wind has been harnessed throughout the centuries.

36. Howth Village | Howth is a beautiful suburb located on the northern side of Dublin. Go for a Cliff Path Loop Walk and see The Baily Lighthouse that has been shining since 1814 or stay near the marina to sample fresh seafood.

37. Newgrange and Hill Of Tara |Go on a day tour to visit the Hill of Tara, the ancient capital of Ireland, explore Boyne Valley and travel back in time by visiting the Neolithic tombs of Newgrange, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

38. Wicklow National Park | National parks are some of the great natural wonders of Ireland and if you wish to clear your head and connect with nature make sure you visit Wicklow Mountain National Park, and it’s surroundings.

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Howth Village, County Dublin.

 

Irish words you need to know

39. The Guards | You won’t hear ‘police’ in the Republic of  Ireland. Collectively known as Gardai here, the single version being Garda – the short form of Garda Síochána na Éireann meaning Guardians of the Peace of Ireland.

40. Minerals | Are usually referred to as soft drinks aka 7up, Pepsi etc.

41. Chips | In Ireland Frech fries are chips and chips are crisps.

42. Messages | Some Irish people call groceries messages.

43. Sláinte | Literally translating as “health” and pronounced “slaan-sha” is a way of saying cheers.

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Walking along the Liffey through Dublin city is a must-do!

 

 

Where to stay in Dublin 

44. The Shelbourne Hotel| Designed in 1865 by John McCurdy and located near Stephens Green Park, The Shelbourne Hotel is a luxury 5-star hotel that features the SPA, full-service salon and spectacular suites. With almost two hundred years of rich history and with JFK, Princess Grace and Éamon de Valera being just a few of the notable visitors, the hotel offers a memorable experience.

45. The Merrion Hotel | A five-star hotel where you can enjoy afternoon tea in A Drawing room and dinner at the Michelin Starred restaurant,  is also home to the largest private nineteenth and twentieth art collection in all of Ireland.  The Merrion Hotel is situated in Merrion Square, and the rooms are tastefully furnished with Georgian decor.

46. The Merchant House | Situated in the heart of Temple Bar and restored in 2005, The Merchant House offers luxurious and spaces rooms, fantastic roof garden and an excellent location.

47. The Spencer Hotel | Situated in Docklands where Royal and Grand Canal meet the River Valley, The Spencer Hotel feature indoor pool and spa centre.

48. Generator Dublin | The award-winning Hostel is located next door to Jameson Distillery. The Hostel offers budget en-suite, traditional breakfast and a late-night bar. Situated in the Smithfield Square and featuring on-site selling sightseeing tours and tickets travel shop its perfect for youthful visitors.

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The colourful doors of Dublin are one of the Irish landmarks.

 

Where to eat and drink in Dublin

49. Fallon and Byrne | For a fantastic selection of from artisans products from all over Ireland, visit this outlet housed in a restored building located on Exchequer Street. At Fallon and Byrne you’ll find the wine cellar, restaurant and food hall under one roof.

50. Hatch and Sons | Located on St.Steephens Green, Hatch is a traditional Irish kitchen, and the menu includes Smoked Irish farmhouse cheeses and sandwiches made with a ‘blaaa’ a soft white roll from Waterford.

51. O’Neills Pub  | For traditional dishes, warm welcome and live music session visit one of Dublin’s most historic places O’Neill’s Pub.  Located just stones thrown away from Trinity College, their menu include sausage, bacon and potato stew, bacon and cabbage with parsley sauce and traditional Irish breakfast.

52. Delahunt | For some of the best contemporary Irish food in Dublin, make a reservation at Delahunt, to sample their  Guinness bread and signature home-smoked salmon. Set in a Victorian listed building, this place features The Sitting Room with vaulted sealings and retro furniture, The Cafe and restaurant.

53. The Taste of Dublin | In June, Irelands premier drink & food festival offering culinary talks, wine and beer tasting, as well as award-winning chefs cooking up amazing dishes, takes place at Ivy Gardens. To book your tickets visit the Taste of Dublin.

54. Brazen Head | Ireland’s oldest pub, established in 1198 AD as a coach house and located in Dublin is a great place for Irish pub experience. It’s a truly unique place where travellers can immerse themselves into Traditional music, storytelling and traditional dishes such as Guinness stew.

55. Cornucopia | Located on Wicklow Street, which is right in the middle of the city, Cornucopia is a vegetarian restaurant that serves satisfying portions of salads, hot dishes, freshly baked bread and cakes.

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Pretty houses along Liffey Valley in Dublin, Ireland.

 

 

What to pack for a trip to Dublin

56. Travel umbrella | You can never know what the forecast in Dublin is going to be like. Don’t let the miserable weather with unexpected rain showers deter your mood. Pack a travel umbrella or get one as soon as you arrive in Dublin.

57. Rain jacket | Youll definitely see some rain during your travels in Ireland. Make sure your rain jacket is durable, lightweight, windproof and waterproof.

58. Camera | Bring your camera to capture Dublin’s landmarks and always use common sense while exploring the city – don’t leave your camera or other valuables lying around unattended and you will be fine.

 

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Now, over to you!

Have ever been to Dublin? Do you have any tips to add?

Let us know if you are planning a trip to Dublin and have travel-related questions

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34 thoughts on “58 incredibly useful travel tips for visiting beautiful Dublin, Ireland

    1. Thank you. Dublin is such a fun city to explore for a few days. Although, it feels a little bit strange to write blog posts about must-visit places and things to do, knowing that no one is going to travel anywhere anytime soon due to coronavirus! I hope you guys are doing well. The schools, colleges, restaurants and pubs are now closed in Ireland and we are just waiting to see if we are going into full-on lockdown. Thanks for stopping by and stay safe 😊 Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Aiva, you have posted a great article, so complete! All the info necessary for our trip, once this coronavirus situation blows away! Thank you so much for such a complete list. Dublin is a beautiful city, which I visited when I was a wee lad and cannot remember much except that I always said I loved it. Wonderful pics as well! You are one magnificent travel writer! Stay safe, you and your family.
    And all the best,
    Francisco

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Francisco. Dublin is a lively city, and it’s a place that is very close to my heart. I spent most of my early 20’s living right in the city centre and loved the buzz and constant movement. I’m glad you loved Dublin too, despite the fact that you don’t really remember much of it. I believe that every place we visit, even if we are small childer, leaves a mark on us and mould us into who we are. Stay safe and positive m friend and thanks for stopping by. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Aiva

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      1. I hope you had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day! Yes, you are right, no matter how young you might be, places that you visit or lived in leave a mark and an impression forever. Stay alert and home and if people do this we should be able to get through this pandemic and become better human beings. With lots of love, peace and solidarity from Spain and wishes overall for health,
        Francisco

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    1. I’m glad you loved Dublin, it’s a perfect place to start your Irish vacations, either your desire is to see its art galleries or explore national parks. Not only is Dublin deeply rooted in their incredible history, culture the people of Dublin are all such characters, as well. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

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  2. Good list for sure, especially the umbrella and rain jacket….Tee Hee. We enjoy Dublin and were so glad we spent 3 days there last September. Thanks for sharing. Allan

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    1. I’m glad you had a great time exploring Irish capital, 3 days is a perfect amount of time to let you soak up its unique atmosphere and visit many of its must-see sites. We had a chance to go back to Dublin at the end of last year and were delighted to visit art galleries and museums because we don’t have any in Sligo. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day, Allan. Aiva

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    1. Yes, Skerries is a lovely place to visit too. Years ago, my cousin used to live there, so I was a frequent visitors. They have beautiful seaside, perfect for long walks and beautiful mills. Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope all is well in your part of the world. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted you had a memorable time in Dublin. Ireland is a destination that appeals to a lot of different people for a lot of various reasons. It’s known for a unique brand of natural beauty, for historic cities rich with culture, and, we should mention, for some of the world’s most legendary beers and spirits. Glad to hear you made a trip to Wicklow National Park, it’s one of the most beautiful places in all of Ireland and its where we spent most of our weekend when we lived in Dublin. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day. Aiva

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    1. Thanks so much, guys! You would love Dublin – the people are lovely, the pubs are as good as advertised and the comfort food is delicious. Sadly no one is travelling anywhere due to the coronavirus; we just have to wait and see what happens next. Thanks for stopping by and stay safe. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Allison, how are you doing today? Dublin is a fantastic place to visit, isn’t it? I am so glad we had a chance to live there for many many years and experience everything firsthand. I loved sitting on the window ledge and watch the world go by. I hope you are doing well during these uncertain times. Are you guys now under the lockdown too? Have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Things are crazy- it’s not quite a lockdown, but it might as well be. I’m a teacher and we are out of school for (at least) three weeks, but we are still teaching online. So I’m making a lot of videos and what not for the kids. It’s busy, which is good. The next two weeks are spring break though- and I had to cancel my plans, of course. So we will see how those two weeks go. How are things in Ireland?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, things are crazy, Allison! Ireland is not in a lockdown yet. Shops, supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies are still fully operating. We are both working in retail/van sales and are still going to work every single day, but that might change any minute. The spring break is approaching in Ireland too which means kids are going to stay at home for additional three weeks. Thanks for sharing your experience and stay safe 😊 Lots of love and hugs from Ireland 😊 Aiva

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I went to Dublin in 2015. Even if I didn’t spend a long time there, I enjoyed the overall atmosphere of the city. Just walking around the districts really opened me up to the wanderlust that I developed in the years afterward, and I’m glad that Dublin introduced me to my love for travel! Would love to return for more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although Dublin isn’t your typical European city with cute little squares filled with half-timbered houses, there are so many reasons to visit Irish capital. Dubliners are very proud of the rich culture associated with the city, and it has produced many world-renowned poets, authors, artists, and musicians. One of the best things I love about Dublin is it’s laid back atmosphere and how friendly the people are. Thanks for stopping by Rebecca, I’m glad you had a chance to catch a glimpse of Dublin. Hard to believe we won’t be able to travel any time soon due to coronavirus. Take care and stay safe. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great list –
    Think I’d add Dun Laoghaire to the day trips. I know the town itself is run down but the pier is great for a walk and you can also visit the James Joyce Tower in Sandycove. There’s a good market in the park on Sundays and of course you’ll get the best ice cream in the country in Teddys!!! Its well served by bus and DART and there are plenty of places for coffee or lunch.
    XXX Marie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Marie, how are you doing! Yes, Dun Laoghaire is a great place to visit and perfect for a day trip. We used to spend their lots of time while living in Dublin, hopping on DART and escaping the madness of the city was one of the ways we managed to spend five years living in Smithfield and later on Malborough street. I hope all is good with you. Stay safe and positive. We’ll get through the storm known as coronavirus. Aiva xxx

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    1. Hi, Mark, I am glad to hear you loved Dublin. I have to confess that I haven’t been to the Writer’s Museum, but Dublin doors used to be my favourite thing to photograph. I hope all is well with you and your family. Take care and stay safe. Aiva xxx

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. We used to live in Dublin for ten years so we could easily write lots of content about Ireland’s capital. It’s an amazing city, both to visit and to call home. Have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, what a thorough guide to Dublin! I was meant to visit last year but ended up cancelling at the last minute, I’ve been wanting to visit for a while so maybe I’ll squeeze in a trip later in the year if possible.

    Also, the section on Irish words was quite interesting. I had no idea chips were like they are in the US. I would never have guessed the pronunciation of Slainte either haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jason. Dublin was our home for a decade, and in the first years, we lived on the main street. Although nowadays a full day in Dublin is all I can manage, ( city life is no longer for me) I’m thankful for the experience and all the memories we made along the way.

      Whenever we have overseas visitors and are planning a takeaway, we have to explain the difference between the chips and crisps; you wouldn’t want to mess with hungry people. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you get to visit Dublin; it’s so worth it. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

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