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What To Know Before You Go To Dublin


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Sileas Broyles



Welcome to the vibrant and charming city of Dublin, Ireland’s capital and largest city. With its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and friendly locals, Dublin offers a unique blend of ancient charm and modern sophistication. Whether you are planning a short visit or a longer stay, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this dynamic city.


Dublin is located on the eastern coast of Ireland, bordered by the Irish Sea. It is known for its friendly people, lively pubs, and stunning architecture. The city’s history dates back to the Viking times, and you can still see remnants of this ancient past in the historic buildings and cobblestone streets of the city center.


As a visitor to Dublin, you will find a wealth of attractions, from stunning cathedrals and castles to fascinating museums and art galleries. Immerse yourself in Irish culture by exploring the renowned literary heritage of Dublin, with its connections to famous writers such as James Joyce and Oscar Wilde.


The city is also home to a thriving music and arts scene, with numerous theaters, live music venues, and art galleries showcasing the talents of local and international artists. No visit to Dublin would be complete without experiencing the lively pub culture, where you can enjoy traditional Irish music, hearty pub fare, and a pint of Guinness.


Whether you are interested in history, culture, nightlife, or simply enjoying the beauty of this charming city, Dublin has something to offer everyone. In this article, we will provide you with essential information and tips to help you make the most of your visit to Dublin. From weather and currency to transportation and local customs, let’s delve into everything you need to know before you go to Dublin.


Weather and Climate in Dublin

Dublin has a temperate maritime climate, characterized by mild winters and cool summers. The city experiences a fair amount of rainfall throughout the year, so it’s always a good idea to carry an umbrella or raincoat.


Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are considered to be the best times to visit Dublin, as the weather is relatively mild and the city is less crowded. During these seasons, temperatures range from around 8°C to 15°C (46°F to 59°F), with occasional fluctuations.


Summers in Dublin (June to August) are generally cool, with temperatures averaging around 18°C to 20°C (64°F to 68°F). Although the weather can be unpredictable, with occasional rain showers, you can still enjoy outdoor activities and explore the city’s parks and gardens.


Winter in Dublin (December to February) is mild, with temperatures ranging from 3°C to 8°C (37°F to 46°F). While snowfall is rare, it can happen occasionally. It’s advisable to pack warm layers and a waterproof jacket to stay comfortable during the colder months.


Regardless of the season, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Remember to bring comfortable walking shoes, as Dublin is a city best explored on foot.


In terms of clothing, layering is key in Dublin’s changeable weather. Bring a mix of light and warm clothing items, such as sweaters, jackets, and waterproof outerwear. Don’t forget to pack a versatile pair of shoes that can handle both the unpredictable weather and the cobblestone streets.


Overall, Dublin’s weather may be unpredictable, but it adds to the city’s charm. Embrace the elements and be prepared, and you’ll be able to enjoy all that Dublin has to offer, rain or shine!


Currency and Exchange Rates

The official currency of Ireland is the Euro (€). It’s important to familiarize yourself with the current exchange rates before your trip to Dublin, as it will help you plan your budget and ensure a smooth financial experience during your stay.


Money can be exchanged at banks, post offices, and currency exchange offices throughout the city. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs, which are widely available in Dublin. Keep in mind that there may be transaction fees associated with using ATMs, so it’s a good idea to check with your bank beforehand.


Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Dublin, especially in hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted card networks, but it’s always wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments or places that only accept cash payments.


When dining out or visiting attractions, it’s customary to leave a tip if you are satisfied with the service. It’s reasonable to add around 10-15% of the total bill as a tip. However, it’s important to note that tipping is discretionary and not mandatory in Ireland.


It’s advisable to inform your bank or credit card company of your travel plans before your trip. This will help prevent any issues with your cards being blocked for suspicious activity while you’re in Dublin.


Before exchanging your currency, it’s also a good idea to compare exchange rates and fees to get the best value for your money. Additionally, consider carrying a small amount of cash in smaller denominations for convenience, such as for purchasing items from street vendors or for public transportation.


Finally, be cautious of currency exchange scams and only exchange money at reputable locations. Avoid exchanging money with street vendors or in unofficial settings.


By familiarizing yourself with the currency in Dublin and planning accordingly, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free financial experience during your visit to this wonderful city.


Transportation in Dublin

Getting around Dublin is convenient and relatively easy, thanks to its well-developed transportation system. Whether you prefer public transportation or exploring the city on foot, there are plenty of options to suit your needs.


1. Dublin Bus: The Dublin Bus network covers the entire city and outskirts, making it an affordable and popular mode of transportation. Buses are equipped with free Wi-Fi, and the routes are well-connected, making it convenient to travel to most tourist attractions and neighborhoods.


2. Trains: DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and Irish Rail are two train services that operate in and around Dublin. The DART connects the city center with the coastal suburbs, offering scenic views along the way. Irish Rail provides services to other cities and towns in Ireland.


3. Luas: The Luas is Dublin’s light rail system, consisting of two lines: the Red Line and the Green Line. The Luas is a quick and efficient way to navigate through the city center and its surrounding areas.


4. Taxis: Taxis can be found throughout Dublin, and they are easily recognizable with their distinctive yellow color. It’s recommended to book licensed taxis or use ride-hailing apps like Uber or Bolt for convenience and safety.


5. Walking and Cycling: Dublin is a compact and pedestrian-friendly city, so walking is a great way to explore the city center. There are also designated cycling lanes throughout the city, making cycling a popular choice for locals and visitors alike.


6. Renting a Car: If you plan to explore the outskirts of Dublin or venture into the countryside, renting a car would be a convenient option. Just keep in mind that driving in Dublin city center can be congested, and parking can be limited and expensive.


It’s worth considering a Leap Card for traveling on public transportation in Dublin. The Leap Card is a prepaid card that can be used on buses, trams, and trains, offering discounted fares compared to purchasing single tickets.


When using public transportation, be aware of peak hours when services can be crowded. It’s also important to note that public transportation schedules may vary during holidays and weekends, so it’s best to check timetables in advance.


No matter which mode of transportation you choose, getting around Dublin is a breeze, allowing you to explore all the city has to offer with ease and convenience.


Accommodation Options

When visiting Dublin, you’ll have a variety of accommodation options to choose from, ranging from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels and cozy bed and breakfasts. Here are some popular choices:


1. Hotels: Dublin offers a wide range of hotels to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxurious five-star hotels in the city center to budget-friendly options on the outskirts, you’ll find accommodations to meet your needs. Many hotels also offer amenities such as restaurants, bars, and fitness facilities.


2. Bed and Breakfasts: If you’re looking for a more intimate and homely experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast. These charming establishments offer comfortable rooms and a delicious Irish breakfast to start your day. Bed and breakfasts are often located in residential areas, providing a glimpse into local life.


3. Hostels: For travelers on a budget or those looking to meet fellow travelers, hostels are a popular choice. Dublin has several well-equipped and centrally located hostels offering dormitory-style accommodations or private rooms at affordable prices. Common areas and communal kitchens provide opportunities for socializing and sharing travel tips.


4. Serviced Apartments: If you prefer more space and the convenience of a kitchen, consider booking a serviced apartment. These self-catering accommodations offer the comforts of home, with separate living areas and fully equipped kitchens. They are ideal for families or those planning an extended stay.


5. Guesthouses: Guesthouses in Dublin are similar to bed and breakfasts, offering comfortable rooms with breakfast included. They often have fewer rooms than hotels and provide a more personalized experience. Guesthouses can be found in various neighborhoods, allowing you to choose the location that suits your preferences.


When choosing your accommodation, consider factors such as location, amenities, and proximity to attractions or public transportation. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel seasons and festivals, to secure the best rates and availability.


Thanks to Dublin’s efficient public transportation system, you can choose accommodations outside the city center and still have easy access to all the major attractions. This allows you to experience the local neighborhoods and potentially find hidden gems.


Whether you’re looking for luxury or a cozy home away from home, Dublin offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget.


Local Cuisine and Dining

When it comes to dining in Dublin, you’ll find a diverse and vibrant culinary scene that showcases both traditional Irish dishes and innovative international flavors. From hearty pub fare to Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Here’s a glimpse into Dublin’s local cuisine and dining options:


1. Traditional Irish Food: Dublin is the perfect place to indulge in traditional Irish dishes. Start your day with a full Irish breakfast, which typically includes eggs, bacon, sausage, black and white pudding, and toast. For lunch or dinner, try classics like Irish stew, fish and chips, or a traditional beef and Guinness pie.


2. Pub Food: Dublin is famous for its lively pub culture, and many pubs also serve delicious food. Enjoy a pint of Guinness or a local craft beer while savoring pub favorites like Irish lamb stew, bangers and mash, or a hearty beef and Guinness pie. Pubs often offer a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, making them great places to socialize and experience Irish hospitality.


3. Seafood: Being located on the coast, Dublin is known for its excellent seafood. Sample fresh seafood dishes such as Dublin Bay prawns (langoustines), oysters, mussels, and smoked salmon. Many restaurants in Dublin source their seafood locally, ensuring the freshness and quality of the dishes.


4. Modern and International Cuisine: Dublin’s culinary scene has evolved to include a wide range of international flavors and modern interpretations. You’ll find restaurants offering everything from Italian and Asian fusion to Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisine. Dublin is also home to many Michelin-starred restaurants, providing exquisite dining experiences for food enthusiasts.


5. Farmers’ Markets: For a taste of fresh, local produce and artisanal products, visit one of Dublin’s farmers’ markets. Explore stalls filled with organic fruits and vegetables, homemade cheeses, freshly baked bread, and more. The markets are also a great place to interact with local producers and learn about Irish food culture.


Vegetarians and vegans will also find plenty of options in Dublin, with many restaurants offering plant-based dishes and catering to dietary preferences.


When dining out in Dublin, it’s customary to tip around 10-15% if you’re satisfied with the service. However, tipping is discretionary, and it’s important to check the bill to see if a service charge has already been included.


With its mix of traditional Irish cuisine, pub classics, international flavors, and innovative culinary ventures, Dublin ensures that every food lover will have a memorable dining experience.


Must-See Tourist Attractions

Dublin is a city rich in history, culture, and stunning architecture. From historical landmarks to charming neighborhoods, there are plenty of must-see attractions that showcase the city’s unique character. Here are some top tourist attractions in Dublin:


1. Trinity College: Founded in 1592, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university and a must-visit attraction. Explore the stunning campus, walk through the iconic Long Room library, and see the famous Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript dating back to the 9th century.


2. Guinness Storehouse: No visit to Dublin is complete without a trip to the Guinness Storehouse. Discover the history of Ireland’s most famous beer, learn about the brewing process, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the Gravity Bar while sipping on a pint of the iconic stout.


3. Dublin Castle: Located in the heart of the city, Dublin Castle is steeped in history and showcases various architectural styles. Take a guided tour to explore the magnificent State Apartments, witness the Gothic Chapel Royal, and stroll through the beautiful gardens.


4. Temple Bar: Known for its vibrant nightlife and cultural scene, Temple Bar is a lively neighborhood that offers a mix of bars, restaurants, art galleries, and street performers. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, soak in the energy, and enjoy the live music that fills the air.


5. St. Patrick’s Cathedral: This stunning cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is the largest church in Ireland. Admire its impressive Gothic architecture, explore the beautiful interior, and learn about its fascinating history.


6. Phoenix Park: As one of the largest enclosed public parks in Europe, Phoenix Park is a green oasis in the heart of Dublin. Take a leisurely stroll, visit Dublin Zoo, spot herds of deer, or enjoy a picnic amidst the serene surroundings.


7. National Museum of Ireland: Dive into Ireland’s rich history, art, and culture at the National Museum of Ireland. Discover ancient artifacts, archaeological treasures, and exhibitions that showcase the country’s heritage.


8. Kilmainham Gaol: This former prison turned museum provides a glimpse into Ireland’s turbulent history. Take a guided tour to learn about the stories and struggles of the Irish people who were imprisoned here during the country’s fight for independence.


These are just a few of the many attractions Dublin has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, art, or simply exploring the city’s charming streets, Dublin will captivate you with its diverse and captivating tourist attractions.


Shopping in Dublin

Dublin is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of shopping options, from high-end fashion boutiques to quirky markets and traditional Irish crafts. Whether you’re on the hunt for designer labels, unique souvenirs, or local artisanal products, Dublin has it all. Here’s a guide to shopping in Dublin:


1. Grafton Street: Located in the heart of the city, Grafton Street is Dublin’s premier shopping destination. This pedestrianized street is lined with a mix of high-street stores, international fashion brands, and boutiques. It’s also known for its lively atmosphere, with street performers entertaining shoppers as they explore the shops.


2. Powerscourt Centre: Housed in a stunning Georgian building, the Powerscourt Centre is a unique shopping destination in Dublin. It features a mix of independent boutiques, designer shops, and specialty stores offering everything from fashion and accessories to home decor and gourmet food.


3. George’s Street Arcade: This charming Victorian shopping arcade is Dublin’s oldest shopping center. Browse through the eclectic mix of stalls and shops selling vintage clothing, handmade crafts, jewelry, antiques, and more. It’s a great place to find unique and one-of-a-kind treasures.


4. Brown Thomas: For luxury shopping, head to Brown Thomas, Ireland’s leading luxury department store. Located on Grafton Street, it offers an extensive selection of designer labels, cosmetics, accessories, and homeware. This is the place to indulge in a high-end shopping experience.


5. Dublin Flea Market: If you’re looking for a more bohemian shopping experience, visit the Dublin Flea Market. Held on various weekends throughout the year, it features stalls selling vintage clothing, vinyl records, handmade crafts, and unique finds. You never know what treasures you might uncover!


6. O’Connell Street: O’Connell Street is Dublin’s main thoroughfare and offers a mix of shops, department stores, and souvenir shops. It’s a great place to find traditional Irish goods such as Aran sweaters, Claddagh rings, and Irish whiskey.


7. Merrion Square Art Market: Visit the Merrion Square Art Market on weekends to explore the work of local artists. From paintings and sculptures to handmade jewelry and crafts, it’s a great place to support and discover the vibrant artistic community in Dublin.


Before making any purchases, don’t forget to inquire about tax-free shopping for visitors. Many stores offer tax refunds for non-EU residents, so be sure to ask for a tax refund form and save your receipts for eligible purchases.


From high-end labels to unique finds, Dublin’s shopping scene offers something for everyone. So, grab your shopping bags and enjoy exploring the diverse retail offerings in this vibrant city.


Nightlife and Entertainment

Dublin is renowned for its lively nightlife and vibrant entertainment scene. Whether you’re looking for traditional Irish music, trendy nightclubs, or cozy pubs, the city has a wide range of options to suit every taste. Here’s a glimpse into the exciting nightlife and entertainment choices in Dublin:


1. Traditional Irish Music: Experience the soulful sounds of traditional Irish music in one of Dublin’s many pubs. Head to Temple Bar, where you can find live music sessions every night, or explore the city’s other neighborhoods for hidden gems. From foot-stomping jigs to haunting ballads, immerse yourself in the rich musical heritage of Ireland.


2. Pubs and Bars: Dublin is famous for its pub culture, and a visit to the city wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a pint of Guinness or a traditional Irish whiskey in one of its historic pubs. From centuries-old establishments to trendy bars, there’s a pub to suit every mood and style.


3. Live Performances: Dublin is home to numerous theaters and live music venues, showcasing local and international talent. From national theaters like the Abbey Theatre to smaller independent venues, you’ll find a wide range of theatrical performances, live concerts, comedy shows, and more.


4. Comedy Clubs: If you’re in the mood for laughter, Dublin has a vibrant comedy scene with various comedy clubs hosting regular shows. Enjoy stand-up performances from local and international comedians, providing plenty of laughs and entertainment.


5. Nightclubs and Late-Night Venues: Dublin is known for its lively clubbing scene, with clubs catering to various music genres. Dance the night away to the beats of electronic, pop, hip hop, and more. Some venues also host themed nights and live DJ performances.


6. Cultural Events and Festivals: Throughout the year, Dublin hosts a myriad of cultural events and festivals, offering an array of entertainment options. From the St. Patrick’s Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival to music festivals and art exhibitions, there’s always something happening in the city.


It’s worth noting that opening hours for pubs and clubs vary, with some establishments staying open late into the night. Additionally, be sure to check for any dress codes or age restrictions before visiting certain venues.


Dublin’s nightlife and entertainment scene ensures that there’s never a dull moment in the city. So, whether you’re seeking music, laughter, or a vibrant atmosphere, Dublin will leave you spoilt for choice.


Cultural Etiquette and Customs

When visiting Dublin, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the local culture and etiquette to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. Here are some cultural customs to keep in mind:


1. Greeting and Politeness: In Dublin, it is customary to greet people with a handshake, along with a polite “hello” or “how are you?” Use “please” and “thank you” to show courtesy, and always address people with their title and surname unless they indicate otherwise.


2. Pub Etiquette: Pubs are an integral part of Irish culture, and it’s important to respect the pub etiquette. When entering a crowded pub, it’s common to make eye contact and nod to find an available spot at the bar. Avoid engaging in loud or disruptive behavior, and be prepared to take turns buying rounds of drinks.


3. Tipping: Tipping is customary in Dublin. In restaurants, it’s common to leave a tip of around 10-15% if you’re satisfied with the service. Some establishments may add a service charge to the bill, so always check before leaving an additional tip. In pubs, it’s not common to tip for drinks but leaving small change is appreciated.


4. Punctuality: Being punctual is valued in Dublin, so it’s best to arrive on time for appointments, meetings, and social gatherings. This shows respect for other people’s time and is considered good etiquette.


5. Personal Space: Dubliners generally respect personal space, so it’s important to maintain an arm’s length distance when engaging in conversation. Refrain from touching or hugging someone unless it is initiated by them.


6. Respect for Culture and Heritage: Dublin has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to show respect for it. When visiting religious sites or historical landmarks, dress modestly and follow any specific guidelines or rules imposed by the institution. Taking photographs in certain areas may also be restricted, so be mindful of signage.


7. Conversation and Humor: Dubliners are known for their friendliness and love of conversation. Engage in friendly small talk and be open to engaging in light-hearted banter or humor. However, it’s important to be respectful and avoid controversial or sensitive topics.


8. Smoking Regulations: Smoking is banned in all enclosed public spaces in Dublin. It is only permitted in designated outdoor areas. Be mindful of the regulations and smoke only in designated areas while respecting the comfort of those around you.


By observing these cultural customs and showing respect for Dublin’s traditions and etiquette, you’ll have a more rewarding and enjoyable experience during your visit.


Safety Tips for Travelers

While Dublin is generally a safe city for travelers, it’s always important to take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while visiting Dublin:


1. Stay Aware of your Surroundings: Like in any unfamiliar city, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings. Be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded tourist areas, and keep your valuables secure. Avoid displaying expensive items or large amounts of cash.


2. Use Reliable Transportation: When using public transportation or taxis, choose reputable services or official licensed providers. If possible, pre-book a taxi or use ride-hailing apps for a safe and convenient travel experience.


3. Plan Your Walking Routes: Dublin is a pedestrian-friendly city, but it’s a good idea to plan your walking routes in advance, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Stick to well-lit and busy streets, especially at night, and consider using mobile apps or GPS devices to navigate.


4. Drink Responsibly: Dublin has a lively pub culture, but it’s important to drink responsibly and be aware of your alcohol consumption. Keep an eye on your drink and never accept drinks from strangers. If you’re drinking, consider traveling with a friend or taking a licensed taxi when heading back to your accommodation.


5. Respect Local Laws and Customs: Familiarize yourself with the local laws and customs of Dublin before your trip. This includes understanding rules on smoking, littering, and alcohol consumption in public places. Avoid engaging in illegal activities or participating in any form of drug use.


6. Stay Informed: Stay informed about any recent safety updates, travel advisories, or potential risks in Dublin. Check with your embassy or government travel websites for updated information. It’s also a good idea to register your travel plans with your embassy or consulate for emergency purposes.


7. Use Reliable Accommodation: Book accommodations from reputable establishments with positive reviews. Research the area before booking and choose accommodations in safe and well-traveled neighborhoods.


8. Emergency Contacts: Save important phone numbers, including local emergency services, your embassy, and your accommodation, in case of any emergencies or unexpected situations.


By being vigilant, prepared, and respectful of local laws and customs, you can ensure a safe and memorable visit to Dublin. Remember, it’s always better to prioritize your safety and take necessary precautions to enjoy your trip to the fullest.



Visiting Dublin offers a unique and memorable experience that blends rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. From exploring historical landmarks to immersing yourself in traditional Irish music, Dublin has something for everyone. Before you embark on your trip, it’s important to prepare and equip yourself with the necessary knowledge.


Understanding Dublin’s weather and climate will help you pack appropriate clothing and make the most of your time outdoors. Familiarizing yourself with the local currency and exchange rates will ensure a smooth financial experience. Knowing the transportation options will help you navigate the city efficiently and explore all its attractions.


Choosing the right accommodation that suits your needs and budget is key to a comfortable stay in Dublin. Sampling the local cuisine and dining at traditional pubs and fine restaurants will give you a taste of Ireland’s culinary delights.


Exploring Dublin’s must-see tourist attractions will take you on a journey through its captivating history and cultural heritage. Shopping for unique souvenirs and experiencing the city’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene will keep you engaged and entertained.


And finally, being aware of the cultural etiquette and customs in Dublin will ensure that you interact respectfully with the locals and appreciate their traditions.


While it’s essential to prioritize your safety as a traveler, Dublin is generally a safe city. By following the safety tips and using common sense, you can have a worry-free and enjoyable experience during your visit.


As you embark on your Dublin adventure, take the time to appreciate the city’s beauty, immerse yourself in its rich culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Dublin welcomes you with open arms and promises a truly unforgettable experience.