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Dublin: 7 Things Travelers Need To Know Before Visiting

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Each year, Ireland welcomes over 1.7 American tourists, with the majority of them spending at least a few days of their vacation in the capital city of Dublin.

Ha'Penny Bridge In Dublin, Ireland

Visitors come to experience the welcoming culture, cozy pubs, historic sites, and proximity to the beautiful Irish countryside.

And while Dublin is a small city, it really packs a punch, with countless attractions to visit if you can bring yourself to leave the pub.

But before setting off to Dublin, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about traveling to Dublin, including:

  • What are the costs for travelers?
  • Things to know about culture and etiquette
  • What are the top attractions?
  • How safe is it?
  • Local food and drinks
  • How good is the WiFi?
  • How long can you stay?

Ready? Here are the top 7 things you need to know before visiting Dublin:

The molly malone statue stands in front of O'Neils pub in Dublin

Did you know… Ireland is rich in literary history and there is no better place to immerse yourself in the works of its famous writers than in Dublin. A great way to learn more is to take the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, a two-hour walking tour where actors recite excerpts from some of Ireland’s greatest authors like Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, and James Joyce.

1) Dublin Affordability

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The currency in Dublin is the Euro or EUR. The current exchange rate is €1 EUR = $1.08 USD and $1 USD = €0.93.

Here are the average costs for travelers in USD:

Accommodation

Hotels in Dublin are not the bargain they used to be. A combination of higher energy and labor costs combined with increased demand means that finding a good deal can be tough.

  • Average hotel price: One night at a 3-star hotel typically costs around $285, or $330 for a 4-star hotel.
  • Luxury 5-star hotels: Luxury 5-star hotels in a central area average $550 per night. The much-loved Shelbourne Hotel has standard rooms starting at $450 and suites that cost nearly $1500 per night.
  • If you're on a budget: A bed in a Dublin hostel costs between $35 – $50, while a private ensuite room averages $100 per night.  

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Dublin, Ireland. View of pub street in the downtown of Dublin.

Food

  • A 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two costs around $85.
  • For a cheap meal at an inexpensive restaurant, expect to pay around $20.
  • A beer costs about $6.50, while a cappuccino is typically $4.

Transportation

Dublin is a small city and much of it can be traversed by foot. If walking isn’t your thing, or if you want to venture into the surrounding neighborhoods there are plenty of other ways to get around the city.

  • Dublin’s public transportation network includes buses, an electric tram (the LUAS), and trains (the DART). Visitors who plan on taking public transit can load up a pre-paid Leap Card and pay $2.20 for a 90-minute fare. Single trips within the city cost $1.40.
  • DublinBikes can be found at kiosks throughout the city. Prices start at $3.50 for a day pass plus an hourly charge. 
  • Taxi fares start at $4 and cost an additional $2.50 per mile traveled. If you take a taxi in Dublin be prepared for a chatty driver.
The Dublin LUAS tram drives through the streets of Dublin

2) Culture And Etiquette In Dublin

Dubliners are incredibly welcoming to American tourists, and the city is very casual. Still there are a few things you should know.

Check this list before your trip! Here are some of the major Dos and Don’ts in Dublin.

  • DO offer to buy a round: If you are drinking in a pub with a group offer to buy a round of beer. Everyone in the group is expected to take turns paying for drinks.
  • DON’T forget to tip: Leave a tip of 10 – 15% at restaurants and cafes. If drinking in a pub you can leave extra change for the bartenders.
  • DO strike up a conversation: Irish people like to talk – they are great storytellers and have an incredibly quick wit. Don’t be afraid to have a chat with the locals.
  • DON’T wait for the check: When you are done eating at a restaurant you’ll have to ask the wait staff to bring you the check.
  • DO prepare for all the weather: Don’t be fooled by sunny skies and leave your hotel without a coat. The weather in Dublin changes many times throughout the day, so dress in layers and be prepared for sudden showers (and rainbows). If you do find yourself caught unprepared in the elements, you’ll quickly realize why Dublin has so many cozy pubs.
Tourists Taking Selfie In The Temple Bar District In Dublin, Ireland

3) Top Attractions in Dublin

Dublin is full of fun things to do. Here are a few of the top things see and do while visiting the city:

  • The Guinness Storehouse – Ireland’s most visited attraction doesn’t disappoint. Visitors are taken on a tour of the Storehouse, which is part museum, part interactive experience. The visit ends on the top floor with epic views of Dublin and a creamy pint of Guinness. 
  • Kilmainham Gaol – Dublin’s most notorious jail was the site of some of Ireland’s most historic events, including the execution of 14 men during the 1916 fight for Irish independence. The Gaol was closed in 1924, but was later reopened as a museum.
  • National Botanic Gardens – Located in the north of Dublin, the Botanic Gardens are a nice escape from the gritty city center. The 48 acre park is home to over 15,000 plant species, beautiful glasshouses, and beautiful grounds.
The interior of Ireland's Kilmainham Gaol

4) How Safe Is It For Tourists?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dublin is a relatively safe city as long as you exercise normal precautions. However, there are still some things that travelers should keep in mind to stay safe during their visit:

  • Beware of thieves: pickpocketing is the most common crime that tourists encounter in Dublin. Be on high alert in busy areas and on public transportation.
  • Research your neighborhood: some neighborhoods in Dublin have a higher rate of violent crime. In particular, be extra vigilant in Tallaght, Ballymun, and sections of Pearse Street.
  • Know how to call for help: Emergency services can be reached by calling 112 or 119.
  • DO get travel insurance: Travel insurance can help in health emergencies as well as with covering the costs of any travel mishaps during your Dublin trip. For 5 great options, read more here.
an ariel view of St. Stephen's green in Dublin Ireland

5) Local Eats And Drinks

One of the best parts of travel is checking out the local cuisine, and Dublin is a fantastic place to try new foods. Don't let yourself leave without trying at least one of the following:

Food

While much of traditional Irish food is heavy on meat and seafood, plant-based eaters will be happy to know that most restaurants and pubs have at least one vegan or vegetarian dish on the menu. Additionally, Irish people have one of the highest rates of celiac disease, so it is also easy to find gluten-free options wherever you go.

  • Full Irish – a typical breakfast and perfect hangover antidote. Typically, the dish contains fried egg, sausage, baked beans, black and/or white pudding (another type of sausage), roasted potatoes, mushrooms, toast, and grilled tomato.
  • Sausage roll – Another popular breakfast item found at bakeries, convenience stores, and cafes all over the city. The rolls is made with seasoned sausage stuffed inside a puff pastry, and many places also offer vegan sausage rolls made with mushrooms and lentils.
  • Fresh seafood – Ireland is an island after all… there are incredible native oysters and delicious fresh-caught seafood like salmon, monkfish, and crabs. Can’t decide? You’ll find delicious seafood chowder on most menus.
  • Irish stew – a hearty stew of potatoes, onions, carrots and mutton. Each restaurant and pub will have its own take on the dish, with many adding Guinness to the broth.
A bartender pours a pint of Guinness

Drinks

  • Guinness – While you can find Guinness all over the world, it tastes best fresh from the source in Dublin.
  • Whiskey  – There are plenty of opportunities to try Irish Whiskey in Dublin. You can visit the Irish Whiskey Museum or tour a distillery like Jameson or Teeling.
  • Tea – Everywhere you go you’ll be offered a “cuppa.” The Irish drink a lot of black tea, typically with a splash of milk and some sugar.

6) How's the WiFi?

Using Ookla, an internet speed testing service, the average internet speeds in Dublin for February 2023 were 45.58mbps download and 10.34mbps upload.

tourists and shoppers walk down a pedestrian street in Dublin

7) How Long Can I Stay?

Americans traveling to Ireland can stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without needing a visa. Passports must be valid for the duration of your stay and have at least one blank page.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.