Capital of the Emerald Isle, European hotspot for many of the best pubs in the region, and home of Guinness: Dublin has plenty of claims to fame and it is a must-visit for a lot of travellers wishing to explore Europe. However, just like any city, there are some things you should know before you go! Here are the very best Dublin travel tips I'd offer first-time visitors to the city.
Plan your accommodation well ahead of time!
Start your stay the proper way when you are well-prepared and booking all of your accommodation well in front of your stay. I’ve personally stayed in the Temple District on several occasions (once in a hostel and the other inside a B&B) and have loved it every time! Near to all the major attractions and within easy walking distance of everything you may want to see, check here for the best Temple Bar accommodation rates.
Dublin is a lot more expensive than you may think
When I visited Dublin for the first time, it’s fair to state I had been greater than a little surprise at just how expensive the town is. From accommodation costs to heading out for any meal, be sure to plan for a more expensive trip than you might have already planned for!
Trinity College Library is really a must-see
Easily one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, if there’s one Dublin attraction you can’t miss, it’s the Trinity College Library. Housed within the beautiful Trinity College University complex, the Library is wooden shelves stacked from floor to ceiling in books along with a plethora of marble busts.
Underneath the library, there’s a small display highlighting it of Kells, one of the most important ecclesiastical manuscripts to have survived in the Middle Ages. Make sure to arrive earlier in the day instead of later to avoid needing to stand in queues for too much time!
The ideal time to visit Dublin is in the spring or Autumn
From the fall foliage from the autumn months to the beautiful cherry blossom in the spring, if you’re able to select what season to visit the Irish capital, then make it during the European shoulder season (i.e. early in the year or in the summer).
This way, everything will still be open and you’ll have the advantage of reduced hotel prices and (likely) lower airfares. I particularly recommend planning your visit in order to coincide using the spring blooms, allowing you to enjoy the best of cherry blossoms in Dublin.
It will probably rain at least once during your visit!
Truth be told, even if you’re visiting Dublin during the summer months, you can expect at least a baby shower or two throughout your visit. As a result, be sure to bring an umbrella and ensure to organize ahead. Luckily, there are a plethora of indoor activities to keep you occupied when the weather conditions are less than cooperative! Looking for more inspiration? Check out my guide to the best things you can do in Dublin if this rains!
Explore both sides of the River Liffey
Much of historic Dublin is shipped over each side from the River Liffey, and therefore you’ll probably wind up crossing at least a number of times on your remain in the city. On at least one of the crossings, take the Ha’Penny bridge.
This early 19th-century pedestrian bridge is officially referred to as ‘Liffey Bridge’ and was constructed so as to function as a safe passage in one side of Dublin to the other. Prior to this, seven ferries operated every day to transfer passengers over the River Liffey.
Dublin has plenty of great finds worth discovering
If you’re looking for secret spots, then you’re in luck because Dublin has plenty! From a rather unusual statue of Oscar Wilde along with a church where you can find mummies in the basement, the Irish Capital doesn't have lack of unique and quirky destinations. For more hidden places, take a look at my help guide to the best-kept strategies of Dublin.
Wear comfortable shoes!
When you are looking at your time in Dublin, something is clear: you’ll be travelling a lot! As such, make sure to bring comfortable and flat walking shoes. In some from the more historic parts of the city, you’ll soon realize that there are cobblestones and little lanes, so be sure to leave your high heel shoes at home.
Instead, wear some fashionable trainers, flat sandals, or cute boots so you can stay comfortable during your stay. I personally love these sandals and put them on on all of my adventures (I even have them in a number of colours)! During the daytime, It's my job to wear keds like these ones because they look good with dresses and can easily be packed right into a small space in a suitcase. These boots are particularly cute for spring and autumn.
Bring a universal travel adapter
The plug utilized in Dublin is the same as that utilized in the united kingdom and thus if you’re from much of the rest of the world, you’ll have to bring along an adapter so that you can charge all of your electronics on the run. Purchase a universal travel adapter like this one so that you can utilize it in multiple destinations!
The Irish capital is easy to reach
Thanks to some closeby international airport, it couldn’t be simpler to reach Dublin from a plethora of international destinations. Some of the cheapest flights into Europe move from New York to Dublin and the airport also serves a number of European destinations, including Paris, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, and Porto.
Make the most of public transportation using a visitor card
And while we’re about public transit, it’s important to note that there’s one card which is relatively unknown to people to the town. The Leap Visitor Card is a superb investment if you’re planning on hopping on and off public transit, not least since most buses require change and don’t accept notes. Find additional information about the visitor card here.
Bring a tote along for the shopping!
If you’re looking to buy groceries (or even just some vintage clothing) during your remain in the Irish capital, then you need to realize that Ireland was one of the first countries in the EU to impose a plastic bag levy on bags. Better for the environment and for the bank balance, bring a reusable bag along with you when you head out to the shops!
Dublin includes a fantastic café scene
What truly surprised me during our stay in Dublin is the sheer number of cafés and occasional shops dotted across the Irish capital. From bookstore hideaways to luxury establishments, there are a plethora of quaint places where one can read a good book, meet up with friends, or just have a great coffee. Check for my guide to the very best coffee houses in Dublin.
Free WiFi in Dublin can be obtained across the city
Travelling internationally and don’t have an international data plan? Luckily for you, there’s plenty of places where one can enjoy complimentary WiFi, including at Dublin airport, and all Dublin city buses. Most bars, cafés, and eateries also provide free WiFi for their customers.
The Guinness Storehouse is definitely an absolute must
Last but not least, probably the most visited tourist attraction in the Republic of Ireland is oh-so-touristic but in a great way! A must-see during your stay in Dublin, the Guinness Storehouse experience provides you with the chance to learn all about the good reputation for Ireland’s most famous tipple, that of Guinness.
You’ll even get a complimentary pint inside the price of your ticket! In order to make probably the most of a trip inside ‘the largest pint glass in the world,’ visitors should set aside at least three or four hours to visit. Purchase a Guinness Storehouse ticket within advance.
Have an idea of what you would like to see
Considering that Dublin is the capital of Ireland, it’s obvious to see that people to the town should never be able to see all things in just one visit alone (or probably even 2 or 3!) As such, be sure to prioritise the attractions you actually want to see, allowing lots of time to relax and allow the city reveal itself for you. Stuck for itinerary ideas? Check out this Dublin weekend itinerary.
Enjoy a free Dublin walking tour
One of the best ways to enjoy most European cities is by yourself two feet, preferably using a walking tour. Even though there are many paid walking tours available in the Irish capital, Personally, i recommend taking this free and self-guided walking tour of Dublin to allow you to explore the city at your own pace.