Discovering Dublin: A Travel Guide to the Heart of Ireland
I cherish Dublin. The city may not be the most beautiful in the world (indeed, on a foggy day, it might feel downright dismal), but it has such a rich literary and cultural past that you can’t help but be inspired as you explore. It’s a dynamic city with plenty of Irish jigging, live music, traditional pubs, and a hearty, exciting food culture.
Dublin certainly has something for everyone, but I believe history lovers and late-night partygoers will like the city the most. Here, some of the most well-known writers in the world got their start, and the area’s extensive pub scene makes it easy to get your next beer. Most of all, Dubliners are a welcoming, inquisitive group who are always eager to make you laugh. Making a mistake by spending a few days in this city is impossible. This Dublin low-cost travel guide can assist you in organizing your trip, cutting costs, and making the most of your stay!
How to Get Around Dublin
Dublin has a sizable bus network that travels through the city’s core and to the suburbs. Depending on how far you travel, a single bus ticket ranges in price from 1.30 to 3.90 EUR from 5:30 am to midnight. A day pass costs 8 EUR. From the airport to downtown, use the Airlink Express bus. One ticket costs seven euros. Moreover, the city has a light rail system. Trams run from 5:30 am to midnight, and there are two lines to choose from. A one-way ticket is between 2.10 and 3.20 EUR, while round-trip tickets are between 3.70 and 5.50 EUR. There is DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport), which runs from 6 am to midnight, for getting to the suburbs. Single tickets are 3 EUR.
Taxis in Dublin can be expensive, with a daytime starting rate of 4 EUR. The rate is 2.41 EUR for each additional kilometer, so skip them if you can!
Uber is an option in Dublin, but the cost is the same as for taxis. If you can, avoid them!
Throughout the city, Dublin Bikes offers self-service bicycle rentals. The first 30 minutes are free, and a day’s admission is priced at 3.5 EUR (after which an hourly fee is charged).
You can find cars for as cheap as 25 EUR per day for a multi-day rental. A car is only necessary if you want to travel outside the city. You have to have at least 21 years of age to drive. Remember that they drive on the left here as well. For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars.
When to Go to Dublin
Dublin’s moderate, temperate temperature makes it a nice place to visit all year, but remember that rain will fall whenever you go! Due to the warmer weather, the city is at its liveliest during the summer months (June to August). But remember that this is high season, and there will be competition for lodging. Prices have also been slightly exaggerated. During this season, temperatures typically range from 13 to 20 °C (56 to 68 °F), though they occasionally reach 25 °C (77 °F) or higher. Winters might be cloudy and have short days, although it doesn’t often get below freezing. It’s cool, overcast, and gloomy.
That may not be flattering to some, but I find its melancholy charm appealing. Simply put, prepare for lots of indoor activities by dressing warmly. Dublin celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day in March, filling the city with residents and visitors eager to party. Hostels and motels fill up quickly, and costs rise during this season. Ireland is still stunning, and the temperatures are still pleasant. I travel most during the shoulder seasons (April through May and September through October). You’ll discover that prices are slightly lower and the city is less crowded outside St. Patrick’s Day. The weather is suitable for exploration as well. Bring an umbrella, please!
Top 5 Things to See & Do in Dublin
Tour the Guinness Storehouse
Discover the origins and brewing methods of Ireland’s most well-known export. The famous Irish dry stout known as Guinness has been brewed in Ireland since 1759 and is the brainchild of Arthur Guinness. Guinness first utilized the Storehouse structure as a fermentation house in the early 1900s.
Your admittance ticket includes a free pint to sip at the venue’s on-site bar. The structure has seven floors, all offering breathtaking panoramas of the city. You can avoid the wait and receive a 10% discount if you book online. The entrance costs 15 euros.
Relax in St. Stephen’s Green
In Dublin, St. Stephen’s Green is among the oldest commons. Despite its location in the city’s center, it offers a tranquil retreat from the commotion. The area was first used for grazing animals and housed St. Stephen’s church in the 13th century. The City Assembly decided to create a park there in the late 1600s, and by the 18th century, affluent socialites were flocking there to see and be seen. You can follow in the footsteps of Dublin’s high society by strolling along Beux Walk, located on the park’s northern side. In the park, you can also find a sensory garden for the blind, busts honoring prominent people like James Joyce, a monument to the Great Famine (1845–1852), and other historical statuary. The natural oasis is home to a wide variety of flora and animals, and on a sunny day, it’s one of the best spots for picnics and people-watching.
Take a tour of Trinity College
Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity, was established in the late 16th century by Queen Elizabeth I and is still one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The institution houses an art exhibit where visitors can view the 800 CE-old Book of Kells. The Irish Republic’s 1916 Proclamation and a 15th-century harp that inspired Ireland’s emblem are both kept at the Old Library, which also houses the Book of Kells. For 29 EUR, you can take a guided tour granting you access to the Old Library Museum and the Book of Kells.
Tour Kilmainham Gaol
The city’s renowned former jail is Kilmainham, built in the late 18th century. Some of Ireland’s most notorious convicts and revolutionaries, including the organizers of the 1916 Easter Rising, were previously imprisoned there (an armed uprising against the British). You may even visit the creepy Stonebreaker’s Yard, the site of the firing squad executions of 14 political prisoners. After they closed the prison in 1924, they renovated it in the 1960s. The tour lasts about an hour and a half, after which you can explore the museum at your leisure. It costs 8 EUR to enter.
Drink in Temple Bar
Temple Bar is the best area to experience Dublin’s nightlife, even though it is congested and touristy. The region was demolished in the 17th century after it had fallen into disrepair during the Middle Ages. It bears Sir William Temple’s name, who served as Trinity College’s provost in the early 1600s. Independent shops, bars, and street performers populate the neighborhood’s streets surrounding River Liffey. Visit the renowned Temple Bar, Vintage Cocktail Club, and The Norseman for cocktails. The neighborhood is frequently just as active throughout the day, with street festivals and fairs.
Other Things to Do & See in Dublin
Take a free walking tour
Walking tours always appeal to me since they provide a wealth of information about the past of the places you visit. Dublin Free Walking Tour and Generation Tours offer regular excursions that last two to three hours and cover the key highlights. It’s the ideal approach to learn the lay of the land and ask any queries you have of a local authority. Only remember to give your guide a tip at the end!
Explore The Chester Beatty
The Chester Beatty, located behind Dublin Castle, is home to a beautiful and substantial collection of Islamic, Asian, and Far Eastern artifacts. You may view illuminated Ethiopian parchments, Jesuit journey diaries, French manuscripts, Iranian narrative paintings, Egyptian Books of the Dead, and more. Many of their seminars, presentations by special visitors, and temporary exhibitions are also free to attend. One of the top museums in the nation is this one. There is no cost to enter.
Learn about “Dublinia”
This museum concentrates on Dublin’s Viking and medieval history because Vikings founded the city. A historical reproduction museum, it features displays like Viking longboats and scenarios from medieval streets. Additionally, they use costumed performers to make everything come to life (you can get dressed up in period clothing too). Learn about crime and punishment in medieval Dublin, look at authentic objects on loan from the National Museum, and view period armor and weapons. To see the view, you can also ascend the 96 steps to the top of St. Michael’s tower, an authentic medieval tower; however, the tower is currently closed for renovation.
Visit the Dublin Zoo
The Dublin Zoo, situated in Phoenix Park and covers over 70 acres, was founded in 1830. Each of its several distinct locations has its flora and fauna. You may see tigers, hippos, elephants, sloths, primates, pythons, and everything here. If you’re traveling with children, it’s a great spot to spend the day because it’s entertaining and instructive. Entry costs EUR 21. (18.25 EUR if you purchase them online).
See Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle finished in the first half of the 13th century, is in the city’s center. The castle served as the English administrative center in Ireland and was constructed as a barrier against future invasions. It burned down in 1673 and was reconstructed in Georgian fashion. Until Ireland became independent in 1922, the castle was the country’s administrative center. Currently, the structure is utilized for official meetings, state dinners, and inaugurations. While you are free to wander the grounds, it costs 8 EUR to take a self-guided tour of the State Apartments. For 12 EUR, you may also have a guided tour.
Tour the Jameson Distillery
One of Dublin’s original distilleries, Jameson, opened its doors in 1780. Although Jameson is no longer produced in the city (it is now made in Cork), its distillery is still open daily and sells the most Irish whiskey in the world. After the trip, you can learn about whiskey production and taste the finished product. Tour guides cost 25 euros. For 60 EUR, you may also enroll in a whiskey blending course.
Wander through Phoenix Park
The second-largest enclosed city park in all of Europe is this enormous park. The residences of the President of Ireland and the U.S. Ambassador cover over 1,800 acres (as well as wild deer that have been living here for centuries). The Dublin Zoo and a polo field are in the park, established in 1662. On a bright day, it’s the perfect location for a peaceful stroll or a leisurely picnic.
10 Must-Try Dublin Food & Drinks
Are you planning a trip to Ireland soon and curious about the local fare and beverage in Dublin? We are prepared to assist. Ireland is a nation with a vibrant past and present. The potato famine may be familiar to you if you have even a little knowledge of Irish history. However, let me reassure you that these eras are long gone, and Irish cuisine now includes a wide variety of meals other than just potato dishes. Irish cuisine is distinctive and delectable due to the various cultures and historical events that have inspired it. Stew, bacon and cabbage, and fish and chips are a few of the most well-known Irish foods. You should sample many foods and beverages in Dublin if you are visiting.
The Coddle is a dish that is considered to be a peasant specialty in Dublin. It was first created to utilize leftovers (which is how the best dishes in the world have been invented). Although there is no set recipe, it usually contains sausages, rashers, potatoes, onions, and herbs. This dish was traditionally prepared on Thursdays to use up all the excess beef from the previous week. As Catholics, the Irish were forbidden from eating meat on Friday. A frequent ingredient in Dublin Coddle is barley, which is also occasionally used. It is, as you are aware, the main ingredient in Guinness!
Guinness is the gold standard for Dublin’s well-known beverages! One of the most well-liked alcoholic beverages in the world and an Irish institution is Guinness. Arthur Guinness invented it for the first time in Dublin in 1759. Barley, hops, water, and yeast make the dark stout known as Guinness. The result is a dark, thick beer that tastes slightly bitter and has a malty flavor. Nowadays, Guinness is one of the most well-liked beers in the world and is sold in more than 150 nations.
It’s almost regarded as the national beverage of Ireland! In addition to drinking a pint of Guinness in Dublin, tourists should also visit the Guinness Brewery to enhance their experience. One of Dublin’s most well-known attractions is the Guinness Storehouse, which is situated near St. James Gate in the city’s center. Since Arthur Guinness signed the lease for this brewery, this location has a great history! He made the outrageous wager on signing a 9000-year lease at the time!
This bread-based sweet cake has raisins, and sultanas added. The word, frequently abbreviated to “brack,” derives from the Halloween Brack, which once held numerous articles. This dish is currently connected to Halloween. The bread usually contains a ring, and the recipient is seen as fortunate (like the “Galette des Rois” in France, for example).
A famous Irish dish called colcannon consists of mashed potatoes with either cabbage or kale. This fairly old dish is typically offered at Halloween. It was created in the 18th century, following the spread of potatoes throughout Europe, and is the ideal fusion of traditional and contemporary Ireland. It’s a straightforward dish, but it’s pretty good! If you are seeking Irish vegetarian food in Dublin, this is also a terrific choice! Not all Colcannon recipes are vegan because some chefs include milk or butter. If you want something to be vegan, make sure to ask the server before placing your order.
One of the most well-known foods from Dublin’s past is unquestionably soda bread. Baking soda is used as the leavening agent in soda bread, a type of fast bread. The recipes for this traditional bread have been handed down from parents to children for decades, and it has become a staple of the Irish culinary scene. It is available at practically every bakery in Dublin (and around Ireland). Smoked salmon pairs exceptionally well with brown soda bread. Similar to how the cream cheese smoked salmon bagel is to New York, the brown soda bread and smoked salmon combination is to Ireland.
Eating an Irish stew is the one activity you must do before leaving Dublin. The last item on our list, although certainly not the least, is this traditional Irish dish. It is prepared using a variety of leftovers, including lamb, potatoes, onions, and occasionally even Guinness! Even while the original recipe does not call for adding Guinness, if you want to truly experience Irish culture, we suggest giving it a shot! You can get beef and Guinness stew at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Because farmers used to keep their sheep until they died for their wool and milk, the mutton was less delicate and required more time to cook, leading to the creation of the stew.
Who says whiskey, says Ireland! And a few single malts need to be highlighted if you’re looking for classic Dublin beverages. Jameson is one of the most well-known whiskeys from Dublin. One of the most popular whiskeys in Dublin and Ireland is Jameson. John Jameson founded it in 1780 and is currently part of Pernod Ricard. Although the original distillery is still in Dublin, Midleton Distillery in Cork currently produces it. Even if you want to, you can go there! If you enjoy a fine whiskey, this is one of the most well-liked attractions in the city. Be careful to make reservations in advance if you plan to visit. Moreover, you can reserve a ticket, including the Jameson Distillery and the Guinness Storehouse.
A common potato cake in Ireland is called a boxty pancake. To be completely honest, it’s necessary to point out that boxties aren’t exactly from Dublin, but they are a staple of Irish cooking. Therefore, mentioning them is important since you can find them everywhere in Dublin! Moreover, boxty pancakes resemble potato cakes, which are more widely available internationally, including in Germany (Kroketten). In many cases, they come with a variety of toppings or fillings. They are frequently served fried with bacon or smoked salmon, for instance. These are typical peasant dishes, which is where the term originated. Boxty is derived from the Irish phrase “arán bocht t,” which translates to “poverty bread.”
Any description of traditional meals in Dublin must include The Entire Irish Breakfast. This filling meal should be familiar if you’ve previously traveled to England. Bacon, sausage, black and white pudding (reddish sausage), mushroom, tomato, fried eggs, and boxty pancakes make up a traditional Irish breakfast. You will very frequently also be handed some soda bread. It’s a terrific chance to sample a variety of Dublin’s most well-known cuisine at once! Additionally, a full Irish is excellent, filling, and reasonably priced. This indicates that it’s a beautiful supper if you’re on a tight budget. You can enjoy a full Irish in the morning and a light lunch.
Where to Stay in Dublin
There are many enjoyable, inexpensive hostels in Dublin. Here are some hotels I recommend:
- Abigails Hostel
- Jacobs Inn
- Abbey Court
- Abrahams Hostel
All these are available on Booking.com
Dublin Travel Cost
- Hostel Prices – Dorms with 8 to 10 beds start at 32 euros a night for a bed, while those with 4 beds cost 45 euros. On average, private rooms cost 100 EUR each night. Most hostels feature kitchens so you can prepare your meals, and free Wi-Fi is a given. If you’re traveling with a tent, you may find a basic plot outside the city for two people without power for about 15 EUR each night.
- Budget Hotel Prices – A two-star inexpensive hotel that starts at roughly 90 EUR. Free Wi-Fi and a simple complimentary breakfast are standard facilities. Private rooms on Airbnb http://www.airbnb.com at about 45 euros per night, although they typically cost between 80 and 120 euros. The cost of renting an entire house starts at about 75 EUR per night but generally is closer to 150–200 EUR (or more).
- Food – Ireland is a pretty “meat and potatoes” nation. The most popular seafood choices include cod, salmon, and oysters. Shepherd’s pie, black pudding, bacon and cabbage, fish and chips, and meat stews are also common. Pubs serve the heartiest fare with generous servings that will fill you up. A typical supper costs between 17 and 20 EUR. Expect to pay 40–50 EUR for a multi-course meal and a drink. Fast food (like McDonald’s) costs as little as 9.50 EUR for a combo meal. A medium pizza costs 10 EUR, while a significant meal of Chinese food costs between 10 and 13 EUR. You may have fish and chips for as cheap as 6 EUR. A latte or cappuccino costs $3.60, while a beer costs about 6 EUR. Water in bottles costs 1.70 EUR. For oysters and ramen, visit Klaw in Temple Bar. Eat at Hatch and Sons and The Pig’s Ear as well. You should budget 45–65 EUR a week for groceries that include necessities like pasta, rice, fruit, and meat or fish if you plan to cook your meals.
The city card for visiting Dublin
The most affordable way to fully enjoy Dublin is with the Dublin Pass. With free access to 25 museums and attractions like the Guinness Storehouse, Old Jameson Distillery, National Wax Museum, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, this City Pass streamlines your trip to the city. Children will love Dublin Zoo and Dublin Aqua Zone as attractions. Fast Track admission also saves a ton of time and trouble! A 24-hour free ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus is the ideal way to visit Dublin’s Attractions comfortably. Also, your Card offers savings at various Dublin restaurants, shopping, and activities.
The Dublin Pass does not include public transportation. This is not a disadvantage because Dublin’s downtown is small, and most attractions are close to one another. However, a 24-hour free ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus, a great way to visit Dublin’s sights in comfort, is included with your Pass.
Free Travel Guide and City Map
In addition to an 80-page travel guide with information on Dublin’s sites, attractions, and museums, your Card includes a convenient city map.
25 museums and attractions are free to enter with your Card, and you can also get discounts at other museums, shops, theaters, and day trips.
How does the Dublin Pass work?
Visit this page to purchase it online. Your City Pass can be picked up at one of the Explore Ireland (the Dublin Tourist Centre) kiosks at Dublin Airport’s terminals 1 or 2 or in Suffolk Street in the city’s center when you receive a confirmation email.
Backpacking Dublin Suggested Budget
When traveling on a daily budget of 70 EUR, you can stay in a hostel dorm, prepare your food, and drink sparingly, use public transportation to get around and participate in cost-free and inexpensive activities like free walking tours and trips to the Gaol. If you intend to drink, increase your daily spending by 5 to 15 euros.
A mid-range daily budget of 150 EUR allows you to stay in a private hostel room or Airbnb, eat some meals out at inexpensive, fast food restaurants, indulge in a few drinks, occasionally take a taxi, and participate in more expensive activities like touring Trinity College or going to the Cliffs of Moher. You can stay in a hotel, eat out anywhere, drink more, rent a car for day trips, and do as many tours and excursions as you like on a “luxury” budget of at least 285 EUR per day. Yet, for luxury, this is merely the ground floor. There are no boundaries!
Tourists should surely travel to Dublin. Although it might be pricey, and the weather can be unreliable sometimes, if you’re ready to overlook those drawbacks, you’ll be treated to an experience unique to Europe.
Is Dublin worth traveling to?
While many visitors search for the rural allure seen in various locations throughout Ireland, Dublin undoubtedly has its flair and allure. This city is full of fun things to do, has many fantastic restaurants and bars, and is a terrific home base for day travel nationwide.
How many days do you need to see Dublin?
The ideal amount of time to experience Dublin’s sites, culture, churches, and castles is in three days. Also, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the ambiance and visit the city’s renowned pubs and bars.
Is Dublin or London better to visit?
You can fill your time with a variety of activities in both London and Dublin. Due to the greater number of attractions in London than in Dublin, most visitors prefer to stay longer. A journey to London should be between two and seven days, and a vacation to Dublin should last between two and five days.
Is Dublin a walkable city?
The city of Dublin is walkable. It is nice, flat, and little. It’s an ancient city designed to resemble a medieval settlement where the only ways of transportation were on foot or by horse-drawn carriage. Even with Luas, walking is still the easiest way to get around.
What are the best months to visit Dublin?
Dublin is at its best from June through August when the weather is nice (for Ireland, at least) and street festivals are in full swing. With exorbitant hotel rates and airfare, this is also the most expensive time. Also, it’s the busiest time of year.
Why is Dublin so popular?
Dublin is recognized for its exciting environment and nightlife. There are numerous places where conference attendees can experience a traditional Irish music session and the Irish pub ambiance, in addition to Temple Bar, a popular destination for tourists who want to experience Dublin’s nightlife.
Can you see the northern lights in Ireland?
Your Guide to Viewing Ireland’s Sky Above the Northern Lights in 2023 Sing. Ireland is an excellent place to watch the Northern Lights. The guide below will give you all the information you need to see them for yourself.
Is Dublin like London?
Just decide whether you’d rather be in bustling London or cozy Dublin. Both cities have a similar temperature, and you’ll appreciate the pub scene in both Dublin and London in addition to the friendliness of their residents.
Is Ireland cheap for tourists?
Traveling to Ireland is reasonably priced. Touring Ireland for as low as 50 euros per day is feasible if you can use public transportation, stay in hostels, and prepare your meals.
What currency is used in Ireland?