EXPLORE

The Travel Guide to Dublin

Good to Know
Safety:
A
Budget:
$$$
When to go:
Apr–Oct
Average Costs
Basic
Baller
Dinners
$10
$80+
Drinks
$6
$15+
Hotel
$100
$250+

Welcome to Dublin

The capital and largest city in Ireland, Dublin is the first introduction many people get to the country—and what an intro it is. With cobblestone streets, a pub on every corner, and the Liffey River running through it all, Dublin is a charmer. It’s the birthplace of Guinness, home to one of the most impressive libraries in the world, and the hub for the tech industry in Ireland. It’s a place where the traditions of Ireland are on full display, but there’s still plenty of modernity, too.

>> Before you go, read more about the history and culture that makes Dublin special.

Who’ll Love Dublin

History lovers, couples of all ages, families, merrymakers, anyone interested in learning about the science and heritage behind Ireland’s traditional suds and spirits 

How to Budget for a Trip to Dublin

Dublin is refreshingly budget-friendly. It's much less pricey than London, and marginally cheaper than Edinburgh. Plenty of beautiful hotels offer rooms at or below $150/night, while vacation rentals are typically a bit less expensive. The restaurant scene is less cutting-edge, too (Ireland isn’t exactly known for its cuisine, though Dublin does have some great spots), and $50-$70 is plenty for a full day of dining out.

Safety Considerations

Dublin is a safe city, with some exceptions. Crime rates are low (being mugged is extremely unlikely, for instance) and the city is widely regarded as a place that’s welcoming of all genders and orientations. But it’s also got a bit of a reputation for being intolerant of BIPOC. This isn’t universal, of course; traveling to Dublin can and should be an experience devoid of any hate speech or discrimination. Still, it isn’t unlikely to find oneself treated derogatorily due to racism. As for women, Dublin is generally safe, but instances of violence towards women do occur.

Weather in Dublin

Dublin has a maritime climate with mild temperatures all year round. From June through August daily highs average 65-68° F while in winter daily temperatures are around 46-51°. It can dip colder at night—into the high 30s—but snow accumulation is very rare. Instead, rain is common, with 10-13 days of rain each month. 

When to Visit Dublin

Summer is the most popular season for visitors and prices reflect that. If you’re worried about colder temperatures but don’t want to deal with peak season crowds, opt for spring or fall. Winter is low season but those who don’t mind bundling up or carrying an umbrella will enjoy far fewer crowds and much lower prices on accommodation. One major exception is in March during St. Patrick’s Day. 

Money Saving Tips

Avoid taxis. They can add up quickly, so get familiar with the local bus service. Or simply walk; Dublin is pretty compact and you can see most of it on foot. 

Order a half pint. If you’re not a big drinker but still want to experience some pub culture, order a half pint and save yourself a bit of cash. 

Find what’s free. There are over 40 museums in Dublin and many of them, including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery, and The National Museum of Ireland are free.

What to See, Do, and Eat in Dublin

The Top 10 Things to Do in Dublin

arched ceiling of Trinity College Library
  1. Stroll the ultra-cute Ha’penny Bridge, which opened in 1816
  2. Spend a sunny day at St. Stephen’s Green, a gorgeous park at the center of town
  3. Take a tour of the Guinness Factory at the Storehouse, or the Jameson Factory, or both
  4. Explore the now-shuttered Kilmainham Gaol prison, similar in appeal to Alcatraz in San Francisco
  5. Stroll the grounds of Dublin Castle, covering 11 acres; you can pop inside for a tour, or just admire the view
  6. Watch a the Dublin County Hurling Team play a match of the strange, enthralling game that’s something like a mix of lacrosse, soccer, and rugby
  7. Tie one on at The Temple Bar, a classic Irish pub
  8. Check out the Trinity College Library
  9. Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in the 12th century; it’s breathtaking and can be explored via guided tour or solo
  10. See Montpelier Hill and the infamous Hell Fire Club

The Local Picks for Top Attractions and Activities in Dublin

National Gallery of Ireland
  1. Pop over to People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire, a coastal Southside Dublin neighborhood, for one of many wonderful weekend markets; browse the stalls, soak up the atmosphere, and grab a bite at one of their inexpensive food stands
  2. Visit the National Gallery of Ireland, one of Dublin’s most beautiful buildings, which offers an extensive variety of free talks, public tours, and art documentary screenings every day of the week
  3. Test your pipes at the Bruxelles Bar, which hosts the hugely popular open mic night known as the Zodiac Sessions every Wednesday
  4. Take a picnic up to the Dublin Mountains for an epic outdoor adventure; add a flask of tea to do as the locals do
  5. Rent a bike at Phoenix Park and stop for ice cream along the way at one of multiple sweets spots
  6. Make your way over to the Stag’s Head, where there’s a free comedy night downstairs multiple nights throughout the week
  7. Browse the Little Museum of Dublin, situated in an 18th-century Georgian townhouse, and follow it up with a pint at Keogh’s on South Anne Street, best enjoyed on the sidewalk patio
  8. Check out Happenings, a unique event space, frequently hosting “Open Air Cinema” screenings in lovely outdoor settings throughout the warmer months 
  9. Rent a kayak from City Kayaking to traverse the River Liffey for an adventurous, accessible way to see the city
  10. Explore the Temple Bar Gallery & Studios for an alternative Irish cultural experience, featuring a mix of paintings, sculptures, photography, and installation art, plus loads of free, highly coveted events

What to Eat & Drink in Dublin

a pint glass of Guinness

The food scene in Dublin has traditionally been a bit of a sleepy one, with an emphasis on hearty, homestyle food, but that’s changing with a crop of new chefs turning out inventive dishes that use the best of Ireland’s homegrown produce and meats. Plus, trendier, more multicultural establishments are opening up with each passing year. As for drinks, the city loves its beer and you will, too.

  • Lucky’s on the vibrant Meath Street has a refreshingly youthful energy and a cafe-bar feel, well suited to afternoon meetups and late-night hijinks (don’t miss the beer garden, where you’ll find great pizzas, art fairs, DJ nights, and more)
  • Anseo is a Dublin favorite for hip craft beers from Ireland’s best breweries, plus great live music, dim lighting, and seats you’ll sink into
  • The Brazen Head—dating back to 1198—is the oldest pub in Ireland, boasting five fireplaces, live Irish music, and plenty of Guinness
  • Exchequer is an atmospheric wine bar in the heart of Ranelagh that offers over 35 wines by the glass and is also famed for its brunches, Irish craft beers, cocktails, and late-night vibes
  • Cafe Sofia is an old-school cafe on an increasingly hipster-fied street where you’ll find delicious, cheap fries and is the ideal cafe for a quiet midweek breakfast
  • Bujo is a burger joint that’s taking the city by storm, from juicy beef burgers to a great vegan option
  • Shouk has some of the best pita, hummus, and falafel you’ll find in Dublin that’s BYOB at night and is a great option for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike
  • Zakura is the best sushi spot in town, BYOB with a modest corkage fee, and a bustling and raucous place to dine

Where to Stay in Dublin

A solid hotel in Dublin close to the action will run you around $150 per night, while apartment rentals can be a bit cheaper, running $80-$100 per night for a cozy place for two people. Hostels are another plentiful option and some even have private rooms. 

Top Dublin Neighborhoods for Visitors

a busy street in Temple Bar

When it comes to picking a neck of the woods to rest your weary head, the city center is the obvious frontrunner in Dublin, favored for its convenience and ease of understanding (though the River Liffey does bisect the region, which can be a bit confusing). Within the city center, Temple Bar is the go-to for nightlife enthusiasts and the waterfront Docklands are great for a splurge-worthy hotel, but for the best local experience, Stoneybatter, considered one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city,  is the move.

Recommended Hotels in Dublin

  • Number 31 (~$155/night): Remodeled Georgian townhouse with contemporary rooms
  • The Clarence (~$164/night): Iconic 58-room hotel owned by U2’s Bono and The Edge
  • Dylan (~$180/night): Elegant rooms in a former Victorian nurse’s home
  • The Fitzwilliam Hotel (~$234/night): Luxe rooms on Grafton Street in the heart of downtown

Getting Around in Dublin

Public Transportation Options in Dublin

Moving about in Dublin is easy, thanks to the city’s system of buses, trains, and trams; it isn’t even necessary to rent a car if and when you decide to take a day trip, as the rail service (DART) offers routes out of the city. Of course, there’s always two-footed transit, which is a great way to fit in with the locals and acquaint yourself with the city while you’re at it. Lyft and Uber and available, and Dublin requires its ride-share drivers to be licensed taxi drivers as well. 

Dublin Airports

Dublin Airport (DUB) is the largest and busiest airport in Ireland. It’s just over four miles from central Dublin and the main hub for Aer Lingus and Ryanair. It’s a focus city for TUI Airways, Emerald Airlines, CityJet, and ASL Airlines Ireland.

How to Get to Dublin from Dublin Airport (DUB)

There are several bus companies that serve Dublin Airport. Travel times to Dublin’s city center are generally in the 20–40 minute range and ticket prices are €2-10. There isn’t a flat rate for taxi transportation from the airport into the city, but you can expect to pay €25-30 for a 20-minute trip. The cost of an Uber from the airport into the city usually starts at about €20.

Where Else to Go from Dublin

Day Trips from Dublin

Cliffs of Moher

Take a 50-minute rain ride out to Bull Island, where the gorgeous sandy beach is the perfect place to be on a summer day for swimming and fans of water sports.

Take a 40-minute train or bus ride out to Howth, home to the Howth Castle, Howth Market, a lovely cliff walk, and plenty of good pubs.

Rent a car to drive 2.5 hours west to see Kilmacduagh Abbey and the Cliffs of Moher.

Take a 2.5-hour train ride to Cork, a charming, laid-back riverside town that’s unofficially known as the “foodie capital of Ireland.” Consider combining Cork with a visit to the Rock of Cashel, an incredible Medieval castle.

Ride the rail 1.75 hours southwest of Dublin to Kilkenny, the so-called “marble city” that’s home to Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral, the Black Abbey, and the “Made in Kilkenny” craft trail.

Where to Else to Visit from Dublin

Take a road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way, an incredible scenic route that covers over 1,500 miles along the rugged coastline of Ireland’s west end.

Hop on a 1-hour flight to London to continue your UK adventures.

Check out Edinburgh and Glasgow, an hour away by plane, made all the better for the fact that round-trip tickets run about $65.

Rent a car and hop on the Holyhead-Dublin ferry to reach Snowdonia National Park, a gorgeous section of Wales full of hiking trails, impressive peaks, lakes, waterfalls, and the tallest mountain in Wales (Mount Snowdon), the summit of which can be reached via train.

Books and Movies Set in Dublin

Dublin has been home to many great writers, including James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. 

There’s even an annual event for passionate fans of James Joyce. Bloomsday happens each year on June 16—the date on which Joyce’s book, Ulysses, takes place—and is celebrated by people dressing up in costumes from the period and performing readings at different locations around the city. Ulysses can be a challenging read for those new to Joyce. A better place to start is with his 1914 collection of 15 short stories, Dubliners, which depicts middle-class life in the city at the time. 


Dublin makes a great movie backdrop and films with musical talent in particular feature in the list of Dublin movie highlights. Once, Sing Street, and The Commitments all tell the stories of struggling musicians in the city with a mix of humor, drama, and catchy tunes.

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