Public transportation has improved massively over the last few years, but it is still worse than in other European cities. This is more of a problem for the commuter than the visitor to Dublin, however, as the city centre is easy to get around on foot.
The Luas (a tram/light-rail system) runs frequently and reliably, and is handy for getting around the city centre. There are two lines – red (running from Connolly railway station and the Point Theatre to the suburb of Tallaght) and green (running from St. Stephen’s Green to Bride’s Glen in Cherrywood). The lines do not connect. The distance between Abbey Street on the red line and St Stephen’s Green, the start of the green line, is about a 15 min walk. Construction work which will extend the green line and will connect the two lines began in June 2013 and is currently ongoing. Tickets can be bought on the platforms at the machines and do not need to be validated. The fare structure is based on zones, with rides within the central zone costing €1.50. A large amount of further expansion of this network is expected within the next decade.
The DART suburban rail service runs along the coast between Greystones in the south and Howth and Malahide in the north. Tickets can be bought in the stations, from a window or a machine. There are four other suburban rail lines servicing areas around Dublin:, three of these lines operate from Connolly Station, the other from Heuston Station.
An extensive bus service operated by the state-controlled Dublin Bus serves the city and its suburbs, right out to the very outer suburbs. There are around 200 bus routes in Dublin. However, the route numbering system is highly confusing, with numbers having been issued non-sequentially, with suffix letters and alternate destinations. The bus will display its final destination on the front of the bus, but there are no announcements for intermediate stops; therefore, obtaining a route map from Dublin Bus is essential. Here are some pointers about using the bus services:
- Dublin Bus accepts coin fares only (no notes) for the vast majority of its routes (the exceptions being the Airlink 747 and Dublin Port ferry connection). Many newsagents and the Dublin Bus Office (59 O’Connell Street, to the right of General Post Office) sell 10-trip and one-day, three-day and five-day bus passes that offer a good value and much convenience (so there will be no need to make sure you have the right amount of change).
- Bus fares can be paid directly to the driver, just tell him your destination. If you do not have exact change, you will get an extra change receipt along with your ticket, which you can exchange back at the main bus office at 59 Upper O’Connell Street.
- Most city buses leave from or run through the O’Connell Street area (including Mountjoy and Parnell Squares, Eden Quay and Fleet Street) and the Trinity College area (including Pearse Street, Nassau Street, Dame Street and College Green).
- Daytime buses run from around 05:00 to 23:30, on weekends there are also 18 late-night routes (known as the Nitelink service), suffixed by an N, that run from midnight until around 04:00. The Nitelink fare is €6.50 (€5 with Leap Card).
- The Xpresso is a special service designed to allow for faster and more efficient bus travel for daily commuters during both morning and evening rush hour traffic. Xpresso routes are more direct than many other bus routes, offering passengers a quicker service. These routes also have fewer stops and therefore reduce journey times between destinations. There are 13 of these routes in operation. The numbers on the front of a bus are suffixed with an ‘X’. A minimum flat fare (varies based on distance travelled) is charged on these services so they are usually more expensive than a non-Xpresso, bus that may be travelling along the same route.
- There is a ferry port link operated by Dublin Bus from Dublin Port to Busaras (Central Bus Station). The fare from Dublin Port to Busaras is about €3.50.
- It should be noted that, while there is effectively no queuing system at bus stops, those paying with cash generally enter to the left of the doors, and those using card tickets enter to the right. Your position in a perceived queue for a bus may be effectively irrelevant once it arrives. If you have a prepaid ticket, avoid queuing: just get onto the bus on the right hand side of the front door.
- If you see An Lár written as the destination on a bus, it means that it is going to the city centre.
- Times displayed on timetables either at stops or elsewhere do not indicate the time the bus is expected to pass that stop; they are the times the bus departs from its terminus either in the city centre or at the other end. This is mainly due to the fact that Dublin’s roads are exceptionally overcrowded, making it very difficult to predict the actual time. Real time information on bus arrivals is available on the Dublin Bus website and as an App, many bus stops also have electronic count down screens illustrating when the next buses will arrive, although this information is not always fully accurate.
Recently introduced, Leap Card is a rechargeable E-purse card that can be used across Dublin Bus services, Luas and DART/Commuter rail lines within the city metropolitan area. Leap cards can be purchased in some outlets in both terminals of Dublin Airport, and at retail outlets within the city area displaying “Leap Card” adverts. The card costs €10 to purchase and comes with €5 credit and a €5 reserve credit. The card can be topped up at retail outlets, Luas ticket machines and shortly at DART/commuter rail station ticket machines. The card can also be managed online with balance retrieval and top up at the Leap Card website. The card should be tagged on and tagged off at Luas stop validator poles, and when enetering rail stationd through the turnstiles. On buses, either present the card to the reader on the drivers machine and state your destination (the driver will deduct the correct fare from the card) or present the card to the reader on the right hand side of the door (a flat maximum fare of €2.60 will be deducted). You do not need to tag off when leaving the bus. The Leap Card fares are not integrated across different modes of public transport at the current time of writing, so no capping or rebate is applied for multiple uses of the card. Fare are however on average 10-18% cheaper paying with a Leap card than paying with cash.
Hiring a bicycle is a handy way to get around if you want to get outside the very centre of the city and are comfortable cycling in traffic. That being said, the city is not very bicycle-friendly, either in terms of quantity & quality of bike paths, pedestrians and drivers honouring the bike paths, road space available where there is no bike path (i.e. numerous narrow roads), or driver attitudes in general.
There are bikes to hire in several locations around the city centre with the Dublinbikes scheme, there is also a bike hire place located at the entrance to the Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. When cycling in the Phoenix Park, note that while there is a dedicated cycle lane on both sides of the main thoroughfare unfortunately pedestrians also use these. When cycling in the city centre, be aware that cycle lanes, where they exist, are generally shared with buses, taxis, motorcycles, and parked automobiles; cyclists should pay particular attention when approaching bus stops where a bus is pulling out.
Motorbikes are not allowed to use the cycle lanes, but many still do so. Passing on the left is also allowed only in limited circumstances but is in fact still common.
Driving in Dublin is not to be recommended for much of the day, particularly in the city centre. Traffic can be heavy and there is an extensive one-way system, which some say is explicitly designed to make it very difficult for cars to enter the city centre. There are a large number of bus lanes (only buses, taxis and pedal cycles are permitted – others are promptly fined. It is often legal to drive in bus lanes at certain off-peak times; these times and days are clearly signed. If you absolutely must travel into the city by car (perhaps to load or you have a disability), it is advisable to do research on your required route (using GPS or even Google Maps) and to seek suitable parking in advance.
It can be difficult to find parking other than in multi-storey car parks. On-street parking for short periods is allowed at parking meters, but beware of over-staying your time or you will be “clamped” by the clamping companies who patrol frequently – clamp release fees vary from €70-150 per 24 hours.
A system of two ring roads around the city has been introduced in recent years, with colour coded signage in purple and blue (see the orbital route map. The M50 is Dublin’s motorway, it connects to the M1 (to the north of Ireland and Belfast) near Dublin airport and to the M11 (servicing Wicklow, Wexford and the South) south of the city and to other motorways and national roads along its “C-shaped” route. It has recently been upgraded so is less congested, and is well signposted.
However, crossing the river using the M50 entails crossing the Westlink bridge. This is a toll bridge with the amount of the toll varying depending on the type of vehicle and how it is paid. It is important to note that the toll cannot be paid at booths while crossing the bridge but must be paid by internet or phone (or using electronic passes in the vehicle), or in certain shops. The vehicle passes through the toll gate without being stopped but the registration plate is photographed automatically. The toll must be paid by 20:00 the following day.
After this deadline, the longer the toll remains unpaid the higher the fees involved. For foreign registered vehicles, this currently presents no problem as the Irish vehicle registration base does not have access to foreign ownership details, but for Irish registered vehicles, including rental cars, any fees due, including penalties for late payment, may well be reclaimed through the rental company and subsequently from the credit card of the person hiring the car.
Outside of the city centre, parking is generally not an issue, and ample free parking can be found outside of the M50 (and in certain areas within the M50 ring road).
Taxis were de-regulated in 2001 leading to a massive oversupply with Dublin now boasting more taxis than New York. This is bad news for taxi drivers but good news for tourists, as taxis are now extremely easy to come by. They may be ordered by telephone, at ranks, or just on the street. Point-to-point trips in the city centre should cost between €6 and €10: many taxi drivers will also offer a set fare if asked. There is a national standardised rate for all taxis. The ‘Hailo’ smartphone app for taxis is used in Dublin.
In the summer peak season, Dublin’s top attractions can get packed. Show up early to beat the crowds.
- Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, ☎ +353 1 407-0750 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +353 1 407-0760). Sa 11:00-17:00, Su 13:-17:00, M-F 10:00-17:00 (Closed Mondays from Oct-Apr). Contains a wide selection of early books and manuscripts, including sacred texts and manuscripts. European Museum of the Year 2002. Free entrance.
- Christ Church Cathedral, Christ Church Pl, Dublin 2, ☎ +353 1 677-8099 (email@example.com). Jun-Aug 21:00-18:00, Sep-May 09:45-17:00 or 18:00. Dating back to the 11th century, is the oldest building in Dublin, though it underwent a massive restoration in the 19th century. Particularly interesting is the crypt, which pre-dates the cathedral. €6, students €4, children with parent: free.
- St Patrick’s Cathedral. Founded in 1191, it is the largest church in Ireland. Price: students €4.50
- Dublin Castle, 2 Palace St, Dublin 2, ☎ +353 1 677 -7129 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +353 679-7831). M-Sa 10:00-16:45, Su & Bank Holidays 14:00-16:45. Closed 24-28 and 31 Dec, 1 Jan and Good Friday. Former seat of British rule in Ireland. Guided Tour Prices €4.50, students €3.50, children €2, alternative Tour of Chapel Royal & Undercroft €3.50.
- Dublin Writers Museum, 18 Parnell Sq, Dublin 1, ☎ 353 1 872-2077. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, open until 6PM Jun-Aug. Su and holidays 11AM-5PM. Located in an 18th century house, the museum is dedicated to Irish literature and the lives of individual Irish writers such as Shaw, Joyce, Yeats & Pearse. €7.25, children €4.55, family tickets €21.
- Dublin Zoo, Welington/Zoo Rd, Dublin 8, ☎ 353 1 4748900. M-Sa 9:30AM-4PM in winter and 6:00PM in summer. Located in Phoenix Park and dating to 1830, the Dublin Zoo is the largest in Ireland, and notable for its role in wildlife conservation efforts. €15, students €12.50, Senior Citizens €12, children €10.50, family from €43.50 for 4 to €52 for 6.
- Dublinia & the Viking World, St. Michael’s Hill, Christchurch, Dublin 2, ☎ +353 1 679 4611 (email@example.com). Mar-Sep 10AM-5PM, Oct-Feb 10AM-4:15PM. A heritage centre located in central Dublin, at the heart of the medieval city. The exhibitions at Dublinia explore life as it was in the medieval city and the world of the Vikings. Discounted admission to the Christ Church Cathedral available. €6.25, children €3.75, student €5.25..
- General Post Office (GPO), O’Connell St Lower, Dublin 1 (All transport to Dublin City Centre), ☎ 017057000. The General Post Office (GPO) is one of Ireland’s most iconic buildings. For almost 200 years it has been the headquarters of the Post Office in Ireland. It was designed by Francis Johnston in Neo Classical style and took four years to build from 1814-1818. In 1916 it was taken over by Irish Rebels led by P.H. Pearse. During the Easter Rising, The interior was completely destroyed. Amazingly, the beautiful exterior managed to survive the shelling from General Maxwell’s forces and fires caused. In 1925 it was decided by the Irish Government that the building be restored and it reopen in 1929. The GPO is still a working post office and is home to the An Post Museum, which houses an original copy of The Proclamation. Free entrance.
- An Post Museum, GPO, O’Connell Street Lower, ☎ 017057000. Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm, Sat 10am – 4pm. Offers a unique and engaging insight into the history of one of the Irish Post Office, with displays on stamps, mail boats and the role of GPO staff on Easter Monday 1916. The audio visuals and interactive displays allow visitors to choose subjects of particular interest as they explore aspects of the Irish Post Office story. €2.
- Glasnevin Cemetery, Finglas Rd, Dublin 11 (Buses 9, 13 or 40 from O’Connell St or 40a/40d from Parnell St), ☎ +353 1 8301133. Tours (Daily Mar-Sep) (W and F Oct-Feb) at 2:30PM. Situated just two miles from the city centre, Glasnevin Cemetery is currently running a series of walking tours. These tours give a valuable insight into the final resting place of the men and women who have helped shape Ireland’s past and present. The walking tour last one and a half hours and visits the graves of Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Eamonn De Valera and many other graves of architectural and cultural interest. €5, U12 go free.
- Green on Red Gallery, 26-28 Lombard Street East, Dublin 2 (Exiting Pearse rail station and turn right. Cross Pearse Street and it will be on the left opposite Lombard bar.), ☎ +353 1 671 3414 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tu-F 10:00 – 18:00, Sa 13:00 – 16:00, Su Closed, M by appointment. The Green On Red Gallery is one of Ireland’s most dynamic and exciting galleries. Representing some of the best contemporary work on the market, both Irish and international. The programme is based on 10-11 solo exhibitions and 1-2 group or thematic exhibitions per year. Green On Red participates annually in international art fairs and the gallery’s artists regularly exhibit abroad in both private and public venues. Free entrance.
- Irish Museum of Modern Art, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, ☎ +353 1 6129900 (email@example.com, fax: +353 1 612 9999). Tu-Sa 10AM-5:30PM (opens 10:30AM on W), noon-5:30PM on Su and Bank Holidays. Closed on M. Summer Late Opening until 8PM on Th from 5 Jun–18 Sep. Modern & contemporary art, formal gardens & cafe. Free entrance.
- Project Arts Centre, 39 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 (Look for the large blue building on East Essex Street, in the heart of Temple Bar), ☎ +353 1 881 9613 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Gallery and Box Office M-Sa 11:00-20:00 (excluding bank holidays). Located at the heart of artistic life in Dublin, Project Arts Centre has an extensive programme covering everything from visual arts to dance, music and theatre. There is plenty to fuel the imagination from an exciting year-round programme. It is home to two performance spaces and a gallery, Project Arts Centre also has a public foyer with free Wi-Fi, coffee, and a chair to rest your weary legs and plan your cultural adventures in the city. Entrance to exhibitions is free, tickets to performances vary.
- Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship Museum, The ship is at Custom House Quay (across from Jury’s Inn), ☎ +353 01 473 0111 (email@example.com). Tours daily 11AM, noon, 2PM, 3PM and 4PM. This ship is a smaller replica of the original Jeanie Johnston, which sailed between Tralee in Co. Kerry and North America between 1847 and 1855, transporting Irish emigrants during the Great Famine. The tour takes visitors below deck to learn about some of the people who sailed on the original Jeanie Johnston in the Famine years. €8.50, seniors/students €7.50, children €4.50, family €20.
- Kilmainham Gaol, Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, ☎ +353 1 4535984. Apr-Sep 9:30AM-6PM daily (last admission 5PM); Oct-Mar M-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM (last admission 4PM), Su 10AM-6PM (last admission 5PM). The prison where the rebels from the 1916 Easter Rising were executed. It is located slightly outside the city centre and can be reached by local bus (40, 79). Access is limited to guided tours, which leave every 30 minutes and are very interesting. It is well worth a visit if you are in any way interested in history. €6, senior and groups €4, children and students €2, family €14.
- Merrion Square Merrion Square is one of the largest squares in Dublin. It is filled with very green (of course) grassy areas and has three Georgian style houses. There is a large statue of the writer and dramatist Oscar Wilde. There are also two square marble columns that are covered in famous Wilde quotes. Merrion Square is a good place to escape some of the noise of Dublin and enjoy Oscar Wilde’s witty sense of humor.
- National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, ☎ +353 1 804 0300 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +353 1 836 0080). Nov-Jan 9AM-4:30PM and Feb-Oct 9AM-6PM daily. Free entrance.
- The National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West & Clare St, Dublin 2 (DART Pearse Station will get you to within five minutes from the Gallery.), ☎ +353 1 6615133 (email@example.com, fax: +353 1 6615372). M-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM (till 8:30PM on Th) and Su noon-5:30PM. Closed Good Friday and 24-26 Dec. National collection of Irish and European Art. Free entrance.
- National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare St, Dublin 2 (Buses 37/38/39 and variants, 46a, 140, 145 stop on Kildare St, or 5-10 minute walk from College Green/Grafton Street), ☎ +353 1 6777444 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +353 1 6777450). Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su 2PM-5PM, closed M, 25 Dec and Good Friday. Not to be missed for anyone interested in Irish history as this museum is the national repository for all all archaeological objects found in Ireland. The Prehistoric Ireland and Treasury exhibits are particularly exceptional. Free entrance.
- National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Benburb Streetm Dublin 7 (Luas Red line stop ‘Museum’ is right outside the entrance), ☎ +353 1 6777444 (email@example.com, fax: +353 1 6777450). Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su 2PM-5PM, closed M, 25 Dec and Good Friday. Decorative arts and historial artificats from the founding of the state and historical Irish civilisation, as well as special exhibits. Free entrance.
- National Museum of Ireland – Natural History, Merrion Square, Dublin 2 (10 minute walk from College Green/Grafton Street area, nearby buses 46a/145 stop on Nassau Street and 4/7/26/66/67 on Merrion Square), ☎ +353 1 6777444 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +353 1 6777450). Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su 2PM-5PM, closed M, 25 Dec and Good Friday. The “Dead Zoo” contains a comprehensive zoological collection stored and maintained in a manner unchanged since its establishment in Victorian times. Free entrance.
- Old Library at Trinity College & Book of Kells, College Green, Dublin 2 (Most bus routes, including tour buses, stop in the area of College Green/Trinity College), ☎ +353 1 896 2320 (email@example.com, fax: +353 1 896 2690). M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su (May-Sep) 9:30AM (noon Oct-Apr)-5:30PM. Closed 23 Dec-1 Jan. The gorgeously illustrated original manuscript of the Book of Kells is the main draw here, but the massive Long Hall of the Old library itself is equally if not even more impressive. €9, +€2 for optional guided tour. Students & seniors €8, children under 12 free. Family admission €18..
- Phoenix Park, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8 (10-15 minute walk to park entrance from Heuston station stop on Luas Red line, alternatively buses 25/26/66/67 stop on Parkgate Street, a 5 minute walk from the entrance), ☎ +353 1 677 0095 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +353 1 672 6454). The largest enclosed urban park in Europe. Includes a polo field and Dublin Zoo. The residences of the President of Ireland and the U.S. Ambassador are situated in the park, but are not open to the public. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the herd of wild fallow deer that inhabit the park! Free.
- Waterways Ireland Visitors Centre, Grand Canal Quay Dublin 2 (10 minutes on foot from O’Connell St. Bus numbers 1, 50, 77A, 151 stop close to the main entrance. By DART at Grand Canal station and by Luas at Spencer Dock across the Liffey), ☎ +353 1 677-7510. 10AM-6PM. Housed in an award winning architectural structure affectionately known as the box in docks situated in the waters of Grand Canal Dock. Informative displays on the waterways from the pre Christian period to its modern use, with child friendly interactives and environmental displays. €4, children €2, students/seniors €3.
- Little Museum of Dublin, 15 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, ☎ +353 1 661-1000. F-W 11:00-18:00, Th 1100-20:00. A non-profit museum documenting the social, cultural and political history of Dublin city, the collection, housed in a beautiful Georgian townhouse on St. Stephen’s Green, tells the story of the capital in the 20th century, with over 400 artifacts donated by Dubliners past and present! Free Guided Tours daily at 11, 1, 3 & 5 pm. €5 (€3 concession), family tickets €12.
Dublin has many fine suburbs. Some are easily navigated by foot from the city’s centre and are dotted with many upmarket delicatessens and boutiques. Examples include Donnybrook and Ballsbridge – the 46a bus goes through Donnybrook and the 4/7 buses through Ballsbridge, with several stops in the north and south city centre. Ballsbridge is Dublin’s embassy district and is home to some of Ireland’s most expensive roads including ‘Shrewsbury Road’, which is famous for being the sixth most expensive residential thoroughfare in the world and ‘Ailesbury Road’ which is equally as salubrious and home to the bulk of the capital’s embassies including Spain and Poland.
Ballsbridge is also home to The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) which promotes and develops agriculture, arts, industry and science in Ireland. It hosts many concerts and also showcases the annual Show Jumping Competition, a major entertainment event. You can approach Ballsbridge via ‘Herbert Park’, a pleasant public green park and fashionable road, opposite Donnybrook Village and vice-versa..
Dalkey and Killiney which lie on the southern most tip of Dublin are upmarket neighbourhoods and home to such celebrities as Bono, Maeve Binchy and Enya among others. A walk up Vico Road to take in the view is a must-do. Killiney Hill is beautiful, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Dublin Mountains. These areas are best approached by the DART, which runs along the coast and has three main stops in the city centre.
Blackrock or Dun Laoghaire, accessible by bus or DART, are also worth a visit.
Ranelagh and Dartry are also worth visiting- Ranelagh is small but affluent, accessible by the Luas Green line and has several critically acclaimed eateries.
Sandymount, a coastal suburb no more than 2 mi (3 km) south-east of the City Centre, is another quite affluent area with a tiny park and some restaurants. It is the birthplace of W.B. Yeats. The suburb and its strand appear prominently in James Joyce’s Ulysses. There is a wonderful walk from Sandymount across the north end of its beach to the South Bull Wall which reaches a finger well out into the Bay.
Be sure to go north of The Liffey also. Clontarf, Malahide, Skerries and Howth (all accesible by DART/commuter rail are all great places to spend an afternoon. Malahide has a beautiful Castle (including extra doors for the ghost)in a Park and is a nice little village with harbour, beach, estuary and lots of restaurants. You can also take a 20-30 minute walk along the coast up to Portmarnock beach (a 5 km long beach).
Howth is home to a handful of Irish celebrities including Gay Byrne and Dolores O’Riordan. Walking the cliff walk or climbing the Ben of Howth, a 561 ft (171 m) high hill on Howth Head, on a fine day is well worth your time. Although the water may be too cold to enjoy a swim, Howth has a small stretch of beach that has a beautiful view of mountains in the distance.
Dublin’s best beach is also to the north. Dollymount Strand and the adjoining bird sanctuary are highly recommended. It’s a great bike ride – there’s an excellent bike path from the city along by the sea, and may also be accessed walking from Clontarf Road DART station or bus route 130 from the city centre.
- Abbey Theatre, 26/27 Lower Abbey Street, ☎ +353 1 878 7222. Ireland’s national theatre. This is a particularly good venue for presentations of Irish plays. The Abbey also shows classic and contemporary theatre from around the world.
- Gaiety Theatre, South King Street, Dublin 2, ☎ +353 1 677 1717. The oldest continually operating theatre in Dublin hosts popular musical shows, opera, ballet, dance and drama. Admission prices vary..
- Guinness Storehouse, St James’s Gate, Dublin 8 (Buses 40/123, closest Luas Red line stop at James’s), ☎ +353 1 408 4800. Daily 9:30AM-5PM (open until 7PM in July & August). Closed Good Friday and Dec 24-26. Retells the story of Dublin’s most famous drink. The exhibition is interesting and is self-guided. The exhibition works its way upwards from the ground floor and culminates at the seventh floor Gravity Bar, which has great views over Dublin and forms the head of the giant pint of Guinness formed by the atrium. Price of entry includes a pint which can be redeemed at the gravity bar or at the education center where you learn the proper way to pour a glass of Guinness. Outside, tourists will encounter horse drawn carriages for hire. Beware as they charge €20 for the short walkable 2km (1 mi) ride back to the city centre. Adults €16,50 (10% discount for booking online), students and seniors €13, children 6-12 €5.
- Catch a hurling or Gaelic football game at the Croke Park Stadium, Jones Road, Dublin 3, the 82,500 seat, state-of-the-art stadium, Croke Park. These sports are uniquely Irish. Hurling is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest field sport, with the ball (called a sliotar) reaching speeds above 130 kph. Gaelic football can best be described as a combination of soccer and rugby.You may have difficulty getting tickets for the bigger matches. Tours of the GAA museum and the stadium are also available, including a chance to try your hand at the sports themselves.
- League of Ireland Football Watch a soccer match during the FAI League of Ireland season from March to November. Current league Champions Saint Patrick’s Athletic play in Richmond Park which is located in the suburb of Inchicore, a short distance from the city centre to the south west. Frequent bus routes 13 and 40 will drop you outside the stadium in about 10 minutes from O’Connell Street or College Green. Shamrock Rovers F.C. play in Tallaght Stadium which is located south west of the city centre located in Tallaght, on Whitestown Way, the stadium is easily accessible by public transport. The stadium is just a few minutes walk from the Red Luas line terminal at The Square Shopping Centre and numerous bus stops. Home matches take place on Friday nights at 7:45PM. Tickets cost: €15 (Adult), €7 (U-16′s/OAPs). Shelbourne F.C. play in Tolka Park in Drumcondra, Dublin 3. The stadium is a short distance North of the city centre and can be reached by public transport. Dozens of buses from the city centre stop a few hundred meters from Tolka Park and the Drumcondra Train Station is also located nearby. Tickets cost: €15 (Adult), €10 (Student/Children over 14), €7 (Children under 14/OAPs).
- Catch a Leinster Rugby game at the RDS Arena, located on Anglesea Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Occasional home games are played at Aviva Stadium, the replacement for Lansdowne Road that opened in May 2010. Leinster’s rugby union team as well as the other 3 provincial Irish sides play regularly during the winter and spring in international and domestic competitions. Provincial team players are paid full-time players as opposed to players of Gaelic games, who’s amateur ethos are a stated core value. Leinster, one of Europe’s strongest sides, won the European Cup in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and supplied many players for the Ireland national team. Domestically, they play in the Pro12, which includes teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Italy.
- Leopardstown Racecourse, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (From Dublin city centre, follow the N11 south, turn right into the R113 (Leopardstown Road), the racecourse will be on your left), ☎ +353 1 289 0500 (email@example.com, fax: +353 1 289 2634). Located in the southern suburb of Leopardstown/Foxrock, there are regular meetings throughout the year. There is a “Pay as you Play” golf course within the racecourse grounds, as well as bars, restaurants and a nightclub (Club 92). €12.55, with reductions for students and OAPs.
- Old Jameson Distillery, Bow Street Distillery, Smithfield, Dublin 7, ☎ +353 1 8072355. Daily 9:30AM-6PM. Last tour at 5:30. Closed Good Friday and Christmas holidays. This ex-distillery hasn’t produced whiskey in a while, and if you are expecting to see whiskey making, you will not find it here. However, there is a tour and recreation of the process, and whiskey tasting afterwards. The tour begins with a short, low-budget video dramatizing the distillery’s history and the Jameson brand. After the video, eight members of each tour group will be selected to participate in a sampling of Irish, American, and Scotch whiskies after the tour (everyone else gets one portion of Jameson). The tour starts after the video with the guide walking everyone through various exhibits which detail the process of whiskey-making. If you don’t know anything about whiskey, it is a very informative and interesting experience, even if you aren’t a a whiskey drinker. Serious whiskey connoissuers probably won’t find the experience particularly rewarding. Adult €12.50, students and seniors €10, families €25.
- Walking Tours. Dublin city is famous for its characters. A great way to experience and live the city is by learning about it from people who are characters themselves – Dublin Tour Guides. Tours can vary from 1-hour to 4-hour in length and include, as well as the standard sightseeing tour, tours on topics like the paranormal and ghosts, music and song, literature, historical, 1916 Rising, and even Irish mythology. There are various walking tour companies and freelance tour guides available in Dublin. Anyone interested in geeky history should try the Ingenious Dublin tours, that cover history of medicine, Irish inventions (yes, there are lots!), great Irish scientists (lots of those too). They have walking tours and self-guided MP3 tours.
- Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, ‘The Duke Pub’, 9 Duke Street, Dublin 2 (Just off Grafton Street). 2. This is the most ingenious crash course in Irish literature, history, architecture and pub bonhomie yet devised… It combines street theatre with the ‘craic’ that makes Dublin pubs the liveliest in Europe. It is a highly enjoyable evening that gives you the pleasant notion of replacing brain cells as you drown them. The tour is a kind of rough guide to the cultural, religious and political life of the city. Performances by professional actors are central to the experience, not forgetting a fun-filled quiz with prizes for the winners. Can be a bit formal at times but this one’s been going a long time and is well worth the experience for such an unusual tour. There’s just enough time to stop in each pub for a pint as well. €10-12.
- Conradh na Gaeilge, 6, Harcourt St.. An Irish language centre on Harcourt St, where you can hear Irish being spoken as a first language and also enjoy a beverage with friends.
- The Little Museum of Dublin, 15 St. Stephen’s Green. 9:30-5pm. The Little Museum of Dublin tells the story of Ireland’s capital city in the 20th Century.The social, cultural and political history of Dublin is chronicled in the Little Museum. There are simple artefacts that encourage contemplation of the past, alongside items related to famous visitors such as President John F Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich and Muhammad Ali. (Free Entrance on Wednesdays after 12pm) Adults:€6 Seniors:€5 Students (under 18):€4.
Dublin’s most famous shopping street is the pedestrianised Grafton Street, which runs between St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College. It has recently, along with its surroundings, been classified as an ‘Architectural Conservation Zone’. This will involve a re-establishment of the area’s rich historic charm and urban character. The best concentration of shoe shops is found on Grafton Street and the adjoining Wicklow Street.
Brown Thomas, Dublin’s most famous and expensive department store is on Grafton Street along with a wide range of clothing, jewelry, and photography shops, etc.
The Powerscourt Centre, just off Grafton Street, is one of Dublin’s most attractive shopping centres, set in a beautifully restored 18th century townhouse. Here, you will find clothes, cafes, galleries and Irish designer jewelers. You must check out the The Loft Market – it is a haven for Dublin Fashion. There is lots of up and coming young fashion designers and vintage clothing sellers such as Perk Up! Vintage, Lisa Shawgi Knitwear and MO MUSE to shop around. Beware the overpriced antique dealers, some of whom will drop a price by 50% after only the merest suggestion that you are willing to haggle (and it still may not be a bargain). For gifts, there is an engraving business based in the centre next to Bonsai Shop.
Leaving Powerscourt via the ornate steps on to South William Street, you will find yourself facing a small street called Castle Market, which leads to a covered red-brick shopping arcade known alternatively as the Market Arcade or the Georges Street Arcade. This area is worth a visit for vintage clothing, fabrics, unusual accessories, vinyl and club wear. It also features some small cafes.
- Nassau Street
Alongside the historic Trinity College you will find Nassau Street where there are many shops selling tourist-related items such as Waterford Crystal, Belleek Pottery, Aran sweaters, and other Irish craft items. Shops selling these items include House of Ireland and Kilkenny Design.
Dawson Street, parallel to Grafton Street, is home to the official residence of the lord mayor – the ‘mansion house’ as well as several upmarket clothes shops, restaurants and well stocked large bookshops including Hodges Figgis.
- O’Connell Street and Henry Street
There is also an extensive shopping area on the north side of the river, in Dublin 1, centred on O’Connell Street and Henry Street (Ireland’s busiest shopping street). Clery’s (O’Connell Street)(18 O’Connell Street) and Arnotts (12 Henry Street) are large department stores each with a long history. Two large shopping centres, the Jervis Shopping Centre (Jervis Street), and the Ilac Centre (Henry Street) are nearby. The latter also houses Dublin’s Central Public Library.
Just off Henry Street is Moore Street, which has a fruit, vegetable and fish market. It’s worth a stroll if you want to get a slice of life from the less genteel side of Dublin. For a more traditional Dublin shopping experience go to the Liberties area around Thomas street and check out the stalls on Meath street and the liberty market (off Meath Street) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. At the top of Henry Street on Parnell Street is Chapters, which has a massive selection of books at generally cheaper prices than other high street stores, as well as a large secondhand section. It is especially great for ‘coffee table’ style art books.
Be sure to visit Temple Bar’s Temple Bar Square and Meetinghouse Square on a Saturday morning or afternoon for the markets (Dublin 2), which sells all types of foods, from traditional fare to delicious baked goods. Both squares are also home to several very good restaurants. Meetinghouse Square, which lies only about 150 ft (50 m) west of Temple Bar Square, sells much finer fare and more exotic foods than Meetinghouse Square.
The Temple Bar area offers some alternative to shopping at the larger chain-stores. Small clothing boutiques, including the city centre’s only swap shop, are popping up all around the area (Temple Lane, Crow Street and Fownes Street) with an emphasis on vintage and unique original independent designer pieces. If you can’t make it to any of the markets at the weekend, the best can be found here during the week.
Casa Rebelde is a new and unique football supporters shop located on Crow Street in the heart of Temple Bar that stocks clothing from around the world for the fashion conscious football fan. Official website www.casarebelde.com/
Also, in Dublin 8, Cows Lane Fashion and Design Market, which is the largest designer market in Dublin, offers handmade one-off original designs. The market is open every Saturday from 10.00AM-5.30PM. Found outdoors on Cows Lane and indoors in the old Dublin’s Viking Adventure, this market is not to be missed.
- Outside Dublin
For those for whom it just would not be a holiday without hanging out at the mall, there are various shopping centres located around Dublin, including Blanchardstown Centre (Dublin 15) (39 and 70 bus routes), Liffey Valley (Dublin 22) (bus routes 25, 25A, 66, 66A, 67A,78, 78A, 210 and 239), and The Square, Tallaght, (Dublin 24, last stop on the red Luas). The largest shopping centre in Europe is the recently opened Dundrum Town Centre, which is served by the green Luas tramline from St. Stephen’s Green. In Dublin 14, it was awarded the title of best shopping mall in the World, 2006. Harvey Nichols, an upmarket British department store chain housing some of the world’s most exclusive designer names in fashion, accessories, beauty and food and is located in Dundrum Town Centre, just take the green luas line from St.Stephen’s green, in the Pembroke district.
Dublin is not cheap for general shopping, although visitors from outside the European Union can obtain a refund of VAT (sales tax: 23%) on many of their purchases. Just look for the refund sign and ask in the shop for details. Keep in mind that most stores will issue VAT refund vouchers only on the same day of purchase. More on VAT refund can be found on Irish eGovernment website.
Also, if you want to find thrifty nick nak shops, then Talbot street is a good start. Like any city, if you look hard enough and don’t get caught up in the glitz and glam when shopping, there are great bargains to be found.
There is fairly extensive duty-free shopping at Dublin Airport, at prices sometimes cheaper than the rest of the city.