LAST UPDATED: 5/5/23 – Dublin, Ireland Visitor Guide
Dublin is such an amazing city with an amazing history. With such an amazing and storied history, it may come as a surprise to you that Dublin actually has the youngest population in all of Europe.
In fact, over half of the population of Dublin is under the age of 25. With this youthful undercurrent, Dublin can be an exciting place to visit and explore. It is definitely one of my favorite destinations that I have visited.
Even though Dublin County is the country’s third smallest county in size, it hosts roughly a third of the country’s population, so like any other large city, there are crowds to deal with. It isn’t nearly as congested as New York City or London, both of which I have navigated with ease, so Dublin shouldn’t be too daunting (even for those who like to avoid crowds).
This Guide Has All You Need to Plan Your Trip to Dublin
In this Dublin, Ireland visitor guide, I am going to provide you with a wealth of information that you can use to make your visit to Dublin, Ireland a success. I will cover the best ways to get to Dublin and let you know when the best times of year are to plan a visit. I will provide you with some options for booking hotel accommodations and fill you in on my top list of things to see in the city.
This is important because you will want to make sure you book your accommodations near what you want to see to minimize your transportation expenses. Finally, I will provide you with some recommendations of my favorite restaurant and some popular tours that you can take advantage of while visiting.
If you are reading and you have some favorite spots in the city that I don’t cover, please be sure to leave us a comment in the comments section. I guarantee you that other readers will appreciate your feedback!
At a Glance
Before you start making any travel plans, you need to be sure you meet the country’s entrance requirements. This includes all of the passport, VISA, and immunization requirements for Ireland.
In addition, you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of what languages they speak in Ireland. This way, you can plan any translation needs you may have. Not only that, but you will need to know what currency they use in Ireland. Knowing this, you can plan to exchange currency before your trip if necessary.
I have included some of this key information in my Dublin Ireland visitor guide below for you to review as you start to make your travel plans.
|Passport requirements exist. See below for details.|
|Immunization recommendations are listed below.|
|The official languages in the Republic of Ireland are Irish and English.|
|The official currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro.|
When visiting Ireland, your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay in the country. You will also need to have at least one blank passport page in order to be processed into the country. Presently, you do not need to have a VISA if you are planning on staying in the Republic of Ireland for less than 90-days.
You will need to apply for a VISA if you are planning on staying in the country for longer than 90-days. Before you start making your travel plans, I would strongly suggest you review the passport requirements I have laid out in my Dublin, Ireland visitor guide below.
|PASSPORT VALIDITY:||For the duration of your stay in the Republic of Ireland.|
|BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:||1 Page Required.|
|TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:||Not required for stays of less than 90-days.|
|CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:||10,000 Euros or equivalent.|
|CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:||10,000 Euros or equivalent.|
Before you leave for your trip to Dublin, Ireland, you need to make sure you have all of the proper vaccinations. Not only to protect yourself but to protect others. If you have questions on what immunizations you will need and what to look out for when you go to get them, below are some general guidelines I can pass on to you from experience.
Travel Vaccination Advice
- Most specialized travel clinics will not accept insurance so you will have to pay for your travel consultation and immunizations and then request reimbursement from your insurance company later.
- Some immunizations aren’t accepted by every insurance company, so check with your insurance provider before getting your immunizations.
- Check with your regular doctor first, as often they can do a travel consultation for you and write you the necessary prescriptions for your immunizations, even if they aren’t able to give them to you. This way you can ensure that at least your travel consultant will be covered by your insurance up-front.
- Check with Walgreens or other drug stores that give flu shots to see if they have any of the immunization shots that you require before going to a specialized clinic that doesn’t accept insurance to get them. Walgreens can give you many of the immunizations necessary for international travel, and they accept insurance up-front.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website can be a great resource for answering any travel immunization questions that you have.
Ireland Vaccination Recommendations
You may be wondering what travel vaccinations you might need. In this case, you are in luck. I have compiled a list below of some of what you might expect your physician to recommend.
- Hepatitis A & B (if you haven’t had them).
- Tetanus (if you aren’t current).
- Transderm SCōP Patch (for motion sickness) or at minimum Dramamine pills if you get motion sickness easily and you plan on getting out on the water or doing adventure activities.
- Flu Shot
Outside of knowing the entry and immunization requirements, there is no pre-travel task more important than packing. Don’t worry, I am here to make sure you are packed and prepared for your trip. I have included links to my packing resources in my Dublin Ireland visitor guide below for you to review.
|10 Packing Tips That Every Traveler Should Follow|
|The Ultimate Travel Packing Check List|
|The Essential Carry-On Checklist|
How to Get to Dublin, Ireland
In case you aren’t familiar with where Ireland is geographically, it sits just West of England. The island is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which is where Dublin resides, an independent state, and Northern Ireland (which is part of the United Kingdom). Though they are divided politically, they all share an open border. This means you are free to travel from Ireland to Northern Ireland (or vice versa) during your stay.
The city of Dublin is located on the Eastern coast of the Republic of Ireland. It sits near the mouth of the river Liffey. To the South, Dublin is bordered by the Wicklow Mountains. These mountains are incredibly beautiful and worth a visit if you have the time.
Traveling to Dublin from Northern Ireland
If you are traveling to Dublin from Northern Ireland, you will come in on highway M1 from the North. A drive from Belfast, UK to Dublin, Ireland will take you roughly 2 hours. If you are coming from the city of Galway in the West, you will take highway M6 and then highway M4 to Dublin.
This drive is a bit longer but will still just take roughly 2.5 hours to complete. Even a drive from the city of Cork in the South (which has one of my favorite golf courses in the world) will only take you roughly 3 hours to drive.
In addition to renting a car to drive yourself (which is what we did when we visited Dublin), the city also offers a host of other transportation services. Between buses, trains, trams, and taxis, it isn’t too difficult to get around the city.
In the map I included in this Dublin, Ireland visitor guide below, I have put a box around the key tourism area for the city of Dublin. All of the top places to see that I cover in this visitor’s guide are located within this small geographic area.
I absolutely suggest that you get out of this area and explore if you have the time, but if you are limited in time then I would strongly suggest that you focus your time in this area of the city.
When I reviewed some recommendations for accommodations later in this guide, I tried to concentrate my recommendations in this area as well so that you can limit your transportation expenses.
When to Visit Dublin, Ireland
There isn’t a whole lot of variation in the weather in Dublin (the temperatures are typically very moderate and it rains a lot throughout the year), but you will want to know what to expect from a weather standpoint regardless.
It typically doesn’t get extremely cold in Dublin, even in the winters. During the winter months of December thru February, you can expect to see high temperatures in the upper 40’s and low temperatures that fall into the 30’s. Likewise, during the summer months it doesn’t typically get too hot. You can expect to see high temperatures in the upper 60’s and lower 70’s during the months of June thru August, with lows in the upper 40’s and lower 50’s.
It is no secret that Dublin gets an awful lot of rain each year. Throughout the year, Dublin sees rain between 10 and 13 days a month pretty consistently. The rainiest period of the year is likely between December and January, with the lowest rainfall typically between April and May. If you are trying to plan a lot of outdoor activities for your trip, you might want to shoot for those spring months.
Where to Stay in Dublin, Ireland
One of the most important decisions you can make when planning any trip is your choice in accommodations. Where you choose to stay can have a big impact on how easy it is for you to visit the places you want to visit and how much money you will spend on transportation.
In order to keep you close to the top attractions in Dublin, I have provided a number of different hostel and hotel recommendations that are all within the general vicinity of Dublin’s tourism center. Please see the map and hotel list in my Dublin, Ireland visitor guide below for more information on these recommendations.
The Top Things to See in Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is an amazing place with a lot of things to see and do. I have included some additional resources at the end of this visitor’s guide to help you get the most out of your visit. I have also listed my Top 10 Things to See in my Dublin, Ireland visitor guide below for you to review. All of these attractions must see, and all of these attractions are located within the tourism center of the city of Dublin.
|St. Patrick’s Cathedral|
|Chester Beatty Library|
|St. Stephen’s Green|
The Ha’Penny Bridge, which was originally named the Wellington Bridge and is now officially named the Liffey Bridge, is a unique and beautiful bridge over the River Liffey in downtown Dublin, Ireland. The bridge is made out of cast iron and its design sets it a part as one of the prettier foot bridges I have seen in my travels.
You may need to use the bridge if you are crossing from one side of the river Liffey to the other during your exploration of Dublin. However, even if you don’t need to cross the river, I would suggest stopping by to check out this wonderful bridge.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Built between 1191 and 1270, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is Ireland’s largest church, and may just be one of Europe’s most beautiful. It was built on the site of an earlier church, which stood on the grounds since the 5th Century, so there is a lot of history behind this church as well. In fact, Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, was dean of the church from 1713 to 1745 and is buried on the church grounds.
You will be enthralled with the beauty of this amazing church and its neo-gothic design when you tour. Being the only remaining building from medieval Ireland, touring the church really gives you a great sense of what Ireland was like at the time. If you visit, be sure you take a tour of the inside of the church as it is even prettier than the gorgeous exterior.
Located off Dame Street in downtown Dublin, the Dublin Castle is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The castle has stood on the grounds since the days of King John of Ireland, but most of what you see today only dates back to the 18th Century.
The Dublin Castle has served as the seat of the English, British, and the Republic of Ireland’s government over its history, but is now primarily used for state receptions and other ceremonies (such as the inauguration of each president of Ireland).
If you visit, make sure you take a tour inside the castle. It is mostly open to the public, except on occasions where it is being used for a state function. The Castle is also the home of the famous Chester Beatty Library, which I discuss in more detail below.
Temple Bar isn’t actually an establishment, although there is a Temple Bar Pub, which is famous in its own right and is pictured above. Temple Bar actually refers to an area of downtown Dublin, located on the South bank of the river Liffey, which serves as the unofficial cultural center of the city.
The area is home to some of the treasured cultural institutions of the city, such as the Photography Centre of the Dublin Institute of Photography, the National Photographic Archive, the Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, and the Irish Film Institute, among others.
The area has a great night life if you are looking for something to do at night and has some really great pubs (The Palace Bar, The Temple Bar Pub, Oliver St. John Gogarty’s, The Auld Dubliner, and Peadar Kearney’s) in the area. The Temple Bar Pub is arguably the most famous of them all and is a big attraction for tourists from around the world.
Trinity College (Book of Kells)
Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity College is the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin. It is widely considered to be the most prestigious and elite college in the Republic of Ireland.
Some notable graduates of this infamous college include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, and Bram Stoker (the author of Dracula). The campus of the university is beautiful and absolutely filled with history. You can get absolutely lost in marvel while touring its campus.
Housed within the beautiful library at Trinity College is the Book of Kells (also referred to as the Book of Columba), which is a Latin gospel book containing the four gospels of the New Testament.
It takes its name from the Abbey of Kells, which is where it was held for centuries before coming to the library at Trinity College. It is referred to by many as the most famous medieval manuscript in the world.
This amazing campus and its history, including the fascinating Book of Kells, make Trinity College one of the most-see destinations for anyone visiting Dublin. If you are planning a trip and would like a guided tour of the campus and to see the Book of Kells, you can arrange a tour with the university. I highly recommend it.
The Guiness Storehouse
Very few, if any, other beverages conjure up visions of Ireland more than Guinness beer. Over 10 million pints of this magic elixir are brewed in Dublin every day. EVERY DAY! For this reason, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is a huge tourist draw.
In fact, it is Ireland’s largest tourism draw. Stationed in the legendary St. James’s Gate Brewery, this has been the home of Guinness beer since all the way back in 1759. I can’t think of many other breweries or distilleries that are as famous.
This is such a cool place to tour. You can find out what goes into making Guinness beer so special, see the magic that happens behind the curtain, and browse thru the large souvenir shop for some keepsakes to take home. This is an absolute must for anyone visiting Dublin, whether you like beer or not.
Chester Beatty Library
Located within the Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library is a world renown library that holds over 20,000 rare manuscripts, rare book, paintings, and other historical artifacts. It was established in 1950 to house the collections of mining magnate and collector Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.
It has been located in the Dublin Castle since 2000 and was named the European Museum of the Year as recently as 2002. If you are into museums, this is a one-of-a-kind treasure worth exploring.
St. Stephen’s Green
If you get tired of the hustle-and-bustle of the city, a temporary escape can be found in St. Stephen’s Green in downtown Dublin. This beautiful city park is home to lots of walking paths, sculptures, an ornamental lake, and even a waterfall.
It’s a great place to take a stroll and escape the crowds of the city. Best of all, it is located adjacent to Grafton Street, which is Dublin’s main shopping thoroughfare. If you like beautiful parks, then a stop at St. Stephen’s Green will be worth your while.
Grafton Street is one of the busier streets in downtown Dublin for good reason. It is in what is considered one of the city’s main shopping districts (the other being Henry Street). The street runs from St. Stephen’s Green in the South to College Green in the North and includes many high-end stores and merchants. In fact, the street was the fifth most expensive shopping street in the world in 2008 and thirteenth most expensive as recently as 2016.
Jameson Whiskey is about as Irish as things come, and the Jameson name is as infamous a name in the world of whiskey as you are likely to find. Whether you are a whiskey connoisseur, or you are just interested in the history, a tour of the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street is a great experience that is more than worth your time.
The distillery offers three fully guided tours that are designed to meet your specific interests in touring the facility. The Bow St. Experience, The Whiskey Makers, and The Whiskey Shakers are all tours that center around story telling about and taste testing of Jameson whiskey. The distillery on Bow Street also offers classes on blending whiskey and making cocktails. This is the perfect tours for groups that are looking for something fun to do together.
Other Things to See in Dublin, Ireland
In addition to the top attractions that I have listed above, there are plenty of other things to see and do in the city of Dublin. Here are just a few of the other tourist sites in the city that I didn’t highlight in this guide.
- The Dublin Zoo
- The Aviva Stadium
- Port of Dublin
- The Spire of Dublin
- Christ Church Cathedral
- Phoenix Park
- The Wicklow Mountains
Elsewhere in Ireland
The city of Dublin is amazing, but it is far from the only thing you should see when visiting Ireland. For those who are planning to spend time outside of Dublin, you are in luck. I have included links to a number of my other visitor guides for some of the top Ireland tourist destinations for you to review in my Dublin, Ireland visitor guide below.
|The Ring of Kerry Guide|
|Blarney Castle Visitor Guide|
|Cahir Castle Visitor’s Guide|
Where to Eat in Dublin, Ireland
There are a lot of restaurants worth trying in Dublin, but nothing beats visiting one of the city’s local pubs for some good food and drink. The city has more than 600 licensed pubs, so there is no shortage of options to choose from. The oldest pub in the city, the Brazen Head, was established in 1198 AD as a coach house.
If you are looking for a good restaurant to visit during your stay in Dublin, I have provided a number of different recommendations for you. Please see my list of recommended restaurants at different price points in my Dublin, Ireland visitor guide below for more information.
|31 Lennox||Cafe, International, Veggie||$$-$$$|
|Balfes||Irish, European, Veggie||$$-$$$|
|FIRE Steakhouse and Bar||Steakhouse, Irish, European||$$$$|
|WILDE Restaurant||International, Fusion, Veggie||$$$$|
|SOLE Seafood and Grill||Irish, Seafood, European||$$$$|
Dublin, Ireland Tour Recommendations
If you are looking for some extra activities to fill out your visit to Dublin, there is no shortage of great tours and excursions to choose from. The following are just some of the many great options you have to choose from.
|Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours|
|Full Day Tours|
Dublin Ireland Photo Gallery
Dublin is such a fun city to capture in images. I thoroughly enjoyed taking photos and video in the city. Below are just some of the pictures that I was able to capture during my stay in Dublin.
If you would like to view some more of my top photos from this trip, as well as photos from some of my many other travel adventures, make sure you are following me on Instagram as well!