Hostelworld Guide for Dublin

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Birthplace to many of the world's most popular musicians, writers and singers, Dublin is the perfect city for a break at any time of the year and has something for everybody. If you are looking for culture there are a host of museums to visit, if the great outdoors are your thing then you can take pleasure in a stroll in one of the world's largest city centre parks, and if you enjoy letting your hair down you will love its legendary nightlife.






 

 

In this Guide...      

Useful Information
After Dark
Places to Eat
Top Attractions
Budget Tips
Where to Shop






 The Essentials


 Climate


Getting There

By plane: Dublin airport is about 6 miles north of the city centre. The easiest way to there from the airport is on the Aircoach which costs €7 one-way.

By train: If you travel to Dublin via train you will arrive in either Connolly Station or Heuston Station. Both are in the city centre.

By bus: Just 5 minutes walk from O'Connell St, Busáras is Dublin's main bus station. All long-distance and international buses end up here.

Getting Around

On foot: Dublin is a relatively flat city and getting around it on foot is easy. To get from O'Connell St to Grafton St takes ten minutes.

By bus: The main mode of public transport is bus. They cover all parts of the city.

By DART/Luas: Dublin is served by two light rail networks. The DART travels around Dublin Bay while the Luas connects both train stations. Its most useful stop for tourists is 'Museum' on the Red Line which is at the Museum of Decorative Arts and History.

 Dublin facts

Name: The name Dublin comes from the Irish 'Dubh Linn', which means 'black pool'. The official Irish name for Dublin is Baile Átha Cliath.

Location: Dublin city is located in the county of the same name on Ireland's east coast.

Population: Over 1.6 million people live in the Greater Dublin Area.

Area: The city of Dublin covers an area of around 114 square kilometres.


Dublin's coldest months are December and January when frost is regularly seen in the mornings. February is also quite cold, and it isn't until March when the milder days and nights arrive. Summers aren't extremely hot, although in more recent years temperatures have been steadily rising. While it may look sunny, it is advised to carry an umbrella with you as you never know when it might rain in Dublin. August is also quite warm and temperatures begin to drop in September, while October and November sees the temperature drop more before winter arrives again.

avg. temps

 Good to know...

Language: English
Currency: Euro
Electricity: 220 Volts AC/50Hz, 3-pin plug
Area Code: +353 (Ireland), 01 (Dublin)
Emergency Codes: Ambulance 112/999, Fire 112/999, Police 112/999
Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time
Central Post Office: GPO Arcade, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1
Main Tourist Office: Dublin Tourism Information Office, Suffolk Street, Dublin 2

Embassies

USA: +353 (0)1 668 8777
Canada: +353 (0)1 234 4000
Australia: +353 (0)1 664 5300
South Africa: +353 (0)1 661 5553
UK: +353 (0)1 205 3700
Germany: +353 (0)1 269 3011
Spain: +353 (0)1 269 1640
Italy: +353 (0)1 660 1744
New Zealand: +353 (0)1 660 4233*
France: +353 (0)1 277 5000

*Number is for General Consulate

 
Hostelworld Guide for Dublin www.hostelworld.com

 Cheap Eats


 After Dark


Zaytoon, 14/15 Parliament St, Temple Bar Zaytoon is a firm favourite with both tourists and locals who flock to enjoy their Persian specialities. You can choose from shish, steak or chicken kebabs and enjoy either on their lonesome or as part of a meal deal along with chips and a drink. Open daily from 12 noon-4am.

 The early bird catches the worm

Early bird specials, various locations You may think that eating out in a restaurant is beyond the budget of a backpacker, but thanks to 'early bird' specials, it isn't. You can avail of these specials between 5pm and 8pm (approximately) and, costing anything between €12 and €25, they are comprised of up to 4 courses.

Bia Bar, 28/30 Lower Stephens St Fancy a pizza? If so, don't go looking for a pizzeria. Instead, put all your effort into locating this bar near Grafton St. Why? Because they do a wide array of tasty pizzas and have an all-day special where you'll get two of these delicious pizzas at a pocket-friendly price. Open Mon-Wed 11am-11pm, Thurs-Sat 11am-2.30am, Sun 12 noon-11pm.

Burritos and Blues, 2 Wexford St Providing simple and tasty fillings, Burritos and Blues is the best burrito joint in town. Their 'Silver Bullet' is very popular and easy to see why at only €5.95. Monday to Thursday: 12pm-10pm.Friday to Saturday: 12pm-4am

Green 19, 19 Camden St Lower Offering a delicious array of dishes, Green 19 is a busy eatery boasting a fantastic menu, affordable prices and a great atmosphere. Some of the main courses for you to try out include an organic beef burger, collar of bacon, and potato gnocchi. Open daily from 12 noon-11pm.


Kehoe's, 9 South Anne St Since opening its doors to thirsty Dubliners back in 1803, Kehoe's is a Dublin institution. It's famous for being an old haunt of James Joyce as well as being one of the best places to sample a pint of Guinness. Thanks to a preservation order, it has retained its character over the years and doesn't look set to lose it any time soon. Open daily from 10.30am-12.30am.

The Cobblestone, 77 King st A little off the beaten track The Cobblestone stands out in the newly developed Smithfield area. Inside you will find local musicians playing traditional Irish music as locals sip pints. A real gem. Open daily from 11am-00.30am.

 Gay / Lesbian Dublin

There was a time when Dublin's gay scene was confined to one venue but over the last decade it has exploded, with a number of gay bars popping up all over the city. The George (89 South Great Georges St) is the city's oldest gay venue, while others include The Front Lounge (33 Parliament St) and Dragon (South Great Georges St).

Dakota, 9 South William St Dublin's South William Street offers one of the widest selections of bars in the city, but Dakota seems to draw a bigger crowd than any other. A good mix of some familiar tunes and a hip crowd guarantees this each weekend. Once inside, you'll realise that the décor can also entice, with its leather, half moon seats towards the front and wide open space at the back. Open daily from 12 noon-2am.

The Temple Bar, 47/48 Temple Bar As unashamedly touristy as it is, no visit to Dublin is complete without going for a pint in Temple Bar. So what better bar to visit than 'The Temple Bar' itself? Drop in here to immerse yourself in the atmosphere, chat to fellow tourists, listen to the 'diddley-ei' music coming from the folk band in the corner and enjoy a pint of the 'black stuff'. Open Sun-Wed 11am-1am, Thurs 11am-2am, Fri 11am-2.30am.

Rí-Rá, Dame Court Open six nights a week, Rí-Rá is another Dublin institution, this time with the city's clubbers. The Irish capital's most diverse club, it plays music from the last 4 decades on Saturdays, electro on Wednesdays, indie on Thursdays and more. Open Mon-Sat from 11.30pm-2.30am.


 Don't Miss


 Mark Your Calendar


Trinity College Dublin, College Green Founded in 1592, Trinity College is Ireland's oldest university and is located in the heart of the city centre. You can stroll around the grounds or visit its premier attraction, the Book of Kells, one of the oldest and most magnificently illustrated manuscripts in the world. Book of Kells open Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm, Sun 12 noon-4.30pm (Oct-Apr)/9.30am-4.30pm (May-Sept); admission €9.

 Are ye goin' for a pint?

Guinness Storehouse, St. James' Gate, Dublin 8 Ever wondered what goes into making Ireland's most famous export? If so, visit the Guinness Storehouse. It gives you an insight into the history, brewing process and marketing behind the 'black stuff'. The tour ends with a free pint of Guinness in the 'Gravity Bar' which boasts some of the best views in Dublin. Open daily from 9.30am-5pm (July and August until 7pm); admission €16.50 or €14.85 online.

Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch Place, Dublin 8 Dating back to the 11th century, Christchurch Cathedral is the city's most famous cathedral. Highlights include Strongbow's Tomb and the Crypt, one of the biggest of its kind in Ireland. Open Mon-Sat from 9.30am-6pm, Sun from 12.30pm-2.30pm; admission €6.

Dublinia & The Viking World, St Michael's Hill, Dublin 8 Opened in 1993, Dublinia is an exhibition that recreates what life was like during medieval times. Spread out over 4 floors, highlights include the Medieval Fayre with its medicine stall and the view from St Michael's Tower. Open daily from 10am-4.30pm/5pm; admission €7.50.

Glendalough Located just one hour south of Dublin in Co Wicklow, Glendalough is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Meaning 'Glen of the Two Lakes', the view at the upper lake is breathtaking. Visit www.hostelworld.com/tours for tour info.


February/March - Six Nations Rugby The annual Six Nations Rugby tournament is one of the year’s biggest sporting events and attracts thousands from the UK, France and Italy every year.

March - St Patrick's Festival Celebrating Ireland's patron saint, the St. Patrick's Festival is Dublin's biggest event and for 5 days there is one big street party in the city centre!

June - Bloomsday Every year on June 16th Dublin celebrates the life of Leopold Bloom, the central character of James Joyce's epic novel Ulysses.

June - Dublin LGBTQ Pride Festival Starting with a fabulous launch party, the centrepiece of this festival is the annual Pride Parade. Other events include street festivals, sports days and more.

June - Taste of Dublin Held in the Iveagh Gardens, this festival is a celebration of food and drink. Many of the city's top restaurants are represented here, while a number of world-famous chefs also appear.

July - Vodafone Comedy Festival The biggest names in Irish stand-up comedy, as well as many international comedians, gather in the unique setting of the Iveagh Gardens for a weekend of laughs.

August - Oxegen Festival Held over 2 days at Punchestown Racecourse in nearby Co. Kildare, Oxegen is Ireland's biggest music festival and sees more than 100 acts play to over 80,000 revellers.

September - GAA All-Ireland Finals Each September the whole of Ireland gets enthralled by Gaelic games as the country's best hurling and football teams battle it out for the Liam McCarthy and Sam Maguire cups.

October - Dublin City Marathon While the thoughts of running over 26 miles don't appeal to everyone, over 10,000 athletes take part in this annual race which passes through Dublin's streets.

December - Funderland Held in Dublin's RDS Arena, every year Funderland attracts thousands who wish to ride rollercoasters, walk through the House of Horrors and eat cotton candy!

 
Hostelworld Guide for Dublin www.hostelworld.com

 Neighbourhood Watch


 Retail Therapy


Ranelagh Just three short stops from Stephen's Green on the Green Luas Line, Ranelagh sees sleepy students and affluent families reside together in perfect harmony. Best visited in the latter half of the day, it boasts some of Dublin's best restaurants and pubs outside of the city centre.

 A quaint fishing village

Howth There aren't too many suburbs in Dublin that can claim to have a 'village', but Howth is certainly one of them. Located north of the River Liffey along the shores of Dublin Bay, you could spend half a day here walking over Howth Head, enjoying fish and chips on the pier, taking photos of the harbour, and enjoying a few drinks in its best known pub 'The Bloody Stream'.

Killiney If you're expecting to bump into Bono or The Edge as you stroll down Grafton St for the first time, you will be sorely disappointed. They're not known to saunter down there on a Saturday afternoon any more. However, jump on a DART bound for Killiney and you might just spot them. This is where they like to call home. Neighbouring Dalkey is also worth visiting.

Malahide Ask many people who live in Dublin what their favourite suburb is and many will answer Malahide. It boasts one of the city's few beaches, a marina decorated with an army of boats, and Malahide Castle, its premier attraction. It is also famously lively after dark, with a large selection of pubs to choose from. Incidentally, the northside's best-known nightclub, Tamangos, is in neighbouring Portmarnock.

Dun Laoghaire Dun Laoghaire is to the southside what Howth is to the northside. Another fishing village, it also has a pier that is popular with walkers and a harbour where you'll be able to take breathtaking photos, particularly at sunset.


Grafton Street Dublin's flagship shopping street is a tourist attraction in its own right and one of the best-known streets in Ireland. Maintaining a pleasant atmosphere both during the day and at night, it is home to branches of the world's best-known brands. It's also where you'll encounter Dublin's most exclusive department store, Brown Thomas.

Henry Street The northside's equivalent of Grafton Street, Henry Street isn't as costly as its southside counterpart. Its premier department store 'Arnotts' has been around for decades and is a Dublin institution. Henry St is also where you'll the find the beginning of Moore St, the spiritual home of Molly Malone, Dublin's most famous street trader.

Dublin's shopping centres Prefer to do all your shopping under the one roof? Then make your way to one of Dublin's three big shopping centres. These are Stephen's Green Shopping Centre at the top of Grafton St and the Jervis Centre and Ilac Centre, both off Henry St.

Temple Bar Along with obligatory shops specialising in kitsch like 'Kiss me quick I'm Irish' t-shirts, Dublin's tourist quarter also has some of the city's most eclectic shops selling everything from second-hand clothes to Celtic jewellery.

 Satisfy your quirkier side

Georges Street Arcade, Market Arcade, Georges StOpened in 1881 and housed in one of Dublin's most beautiful buildings, the Georges Street Arcade is home to some of the city's more alternative stores. Maharani specialises in Indian clothing, The Head Room sells nothing but hats, while Stokes Books deals in antique books. It even has its own fortune teller. Open daily from 9am-6.30pm (until 8pm Thurs).


 Budget Tips


 A Day in Dublin...


Visit Dublin Castle Dating back to the late 10th century, Dublin Castle is one of the city's most fascinating buildings. Originally a Danish Viking Fortress in the 930s, it was later strengthened by King John of England in 1204 for defence of the city against (ironically) Dubliners. Today you can walk around the grounds, relax in its gardens and visit 'The Chester Beatty Library', all for free.

Visit a national museum or gallery Dublin has five national museums and galleries, all of which have free entrance. These include the National Gallery on Merrion Square, the Museum of Natural History next door, the National Museum of Modern Art in the Royal Hospital, Kilmanham and the Museum of Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks.

Buy a combined ticket for Christchurch and Dublinia If you're planning on visiting either 'Dublinia' or Christchurch Cathedral, rather than buying separate tickets for both attractions, buy a combined ticket for €11 that will gain you entrance to both.

 Street crime?

Enjoy free entertainment on Grafton Street No matter what time of day or year it is, Grafton St is always full of free entertainment. Sometimes it's musicians aspiring to be the next best thing, other times it's string quartets entertaining passers by, while every now and then it's puppeteers and magicians trying to get a reaction from Dublin's shopaholics. Some are good, some are bad, but all are entertaining.

Chill out in Dublin's parks Dublin is full of parks to retreat to when you're looking to get away from it all. The best-known is St Stephen's Green at the top of Grafton St. Others worth checking out are the Iveagh Gardens off Harcourt St, and Merrion Square, just five minutes from Grafton St.


Begin your day at the impressive 'Spire' in the centre of O'Connell St. From here walk down Henry St, passing Moore St and its famous street traders.

From Henry St find Liffey St which leads to Dublin's famous Ha'penny Bridge (below). Cross it and explore Temple Bar, the city's tourist quarter.

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Once you've checked out the shops selling second-hand clothes and Claddagh rings, visit Munchies on South William St, the perfect pitstop for lunch in the city centre.

After lunch go for a stroll down Dublin's premier shopping strip, Grafton St. Listen to the buskers entertain passers by before wandering into St Stephen's Green.

Visit Dublin's number one tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse. Find out how the famous drink is made before enjoying a pint of the 'black stuff' in the Gravity Bar.

Upon your return to the city, walk through the grounds of Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university. Afterwards check out works by Irish masters in the National Gallery.

Take advantage of an 'early-bird' special. Restaurants all over the city offer them and they are great value.

Enjoy the 'craic' in one (or more) of Dublin's legendary pubs. Go for a pint in 'The Temple Bar' before moving on to one of the strips such as Camden St or South William St.

Finish the night off in one of Dublin's nightclubs or late bars. Whelan's on Camden St, Rí-Rá on Dame Court and D2 on Harcourt St are the city's most popular.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Dublin www.hostelworld.com