Dublin is an enchanting city, full of character, history, and lively from day to night. If you take one thing away from visiting Dublin, let it be that the Irish people are some of the kindest and most fun people to be around. You can expect a warm smile, the ability to drink a beer from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep without judgement, and people gathered in the streets at all hours throughout the day conversing amongst each other. And while Dublin can definitely be a party city, it still has so much to offer in terms of food, culture, and history.
A Complete Guide to Visiting Dublin
After reading through this post, you’ll notice a free guide to Dublin simply by signing up for my email list! This is a no fuss document, with all of the research I had done before visiting the city.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Ireland, don’t miss: How to Spend 2 Days in County Wicklow, Ireland
How to Get to Dublin
The main airport in Dublin is the Dublin Airport (DUB). The airport is located only 4 miles north of the city so it’s relatively quick to get into the city on arrival. You can grab a taxi which should be about €30 depending on where you’re going; or you can take the Dublin Express bus from the T1 terminal. Alternatively, if you want to book a private driver waiting for you upon arrival, you can do that here.
When searching for flights, I prefer to use Skyscanner to compare prices across multiple airlines. I would also suggest searching on AerLingus which is an Irish airline that tends to run a bit cheaper.
The Best Time to Visit Dublin
Ireland is known to be quite grey and rainy with mild temperatures throughout the year. If you’re hoping to catch the sunshine, your best bet would be to visit in the summer months of June-August; however this is also peak tourist season.
If you’re interested in James Joyce and his novel Ulysses, I would suggest visiting Ireland on June 16 to be apart of the Bloomsday celebrations. This is a fun time to be in Ireland because the city comes alive and you’ll be able to see locals walking around in old costumes celebrating Bloomsday.
Getting Around Dublin
Dublin is a very walkable city so it’s easy to explore on foot. If the weather is bad or you’re not up for walking you can also take the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART), or grab a taxi or Uber.
Where to Stay in Dublin
I would recommend staying in Central Dublin, south of the River Liffey. When I traveled to Dublin, I stayed at the Brooks Hotel and would highly recommend it. It’s in a perfect location to be able to explore Dublin on foot.
The Best Bars & Restaurants in Dublin
Dublin has an emerging restaurant scene with new, local restaurants popping up frequently. I was told that the pandemic made local restaurants become much more innovative, which created a blossoming restaurant scene. Now locals expect to go out to dinner and eat incredible food!
And of course, we all know that Dublin is a lively city with tons of Irish pubs. Below you’ll find my favorite places to eat and drink when visiting Dublin.
While there is no shortage of Irish pubs in Dublin, O’Donoghues Bar was one of my favorites! Here you’ll get a true taste of a traditional Irish pub as you listen to music, converse with locals, and drink Guinness.
If you want to go on an Irish pub crawl, book this tour!
SOPHIE’S ROOFTOP RESTAURANT
Located in the Dean Hotel, Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant is a swanky bar/restaurant with incredible food, and 360 degree views of Dublin. At night, the terrace turns into a fun place to grab drinks with a DJ playing on certain nights of the week.
THE BANK ON COLLEGE GREEN
If you’re looking for a fancy dinner, without compromising on taste, look no further than The Bank on College Green. Not only is the restaurant elegantly designed with incredible details, but there’s also a piano player throughout the day and night making you feel like you’ve been transported to another time.
THE PEPPER POT
The Pepper Pot was one of my very favorite restaurants in Dublin. Serving breakfast, lunch, and home-baked goods, The Pepper Pot is a small restaurant inside the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. From the bagels to the scones, everything is made in house and fresh. If you can only eat at one restaurant in Dublin, The Pepper Pot is it.
THE WINDING STAIR
This Irish restaurant overlooks the River Liffey and serves homemade Irish foods. Before visiting Ireland, I wasn’t even sure what to expect in terms of Irish food, but The Winding Stair showed me that delicious Irish food can certainly be found in Dublin.
EAT LIKE A LOCAL! BOOK A FOOD TOUR HERE.
The Best Things to See and Do in Dublin
Dublin is brimming with things to see and do! Below you’ll find my top recommendations for exploring Dublin.
BOOK A TOUR WITH FAB FOOD TRAILS
When I was in Dublin, I went on a “food & fashion” tour with Fab Food Trails and it has to be one of my favorite things that I did in the city. I’m not one to care about fashion, but Fab Food Trails introduced us to incredible Irish brands; I would highly recommend booking a tour with them!
DAY TRIP TO HOWTH
Taking the DART, you can arrive to the seaside town of Howth in just under an hour. It’s the perfect day trip from Dublin, allowing you to see the Irish coast and spend time in a quaint small town.
When you’re in Howth I suggest grabbing fish and chips at The Bloody Stream, going for a swim at Balscadden Bay Beach, and taking the Hikes and Pints Tour with Mark and Missy.
DAY TRIP TO SANDYCOVE
Another fun day trip to take from Dublin is to Sandycove to swim at Forty Foot. Even if it’s cold and raining, you will more than likely find locals enjoying a swim. You can also take the DART here in under an hour.
HAVE A PICNIC IN ST STEPHEN’S GREEN
St Stephen’s Green is one of Irelands oldest parks since 1664. Located in the central Dublin, this park is absolutely beautiful with ponds and walking trails. I highly suggest heading to Sheridans Cheesemongers to grab local cheese and meats, and then heading to St Stephen’s Green for a picnic.
Dublin has tons of stores selling local goods. If you want to take home a souvenir to remind you of your time in Ireland, I suggest checking out Cloon Keen, Irish Design Shop, MoMuse, and STABLE.
VISIT POWERSCOURT TOWNHOUSE CENTRE
Just steps way from Grafton Street, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre is a place to go for food and shopping. There are tons of local restaurants and homemade shops that you’ll find here. It’s the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon.
VISIT THE GUINNESS STOREHOUSE
Dublin is the birthplace of Guinness and there’s no better way to learn about the history and try a Guinness than by visiting the Guinness Storehouse. Aside from learning how Guinness is brewed, you’ll also get to go to a rooftop bar that overlooks Dublin while you taste your Guinness. I highly recommend visiting this brewery! And if you’re interested in also tasting Irish whiskey, book this tour where you’ll be able to skip the line at the Guinness storehouse as well as go on an Irish whiskey tasting.
Practical Tips/FYI About Visiting Dublin/Ireland
Below you’ll find practical tips about visiting Dublin and Ireland in general. These are always my “go-to” tips when traveling to a new country, and I figure that everything else can be learned along the way!
- Language: English
- Currency: Euro (€); everywhere I went accepted debit/credit, so you don’t need to get cash out (unless you want to). When paying with a card, always pay in the country’s currency (in this case €), to avoid fees.
- Visa: Americans traveling to Ireland do not need a visa (unless you’re planning to stay for over 90 days); Ireland is part of the EU but is not part of the Schengen Area so if you’re traveling from another EU country you will need to show your passport.
- When traveling abroad, I highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover your trip in case anything were to happen. I use and and recommend SafetyWing.
- You will need a converter in Ireland; I use this one
- In case of emergency, the number for police in Ireland is 112 or 999
For a more visual look at Dublin, and more ideas on what to see and do, make sure to check out my Instagram page/highlight reel and search “ppinireland” or look for my “Ireland” highlight
Visiting Dublin is such a fun experience and a great way to jump start travels throughout Ireland. I hope that you found this guide helpful, but if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!
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