For me, Dublin is a pretty underrated place in Europe. People don’t really visit that city because they focus on cities like Berlin, London, Paris or Amsterdam. Even when I moved there, not a lot of people were able to say “Oh, I’ve been there, you should do this or that”. So for everyone out there, who hasn’t been so far, let me tell you: It’s worth it. It might not have the beach like Barcelona or the cute French cafés like Paris or the great night life like Berlin but it does have a lot to offer.
Here are a few things you should know, for everyone who’s planning on visiting Dublin in the future.
#1 It’s a bit pricey
Well, this might not be the ideal first things to say, when trying to sell a city, but I think it is something everyone should know before they come over, because it obviously influences your trip and your plans.
Unfortunately, things aren’t really cheap in Dublin. Especially when it comes to alcohol and cigarettes, Ireland has tax issues that make the prices go pretty high. Pints (which is a bit over 500ml) of any beer or cider around the city are usually around €6. Glasses of wine are the same.
The same with food, I’d say for a dinner in a normal restaurant, you have to calculate around 15€-20€ (not including a massive amount of drinks). Tab water is always free, obviously, so you can save money there.
#2 Getting from A to B
I’m a big walker. No matter if I live in a city or am just visiting it, I always walk. Therefore I don’t make use of the public transportation in Dublin a lot. And if you are staying in the city center, you don’t really have to. Everything is in walking distance, and I’d say it wouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes walking to get to places.
If you want to go somewhere outside of the center you obviously have to take public transportations. There’s either Dublin Bus, which is a bit confusing (I still haven’t really figured out how to use the App for it) and not always on time, but I’m sure hotels or hostels are able to help you with that (or you just ask strangers. It’s always a way to get to know people as well!) or there’s the DART or the Luas, which are trains that run to places a bit outside of the center. The DART, for example, takes you all the way to Bray or the Wicklow Mountains and it’s not too expensive (around €4 one way).
#3 The variety of food is huge
For me, Dublin is a small London. It’s not as busy maybe, but it sure as hell has a lot of hip, cool places to eat or drink to offer. You can find a few of my favourite places in my category Hometown Favourites and I hope I’ll get to add a few more to the list before I leave. Or when I come back, who knows. Like already mentioned, be aware that it is a bit pricey at times, but I mean, you’re on holidays right? Treat yourself!
#4 It’s a great starting point for day trips
Like I’ve mentioned in a few blog posts before, Dublin is just the perfect place to stay for a while and just do day trips around Ireland to see the beautiful Irish nature. A few of the trips I took can be found in my Hometown Favourites category as well. On top of that, you can even take longer trips to the Giant’s Causeway or the Cliffs of Moher. There are plenty of tours that offer it, just ask in your hostel/hotel or look around the tourist information places around town.
#5 Always take an umbrella with you
Well, I feel like this is one of the most important lessons I had to learn: Never forget your umbrella at home. Even on days, you walk outside in sandals and a dress because the sky is blue and the sun is shining, rain could wait around the corner. So be prepared. Always.
#6 It’s a Vintage Heaven
Shopping is great in Dublin. But not only shopping in the commercial stores like H&M and Forever 21 is possible but also shopping for vintage treasures from all different decades.
I’m leaving you with a few of my favourites.
- The Harlequin: Located on Castle Market, it’s full of all kinds of treasures. The clothes are even marked with the decade they are from or at least they are inspired by!
- Tola Vintage: Tola Vintage is located close to Temple Bar Pub and it’s full of (pimped up) vintage clothes that are back in style.
- Nine Crows: It’s also located in Temple Bar and you can find your fair share of crop tops and jeans shorts there. It is a bit pricey, though.
- Dublin Vintage Factory: At this vintage store in Smithfield you shop and pay by kilo. 1 kilo of clothes is €20, just a few things, like hats or shawls, have fixed prices.
If you are looking for even cheaper second hand clothes, you can look around the charity shops you can find all over town. And your money even goes to a good cause!
#7 Irish love to drink
I guess that is something most people know. But I don’t think I knew what this actually meant until I lived here. So, if you meet a local and they ask you to go for a pint, you gotta know that it won’t just be one pint. Having one pint doesn’t seem to be a thing that works out in Ireland. Even if that really was the plan in the beginning. So bring time, money and don’t make plans early the next day!
I guess I could go on and on with that list because you learn new things about a city every day.
Here are a few more (fun)facts that don’t need a lot of explanation for you as a little addition to the list, though.
- The Liffey (which is the river that runs through Dublin) has high tide and low tide as well. This might not be new to people who live close to the ocean but for me it’s a new fact I didn’t know.
- O’Connell Bridge is wider than it is long and it is the widest bridge in Europe.
- If you look closely at the statue at the beginning of O’Connell Street you can find bullet holes from the 1916 fights.
- The Guiness Storehouse actually has a pool for everyone working there.
- Bars and Clubs close between 2 and 3. Only Coppers and Dicey’s have a license to stay open later because they are located in hotels.
- Being on time isn’t an Irish strength.
- “your man”, “having the craic” or “shifting someone” are legit ways of talking. Now you just gotta figure out what they mean.
But the most important fact about Dublin: It’s a beautiful city with wonderful people you shouldn’t miss!