Travel guide for Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a captivating city that offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and a charming atmosphere. With its rich heritage and diverse cultural scene, there is no shortage of attractions and activities to explore in Dublin.

From iconic landmarks like Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Trinity College with the famous Book of Kells, to vibrant neighborhoods such as Temple Bar and Grafton Street, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Dublin is also home to a thriving arts and music scene, with numerous theaters, galleries, and live music venues to discover.

Beyond the city limits, Dublin serves as a great base for exploring the surrounding areas. There are several interesting day trips you can take.

Whether you’re interested in history, literature, music, or simply immersing yourself in the friendly Irish culture, Dublin offers a wonderful array of experiences that will keep you engaged and entertained throughout your visit.

Arrival in Dublin: How to get from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center

Bus from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center

The most convenient and affordable way to travel from the airport to the city center is by bus. There are two bus services available: Aircoach and Dublin Express.

The Aircoach route (700) offers bus connections between Dublin Airport and Dublin City Center throughout the day.
Bus times: In the early and late hours, buses operate every half an hour, while during the morning till evening times, there are three buses per hour.
Tickets: A single ticket from Dublin Airport to the city center is priced at €8, while a return ticket costs €12. There are multiple options for purchasing your Aircoach ticket. You can approach any Aircoach staff member at the Aircoach departure stand located at Terminal 1, Zone 2, or Terminal 2, Zone 20. Alternatively, you can buy your ticket directly from the driver when boarding the coach. It is important to note that all payments are cashless, so make sure to have a valid payment method such as a credit card or contactless payment option. On-line tickets can be bought at the: Aircoach website.
Bus stop: The Aircoach stop at Terminal 1 (T1) can be found at Zone 2, just outside the main exit door on the arrivals level. To reach the stop, simply use the pedestrian crossing and you will find us on the left-hand side. For Terminal 2 (T2), the Aircoach pick-up stop for services to Dublin City is situated in Zone 20 outside the Terminal 2 building. Upon exiting the arrivals area, you can cross the glass walkway and turn left. From there, proceed down the escalator to reach the pick-up stop. For bus services arriving at Terminal 2, passengers will be dropped off just outside the entrance to the departures area.

Dublin Express:
The Dublin Expess route (782 & 784) offers bus connections between Dublin Airport and Dublin City Center throughout the day.
Bus times: In the early and late hours, buses operate every half an hour, while during the morning till evening times, there are four buses per hour.
Tickets: There are multiple options for purchasing your Dublin Express ticket. When purchasing tickets online, the prices for a one-way trip are €8, and for a return trip, they are €10. However, if you choose to buy the tickets at the airport or onboard at any of the stops, the prices increase to €10 for a one-way trip and €14 for a return trip. Infants aged 0-2 can ride for free when accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. For children aged 3 and above, a child ticket is available at a cost of €3.50 for a one-way trip and €5 for a return trip when booked online. However, if you decide to purchase the child ticket at the airport or onboard, the prices increase to €4 for a one-way trip and €6 for a return trip. It is important to note that all payments are cashless, so make sure to have a valid payment method such as a credit card or contactless payment option. On-line tickets can be bought at the: Dublin Expess website.
Bus stop: The Dublin Express pick-up & drop-off stop at Terminal 1 (T1) is conveniently located in the same place outside the Terminal 1 Arrivals building. As you exit the terminal building, simply turn left, and you will find the stop in that direction. For Terminal 2 (T2), the Dublin Express pick-up stop for services to Dublin City is situated in Zone 21 outside the Terminal 2 building. Upon exiting the arrivals area, you can cross the glass walkway and turn left. From there, proceed down the escalator to reach the pick-up stop. For bus services arriving at Terminal 2, passengers will be dropped off just outside the entrance to the departures area.

The travel time from Dublin Airport to Dublin city center is typically between 15 minutes to half an hour. However, it’s important to note that during periods of heavy traffic, the journey may take longer.

Both bus services allow passengers to bring up to 2 pieces of baggage, offer free Wi-Fi and have stops located near the same area at Dublin Airport. To reach the heart of Dublin city center, you can alight at the ‘Aston Quay’ or ‘Trinity College’ bus stops. However, if your hotel is not situated near Temple Bar, I recommend visiting the website of the respective bus service to locate the nearest bus stop to your accommodation.

Taxi from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center

Just like in any other country, it is advisable to only use licensed taxis and ensure that they use their meter. When taking a taxi from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center, the approximate cost should be around €25-€30, depending on factors such as the time of day, traffic conditions, and the distance traveled.

In Ireland, taxis can be any car and have any color. However, official taxis can be recognized by the yellow and blue illuminated sign that is mounted on the roof. If the roof sign is illuminated, it indicates that the taxi is available for hire. On the other hand, a taxi without its roof sign illuminated means that it is already occupied with passengers or has been booked for a pick-up elsewhere. In such cases, the taxi will not stop if you try to hail it.

You can download the Dublin Airport map: here!

Where to stay in Dublin

Dublin offers a multitude of options for travelers to enjoy their stay. With a variety of accommodations available, including hotels, hostels, and charming bed and breakfast establishments, there is something to suit every budget and preference.

Budget: Abigail’s Hostel was where I stayed during my first trip to Dublin, offering budget-conscious travelers a welcoming and comfortable haven. With its warm hospitality, convenient location, and a range of room options, this hostel provides a delightful experience for those seeking an affordable and memorable stay in the heart of Dublin.

Mid-range: Generator Dublin is renowned for its stylish and comfortable accommodations. The rooms, ranging from shared dormitories to private en-suite options, are designed with a modern flair and offer all the essential amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. The vibrant bar and lounge area is a hub of activity, serving up delicious drinks and hosting lively events such as live music performances and themed parties. It’s the perfect place to unwind, socialize, and create lasting memories.

Luxury: Want to go fancy? Anantara The Marker Dublin- A Leading Hotel of the World is probably one of the best hotel experiences in Dublin.

If you need assistance with booking accommodations, we recommend reading our How to use guide.

Go City: The Dublin Pass Explained

If you plan to explore multiple sites in Dublin, I recommend checking out the Dublin Pass. The Dublin Pass provides entry to various attractions, including Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, as well as numerous other landmarks and sites. It offers convenience and cost savings for visitors looking to make the most of their time in Dublin.

Discover the luck of the Irish with this pass! Enjoy access to over 35 popular attractions, landmarks, and sights in Dublin while saving both time and money. With the Dublin Pass, available for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 days, you’ll receive Fast Track Entry at selected top attractions, skipping the queues.

Immerse yourself in the Guinness Storehouse, indulge in the Teelings Whiskey Distillery Tour, and explore the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin’s oldest building. Step back in time to the Medieval and Viking eras at Dublinia. With the Hop-on Hop-off Bus included, transportation between attractions becomes effortless.

Here is a list of the included attractions with the Dublin Pass:

  1. Guinness Storehouse (reservation available)
  2. Big Bus 1 Day Hop-on Hop-off
  3. Jameson Distillery Bow St
  4. Teelings Distillery
  5. Dublin Zoo
  6. Game of Thrones Studio Tour
  7. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
  8. GPO Witness History Exhibition
  9. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
  10. Dublin Castle
  11. Malahide Castle
  12. Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre
  13. Christ Church Cathedral
  14. St Patrick’s Cathedral
  15. Dublinia
  16. Jeanie Johnston Tallship & Famine Museum
  17. National Botanic Gardens
  18. National Museum Of Ireland – Natural History
  19. National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology
  20. National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History
  21. Irish Rock ‘n Roll Museum Experience
  22. Hugh Lane Art Gallery
  23. National Gallery of Ireland
  24. Irish Museum of Modern Art
  25. Rainforest Adventure Golf
  26. Aquazone National Aquatic Centre
  27. National Wax Museum Plus
  28. Skerries Mills
  29. Airfield Farm
  30. James Joyce Centre
  31. The Little Museum of Dublin
  32. Castletown House
  33. Chester Beatty Library
  34. Walking Food Tours – Food on Foot
  35. Walking Food Tours – Drinks on Foot
  36. Lazy Bike Tours Half-Day Hire
  37. and more.. on

The Dublin Pass is valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive calendar days, depending on the option you choose. Once activated, you can use the pass to access the included attractions during the specified number of days.

  • 1 Day Pass:
    • Adult (16+): €69
    • Child (5-15): €44
  • 2 Days Pass:
    • Adult (16+): €94
    • Child (5-15): €54
  • 3 Days Pass:
    • Adult (16+): €104
    • Child (5-15): €59
  • 4 Days Pass:
    • Adult (16+): €104
    • Child (5-15): €64
  • 5 Days Pass:
    • Adult (16+): €124
    • Child (5-15): €69

Children under 5 years old can join for free, but they must be accompanied by an Adult Pass holder at all times.

To use the pass, simply present your digital pass at the venue you want to visit or to the driver on the hop-on hop-off buses. However, please note that some venues may have closures or special operating hours, so it’s advisable to check the official website of the attraction before your visit.

You can purchase your Go Dublin Pass: here! Remember to book at least one month in advance to secure the best prices for the Dublin Pass.

When making a reservation, ensure that you use the same email address that was used for your booking to avoid any issues.

The Dublin Explorer Pass: You can purchase the cheaper Dublin Explorer Pass, which allows you to make a selection of 3 till 5 activities and, or attractions and purchase entrance for those with a discount, you have 60 days to visit them, and can buy the Dublin Explorer Pass at the following website. With this pass, you can enjoy the flexibility of exploring Dublin at your own pace while still enjoying significant savings on attractions.

Things to do in Dublin

Temple Bar

Temple Bar is a vibrant and lively district in the heart of Dublin, known for its colorful bars, restaurants, and lively atmosphere. It offers a unique experience with its cobblestone streets, traditional pubs, live music, and street artists. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in Dublin’s nightlife, enjoy some traditional Irish music, sample local cuisine, and soak up the energetic ambiance of the area.

Guinness storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse offers a captivating journey through the 250-year history of Guinness at its original home. Through a multi-floor interactive experience, you’ll delve into the brewing process and explore the fascinating history of Guinness in Dublin. The journey culminates at the Gravity Bar, a stunning glass structure designed in the shape of a pint of Guinness, where you can savor a pint of Guinness while enjoying a panoramic 360° view of Dublin. For visitors under 18 years old, an alcohol-free drink is provided, ensuring everyone can have a memorable experience at the Guinness Storehouse.

You can purchase your tickets: here!

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral

The magnificent Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, a stunning medieval structure, is not only a symbol of Ireland but also holds a rich history spanning over 800 years. It is believed to have been built on an ancient well associated with Saint Patrick himself. One of the highlights is the world famous choir, which has been enchanting visitors since its establishment in 1432. Don’t miss the Door of Reconciliation, which gave rise to the expression “chance your arm.” Marvel at the intricate Gothic architecture and the breathtaking stained glass windows, adding to the cathedral’s beauty.

As a side note for world explorers, it’s fascinating to know that Jonathan Swift, the renowned writer of “Gulliver’s Travels,” served as the Dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and is laid to rest inside its walls. Visitors to the cathedral can find his tombstone, adorned with a Latin inscription related to travel, serving as a testament to his literary legacy and connection to the cathedral.

You can purchase your tickets: here!

Dublinia Viking Museum

Embark on an adventure that takes you through the footsteps of Vikings. Transport yourself to the Viking era and witness the life onboard their mighty warships. Discover their impressive weaponry and learn the art of being a skilled Viking warrior. Get a taste of their culture by trying on Viking clothes and immersing yourself in the bustling atmosphere of a noisy street. Visit an authentic Viking house, enveloped in smoke and cramped quarters, while unraveling the captivating myths and mysteries that surround these ancient seafarers and their enduring legacy.

Step further into the captivating world of Medieval Dublin, where your senses will be awakened by the sights, sounds, and aromas of a bustling city. Gain insights into the intriguing aspects of medieval life, from the practices of crime and punishment to the remedies for ailments and toothaches from over 700 years ago. Indulge in the enticing aromas of the medieval fair and immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere. Learn to play medieval games, explore the lavish kitchen of a prosperous merchant, and stroll along the lively streets of Medieval Dublin, brimming with activity and history.

Dublinia also offers a valuable opportunity to delve into the rich past of Dublin and uncover the profound influence of the Viking and Medieval eras. Marvel at the artifacts discovered in Dublin, some of which are on permanent loan from the prestigious National Museum of Ireland, including items from the renowned Wood Quay excavations. Take a captivating virtual tour over the Medieval city and immerse yourself in a brand-new audio-visual experience, which tells the compelling story of a person’s life growing up in Medieval Dublin.

End your visit by ascending the original Medieval tower, climbing 96 steps to reach the top. From there, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

You can purchase your tickets: here!

Trinity College

There are two main attractions that draw me to Trinity College: The Old Library and The Book of Kells.

The Long Room in the Old Library is truly awe-inspiring and ranks among the most magnificent libraries in the world. It boasts an extensive collection of over 200,000 ancient books, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a scene from a fantasy movie like Harry Potter. Interestingly, this remarkable library has also served as an inspiration for the Jedi Archives in the Star Wars franchise. Combining the grandeur of the Long Room with the historical significance of The Book of Kells, a visit to Trinity College is an experience that should not be missed.

The Book of Kells is a remarkable medieval manuscript, painstakingly created by monks and showcasing a beautiful blend of Celtic and Christian art. Due to its delicate nature, only two pages are on display at a time to ensure its preservation. Before visiting, I highly recommend watching the animated film “The Secret of Kells,” which tells the story behind the creation of The Book of Kells. You can watch the trailer for the film here!
You can purchase your tickets: here!

Kilmainham Gaol

A visit to Kilmainham Gaol is not just a visit to a prison but a journey through the tumultuous history of Ireland. For more than 100 years, Kilmainham Gaol housed countless individuals, including men, women, and children.

Exploring Kilmainham Gaol allows you to delve into the stories of the people who were incarcerated here, including both ordinary criminals and those who fought passionately for Irish independence. The walls of this historic prison witnessed pivotal moments in Irish history, such as the 1798 rebellion, the 1916 Easter Rising, the Anglo-Irish War (1919-1921), and the tragic Irish Civil War (1922-1923).

Each of these events has left an indelible mark on the history of Kilmainham Gaol. By visiting Kilmainham Gaol, you can gain a deeper understanding of Ireland’s struggle for independence and the sacrifices made by its people. It is a poignant and powerful experience that allows you to connect with the past and appreciate the significance of this historic site.

In addition to delving into the stories of the prisoners, a visit to Kilmainham Gaol offers the opportunity to witness the striking and impressive main hall of the prison. This iconic space, with its strong and captivating character, has caught the attention of filmmakers, making it a filming location for multiple movies.

You can purchase your tickets: here!

More things to do in Dublin

The activities I mentioned are ones that I have personally explored. For a comprehensive list of other activities and attractions to explore in Dublin click: here!

Day trips from Dublin

Giant’s Causeway and Northern Ireland Day Trip

If you’re interested in exploring more of Northern Ireland, booking a tour is a convenient way to do so. This 13-hour tour takes you to some breathtaking places and gives you free time to explore Belfast.

The tour begins in Dublin and takes you to the world famous Giant’s Causeway, which is considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Ireland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit filming locations from the popular TV series Game of Thrones and even cross the legendary Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.

The journey starts early in the morning, and after a coffee stop to recharge, you can relax and enjoy the stunning views of the northern landscape. The region is known for its captivating scenery, which is why it served as a filming location for Game of Thrones.

Throughout the tour, you’ll learn about the ancient history, myths, folklore, and legends associated with the northern coastline of County Antrim. At the Giant’s Causeway, you’ll hear stories about Finn MacCool, a mythical hunter-warrior-giant with a legendary name.

Some of the other highlights of the tour include crossing the nearby Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, known for its thrilling views, and a special tour of the historic Dunluce Castle, which served as the inspiration for Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia.

As you make your journey back to Dublin, you’ll be so steeped in Irish history, Game of Thrones scenescapes, and mini-adventures that you’ll have definitely earned that evening pint (or two) of the black stuff.

The tour costs €65 for a 13 hour trip, and you can purchase your tickets by clicking on the following link: here!

The tours I mentioned are ones that I have personally joined.

Other tours from Dublin

Giant’s Causeway and Titanic Tour from Dublin
The Giant’s Causeway by Train from Dublin
Game of Thrones Studio Tour Admission and Dublin Transfer
Wicklow & Glendalough: Day Tour from Dublin
Blarney Castle & Cork: Day Tour from Dublin
Cork and Blarney Castle One-Day Rail Tour From Dublin
Celtic Boyne Valley: Day Tour from Dublin
Cliffs of Moher: One-Day Rail Tour from Dublin
Cliffs of Moher & West of Ireland Highlights: Day Tour from Dublin
Cliffs of Moher, Wild Atlantic Way & Galway City: Day Trip from Dublin
Cliffs of Moher, Kilmachdough Abbey & Galway City: Day Trip from Dublin
Cliffs of Moher: Premium Tour from Dublin with Cruise and Sheepdog Demo
For a comprehensive list of other tours and activities from Dublin look: here!

Dublin by Bicycle with NOW dublinbikes

NOW dublinbikes offers city bicycles for rent, providing a convenient way to explore the city. You can find these bicycles at various bicycle stations located throughout Dublin. The rental service is available between 05:00 and 00:30, allowing you ample time to utilize the bikes during the day. The bicycles can be returned at any time, as the return service operates 24/7.

To make use of the rental service, you will need to create an account, which can be done for free through the official website. Once you have an account, you can choose between a 1 Day Ticket priced at €3.50 or a 3 Day Ticket. It’s important to note that the first half hour of every journey is free, providing you with an initial grace period.

After the first half hour, the rental costs vary based on the duration of your ride. For instance, if your journey extends to 1 hour, an additional fee of €0.50 will be incurred. Similarly, for 2 hours, the fee is €1.50, for 3 hours, it is €3.50, and for 4 hours, it amounts to €6.50. For every extra half hour beyond the initial half hour, there is a charge of €2.

To optimize your experience and keep costs low, it is advisable to plan your rides between bicycle stations. This will allow you to make use of the free half-hour period and avoid incurring additional charges. Enjoy your rides and explore Dublin at your own pace with Dublinbikes!

For more detailed information about dublinbikes, including station locations, subscription options, and rental terms, you can visit their official website at NOW dublinbikes. There, you’ll find comprehensive information to help you plan your rides and make the most of your Dublinbikes experience.

A full map of all bicycle stations can be viewed here!

Public Transportation in Dublin with the Leap Visitor Card

The Leap Visitor Card is the most convenient way for tourists to use public transport in Dublin. It offers three different passes to choose from: 1 Day Pass (valid for 24 hours) priced at €8, 3 Days Pass (valid for 72 hours) priced at €16, and 7 Days Pass (valid for 168 hours) priced at €32. These passes provide unlimited access, starting from the first use, to various modes of transport including all Dublin Bus scheduled services (excluding tours), Go-Ahead Ireland Dublin City services, all Luas (tram) services, and DART and Commuter Rail in the Short Hop Zone, which covers all of Dublin city and county.

To purchase the Leap Visitor Pass, you can either buy it online and have it delivered by mail from the official website, or you can purchase it in person at designated locations. In Dublin Airport, you can find it at Wrights Airport Convienece Store in Terminal 1 Arrivals. In Dublin City Center, it is available at Dublin Bus (59 Upper O’Connell St., Dublin 1), Spar (63 Upper O’Connell St., Dublin 1), Mullins Newsagent (Unit 1B Heuston Station, Dublin 8), and Spar (Talbot Street, Dublin 1).

Once you have a LEAP Visitor Card, you can top it up with additional time periods (1, 3, or 7 days) at any Leap Card outlet in Dublin, with a maximum of five top-ups.

For more detailed information about the LEAP Visitor Card, you can visit this website.

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