An In-depth Guide: Dublin, Ireland

Ireland’s capital, Dublin, continues to draw in travellers from all walks of life with its abundance of diverse attractions. Visitors can explore distilleries, wander through old, haunted prisons and uncover the fascinating history surrounding the city.

For those intending to visit Dublin in the near future, here are a few inside tips to help you plan your journey.

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The Seasons of Ireland

Despite the different seasons of the year, temperature in Ireland is typically cold. The summer months can receive temperatures as low as 11°C. Regardless of the time of year you are intending to visit Ireland, be sure to pack a plentiful range of warmer clothes

Summer – May to July: 11°C - 20°C

Autumn – August to October: 6°C - 14°C

Winter – November to January: 1°C - 8°C

Spring – February to April: 4°C – 13°C

Best Time to Visit Dublin

Ireland’s peak season is during late Spring and throughout Summer. This timeframe is known for its warmer weather and longer daylight. Although the conditions are favourable for travel, this also means crowds are larger and accommodation is likely to be more expensive.

The low season for travel in Ireland is November through to March (with the exemption of St Patrick’s Day). These are the coldest months of the year in Ireland, with temperatures dropping as low as 1°C. Accommodation and flights will be cheaper during this time frame and crowds will be smaller. However, daylight hours will be shorter. Travellers living in warmer areas will be able to experience a cold Christmas. If you are travelling for St Patricks Day, be sure to book flights and accommodation months in advanced.

Flight Cost and Times

If you are travelling to Ireland during peak season (April – July), flights will cost upwards of $1400 (AU). However, if you are flying out during the quieter season of the year (November – March), flights can drop to around $1100 (AU). Christmas and St Patrick’s Day will be an exception, as flights typically increase around these holidays.

The best thing to do when trying to save money on flights is to be patient. Hop online regularly to search for flights, wait for a good deal to present itself, be flexible with your travel dates and set yourself an ideal limit. Booking flights directly with an airline rather than a travel agent will often save you money.

Flight times to Dublin from Australia will vary depending on the city you are flying out from, although travellers can expect the journey to be over 20 hours. As this will be a longer flight, it may be a good idea to bring a few items to make the flight more comfortable – a neck pillow, approved toiletries, an eye mask etc. Also, standing up, stretching and walking around can go a long way.

A stopover in another country for a few days is an exciting way to break up the long journey. A few popular stopover destinations on the way to Dublin include China, India and Singapore.

Accommodation in Dublin

Accommodation prices in Dublin will vary depending on the time of year you visit. If you are visiting between April to July (peak season), accommodation prices will be higher. For example, the average cost for a 3 star hotel in July will cost $260 (AU) per night, whereas a 5 star hotel will cost approximately $590.

On the other hand, if you are staying in Ireland during the colder months, accommodation costs will drop. For example, on average a 3 star hotel in November will cost $155 (AU) per night whereas a 5 star hotel will cost around $430 (AU).

Staying in the heart of Dublin can be much more convenient when it comes to getting around the city, however it will be more expensive. If you are wanting to save some money on accommodation, and if you are renting a car or are willing to catch public transport into Dublin every day, it may be worth staying 15 - 20 minutes outside of the city.

Top Attractions of Dublin

The Guinness Storehouse

Located within the heart of the city, many visitors of Ireland include the Guinness Storehouse on their Irish bucket lists. The multi levelled museum houses an array of unique experiences for guests to enjoy. Learn of how the famous beverage is made and how the empire of Guinness grew and evolved throughout the years. Participate in tastings, stop by the enormous gift shop and enjoy a complementary pint of Guinness on the top of the facility. The Gravity bar is located on the top level and provides remarkable panoramic views of the city to accompany your drink. Parking for the storehouse is available on Crane Street. Tickets can be purchase upon arrival, or you may pre-purchase them online to save time.

Entry Cost: Adult - €19.50. Child - € 16

Time to Allocate: 1.5 hours

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Jameson Distillery

Another renowned Irish drink also located in the heart of Dublin; the Jameson Distillery opened its doors in 1780, and remains to be a significant presence in the city today. Embark on the Distillery Store for an in-depth look into the history behind Jameson, whiskey tasting experiences and a complimentary Jameson to enjoy. The facility also offers a variety of other whiskey related experiences, such as a Cask Draw Experience. During this guided tour, participants will receive the opportunity to draw and sample a 14 year old still whiskey straight from the cask.

For a look at the other experiences on offer, such as whiskey tasting and blending classes, check out the Jameson Distillery website.

Entry Cost: Distillery Tour: €20. Cask Draw Experience: €20.

Time to Allocate: 1 hour

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol was once an old prison operating throughout the 1800s, now converted into a museum open to the public. The prison was opened in 1796 and housed number of rebellion leaders throughout its years of establishment before its closure in 1924. Gain a unique insight into Irish history by setting off on a captivating tour, led by an engaging, well informed guide. Take a look into old prison cells, common areas and execution sites. The emotional weight carried by this location is quite remarkable, and should not be missed when visiting Dublin. Street parking is available near Kilmainham Gaol. Tickets can be purchased upon arrival, although pre-purchasing tickets online is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Entry Cost: Adult: €9. Child: €5.

Time to Allocate: 1.5 hours

Dublin Castle

Originally established in the 13th century, The Dublin Castle is one of the main government complexes in Ireland. Up until 1922, the structure was a location of British rule in Ireland. When Ireland became an independent state following the Irish War of Independence, the castle was handed over to the Irish government.

The medieval structure has endured fires and numerous rebuilding over the years, and today it stands as an iconic landmark of the city.

For those wishing to gather an in-depth insight into the Viking evacuation and state apartments, daily tours are operated by well informed, captivating guides.

The castle is located in the centre of Dublin, and can be easily accessed on foot from St Patricks Cathedral. Although there is no car parking available at the castle, there are many spots nearby such as the Christchurch Car Park.

Entry Cost: Adult: €10. Child: €4.

Time to Allocate: 1.5 hours

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St Patrick’s Cathedral

The National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland, originally founded in 1191; St Patrick’s Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece that must be witnessed when visiting Dublin. The cathedral is the tallest in Ireland, with a highest point of 43 metres. The colourful gardens surrounding the structure makes it a very serene location within the city.

Free guided tours depart regularly throughout the day for individuals wishing to learn more of the cathedral’s past. Audio guides are also on offer.

St Patrick’s Cathedral is located in the centre of Dublin, only a 10 minute walk from Dublin Castle.

Entry Cost: Adult: €7.

Time to Allocate: 1 – 1.5 hours

Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park is a colourful, more serene location in the city, perfect for escaping the buzz of Dublin. The former hunting park was open as a public park in the 1700s, with a large number of deer still remaining.

Enjoy the tranquil vibes of Phoenix Park, the arrangement of colourful flowers and the many events that regularly take place. Phoenix Park is also home to the oldest zoo in Ireland, Dublin Zoo, along with a collection of significant buildings from the 1700s and 1800s.

Parking is available within various spots throughout the park, such as Dublin Zoo and the visitors centre.

Entry Cost: Free

Time to Allocate: 1 – 2 hours

Transportation around Dublin

Rent a Car

Renting a car is undeniably the most convenient mode of transport when it comes to getting around Dublin. Parking is not an issue due to the abundance of locations available, however parking costs (not to mention fuel) may have to be factored into your budget.

Having a car available also provides you with the freedom to venture outside Dublin if you wish to.

Prices will vary depending on the company, the demand and the type of car you wish to rent. As an estimate, a compact automatic shouldn’t cost more than €20 per day.

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Public Transport

When it comes to public transport, choices are limited. The city does have trains and trams, although there are a limited amount of lines offered. If you want to get around the city effectively, the bus system is the way to go. However, with the extreme congestion of Dublin, the bus schedule can become unreliable.

Tickets for the bus can be purchased from the driver, and should cost between €1.5 and €3. Be sure to have the correct amount as change cannot be given.

If you are wanting to catch public transport to the airport, the buses are the only ones that travel there.

Taxi

Although they can be convenient, taxis will be a much more expensive option when it comes to transport around Dublin. With the congestion that Dublin faces, fares can quickly rise when you are trying to get back to your hotel from the city centre.

Pre-booking fees are typically €2. Additional passengers will cost around €1 each. Travel costs will vary depending on the company, how far you are travelling and the duration you’re in the cab. As an estimate, travellers can expect a 5 kilometre ride to cost €10. This doesn’t take into account premium rates and additional costs. Uber is available in Ireland, however ordering a ride through the app will deliver a taxi rather than a private car.

Foods to try in Dublin

Expanding your palate goes hand in hand with traveling, and Ireland has an array of traditional foods to help you do so.

According to Lonely Planet’s money and cost guide to Dublin, travellers on a midrange budget can expect a main course at an average restaurant to cost between €15 and €30. Pint costs will begin at around €5.

Irish Stew – A meat and root based stew.

Boxty – a potato pancake

Coddle – Often made to use up leftovers. Common ingredients include layers of sausages, potato, onion and herbs.

Colcannon – Mash potato with cabbage.

Champ – Mash potato and scallions

In Summary

Dublin is home to a vast collection of attractions that make a trip to Ireland truly memorable. Visitors can tour whiskey and beer facilities, engage in tasting experiences, dive into Ireland’s captivating history and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere the city holds.

The best way to navigate around the city would be by renting a car if you are later intending on venturing outside the city, otherwise the public bus system is ideal.

When you are visiting Ireland on your next holiday, gain a deeper appreciation of this destination by trying a few of the local foods and treats on offer.