A trip to Dublin may be a fun and educational, but it’s always important to come prepared. Here are some tips for people who are visiting Ireland’s capital for the first time.
One of the most important things you should know is that there are so many things to do in Dublin, that you might not have time to visit the places you want on one trip. Therefore, you should try and plan your trip according to your interests. Are you planning on shopping? Do you want some peace and quiet? Are you interested more in learning about the city’s history? Do you simply want to enjoy the nightlife? Dublin can be an excellent place to visit if you know exactly what you want to do.
Photo Credit: DUBLIN CASTLE by informatique, on Flickr
Dublin is known as an expensive city, so you definitely need to save up and plan some form of budget. There are some great hotels in Dublin so look online for a deal in advance. There are many entertainment venues, pubs, and shops scattered across the capital, so you will find yourself spending an insane amount of money if you’re not careful. If you’re scared of carrying large sums of money with you, use a debit card. There are many ATMs in Dublin which accept international cards.
The weather in Dublin can also be problematic. Always bring a variety of clothes with you, as weather conditions are known to be mixed. Don’t be surprised if you see sun, wind, and rain on the same day. If you’re travelling during the summer, bring a warm sweater and a jacket for unpredictable weather. If you’re unprepared, there’s no need to panic, since there are many shops from which you can buy the right clothes. You can pack lightly for your trip, and return with a bag full of new items you’ve bought in stores.
Photo Credit: Dublin Contemporary 2011 - Iveagh Gardens On Dublin by Informatique, on Flickr
Since there are many places to see in Dublin, starting with a bus or walking tour is the best way to learn more about the city. Bus tours are short (around an hour and a half) and they offer a glimpse of the main sights, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College, and the National Gallery. The last two attractions are also free, so you can definitely visit those on another occasion without worrying about your budget. As for walking tours, the 1916 Rebellion Tour is hugely popular and informative. It departs daily from the International Bar at Wicklow Street, where you can stop by for a drink and more information. While this tour focuses more on history, literature fans can also check out the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, where actors perform extracts from various major works in pubs. The Duke Pub on Duke Street is the right place to ask for more information about attending.
Photo Credit: Grand Canal Square by informatique, on Flickr
If you want to plan your own tour, you can visit some museums individually, such as the National Museum and Gallery or The Natural History Museum (a children’s favourite). You can also go on a relaxing walk on Stephen’s Green if the weather is sunny, or the smaller Merrion Square. Grand Canal is another popular place to go on a stroll, with its own unique literary connection.
Photo Credit: Temple Bar Dublin by arndt_hoppe, on Flickr
Finally, if you want to get some shopping done, there are several places worth checking out. Henry Street is home to well-known stores like Zara and Mango, while Grafton Street houses several designer boutiques. Temple Bar is known for its pubs and galleries, but there are several smaller shops worth browsing through if you’re looking for jewellery and artwork. Shopping for antiques is another popular activity, so tourists usually head off to Francis Street to look for genuine items from various eras.
As you can see, Dublin offers a unique mix between culture and entertainment. Whether you’re interested in learning more about Ireland’s history, or you’re simply looking forward to having a few drinks in a pub, Dublin can be an attractive tourist destination if you know how to plan ahead.
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