Updated January 2022
Ah Dublin, a world of its own. People flock here for the heritage, the history and the Guinness; but there's a lot more to the capital of the Emerald Isle. With a few surprises and some inside information, here are 17 things you need to know about Dublin.
17. We use the Euro
Yep. Ireland has been a part of the Euro currency since 2002. So there's no need to worry about changing your money if you've come from any other Euro-using country. Grand.
16. We don't have a metro
Nope. We only have the two tram (Luas) lines, our regional train service called the 'Dart', and Dublin Bus, Dublin's regional bus service. My advice? Avoid using the bus as much as possible. It's expensive, unreliable, but the bus drivers are usually the loveliest human beings you'll ever meet. The good news? Teh city centre is entirely and easily walkable, so unless you're venturing outside the city centre, you'll not need to use the bus. If you do decide to jump on a Dublin Bus, remember that fares are paid in exact amount with no change given and credit / debit card is not accepted. Yes, it does feel rather antiquated!
If you end up on a bus journey,you should know that we always, ALWAYS, thank the driver when we disembark. How important is it? Dublin Bus attempted to introduce the idea of passengers exiting the bus through the middle doors. Everyone ignored it. The bus drivers needs to know how thankful we are.
15. You cannot run out of great places to drink
This is very true. Dublin is home to more than 1,500 glorious watering holes, many hosting live music - be it traditional, rock, or indie - there's always something for your ears as well as your taste-buds. There's just too many great pubs in Dublin that we love dearly to fit in this sentence, so we've created a helpful guide to some of our highly recommended pubs in Dublin to have a scoop in (a scoop is a drink btw!).
14. We eat more burritos than Guinness stew
Although we may be known for our love of potatoes (which isn't untrue) we freakin' love
burritos. Boojum (pictured above) is Ireland's renowned favourite burrito spot. Be wary of the time you go at though, lunch time can be busy so you might be waiting a while!
13. Dubliners will happily spend 10 minutes giving you directions
Believe what you've heard; the Irish are the friendliest fellows on planet Earth. We're always happy to help out a lost soul, however, we also talk a lot.
So we'll probably give you three different routes to your hostel, advice on where to get the best Guinness, which places to stay away from, along with our life story and what we had for breakfast. Just be prepared.
12. There's friendly competition between the Northside & the Southside of the city
Dublin is divided in two by the river Liffey: so depending on which side of the river a Dubliner is from, the North side or Southside, is sewn into their identity. In Spice Girl terms, the Northsiders would be Scary Spice and the Southsiders would be Posh Spice. But it's all in good humour.
11. Temple Bar may be known as Dublin's cultural centre, but you won't find many Dubs drinking there
Temple Bar may be classed as Dublin's "cultural centre", but really it's for tourists. That's not saying you shouldn't check it out. It's popular for a good reason as it's full of incredible pubs, stunning galleries, and music venues. Not to mention it's cobbled streets and markets are worth a wander.
10. Chicken fillet rolls are a favoured dish
There's not much sophistication behind a chicken fillet roll: but it's often a saviour against our hangovers, the gem of our lunchtime and our cheeky cheat meal at 4 am on the weekend. You can pick one up in any grocery store or newsagent with a deli. The cost? Between €3.50 - €6 depending on where you go and how many toppings you pile on. For Dublin it's a pretty cheap eat and plenty filling too!
9. When Irish people say "Craic" we don't mean crack cocaine
I can't count how many times people have taken this word the wrong way. You'll hear us saying the word "craic" a lot, usually in the context of "What's the craic?" or "Any craic?". We're not looking for drugs, it is, in fact, the Irish word for fun and it's a staple of our daily conversation.
8. The bars close early
Unlike most of the rest of Europe, our bars close around 2AM on weekends, some even earlier at 11PM midweek. So take advantage of some afternoon beers before you head out or join Generation Pub Crawl
, one of Europe's largest pub crawls, if you're looking to meet other other good people and want some free drinks and a shit-ton of drink discounts. You may hear whispers of a "lock-in" as the closing hour approaches. This is when the pub locks all the doors, giving the outwardly appearance of being closed while, in fact, a few lucky revellers remain inside continuing their night into the wee hours of the following morning. A lock-in in Ireland is a special thing, so embrace it if you find yourself in the privlidged position to be inside a locked pub after hours.
7. And drinking on the streets is illegal
You'll probably not get more than a slap on the wrist and have to watch your booze be poured into the nearest drain, but it's good to know right? However, acting disorderly will get you thrown in the drunk tank; so drink responsibly, and if you're having a cheeky swig between pubs, do it subtly.
6. Most Dubliners think The Spire is a complete joke
When the millennium was approaching, Dublin City Council decided to celebrate it by creating a new landmark. There was a massive competition where architects, sculptors and artists from all over the globe submitted their ideas... and the big metal pole won. Dubliners great sense of humour is reflected in the local names for it - "Stiletto in Ghetto" or "The Stiffy at the Liffey".
5. We like parks
Famous for our 40 shades of green, us Dubliners like our green spaces. St. Stephen's Green park (pictured above) is one of the city's most-loved - with beautiful gardens and bandstands it serves as a great hang-out spot, relaxing walks, people watching, or a few sneaky cans In Summer. This was also a site of some remarkable stories and events in our history, of course it's included on our daily free walking tour of Dublin
, as well as all the must-see sights, key sites, and lesser-known hiddn gems.
4. There is always something on
No matter what day of the week Dublin is buzzing with events. From free comedy shows to live music gigs and fantastic theatre, there is always something to check out! A quick Google search will show up local event listings, but you often find out about the best stuff by talking to people. We love recommending things to do - so ask your hotel or hostel receptionist, ask our lovely local tour guides on the free tour, ask the bar-staff, ask the musician busking on Grafton Street - if we know of a good show or something to check-out, we'll only be too happy to let you know about it!
3. We've got a sh*t tonne of history
Celts, Vikings, the English, we had them all. When you're walking through Dublin you're walking through history. Only a few parts of the city have been affected by gentrification which certainly adds to its charm. Another good thing? All our national museums are totally free! So you can go from museum to museum without breaking the bank. Not too shabby eh? Of course, if you want to tick the history and culture box, join us for the best free tour in Dublin
and pay what you like at the end. Perfect!
2. Cigarettes are reeeeeeeeally expensive
If you're a smoker, be expected to pay at least €15 for a pack of smokes. This catches most tourists who are smokers off guard! So, unless you want to let the shock to jolt you into quitting the habit, you might want to take a couple of packs with you.
1. No, we're not in 'The British isles'!
Okay, this is a touchy subject at times - but, no, Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is not a part of the 'British Isles', or part of the UK like Scotland or Wales. This may be entirely well-known to many of you, but you'd be surprised just how many visitors land here without knowing this fact - we often get the question on our free walking tours of the city; and, hey, that's okay! That's what we're here for - to give you an unbeatable nsight to Dublin old and new, and an unrivalled insight to what has shaped the Dublin you see today.
It's an intense and fascinating history that has seen the island colonised by the British empire before centuries of risings and rebellions led to the eventual and relatively recent establishment of the Irish Republic, beyond the rule of the coloniser. You can find out all about it on our tours in Dubin whn you visit, so do make sure to book your spot
as places are limited and booking is highly advised.
That's our top advice, guys & girls! We hope you enjoy and love our hometown as much as we do!