Quick Safety Tips
- Take pictures and make copies of documents
- If alone, notify someone of your travel plans and check in
- Photograph rentals before and after use
- Meet vaccination and legal (e.g. visa) requirements
- Opt for ATMs inside banks
- Carry cash and card (notify your bank before departing)
- Use a travel lock and tracking device to secure and monitor your bags
- Always carry your valuables and store them in interior compartments
- Wear proper attire and carry a water bottle
- To avoid discrepancies, take pictures of your items before and after traveling
- Use a sim card and/or VPN
- Charge your phone and avoid using public charging stations (pack a powerbank)
- Be aware of your surroundings – avoid wearing headphones/earbuds
- Learn a few English phrases before arriving to Dublin
- Talk to trusted locals to educate yourself and avoid common scams
- Avoid intoxication in unfamiliar places/with strangers
Important Phone Numbers
Irish Tourist Assistance Service
00 353 (1) 666 9354
Book your itinerary Early
Dublin is a popular destination. As such, transportation, accommodation, and activities can be overpriced and overbooked. To ensure a wider range of options and affordability, we recommend booking your itinerary as soon as possible.
- Pro-tip: Traveling with a friend can reduce accommodation costs, and ensure a degree of safety. However, if you are travelling alone, it is a good idea to let someone know of your plans and check in every once in a while.
To get the best deal, we recommend browsing options in an incognito browser. And depending on your flexibility, setting an open-ended window of departure (e.g. 2 weeks, a month) can expose you to the best deals. Notably, this can also be done using an open-ended destination (i.e. a region).
- Pro-tip: The most affordable deals are available to those who have flex travel plans, book early, and browse in incognito.
Don’t stop at transportation and accommodation – book any reservations as soon as possible as well!
There are two main visitation categories: Citizens of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), and non-citizens of the EU or EEA. If you are a citizen of the EU or EEA, you do not need any visa to visit Dublin. Citizens of most other countries require visas to visit Dublin. These visas are known as short stay ‘C’ visa’s and allows travelers to remain in Ireland up to 90 days – plenty of time to explore every nook and cranny of Dublin.
For more information, please consult Ireland’s official government immigration website.
Time Zone and Format
Although many people also utilize the 24h format, Ireland uses a 12h clock, as well as daylight savings, and depending on where you are traveling from, Dublin may be in a different time zone. Check to make sure what the difference is and book your travels accordingly. We recommend calibrating your departure at the time when landing in Ireland’s time zone is most convenient for you.
- Clocks go back by one hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October
- Clocks go forward by one hour at 1am on the last Sunday of March
For example, if flying from a time zone -7 hours, depart in the morning, enjoy your ‘day’ on the flight, and sleep when you arrive that evening. Conversely, if you know that you will sleep throughout your flight, book a flight that departs in the evening, sleep, and land in the morning.
- Pro-Tip: Sleeping on the plane, train, bus, car, or hostel? We recommend packing earplugs and/or noise-cancelling headphones to maximize your leisure experience
Ireland shares the EU’s Euro fiscal system, so if you are not traveling from a country in the eurozone, we advise you to convert some money to cash beforehand and notify the bank of your plans so that they don’t unexpectedly freeze your card for ‘suspicious’ activity. In either case, we advise you to travel with cash and card. Carrying a mixture of small and large cash bills €5’s, €10’s, and €20’s is advisable. And last but not least, don’t max out your budget, set some money aside for surprises – wanted and unwanted.
- Pro-Tip: Converting your money before departing will often get you a better conversion rate and smaller fees.
- Pro-Tip: Avoid bank cards with foreign currency transaction fees (otherwise, the bank will take a percentage of every transaction you make).
Carry on vs. Checked Bag
If you are planning a solo, short, or mobile trip (i.e. ongoing destinations), you may find a carry on is all you need. Compared to checked bags, carry-ons are lighter, smaller and ultimately cheaper for traveling – regardless of your mode of travel, and especially if you are anticipating a mixed mode of traveling (i.e. with frequent trips on an ongoing basis). Packing less also means having to keep track of less. That said, the largest drawback of carry-ons – especially if flying – is regulations. You will have to avoid liquids, sharp objects, and other policies in order to comply with airlines.
If you plan on using a backpack as your carry on, we recommend bringing a smaller day bag or waist bag for day to day activities. Make sure to carry documentation, money, and your phone at all times.
- Pro-Tip: always carry your valuables (phone, keys, wallet, documents and gadgets) in your carry on, day bag, or on your person. And while Dublin is a safe city, a good practice when traveling is to keep all valuables in interior pockets, avoiding the most accessible exterior pockets. This is especially important in or near popular tourist attractions, where petty theft such as pick pocketing is more frequent.
However, if you plan to pack a larger item or a checked bag, we recommend using a tracking device to monitor the whereabouts of your luggage and hold transportation companies accountable.
- Pro-Tip: Roll your clothes and use packing cubes to maximize ease and use of space. If you’re packing something delicate, just use what you already have to secure it (i.e. sweaters etc.).
Layer your outfits
It frequently rains in Ireland and with the increased prevalence of climate change, Dublin’s weather can be particularly unpredictable. But don’t let that stop you, after all, it’s a fundamental part of the Irish experience. Depending on when you plan to visit Dublin, we recommend packing a light jacket and bringing a rain cover for your backpack if it isn’t already waterproof. In general, it is advisable to wear layers when traveling, as you can easily remove and add attire as necessary depending on weather and activity (also easier to pack!).
Common temperatures in Dublin
- Overall Average temperature: 10C / 50F
- Average summer temperature: A high of 20C / 70F
- Average winter temperature: A low of 0C / 30F
We recommend bringing shoes that are comfortable, breathable, and durable. Like many European cities, Dublin has many old streets, which are often paved with age-old cobblestones. And albeit beautiful, they are difficult to walk on with heels, so we recommend flat bottom shoes with proper physical support. This way, you’ll be able to get the most out of your Dublin visit without having to worry about what you’re wearing.
While many instinctively think of eating enough to avoid hunger and stay energetic, hydration is often overlooked. The best way to stay hydrated is to drink water (i.e. other beverages do not substitute water). A water bottle is a dependable, reusable option that always guarantees a refill and doesn’t spill. Notably, the more physical activity you do, the more water you should drink, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty at the moment.
- Pro-tip: Empty your water bottle before passing through security and fill it up again at the gate before boarding!
Traveling internationally often leads to a weakened immune system. Combined with local infections and viruses, and exacerbated by other international travelers, you are naturally more vulnerable and likely to get sick. To avoid this, we recommend regularly washing your hands and carrying hand sanitizer. That said, it’s important to note that hand sanitizer does not replace the efficacy of washing your hands, so when given a choice, wash your hands.
- Pro-tip: Sanitize your phone regularly and wear a mask closed in compartments with many people (i.e. planes).
Dublin’s Public Transportation
Public transport is a great way to get around for two reasons: you personally experience local living, and it’s affordable. Depending on how long you plan to stay, you can purchase a leap card for 1, 3, or 7 days at a time (€8.00, €16.00, and €32.00 respectively). These prepaid cards are valid in all forms of public transport in and around Dublin (i.e. buses, commuter rails, DARTs and Luas trams). You’ll find vendors in stations, the airport and in the city, but you can also order online in advance.
Note: there is no train to and from the airport, but there are regular buses and other services, express AirLink is particularly popular.
- Pro-tip: If you plan on mixing modes of transportation, a LEAP card will save you money.
Find more information regarding Dublin’s Public Transportation network here (LINK to other page).
Wi-Fi and Cellular: VPN and SIM cards
Many budget oriented travelers try to get by on public Wi-Fi. And while this is possible due to Dublin’s abundance of free Wi-Fi (Dublin’s buses all offer free Wi-Fi) you may be putting yourself at risk of data theft. To combat these cyber risks, we recommend purchasing a VPN subscription or using a local prepaid SIM card.
- Pro-tip: All buses include free Wi-Fi
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a subscription software that protects your data while using public, shared, private Wi-Fi networks. But if you plan to venture outside of Dublin’s Wi-Fi hotspots, or generally prefer to rely on cell service and data, we recommend opting for a prepaid SIM card. SIM cards allow you to temporarily use a mobile service (i.e. phone calls, test messages and data as defined at the time of purchase). Notably, having both a sim card and VPN is the best way to project your data and roam.
- Pro-tip: If you’re concerned about a reliable Wi-Fi network, we recommend prepaid Sim cards
Dublin uses type G electrical outlets and plugs (i.e 3 rectangular prong) with a standard voltage of 230v/50Hz. We suggest buying an adapter if you do not already have one. In particular, if you are a frequent traveler, we recommend buying a universal adapter, it is certainly a worthwhile purchase as they last a lifetime.
- Pro-tip: Bring a power bank to charge your phone on the go!
Wake Up Early
Between locals, students, and tourists, Dublin is a popular place to be. To get the most out of your experience, we recommend waking up early. Tourist attractions, streets, parks and eateries will be near empty. You’ll get the best views, photos and memories without ever having to wait in lines, crowds, or traffic.
- Pro-tip: Don’t over plan, wander and get lost, you don’t know what you might stumble upon!
Dublin offers a diverse array of cherished local and international cuisines. To get the best deals and quickest reservation, we suggest eating out at lunch, as dinner menus are often priced higher and harder to reserve. In addition, some restaurants offer ‘early bird’ specials for diners who eat between the usual hours of lunch and dinner (e.g. 4:00pm).
Note: Tips are appreciated, but not required
Student ID and OPW Heritage Cards
If you’re a current student, we recommend carrying your official Student ID card, as you may be eligible for certain discounts at certain venues and tourist attractions. Moreover, regardless of whether you’re a student or not, we recommend purchasing an office of Public Works (OPW) heritage card. These cards provide access to over 45 historic sites and attractions an entire year (365 days from first use).
OPW Heritage card Pricing
- Adult: €40.00
- With student ID: €10.00
- Senior (60+): €30.00
- Children (12-18): €10.00
- Family (2 adults and up to 5 children aged 12-18): €90.00
- Children under 12: free
Pro-tip: know someone who’s going to Dublin? An OPW heritage card is a great gift!
Share your Dublin Memories
Last but not least, one of the best ways to preserve and remember your Dublin experience is to capture them. And while smartphones are commonplace for quick pics, nothing can replace the quality and capability of cameras. Whether you bring a small digital or film point and shoot or a bulkier DSLR or mirrorless camera, we recommend opting for quality over convenience, your future self will appreciate it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What language is spoken in Dublin?
English is the most commonly used language, with varying degrees of Irish slang and accents, of course. You may also hear Gaelic, the native language of Irish people. Make sure to learn some basic English and irish-specific phrases before arriving – bonus points for Gaelic!
Is tap water Safe to Drink in Dublin?
Yes, tap water is safe to drink across the country unless otherwise notified. Another great reason to pack a reusable water bottle!
Do people pay tips in Dublin’s restaurants?
While it is customary practice in to pay tips in Ireland’s restaurants (no more than 10%) it is not necessary because workers are sufficiently paid and do not rely on tips. Notably, it some other tourist activities, it is common to provide a tip.
What is the Legal drinking age in Dublin?
You must be 18 years or older to consume and purchase alcohol. If you plan to drink, make sure to bring photo ID with your birthdate.
What side of the road do people drive on in Dublin?
In Dublin and Ireland in general, cars drive on the left side of the road. If you plan to drive, make sure to bring proper Identification, and familiarize yourself with local driving rules, regulations, and signage.
What do I do if I lose my Passport and Travel documents?
Immediately consult your local embassy or consulate to get a new passport and/or relevant travel documents. Luckily, because Dublin is the capital of Ireland, it should be relatively easy.
Is Wi-Fi readily available in Dublin?
Yes, between universities, eateries, libraries and public transport, Wi-Fi is readily available in Dublin. Please see our section on tech for more information and safety advice.
Are credit cards widely accepted in Dublin?
Yes, but make sure to carry some cash as well – particularly if you plant to take day trips outside the city. In any case, there are plenty of banks in Dublin.
How do I greet locals in Dublin?
Other than a simple smile and wave, it’s customary to shake hands upon meeting someone.
Are there any Social or Cultural Taboos in Dublin I should know about?
Yes, as Ireland’s capital, Dublin poignantly cradles much of the country’s violent history related to power struggles and independence. We suggest not making insensitive comments regarding the conflict between England, Ireland, North Ireland, Catholics and protestants. A good rule of thumb is to generally be respectful of locals – their culture, history, and identity.
Please see Dublin’s History for more Information.