This will be my first time to Dublin and I'm going solo! Are there any tips you can suggest that will help me on a solo journey? Best places to go, where to stay, and should I rent a car? Any other advice is much appreciated :)
Do you plan on travelling to other places outside of Dublin ? If not I think you could skip the car. Public transport is pretty good. You could take the Air Coach from the airport which stops at most Dublin hotels and at a number of places within the city and suburbs. It costs €6 one way. There is a DART train that runs all along the coast from Howth in the North to Greystones in Wicklow and runs frequently (at least every 20 minutes) There is also a tram system called the LUAS. When you get into the city pick up a LEAP card (available at lots of shops, all DART stations and LUAS stops, also online) You pre load the LEAP card with money via your credit card and it can be used on all buses, DART and LUAS. There are bike docks also all around the city, register online. Dublin is a pretty safe city for solo travellers and you'll find that most Irish people are welcoming and warm and dying to show you a great time!
Where to stay? It depends on your budget and time. If time is limited stay in the centre. There are lots of hotels close to the places you'll want to see. Trinity City hotel is just around the corner from Trinity College as is the Westin. The Dawson is in a great location (and often has great last minute deals) and the Morgan is right in Temple bar. Airbnb has some decent accommodation near Dublin Castle and there are lots of hostels on hostels.com. You might also like to stay along the coast on the DART line. Blackrock Monkstown or Dalkey are good places and all are safe and within 30 minutes of the city.
I recommend a walking tour, bike tour or hop-on-hop-off bus tour to get your bearings when you arrive. It's a small compact city with a big park on North and South sides: Phoenix Park and St Stephen's Green both worth a walk through. Trinity College is right in the heart of the city. There are 3 good art galleries: National Gallery of Ireland Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and Irish Museum of Modern Art and several great museums, these are my favourites: Chester Beatty Library National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History and Kilmainham Gaol Most galleries and museums are free.
A lot of visitors to Dublin go to Guinness Storehouse to try a glass of Guinness and see the views from the top.
The area around Temple Bar S Great George's St and Dawson St are good for restaurants, bars and nightlife in general.
My favourite bars:
The Palace Bar Long Hall the The Front Lounge and Grogan's. The The Brazen Head is the oldest bar in Dublin and is worth a trip for the trad music.
Good restaurants in the city:
Pichet (mostly French food with excellent value lunch and early bird dinner) Keshk Cafe Restaurant (Lebanese with fab food and lovely staff, also a BYOB) The Vintage Kitchen (book early - this is a small place on Poolbeg St. with amazing food) The Pig's Ear (great early bird dinner with tables overlooking Trinity College cricket ground) For a big splash out, blow-the-budget meal go to Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud or Chapter One
For great cocktails go to Coppinger Row or Cocoon
Dublin is renowned for its sport, theatre and music. If you have time try to get to a match in Croke Park - especially hurling. The atmosphere is unforgettable.
There are many, many theatres. For mainstream plays go to Abbey Theatre Peacock Theatre Gate Theatre or Bord Gàis Energy Theatre For quirkier plays go to Project Arts Centre or Smock Alley Theatre, 1662 There are usually low priced shows on Mondays.
The best places for concerts are Vicar St The Olympia Theatre and the 3Arena
The Irish Film Institute is a great Art house cinema in Temple Bar with at least 5 shows on each day. It has a bar and (decent) restaurant attached and a brilliant archive and film shop. It's also a good place to meet people.
My favourite views of Dublin are from the top of Killiney Hill Park - the views stretch for miles and the whole of Dublin Bay. Take the DART to Dalkey and walk from there. Also walk along Vico Rd from Dalkey to see the bay all the way down to Bray in Wicklow. Dalkey has some great cafes and restaurants for lunch and you might even see Bono walking around the village!
Have a great trip. Let me know if you need any more info.Killiney Hill park (views of Dublin city on the other side!)
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Spent week in Dublin back in May and wrote a bit about it here. It was fantastic! Totally recommend using Airbnb places near Temple Bar and checking out the restaurants and pubs around that area!
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