Dublin is divided by the River Liffey. On the north side of the Liffey is O’Connell Street, which is the main thoroughfare and is intersected by many shopping streets, including Henry Street and Talbot Street. The south side is where you will find many of Dublin’s main attractions, including St. Patrick’s Cathedrals, St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College.
The Dublin post codes range from Dublin 1 to Dublin 24. Odd numbers are usually given to areas north of River Liffey and even numbers to areas south of the river. As a general rule, the lower the post code number, the closer you are to the city centre.
The main tourist office is located in St. Andrew Church, just off Grafton Street and close to the city centre (Dublin 2). There you can find travel information, book accommodations and arrange tours.
Dublin weather is slightly milder than London, although its seasonal changes are very much the same. Dress as you would for London weather and always carry rain gear, although you’ll find that rains are not as persistent in Dublin as they are in London. Heat waves are unusual as are extreme temperatures of ice and snow, although the climate will change somewhat if you travel inland, with colder winters and more rain during the summer.
Dublin Bus offers an AirLink service from the airport every fifteen minutes during peak time, at Ï6 for a one-way or Ï10 for a return trip. Return tickets are valid for two months. Taxi services from the airport to the city will cost betweenÏ20 to Ï30, and can be cheaper if you are travelling as a group or as a family. Bus fares for commuting within the city areÏ2.65 and run every fifteen to twenty minutes, depending on the time of day. Local bus services require exact change.
Dublin is a popular world-class tourist location, so is usually crowded, especially in the summer. If you want to beat the crowds for more enjoyable sight-seeing, you will need to rise early. Crowds are greatest on Grafton Street and the Temple Bar area.
Many of Dublin’s most attractive locations can be reached by walking or by bicycle. If you are unsure as to how to reach your destination, ask the locals or a bus driver, as they are generally very helpful.
Use the Dart to arrive at Dublin’s outskirts. It will take you to Howth, with its assortment of dockside restaurants, a colourful harbour, fishing boats nodding along the wharf and a bird’s eye view of the protected island; Ireland’s Eye. You can watch the boats come in, enjoy a spectacular sunset and have a bite to eat while you unwind from visiting Dublin’s many attractions.
Dubliners consider Temple Bar to be a tourist trap and a place to avoid if you want enjoyable evening entertainment. Food and drinks are more expensive than in other parts of the city and often of a poorer quality than you can find elsewhere. They encourage daytime visits to the area for its cultural aspects, the food market and the book market, but feel when the sun goes down and the lights come on, it’s better to find somewhere else to go for evening entertainment.
If you want a souvenir to take home, locals recommend the Craft’s Market on Cow’s Lane, which is open during the weekend. You can find a variety of unique, handcrafted items, as well as shops supporting Irish crafts people throughout the week. Other great places to go for buying a souvenir are the Trinity College Bookstore, the Abbey Theatre and Butler’s Chocolates on Grafton Street.
St. Stephen’s Green is a favourite place among both locals and tourists for relaxing and soaking up a bit of sunshine. It fills up with workers during their time off, who settle back to watch swans, have a bite to eat and visit with the statues of local heroes.
Phoenix Park is another popular location. You can meander for miles, rent a bike or stroll over to the zoo.
Dublin does have a few beaches, but you won’t want to sunbathe or splash in the water. The beaches tend to be windy and that blustery feel is not for the faint-hearted. North of Dublin, you’ll find a good beach at Portmarnock.
The Irish are generally very friendly, but you’ll still find some animosity among the local people toward British visitors. Accept that their memories are long and their resentments have not yet faded away. As long as you behave in a civilised manner toward them, most of the Irish will be civil back. Don’t try to pretend you’re something you’re not. They’ll spot your London origins quickly. Be peaceable, be friendly and work hard to give Londoners a good reputation in Dublin.