Dublin Travel Guide: Vacation and Trip Ideas

Empty city streets Dublin, Ireland.
Photo: levers2007/Getty Images

Dublin is a city brimming with history, from centuries-old cathedrals to stately manors that line the winding streets. Institutions like Dublin Castle, the National Gallery of Ireland, and St. Patrick's Cathedral have long drawn tourists looking to catch a glimpse of the city's rich history, while places like Trinity College highlight Dublin's literary past — after all, there's a reason the city is called 'the land of saints and scholars.'

Spirits lovers will find themselves right at home amongst favorite spots like the Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, and the Teeling Distillery. And Irish cuisine, once considered a bit of an oxymoron, is on full display in Dublin. The city is now home to five Michelin-starred restaurants, plus an array of international restaurants that highlight the diversity of the city.

So whether it's history, architecture, or literature that piques your interest, or you're most focused on food and spirits, there's plenty to keep you busy on your next trip to Dublin. Here, our favorite spots in 'The Pale.'

Time Zone

Irish Standard Time

Best Time to Go

Winter weather in Dublin is less than ideal, with temperatures averaging in the 30s and 40s Fahrenheit. But the city offers a number of festivals that make up for the chilly weather. There's the New Year's Festival which takes place for three days at the start of each year, the Dublin International Film Festival every February, and a five-day-long St. Patrick's Day Festival in March.

St. Patrick's Day in Dublin is more so celebrated by travelers than locals. However, you'll still find quite the crowd congregating around the city's Temple Bar neighborhood indulging in the revelry. Locals view the day as more of a reflective occasion to celebrate relationships, family, and faith.

As the weather starts to get a bit nicer, travel to the city starts to pick up significantly, but that also means that prices tend to increase. In late spring and summer there are a host of festivals to keep anyone busy, including the International Literature Festival in May, Bloomsday (a celebration of author James Joyce) and Pride in June, and the Festival of Curiosity in July.

The autumn months are particularly beautiful as leaves start to change color throughout the city and its many parks. Every September, there's the Dublin Fringe Festival and the Taste of Dublin — great for foodies. And each November, celebrated authors come to the city for the annual Dublin Book Festival.

Things to Know

Currency: Euro

Current Exchange Rate

Language: English is the predominant language but signage is also in Gaelic.

Calling Code: +353

Electricity: Standard voltage in Ireland is 230v, which is within the 110-240v range most U.S. electronics use. However, you'll still need an adapter as the country uses a large "G" electrical outlet with three square prongs.

How to Get Around

Getting around Dublin and the surrounding area is incredibly easy. The DART train connects the city to the quaint villages and towns that dot the countryside and waterfront. The light rail and bus system can get you anywhere around town, and there are even bicycles for rent for a more leisurely experience. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland and offers direct flights that connect Dublin to cities all over Europe, the Middle East, and North America.

Trains: The DART is the city's commuter train that connects Dublin to surrounding cities and towns. The city's light rail system, the Luas, has two lines that service 67 stations around the city. The Green line runs north to south, and the red line east to west. Travelers can purchase tickets at any of the stops.

Buses: The Dublin Bus has 120 routes and 18 night routes that connect the entire city. The fare is dependent on distance traveled and tickets can be purchased at stations and on the bus. Travelers can also purchase the Leap Card, a prepaid card that saves 24% on travel, and they can be purchased at any number of locations around the city.

Taxis: Taxis are available all over Dublin and are fast and efficient, if only a bit expensive. City Cabs (01 872 7272) and Taxi 7 (01 460 0000) are two highly rated companies that service the city. Uber is also available throughout Dublin.

Best Hotels

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The Westbury

Address: Balfe St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 679 1122

The five-star boutique hotel in Dublin's Temple Bar neighborhood blends contemporary designs with neutral colors to offer a relaxing retreat, while still being in the heart of the city. The hotel has 205 rooms and suites, a central location close to a handful of historic attractions, and a world-class cocktail bar: The Sidecar.

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The Merrion Hotel

Merrion Row + Public House
Courtesy of Merrion Row + Public House

Address: Merrion St Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 603 0600

Housed in a collection of four Georgian townhomes, The Merrion Hotel offers a five-star experience with an on-site spa, pool, and gym, plus the two-Michelin-star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. There's also The Cellar Bar, The Garden Room, and No. 23 Cocktail Bar, for those looking for a quick bite or fine cocktail. The hotel offers 142 rooms and suites, many of which overlook the meticulously manicured gardens.

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The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection

The Shelbourne Hotel Dublin Ireland Princess Suite
Courtesy of The Shelbourne Hotel

Address: 27 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 663 4500

Just across from St. Stephen's Green, The Shelbourne is a luxury hotel that oozes history. The nearly 200-year-old property seamlessly blends historic design with modern amenities and has played host to a number of celebrities, from John F. Kennedy to Princess Grace. Guests can enjoy cocktails or bites from any of the six venues at the hotel and the on-site spa offers a range of wellness amenities perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring.

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The Marker Hotel

Address: Grand Canal Square, Dublin Docklands, Dublin, D02 CK38, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 687 5100

Situated on Grand Canal Square in the city's newly emerging cultural and business district, The Marker Hotel offers a luxury stay with loads of modern amenities. The hotel's 187 rooms and suites sport bright and stylish design with pops of color accenting contemporary furnishings. Guests can partake in rooftop yoga sessions, grab a bite or drink from any of the hotel's three eateries and bars, or unwind at the on-site spa.

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The Westin Dublin

Address: College Green, Westmoreland St, Dublin, D02 HR67, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 645 1000

Within Dublin's Temple Bar neighborhood, The Westin Dublin offers an opulent stay in an historic building loaded with modern conveniences. The 191 rooms and suites all sport classic Irish décor and offer a signature Westin Heavenly Bed, designed for optimal sleep. The hotel is centrally located to much of what the city has to offer, overlooking Trinity College and just down the block from the many shops and boutiques that line Grafton Street.

Best Restaurants

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Glover's Alley

Food from Glover’s Alley
Courtesy of Glover’s Alley

Address: 128 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, D02 HE18, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 244 0733

This fine-dining restaurant led by chef Andy McFadden dishes up elegant fare with ingredients sourced by some of Ireland's top farmers. Overlooking St. Stephen's Green, Glover's Alley blends contemporary décor with imaginative dishes to offer a truly unique culinary experience. Reservations recommended.

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Fade Street Social

Address: 6 Fade St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 604 0066

Fade Street Social offers a range of phenomenal and incredibly unique dishes — think: duck egg with pickled anchovy and glazed pork belly — that are all craveworthy. The restaurant is centrally located, just steps from Dublin Castle. There's also a rooftop terrace with wood-fired dishes and cocktails on offer, plus some of the best views around.

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Chapter One

A table at Chapter One by MV
Barry McCall (@bazzasnaps)/Courtesy of Chapter One by MV

Address: 18-19 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 T3V8, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 873 2266

Chapter One is a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Phibsborough neighborhood, serving up dishes that combine international recipes with creative and innovative techniques. Housed in an 18th-century mansion, along with the Dublin Writers Museum, the restaurant blends history with contemporary design. Reservations recommended.

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Ananda Restaurant

Address: Sandyford Rd, Dundrum, Dublin, D16 VK54, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 296 0099

Located about a 30-minute drive south from the city center, Ananda is a culinary hot spot that's worth the trek. The restaurant serves contemporary Indian fare and is open for dinner service Tuesdays through Saturdays, and for both lunch and dinner on Sundays. Reservations recommended.

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The Pig's Ear

Address: 4 Nassau St, Dublin, D02 YX74, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 670 3865

The Pig's Ear is a local favorite, offering unique takes on traditional Irish dishes. The restaurant offers a four-course set menu, mainly using ingredients specific to Ireland, and is open for dinner service from Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations recommended.

Things to Do

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Guinness Storehouse Factory

Pintes of Guinness just been served pictured at the Storehouse rooftop bar "Gravity Bar" in St James Gate Brewery, Home of Guinness.
Vincent Isore/IP3/Getty Images

Address: St. James's Gate, Dublin 8, D08 VF8H, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 408 4800

Pretty much anyone coming to Dublin has the Guinness Storehouse on their list of places to visit — and for good reason. It's not only geared toward beer lovers (though that is a main draw), but also history fanatics, offering plenty of information on the building and the surrounding neighborhood throughout the years. Learn to pour the perfect pint or just enjoy hearing of the building's 250-year history, either way, it's a great place to visit for anyone heading to Dublin.

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Teeling Distillery

Tasting flight from Teeling Distillery
Courtesy of Teeling Distillery

Address: 13-17 Newmarket, The Liberties, Dublin 8, D08 KD91, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 531 0888

While the Jameson Storehouse is most often visited by tourists (and is surely a place worth checking out), the Teeling Distillery is less than a 10-minute drive away and offers a less-crowded experience. The distillery has more than 230 international whiskey awards and is a favorite among whiskey aficionados. Guests can tour the facilities or partake in a whiskey tasting for the full experience.

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Dublin Castle

Historic Dublin Castle. Medieval tower in the middle of the picture
ChrisSteer/Getty Images

Address: Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 645 8800

Once the seat of the British government's administration in Ireland, Dublin Castle now welcomes world travelers interested in learning about the history of the country. The 13th-century building is situated right in the heart of the city, with easy transport to pretty much anywhere you need to go. Visitors can opt for a guided tour of the castle or visit for any number of their regular events or exhibitions.

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Trinity College Library

Wisdom in old shelves and books at Trinity College Library
meshaphoto/Getty Images

Address: College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 896 1000

You might think that a visit to a college library wouldn't be top of mind during your Irish vacation, but Trinity College Library isn't like anything you've seen before. The 400-year-old building houses over seven million books, but the architecture is just as impressive — resembling something out of a Harry Potter movie.

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St. Stephen's Green

Address: St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland

This bucolic park is situated right in the center of town and offers a quiet retreat after a long day of exploring, or at least a respite before you continue on. Take in the views of the stately Georgian mansions that line the park or stroll along the central pond to watch for swans. On the surrounding streets, you'll find upscale boutiques and shops, plenty of restaurants, and a few landmarks.

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National Botanic Gardens

A glasshouse is pictured at National Botanic Gardens in Dublin,
Alberto Pezzali/Getty Images

Address: Glasnevin, Dublin 9, D09 VY63, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 804 0300

The National Botanic Gardens are about a 10-minute drive north of the city center but feels worlds away. At nearly 20 hectares, you could easily spend an entire day strolling through the beautifully landscaped gardens.

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National Museum of Ireland—Natural History

Address: Merrion St Upper, Dublin 2, D02 F627, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 677 7444

There are three National Museum of Ireland locations, each with their specific focus — including archaeology and decorative arts and history — but the Natural History museum is a favorite. The museum hosts a number of events, and showcases a range of 10,000 unique exhibits.

Best Shopping

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Clerys Quarter

A general view of Clery's Department Store on O'Connell Street in Dublin, which has been sold to a US private equity firm.
Julien Behal/Getty Images

Address: 27 O'Connell Street Lower, North City, Dublin, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 618 1300

The famed department store dating back to 1853 is being fully reimagined with a more contemporary feel. Situated on O'Connell Street and just a block from the Liffey River, Clerys Quarter will offer a hotel, rooftop bar, and plenty of shops and eateries to keep you busy all day.

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Temple Bar Markets

Address: Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

The Temple Bar Markets are open every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. right in the heart of the city. Visitors can find plenty of handmade goods and bites, making for a great place to stop to pick up some souvenirs.

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George's Street Arcade

Exterior of George's Street Arcade
Courtesy of George's Street Arcade

Address: South Great George's Street, Dublin, Ireland

George's Street Arcade is filled with shops, galleries, and eateries and has been serving the community since 1881. Visitors can stroll the halls to check out any of the 32 shops or grab a bite to eat at one of the 10 restaurants on-site.

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Powerscourt Townhouse Centre

People dining inside Powerscourt Townhouse Centre in Dublin.
Artur Widak/Getty Images

Address: 59 William St S, Dublin 2, D02 HF95, Ireland

This upscale shopping center is housed in an 18th-century mansion and perfectly showcases the architectural heritage that is so prevalent in Dublin. Visitors can shop or dine at any of the over 40 boutiques and restaurants throughout the complex.

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Brown Thomas

Address: 88-95 Grafton Street, Dublin 2, D02 VF65, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 605 6666

Brown Thomas is an upscale department store that's been serving the residents of Dublin for nearly 200 years. Those looking for the best in fashion will find just what they're looking for here, as some of the world's top design labels can be found at Brown Thomas, including Gucci, Hugo Boss, and Ralph Lauren, among many others.

Neighborhoods to Know

Illustrated map of Dublin with highlighted neighborhoods to know as stated in the written text of this article

Lara Antal/Travel + Leisure

Temple Bar: Temple Bar is the heart of the action in Dublin, located in the city center on the south bank of the Liffey River. The cobbled streets are lined with historic buildings, filled with boutique shops, cafés, pubs, hotels, and hostels. If you're looking for a place to catch live music, this area is it. Throughout the week, many of the pubs invite local musicians to rile up the crowds as they enjoy a pint or two. A favorite spot amongst visitors is the neighborhood's namesake Temple Bar pub, which dates back nearly 200 years.

St. Stephen's Green: Centered around its namesake park, St. Stephen's Green is one of the priciest areas in the city and is characterized by stately Georgian architecture. Just a short stroll away, you'll find some of Dublin's best shopping on Grafton Street with dozens of luxury retailers. On the south side of the park, you'll find the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), which highlights the country's vast storytelling history.

Christchurch: Christchurch is centrally located to a number of Dublin's best attractions, including the 1,000-year-old Christchurch Cathedral, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and the Guinness Storehouse. In addition, travelers will find plenty of great restaurants and pubs on the surrounding streets.

Rathmines: Situated just outside of the city center of Dublin, Rathmines is an upscale neighborhood with great bars, boutique shops, and eateries. The nearby Ranelagh neighborhood has a similar feel, and both can be easily reached by taxi.

Portobello: Portobello is a city-suburb located just south of St. Patrick's Cathedral and is known for its beautiful scenery and quaint Georgian homes. The area is filled with great shops, restaurants, and boutiques, making it the perfect stop for souvenir shopping. Portobello Road runs along the canal and is a great place to take a leisurely stroll after a long day of exploring.


Compared to other European cities, Dublin has a relatively mild climate. Winters are on the cooler side but temperatures don't often drop below freezing and the summer months are very comfortable. The city gets a fair amount of rain, averaging some level of precipitation around 191 days out of the year.

Average temperatures are listed below in Fahrenheit.

January 37-47
February 36-47
March 38-51
April 40-55
May 45-59
June 49-64
July 53-67
August 52-66
September 49-62
October 45-57
November 40-51
December 38-48

Apps to Download

Dublin Bus
iOs | Android

Iarnród Éireann: Irish Rail app
iOs | Android

Journey Planner: Ireland's National Transit Authority app
iOs | Android

Leap Top Up: Manage your Leap card on your phone
iOs | Android

GPSmyCity: Literary Walking Tour of Dublin
iOs | Android

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