Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland, is a dynamic city, culturally rich and in many ways worth a visit. With its many historic sightseeing tours, lively evenings, and surprisingly varied landscapes, Dublin has everything you need to make your stay in the city a memorable one. This little guide offers you ideas for visits and outings spread over 4 days and 3 nights as well as very useful practical information in order to prepare your stay as well as possible. It is, of course, possible to arrange your trip according to its duration, this guide will serve as a basis. So, if you are ready for a little escapade in Ireland, in a typically warm Celtic atmosphere, culturally rich, less than 2 hours away by plane, follow the guide!
Travel arrangements, accommodation and transport in Dublin
There are many travel offers depending on whether you choose a separate or grouped flight and accommodation, offers via private sales, or a language trip in Dublin. Nevertheless, for all-inclusive packages (flight, accommodation and breakfast), you have to count between 250 and 500 euros per person for a stay of 4 days and 3 nights. Here is some useful information to prepare an Irish escapade:
The fares for a round trip Paris-Dublin flight are between 57 and 130 euros per person, with hand luggage and in economy mode. The price varies according to the city of departure, the airline and the luggage option chosen. It is possible to find flights from Lyon or other cities. The flight time is between 1h45 and 2h25 depending on whether you depart from Paris or Lyon. You will have to take into account a small jet lag: when you arrive in Dublin, you will have to set your watch back one hour. To get to your hotel, you can take the "Airlink express" buses, a taxi (25 euros on average to get to the city centre) or a shuttle bus.
As far as accommodation is concerned, Dublin is a relatively affordable capital. As everywhere, rates differ according to the location of the hotels, but it is possible to find very interesting prices even in the city centre. For 3 or 4-star accommodation, the price range is between 330 and 600 euros for 3 nights in a double room if you book without an intermediary. An off-centre hotel does not especially pose problems for visits. Two districts are worth considering when choosing your destination: St Stephen's Green which is in a quiet area and close to the superb garden of the same name, and O'Connell Street which is closer to the shops, but also to Temple Bar for night outings. These two districts are both very close to the city centre (15 to 20 minutes on foot at the most).
Dublin is the capital of taxis! Forget New York and its "yellow cabs", the Irish capital has no less than 16,000 taxis for 553,000 inhabitants. This abundance of taxis logically results in very attractive fares for users, less for drivers. A trip costs on average 1.04 euro per kilometre, and the minimum price for a trip is 4 euros. The average fare in the city centre is between 4 and 9 euros. It is possible to book a taxi by phone or via smartphone applications ("hailo" for example).
The DART is also a very good way to get around, but especially to visit Dublin and its surroundings. Comparable to the RER in Paris, it is possible to take it from the city centre and tour the city in less than an hour. The DART is particularly convenient to change scenery in a few minutes, and to find yourself in the Irish countryside or on the cliffs overlooking a fishing port (in Howth for example, as explained later in this guide). Count only 7 euros for a day of unlimited travel on this train. You can use the "Irish rail" application to get information on train timetables and stations.
The bus is a more complicated alternative for your travels. More complicated in the sense that maps and routes are not easy to understand, and stops are not easily identifiable either. The fare depends on the number of stops, 3 euros for a journey from 4 to 13 stops for example. It may be useful to get free applications on your phone to help you find your way around on bus routes. There are also applications for consulting off-line maps ("Dublin bus", "Dublin map").
Some practical information:
- The euro is the official currency of the Republic of Ireland.
- Hotels are quickly full between April and September.
- Dublin is not a big city, so it is possible to make the majority of visits on foot.
- It is never very cold in Dublin. On the other hand, it is better to bring rain wear!
- The bus drivers do not give change, so you have to make sure you have the right amount of money or you will have to be reimbursed the difference by means of a payment receipt at a bus company counter.
- As in many capital cities, you can opt for the "Dublin pass". This is a pass giving you discounted and priority access to around 30 tourist attractions in Dublin. It costs 94 euros for 3 days, and quickly becomes profitable if you plan to visit more than 4 tourist attractions. In addition, it gives you access to a bus tour to get to the main attractions of the city.
You now have all the main information you need to prepare your trip. Below, you will find a suggestion for organizing visits and outings to be made over 4 days and 3 nights, not exhaustive of course, but with a few must-see destinations.
Day 1: Travel, arrival and first evening in Dublin
After your flight and having reached your hotel, a relaxing afternoon and/or evening is essential. Depending on your arrival time, you can already take a short walk to the city centre. One area of Dublin is a must for any visit, especially for an evening stroll: Temple Bar. Indeed, this colourful place, with its warm and festive atmosphere, is known for its high concentration of pubs and restaurants. The "Irish pubs", typically Irish bars, are identifiable thanks to their woodwork decorations, decorated with antique objects, advertising posters, and trinkets. There is often traditional musical entertainment. A major difference is to be noted, compared to French bars for example: the order is to be made by the customer directly at the counter, and it must be paid for before taking your drinks ("pint" or "half pint" of course)!
Day 2: Discovery of Dublin
The day after your first drunken evening (or not...) at Temple bar, what better way to start your day of visits than with a walk surrounded by nature? Go to St Stephen's Green garden. An early morning stroll in this park will wake you up gently. A mini ‘Arc de Triomphe’ sits at the entrance on the Grafton Street side. Once you've finished your walk, head north on Kildare Street. You'll pass the National Museum of Ireland. Continuing up this street you'll come to Trinity College, which is a must-see. It is the oldest university in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. There, you can admire the "Book of Kells" which many consider to be one of the most beautiful relics of the Middle Ages. The visit of the campus is free, but to visit the library, you have to pay.
Not far from Trinity College is the renowned Irish Whiskey Museum. This interactive museum is ranked among the top 30 best museums in the world by Trip Advisor. Continuing west along Dame Street, you can take a break at the famous Bull and Castle, a pub near Christchurch Cathedral, which is a recommended visit. Finally, to end this afternoon's tour, you can head south along Patrick Street to St Patrick's Cathedral, which is just a few minutes away. For the evening, you can go back to Temple bar or try a pub or restaurant that you spotted during the day, or opt for a recommendation on the internet. There's plenty to do!
Day 3: Visit of Dublin and Howth
On your third day, the walk can be divided into a morning dedicated to Dublin, and an afternoon getaway on the Howth Peninsula on the Irish Sea.
To start this morning in Dublin, visit Dublin Castle. This castle was the seat of power from 1171 to 1922. Its construction started in the 11th century although the majority of the building was constructed in the 18th century. After visiting the castle, head west along Thomas Street to the Guinness Storehouse, another must-see in Dublin. This tour is very interesting, even for those whose favourite drink isn’t beer. All the history of this monument of Irish culture is perfectly transcribed in the museum whose architecture has the particularity of being in the shape of a pint. The visit will end in the bar on the top floor where you will be offered a pint of this unctuous beverage. Up there, you can enjoy a breath-taking panoramic view of Dublin!
Depending on the timing, it is time to go to one of the following DART stations: Connolly Station, Pearse Station or Tara Street Station. From there you can take the train north to Howth. This village is a typical fishing port where you can eat fresh fish and shellfish, but you can also take a walk on different circuits along the sea and on cliffs in postcard-like landscapes, or discover a typical fishing port in Ireland. It takes about 25 minutes by train to get there and radically change the landscape. If you wish to eat there in the evening, take into account the return time of the DART, whose last train back to Dublin will leave around 11pm.
Day 4: Shopping and departure from Dublin
For your last day, and depending on your departure schedule, a morning of shopping and souvenirs may allow you to leave with a small piece of Ireland. Go to the "O'Connell Bridge" which is the only bridge in the world that is wider than it is long. From there, head out onto Dublin's widest avenue: O'Connell street. On O’Connell street, there is a large number of shops. The same goes for St Henry Street, a street that is perpendicular to the west side when you reach the monument "The Spire" (literally, "the syringe"). To satisfy your shopping desires, the Moore Street market is also nearby.
There you go. You now have a small glimpse of what you can discover in Dublin during a short stay. Of course, this content can be adapted to the length of your stay. There are still plenty of places to visit in and around Dublin. In any case, have a good trip! And let's bet that you will want to go back to Dublin!