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I have a habit of getting lost. -- Bono

Dublin Visitor's Guide

@U2

The Dublin Innocence + Experience concerts Nov. 23-24 and Nov. 27-28 will be a hometown gig for many, who can skip reading this guide to visiting their city. But for the uninitiated, non-Irish U2 fans invading Dublin as tourists, we hope this guide helps you find food, drink, transportation, Wi-Fi and possible daytime excursion spots.

For details about U2-related sites in Dublin, such as the Bonavox hearing aids store and Cedarwood Road, visit @U2’s Guide to U2’s Dublin on Google Maps, which handily pinpoints and describes each place (including sites that no longer exist).  

The information here was provided by Irish @U2 staffers Donal Murphy and Carol Foster, and frequent Dublin visitor Arlan Hess.

For a more comprehensive guide to all things Dublin, try Visit Dublin or the Dublin Visitors Centre.

Re-vamped_Bono_Vox_store,_February_2007

Currency

Ireland uses the euro (€). Check exchange rates at www.xe.com.

You can exchange your home currency for euros before you go, or in Ireland at the Dublin Airport, banks and ATMs.

Mobile Phones

If you visit Dublin and use your smartphone/cellphone like you do at home, your service provider is likely to charge you significant amounts of money for "roaming" outside your home network's coverage area. Many wireless companies around the world offer international calling/data plans, but they can also be expensive; check with your home country operator for pricing. Some companies offer international bundled minutes.

For those who assume that calls, texts and data roaming will be automatically available when they arrive in Ireland, that is not always the case. Check with your home operator for details, and learn how to elect to enable this feature.

If you go with a local mobile service, several low-cost options are available. Tesco is one of the cheapest. If you have an unlocked device, you can pick up a prepaid Tesco SIM card, which will work immediately on your phone. If your device is not unlocked, you can purchase a basic prepaid phone. There is a Tesco store in central Dublin, in Jervis Street, a city centre shopping complex. More on Tesco Mobile is available here.

Other low-cost options are prepaid phones from Meteor, Vodafone and Three; these companies have stores throughout Dublin city centre.

Wi-Fi

Many hotels/hostels have free Wi-Fi; check in advance when booking. Wi-Fi service might be offered “free all the time” or “first hour free”; again, check in advance. You might need a password, depending on the hotel policy. Speeds vary enormously. Typically (but not always,) free Wi-Fi tends to be slower than paid Wi-Fi.

When you are out and about, most pubs/restaurants/cafes have in-house Wi-Fi, which is usually free. Passwords are commonplace, and available at the bar counter from a staff member, or on in-house signage.

Transportation

Dublin Airport to City Centre

Taxi: Irish taxis charge based on a combination of distance and time; a taxi from Dublin Airport will cost from 25 to 30 euros – one way.

Bus: A number of options are available, with prices starting at 10 euros. Book in advance and online for the best fares. Aircoach is a great option because it offers onboard Wi-Fi, and the buses are more comfortable. Aircoach brings you directly to the city centre, without stopping. Make sure you know where your stop to get off is. Find out in advance the terminals where you will be arriving and departing so that you can book your bus to and from the airport in advance.

More options are described here.

City Centre

Luas:Luas (Irish for “speed”) is Dublin’s electric on-street tram system. It has two separate lines, Green and Red, and while they travel to many of the places you may want to go, if you are exploring the city in more detail, the Luas has some limitations. However, it is the most efficient way of getting around the main city centre areas. You buy your ticket in advance, at pay stations located at each stop. You can also purchase multi-day passes.

Luas_Dublin

Bus:Dublin Bus has the most options for getting around. The Dublin Bus app lets you download timetables, plan your route, etc.Exact change is required when boarding; if you do not have exact change, you will not receive any change.

If you are coming to Ireland for an extended stay, it might be better to purchase a Leap Card, which offers better value when making multiple bus trips. It is basically a prepaid card that you can top up as you wish. A Leap Card can be used on Dublin Bus, DART commuter trains, and Luas tram services.

On foot:You will see more by walking around any city on foot. Dublin city centre is reasonably compact, so you can get around the main central area without using any transport.

Tours: City tours are a very handy way of seeing Dublin quickly, and many offer “hop on, hop off” options.

Hop On Hop Off

Dublin Sightseeing

“Fun” tours: On the Viking Splash Tour, you travel around the city in a World War II amphibious vehicle. The Dublin Literary Pub Tour visits four city centre pubs, and the tour guide provides information about some of Dublin’s most famous poets and writers.

Dublin Differently offers specialized guided tours for small or large groups, with many popular walking tours of cultural sites in the city centre. The company offers a U2 Tour, a Dublin Music Tour, a James Joyce Tour, and other Dublin history and culture tours. Driving tours are also available, and all tours have options for “building your own tour experience.”

Other fun tours.

Temple Bar

Temple Bar is a buzzing part of the city, full of cafes, restaurants, pubs and fast-food joints.

It is best visited during the day, and up to around 9 or 10 p.m. Late in the evening, however, it can become a little loud, crowded, and some might even say “aggressive,” because it is very popular with hen and stag parties (bachelor and bachelorette parties), where people drink excessively until very late.

The majority of tourists end up coming here at some stage of their stay. But be warned, Temple Bar has some of the most expensive bars in all of Ireland.

Prices rise by the hour in some of the Temple Bar pubs, which is why many Dubliners completely avoid the area.

Pubs

Dublin has the some of the best pubs in the country, but some exploration is required to find them. The extreme edges of Temple Bar (i.e., get out of Temple Bar!) are good starting points for finding a nice pub.

Here are a few highly recommended options; all are steeped in history:

The Brazen Head: 20 Bridge Street Lower. Claims to be Ireland's oldest pub, dating back to 1198. It is certainly one of the most famous pubs in Ireland.

Doheny & Nesbitt: 5 Baggot Street Lower. A great excuse to go back in time.

Hogans: 35-37 South Great Georges Street. Hogans is on the corner of South Great Georges Street, in a trendy area of Dublin. It’s a low-key pub — nothing fancy, but the food is lovely, or a couple of nice restaurants are beside it, l’Gueuleton (French) or Rustic Stone.

Kehoe’s: 9 South Anne St. This traditional Irish pub is popular and gets very busy.

The Long Haul: 51 South Great Georges Street. This pub, which doesn’t have a website, is summed up very well in this Irish Times article.

Palace Bar: 1 Fleet Street. A step back in time; great and competent bar staff. At the edge of Temple Bar, but without the Temple Bar prices.

The Stag’s Head: 1 Dame Court (off Dame Street). A quiet pub that’s a timeless classic.

Restaurants

Plenty of places are available near the 3Arena around the Grand Canal Dock area, including Milano and the ely bar & brasserie for those who want to stay around the area.

Also, Grafton Street is a tourist destination with lots of restaurant options, especially on the side streets running east-west off Grafton Street. A few suggestions:

Captain Americas Cookhouse and Bar: 44 Grafton St.: This diner-type restaurant serves American food and has some U2 memorabilia.

La Cave Wine Bar and Restaurant: 28 South Anne St. (off Grafton Street). Offers gourmet cuisine and more than 350 wines.

Other recommendations:

The Church: Junction of Mary and Jervis streets. Lovely food and very centrally located off Henry Street. U2 tribute act The Joshua Tree will play there Nov. 26-28. (link: http://www.thechurch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/U2Poster_Final.-2.jpg)

Corfu Restaurant: 12 Parliament St. Greek eatery around the corner from The Clarence Hotel is very reasonably priced and has a good early-bird menu.

The Winding Stair: 40 Lower Ormond Quay.Offers simple, old-fashioned homemade food, with ingredients sourced locally. Also has a bookstore.

Dublin Free Attractions

The following websites offer excellent information about free recommended attractions in Dublin, with something to suit every taste:

Hostel World

Dublin Insider Tips

Dublin Fee-Paying Attractions

Book of Kells

The "Book” — the famous illuminated ninth-century manuscript of the four Gospels —is located within Trinity College in the city centre. You can purchase tickets at the door for 10 euros. However, it is worth considering the online tickets for 13 euros that allow you to beat the lines, which can vary enormously.

Trinity College, which is free to enter, is also worth a visit, and has a long and prestigious history, dating back to 1592.

The Dublin Science Museum, also part of the Trinity College complex, is also has free entry

Christchurch Cathedral

This is one of the most famous churches in Dublin, with a history that goes back 1,000 years. It’s most famous Dean is probably Jonathan Swift, writer of Gulliver’s Travels. Online tickets start at 6 euros, but it’s worth the extra money to go on a guided tour for 10 euros.

(Ireland)_Dublin_Christ_Church_Cathedral

Dublin Zoo

Home to about 400 animals, and Ireland’s most popular family attraction, the Dublin Zoo is one of the world’s oldest, built in 1831. Adult tickets are 16.80 euros.

Several buses will drop you close to the zoo, but the most straightforward way of getting there is to take the Luas Red Line and head west. Get off at the Heuston Station stop; the zoo is about a 15-minute walk from there.

The zoo has the added benefit of being located in Phoenix Park, a beautiful place, and worth a visit in its own right. It is one of the largest city parks in Europe, and twice the size of Central Park in New York.

Guinness Storehouse

This seven-story attraction dedicated to the making of the world-famous beer is the most visited attraction in Ireland. It is well worth your time, and the tour ends with a pint of Guinness (included in entry price) in the rooftop Gravity Bar. The lowest online adult ticket price is 16 euros — if you arrive before 11 a.m. It is strongly advisable to book in advance, as the lines can be quite long due to its popularity.

It will take you up to 30 minutes to walk there from the city centre, but you can also catch the 123 bus route, from O'Connell Street or Dame Street, which will get you there in around 10 minutes.

Another option is take the Luas to the St. James Hospital stop; it’s less than a 10-minute walk from there.

Irish Whiskey Museum

Many visitors say this is a better experience than the Old Jameson Distillery (see below) because it deals with the general subject of Irish whiskey, and is not linked to a brand. Guided tours and samplings are available. Ticket prices start at 15 euros for the standard tour.

The location is very central, close to Trinity College.

Kilmainham Gaol

The old jail is currently being redeveloped, so the ticket price has been reduced to 4 euros. Steeped in history, and built in 1796, the jail has witnessed some very significant events in Irish history.

Interior of Kilmainham Jail

 

Little Museum of Dublin

This museum, which concentrates on Ireland in the 20th century, is small in size but big in heart. On the second floor you will find a small but interesting room dedicated to U2.Ticket prices start at 5 euros, but go for the Director’s Tour, if available, guided by the director of the museum.

The museum is very centrally located close to St. Stephen’s Green, two minutes from the top of Grafton Street.

Old Jameson Distillery

Find out why Jameson is the world’s No. 1 Irish whiskey. The tour is guided and includes tastings. Adult tickets start at 13.50 euros (online only).

Take the Luas Red Line from the city centre, heading west, to the Smithfield stop; the distillery is about a five-minute walk from there.

(c) @U2, 2015