The Emerald Isle is a place of music, culture, history, and beauty just waiting to be discovered. Many of these finer qualities come together in Dublin, making it an excellent part of experiencing Ireland by car. Any average traveler might look for ways to see more in Dublin, but the experienced explorer will first learn what not to do.
5. Don’t Fall Into Common Travel Mistakes
Depending on your itinerary, you may not want to fly into Dublin Airport. Although this will be a great option for some travelers, smaller nearby airports often provide much less stress and hassle, and rental car agencies there will get you on the road just as quickly. If you’re not accustomed to driving on the left side of the road, this will give you some time to get used to it away from the fast paced urban experience of driving in Dublin.
If you do fly into Dublin Airport, you don’t need to take a cab to your next location. Hopping on the Dublin Bus Airlink bus system will save you some money, while still letting you relax. These buses are comfortable and clean and will cost you far less than a cab. For a truly unique way to see the city on your own terms, pick up a car rental in Dublin and explore at your leisure.
Travelers should also be mindful of not following the locals across the street. Jaywalking is common, but the driving in Dublin is as harrowing as in any urban center. Until you’ve got a solid feel for the traffic patterns, crossing against the light or away from the corner can be downright dangerous.
4. Don’t Drink It Up In Temple Bar
Temple Bar is a favorite of visiting tourists, which means it’s crowded, expensive and sometimes dirty. By all means, we encourage you to take some time in Temple Bar, but do it during the day to take a look at the Irish Film Institute, the Irish Photography Center, and the Temple Bar Music Center. You’re here to experience Ireland, not just get uncomfortably close and personal with other tourists.
For a better experience, go off the beaten path in Dublin with some local favorites. Bowe’s on fleet street carries over 100 different whiskeys as well as a number of craft beers. The bar at 3 Fade Street, indicated only by a snail on the front door and known to some as the Snail Bar, is lined with comfy, relaxing couches and a generous smoking area. For some live music, consider trying out The Village on Wexford.
Once at the bar or club, don’t order an Irish carbomb or a black and tan. Not only will this immediately mark you as a tourist, it can also be offensive, given the history of those terms. If you want to endear yourself to the locals, don’t go for a cocktail either. Stick with whiskey, Guinness, or craft beers. And for goodness sake, don’t order a Budweiser.
If you didn’t pick a designated driver, now’s the time to spring for a cab. While The Nitelink bus line will get you home, it tends to be a bit seedy. Do yourself the favor and get home safe and comfortably. Of all the things to do in Dublin, the Nitelink is one you can safely miss.
3. Don’t Expect Authentic Traditional Music
You’ll see it advertised everywhere, in fluttering colored fliers and Temple Bar windows, but don’t be fooled. Traditional music just isn’t a common find in Dublin. If you wander into a place touting traditional music, you’ll probably end up with a show that was specially painted up just for the tourists.
For a real authentic experience, you’ll have to wander out to some of the smaller towns. If you must have something resembling traditional music, get advice from the locals at a nearby pub.
2. Don’t Accidentally Start A Fight
Make a note right now. Never call an Irish citizen British, and don’t call Ireland part of the United Kingdom. Ireland has been independent since 1922, and it’s a bit of a sore subject, so you don’t want to get this one wrong.
Another sure-fire way to end up in a scuffle is when alcohol is involved. Binge drinking is often on the agenda of many travelers who are visiting Dublin, but we cannot stress enough that there are plenty of other things to do in Dublin that aren’t centered around booze. Practicing moderation and appropriately handling your alcohol will serve you well anywhere you travel, but even more so in Dublin.
1. Don’t Wear Yourself Out Trying To See More in Dublin
While hunting for all of the best things to do in Dublin, remember that the city is more that just a series of sites to visit. Don’t spend your day running from tour group to tour group, experiencing the city primarily from the top of a double-decker bus. Research the best time to visit Dublin depending on your own individual interests and dare to go off the beaten path; you’ll be thankful you did!
Make some friends down at the local pub and hang out with them after the relatively early closing times, usually 11:30pm on weekdays and 1am on weekends. Try some local fare, like shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and potato boxty, that’ll stick to your ribs and keep you going all day. Go see a biting Irish comic or drink a local beer. You’ll see more in Dublin and make better memories trying out the local haunts. Take the time to soak up the city and really get a feel for life in the Emerald Isle.
For the guaranteed best rates on Dublin car rentals, rely on Auto Europe. By working with an array of rental car agencies with pick-up locations around the city, we are able to get you on the road to seeing more in Dublin with some extra cash in your pocket! Book your Ireland rental car online using our secure, three-step booking engine, or contact one of our reservation specialists toll-free 24/7 at 1-888-223-5555.