Dublin is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey. It lies within the province of Leinster and is bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wicklow Mountain range. Dublin has an urban population of 1,173,000 and is a vibrant, modern and a true international city divided by the River Liffey.
It is a very walkable city that features a large number of historical sights along with popular attractions and an exciting night life with a reputation for good restaurants and pubs. The best way to start seeing Dublin on your own is to locate a Tourist Information Center (I) as soon as you get into the city to pick up maps and get suggestions from the staff that are always eager to offer customized tips to match your interests.
Where Your Ship Docks
Port Location & Facilities – Smaller ships can come up the River Liffey closer to the City Centre while most large cruise ships berth in Alexandra Quay. Alexandra Quay currently is in an industrial port. It is about a mile and a half walk to get out of the port and to the edge of the city proper near 3Arena. There is currently no cruise ship terminal, so ships will have to use boarding ramps. For people with walking issues and wheelchairs it can be difficult. Most cruise ships will have arranged for shuttle buses into the city center (About $15 round trip on average). Taxis are also available but can be spotty after the morning rush. City bus service is not convenient to the ships.
Note: On our recent stop the ship did an overnight. We walked from the ship into the Temple Bar neighborhood and measured the trip at just under 4 miles total.
Public Transportation – There is a Visitor Leap Card that allows you to ride all busses and light rail (called LUAS) with 1 day (24 hours) – €10.00 and 3 days (72 hours) – €19.50 They can be purchased at a number of locations around the city and online. There is also automated bike rental system called Just Eat Dublinbikes that will also allow you to use the Leap Card.
Taxis – Taxi service is reasonably priced in Dublin. When cruise ships come in or are boarding/Disembarking there is likely to be a wait to get a cab. A recent ride from the port to a hotel in the CBD was €15 and from that hotel to the airport was €22.
Sightseeing Buses – The city has a number of sightseeing bus services that allow for hop-on, hop-off and currently average $20+ per person per day. There are also a number of good walking tours. For information check with a Tourist Information location (i).
Bikes & Scooters – There are very little in the way of hills in Dublin so bicycles and electric scooters are an easy way to get around Dublin. There are several options for renting with a large number of self-service locations around the city. Dublinbikes also has a 3 day ticket where you take a bike from one cycle stand, bike around town, and drop the bike off near your destination.
The Republic of Ireland is still a member of the European Union and the Euro is the local currency (€). Most major credit cards are welcome and ATM machines are everywhere.
Free Things to Do in Dublin
Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art – A world class collection with an impressive number of exhibits and galleries.
Millennium Bridge – A popular example of modernistic architecture over the Liffey River connecting two great very walkable river front trails.
Trinity College – Stroll through one of the worlds best eduction institutions featuring a number of historic sites.
College Green – An impressive open space that attracts locals and visitors alike.
Grand Canal – Spend a little casual time beside the water to rest and revive.
Irish Stock Exchange – Plan a visit and find out the importance of this place to the community.
St. Teresa’s Church – The center of Dublin’s religious life and a holy site.
Christ Church Cathedral, formally The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, it is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin.
Ha’penny Bridge – Also known as the Penny Bridge, and officially the Liffey Bridge, is a pedestrian cast iron bridge built in 1816 over the River Liffey.
Dublins parks and gardens. In the center of Dublin is St. Stephens Green, a large and very popular park. The National Botanic Gardens is a couple of miles from central Dublin but not to be missed to view the country’s native plants in a gorgeous setting. The Hill of Tara has incredible views and can be found on any map of Dublin. Another is Phoenix Park known for its beautiful running paths. If traveling with kids, a great choice is to spend some time in The Dublin Zoo.
Stout and Whiskey Guinness Storehouse is a very popular tourist attraction at St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. Also Jameson Distillery Bow St. is the original site where Jameson Irish Whiskey was distilled until 1971. It is now another popular visitors centre.
The Famous Temple Bar Neighborhood
Dublin is famous for an incredible number of pubs with many featuring live music. Probably the most famous is the Temple Bar which has become the center of an entertainment district.
There are a number of other local attractions in Dublin that highlight the history of the city. Kilmainham Goal, once an infamous jail. Marsh Library has a vast collection of over 20,000 rare books. The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship docked on the Liffey River, and th4 Famine Museum is one of the best places to learn about the history of Dublin. If you are interested in learning about the original inhabitants of Dublin, be sure to stop at Dublinia: Experience Viking and Medieval Dublin to see history presented in a fun and entertaining way.