For submitting a new event or a guide item, please
The capital of Ireland, Dublin is a vivacious and interesting city with a long history. It is a port city and combines a cosmopolitan diversity and energy with quaint old-world charm. The population of Dublin is around 1.5 million, making it the largest city in Ireland and home to more than one-third of the country’s residents. There are buildings from the Medieval, Georgian, and modern periods which give the city a classic and dignified atmposphere, but they can also appear quite gloomy on first glance. Especially under an overcast sky, the dark Irish granite gives the impression of a solemn and monochrome city. But this impression is fleeting, for as soon as one makes any kind of acquaintance with Dublin, its cheerful and comfortable pubs, trendy coffee shops and juice bars, top-notch restaurants, museums and unique shops show how much the city has changed since its stodgy, turn-of-the-century days. Now Dublin is one of the most popular European tourist destinations, and a fascinating and complex place to explore. In addition to all that the city has to offer, just outside of town you will find the beautiful seaside villages of Dublin country, rolling rural landscapes, and the unique natural beauty of Ireland’s mountains.
Ireland has a very moderate climate due to the Gulf Stream, despite its being fairly far north. Its reputation for rain is deserved, however, and no matter the season, gray days and drizzle are common. The sun never stays away for too long, but even sunny days can have some passing showers in them. The warmest weather comes in July and August, directly coinciding with the peak of the tourist season. Summer temperatures are usually between 20-26˚C (68-79˚) and rarely reach 30˚C (86˚F). Spring and autumn are generally delightful seasons as well, featuring crisp mild weather, and the crowds are much smaller at these times of year. Winters are also very mild, and snow is rare.
Ireland has two official languages, English and Gaelic. English is the main language, spoken in all areas of the country, but the Irish are proud of their Gaelic and efforts are being made to revive the language. Gaelic is the native language of about 83,000 of Ireland’s residents living in the western and southern areas of the country. Counties known for their Gaelic include Kerry, Galway, Mayo and the Aran Islands. Many documents and signs are printed in both English and Gaelic, and in rural areas it is not uncommon to only find signs in Gaelic.
The main religion in Ireland is Catholicism, practiced by about 70% of the entire country and 85% of southern Ireland. The remaining religious population is mostly Protestant, with Church of England being the most popular denomination. There is also a small yet growing Muslim population. The number of Jews is also very small, and has been declining in recent years. More than 4% of the country belongs to no religion.
The proper amount to tip in a restaurant in Dublin is between 10-15%. Sometimes this amount has been already added to your bill, so make sure to check this before figuring out the tip. If the service charge is already included, no further tipping is necessary unless the service was really excellent and you want to give extra. It is not customary to tip in pubs or bars unless you are served by waiter, and doing so might even get you some strange looks. Cafés often handle tipping by having a jar near the cash register into which people put loose change, usually up to € 1.
If porters or taxi drivers help with bags, a tip of about 50 cents a bag is appropriate. Otherwise tipping is not expected for taxi rides, but it is normal to round up the bill. Tipping is generally not expected for hotel services, but for longer stays or to reward better-than-average service, you can leave € 5 or so in your room.
The value added tax in Ireland is 17.36%, but non EU residents can get this money back on many purchases. Whether or not this is possible depends on the shop where you buy the items, and in most participating shops you have to spend a certain amount of money to qualify for the refund. You also have to take the items out of the country within three months. To get the money back, all you have to do is present the form you got from the shop to a customs official at the airport and collect your refund from the appropriate desk.
The country code for the Republic of Ireland is +353, while for Northern Ireland it is +44, the same as England. To call Dublin from abroad, dial +353 and then the local number. There are public telephones all over Dublin, most of which accept phone cards and credit cards, and some accept coins. Phone cards are available from tobacco shops, newsstands, telephone shops, and some supermarkets.
Dublin has many internet cafés and an increasing number of wireless hotspots. If you bring a laptap, chances are good that you will be able to connect to the internet with it in your hotel or at a local café.
There two emergency numbers that work for all of Ireland, 112 and 999. These are numbers you can call for all emergencies, and connect to the police, ambulances, fire department, and coastal rescue services.
Shops in Dublin are typically open Mon - Sat from 9 am - 6 pm, and on Thursdays many shops stay open until 8 pm. Sunday opening hours are more limited, and many shops are closed the whole day. Post offices are open Mon - Fri 8.30 am - 5.30 or 6 pm, and Sat from 9 am - 12 pm. Banks are usually Mon - Fri from 9 am - 4.30 pm, and some are open Saturday morning as well.
On the following days, most shops, banks and musuems will be closed, and public transport is likely to be more limited.
1 January, New Year’s Day
17 March, St. Patrick’s Day
Easter Sunday and Monday
1 May, May Day
First Monday in June, Bank Holiday
First Monday in August, Bank Holiday
Last Monday in October, Bank Holiday
25 December, Christmas
26 December, St. Stephen’s Day
Dublin is a fairly safe city, and it is very unlikely that you will be the victim of any crime while visiting if you follow common-sense safety precautions. For example, carry your belongings in a bag that cannot be easily pulled off, with valuables in secure pouch. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when in crowded, touristy locations. It is better not to carry your passport or large amounts of cash with you on the street.
Dear tobook.com visitor, you also can contribute to our city guides with
events and articles. Do you want to inform our readers with an upcoming
event or do you want to publish your article, please
email us at guide. We would welcome personal stories about your experiences
in Europe as a great addition to our city guides.