9 Things to Know before Visiting Dublin for the First Time

Visiting Dublin for the first time? Check out these 9 travel tips and enjoy your trip.

Last updated: January 20, 2023

First time visiting Dublin - Roads and Destinations
What you need to know before visiting Dublin, Ireland, for the first time

First Time in Dublin: 9 Things You Should Know before Visiting the City

“Why out of all European cities, do you want to go to Dublin?” This question followed me for a week after I had announced my decision to visit Dublin during my recent trip to Europe.

Why not? A city known for its unique pub culture, including the Guinness Storehouse, craic, and rich cultural heritage, Dublin is worth visiting over and over again. However, with ample attractions and things to do, the city can be overwhelming. You definitely need to know a thing or two before visiting Dublin, especially for the first time.

That’s why I’ve put together the list of things one should know before going on the first trip in Dublin. Feel free to skip through some of these first-timer travel tips, but definitely use the others to make the most of your Dublin adventure.


1. Driving Can Be an Issue

Driving can certainly be an issue when visiting Dublin for the first time. The troubles come in bundle here: relatively narrow streets and abundance of vehicles on the roads. And definitely don’t forget about a specific way the roads in Dublin function: expect a lot of temporary and permanent re-routings.

On top of that, the Irish drive on the left side of the road. If you’re an experienced driver who can compete with Schumacher, definitely get this experience under your belt. Otherwise, you’re better off walking around or using public transportation.

First time visiting Dublin - Roads and Destinations
You can walk around or use public transportation when exploring Dublin for the first time

2. Taxicabs are Everywhere

Dublin is packed with taxis. If there were a competition, it’d have all chances to get ahead of London and New York, the cities with the largest amount of taxicabs. With that said, getting around is a piece of cake even for the first-time visitors of Dublin. You can flag down a cab almost everywhere without a prior booking.

READ MORE: 7 Things to Learn from Taxi Drivers around the World

3. Uber…

Even though you can still use Uber app to get your ride in Dublin, expect to see a taxi to pick you up. The taxis are heavily regulated in the city. Only people with official taxi licenses can offer you a ride for pay.

TIP: Here is another useful tip when visiting Dublin for the first time. If you have to book a taxi, use Free Now app instead. It gives you lower rates compared to those of Uber. On top of that, choose “sharing ride” option for additional saving.

READ MORE: The Only 12 Apps You Need for Traveling to Europe

4. Making Friends when Visiting Dublin is Easy

Even if you are visiting Dublin for the first time and don’t have any friend here, it’s going to change very quickly. The Dubliners are very friendly and open. They are joy to be around. You can always count on their help and advice. Perhaps only desperate introverts can have hard time making friends in Dublin.

First time visiting Dublin - Roads and Destinations
First time visiting Dublin - Roads and Destinations
Trinity College - Roads and Destinations
Making friends in Dublin is easy

5. Pedestrian Signals Do Work in Dublin

One thing that really took me aback when visiting Dublin for the first time was the time you have to wait for that green light to proceed across the street.

At first I felt uncomfortable and even silly when people were crossing the streets on the red light while I was still standing. More people were coming and doing the same. Guess what, I was still waiting for that green light. Finally, when I was about to give up and cross the street, the pedestrian signal had mercy on me and flashed the green.

So, as a first-time visitor, you should definitely have patience on the street of Dublin. The pedestrian signals do work. They are just slow.

6. No Buskers, Only Street Performers

Buskers” is a common word to describe people performing on the streets for monetary donations. In Dublin, though, these people prefer to call themselves “street performers”. So, no buskers, please.

Things to do in Dublin - Roads and Destinations
Ireland - Roads and Destinations
4 Days in Dublin and Ireland - Roads and Destinations
Ample pubs in Dublin

7. No Route without Passing a Pub

The pubs are an integral part of Dublin culture. There is no way to explore the city without stumbling upon at least one of them. You can clearly notice it even if it’s your first time walking the streets of Dublin. The Dubliners joke that you need to go into every pub for a pint so you don’t actually pass by any of them.

8. Tips on Tipping when Visiting Dublin

Tips are welcomed in Dublin. Yet unlike in America, there is no strong tipping culture here. Just go with your gut feeling: if you like the service, leave a tip. On the other hand, it’s appropriate to leave at least a 10% tip in a sit-down restaurant.

Ireland - Roads and Destinations
Ireland - Roads and Destinations

9. Dublin is a Culinary Gem for Vegans

Visiting Dublin for the first time without recommendations where to find vegan food? No problem. Dublin got you covered. Let’s get straight. It’s not London or Berlin, or even Los Angeles with their countless vegan cafés and restaurants.

Nevertheless, Dublin doesn’t lag behind. Even without the endless list of recommendations, you can easily find vegan food that is not only delicious, but also affordable. Blazing Salads is one of my favorite places to eat vegan dishes in Dublin.

READ MORE: Vegan in Dublin: The Best Places to Eat and Drink

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