Dublin Car Hire and Travel Guide

With its rich culture and long-standing heritage, the vibrant Irish capital of Dublin is incredibly popular as a weekend getaway destination.

But there is plenty more to offer in the city’s main streets, narrow lanes and green spaces, while widespread investment has led to numerous regeneration projects.

Located on the East coast of the Republic of Ireland, in the borough of Leinster and at the mouth of the River Liffey, Dublin can trace its roots back to the Iron Age.

You’ll find traces of Celtic, Viking, Norman and English influence, while an abundance of museums detail the region’s complex and often difficult history.

If you’re unsure what to see in Dublin, when to visit, or where to dine out, read on to discover more about the city that first brought us Guinness (and lots more besides).

Guiness Tour in Dublin

Weather in Dublin

Dublin isn’t really a city you visit for its weather, and while it may rain a lot, that just represents the perfect opportunity to discover many of the great attractions on offer.

Average temperatures in Dublin drop to around 5°C in January and February, and peak at an average of 16°C in July and August.

You can expect around six hours of sunshine a day between May and July, while Dublin is generally wet, experiencing between 50mm and 80mm of rain every month.

Between 20 and 24 days receive rainfall every month, with August, October and December usually the wettest periods. 

Dublin bridge

Things to do in Dublin

There are a host of Dublin attractions that can be enjoyed whatever the weather, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s history, culture and the arts.

Discover more about Ireland’s troubled, and often bloody, struggle for independence, with a visit to Kilmainham Gaol, a historic jail that played a key role in the Easter Uprising.

There are an array of Dublin tours too, including the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour, which visits the main sites and stories that relate to the uprising just over a century ago.

You can also tour Dublin Castle, an 800-year-old set of fortifications or visit the Guinness Storehouse, a brewery experience that tells the tale of Ireland’s famed beer.

EPIC The Ireland Emigration Museum explores the story of emigration in Ireland, while the National Museum of Ireland is arguably the nation’s most important cultural institution.

For something a little different, visit the National Print Museum, or view stunning artwork at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, set among elegant surroundings and colourful gardens.

If you love sport, then a tour of Croke Park stadium is a must. You can even climb onto the roof as part of the Skyline tour – if you can overcome a fear of heights!

And if you’re still hunting for things to do in Dublin, wander the city’s many streets and you’ll uncover something at nearly every turn! Or pop into the Dublin tourist office for some extra guidance.

Dublin castle

Food and drink

Dublin is home to a wide array of bars and other venues that offer live music, a wide array of drinks and traditional food.

You’ll also find all of the regular chain restaurants and an abundance of local eateries, meaning there is something to suit every budget.

The Temple Bar Food Market is the best for gourmet food, while Chapter One is just one of many Michelin-starred restaurants across the city.

And of course, no trip to Dublin is complete without sampling a pint of the ‘Black Stuff’ – as Guinness originated, and is brewed, in the city.

Temple Bar in Dublin

Travelling around Dublin

The geographical terrain of Dublin makes it ideal for cyclists, and while you can rent bicycles from around the city, Just Eat’s Dublinbikes scheme is a popular alternative.

With more than 100 stations across the city, the scheme works in a similar fashion to the Santander Cycles in London, where you can hire what are commonly known as ‘Boris Bikes’. A €10 smart card can be purchased from many stations with credit card terminals, and the bikes are free for the first 30 minutes and cost €0.5 for every half-hour after that.

An extensive bus network serves the city from around 6 am to 11.30 pm, with fares calculated based on the number of stops. Purchase a Leap Card, available from most newsagents, if you intend to travel regularly. After registering online and topping it up, you can swipe it for every time you travel using a bus, the Luas – light rail service, suburban trains or Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART). Alternatively, the hop-on-hop-off bus tour is perfect for those who would like to travel to and from the city’s most popular sights.

The central bus station, Busaras, can be found just north of the River Liffey behind the Custom House. You can also purchase a range of fare saver passes, depending on the duration of your stay and on where you intend to travel. Taxi companies, with fixed fares, also operate across the city.

The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) provides access to Howth in the north and to as far as Greystones in County Wicklow to the south of the city. Services run roughly every 10 to 20 minutes between Monday and Saturday, while a reduced service runs on Sunday.

Dublin cycling

Dublin Airport

Located 13km to the north of the city, Dublin Airport (DUB) – Ireland’s busiest – welcomes regular short, medium and long-haul flights from all over the globe.

International flights, including most from the USA, use Terminal 2, while Ryanair and a handful of others use Terminal 1.

You should note that there is no train link to Dublin city centre, and that bus travel takes roughly 45 minutes – numerous buses serve the route, including Aircoach, Airlink Express Coach and Dublin Bus. Regular services run throughout the day, while a select few offer hourly services through the night.

An alternative is to arrive at the Dublin Port Terminal, which is around 3km from the city centre and which is served by the bus network.

Dublin Car Hire

Car hire at Dublin Airport is another option, as you’ll find an array of local and international car hire firms there, as well as others in Dublin city centre. The majority of rental firms require drivers to be at least 23-years-old and to have had a driving licence for at least one year.

Do your research on the various Irish car rentals prior to travelling to ensure you get the best price and look to book in advance where possible. Note that demand is highest during the summer and at weekends.

If you are considering car hire in Dublin though, be aware that parking can be very difficult. No free parking exists between 7 am and 7 pm Monday to Saturday, and spaces are priced depending on the city zone you are in. Expect to pay €2.90 per hour in the yellow central zone, down to €0.6 per hour in the blue suburban zone. The clamping of illegally parked cars is also rigorously enforced.

That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get out and enjoy all that the lively and pulsating Irish capital has to offer and if you do decide to hire a vehicle – make sure your excess is protected

Date Created: 01/03/2019

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