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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Valenti

How to plan a weekend in Dublin: where to stay, how to get around and so much more

Dublin is a lively city full of history, which is very easy to fall in love with: its culture, its traditions, its people... it is definitely an enchanting place! Although it is not as large as other European capitals and does not boast as many attractions or museums, Dublin attracts tourists above all for its liveliness and its culture, which mixes Gaelic traditions and modernity. The historic center is small but picturesque and full of references linked to Irish music and literature, the pubs are the best place to spend pleasant evenings, with a good Guinness and listening to traditional music sessions. Dublin is waiting to be discovered and I'm sure that once you've been there, you won't be able to wait to go back!

READ ALSO: What to do in Dublin: 3-day itinerary and 10 unmissable experiences Now let's see how to to plan a weekend in Dublin and some tips to make it fantastic!


Where to stay in Dublin

The Ferryman Townhouse ☆☆

The Ferryman Townhouse is a pub and hotel located in the Dublin Docklands area, the new district of the city, on the banks of the River Liffey, right in front of the spectacular Samuel Beckett Bridge.

Dove alloggiare a Dublino: The Ferryman

The location is excellent, a 10-minute walk from Temple Bar, the right distance to stay away from the chaos that reigns supreme in the evenings in the streets of Temple.

The Ferryman is a historic pub that stands out among the industrial buildings and modern skyscrapers of the neighborhood, with its red facade it is a real gem. The hotel is located on the floors above the pub and I must say that we were pleasantly surprised: the rooms were quite spacious, with a crazy view of the Liffey, well furnished and with a nice bathroom. Aside from the classic carpet, it was also pretty clean, with linens and toiletries included, and great free wifi!

Dove dormire a Dublino: the Ferryman

The greatest advantage of this place is certainly the fact that the hotel room is just one flight of stairs away from a splendid pub, which allows you to linger with a pint of beer (or a few more) until late! For two nights we paid €328 for 3 people by booking on booking.com: the price is not very convenient, but consider that we traveled on a long weekend with a public holiday (Bank Holiday) which meant that the prices were a little higher than normal. So, I would definitely recommend the Ferryman: good value for money, nice rooms, excellent services, excellent location and very friendly staff (they kept our backpacks for us all day without extra charge).


Flights for Dublin

Dublin airport is very well connected to practically all the airports in Europe as it is the home and headquarters of Ryanair: if you haven't noticed, the symbol of the airline is very reminiscent of the Brian Boru harp, the emblem of Ireland. This time the choice was really forced, so we booked a flight on Ryanair.com from Bologna to Dublin spending €89 each in total, round trip. As I always do for trips of just a few days, we did not purchase additional luggage and only used the backpack included in the basic rate. The flying times are particularly convenient, with departure in the morning and return in the evening! Saturday BLQ 09:25 -> DUB 11:10 Monday DUB 20:00 -> BLQ 23.35 Ryanair flights generally depart from Terminal 1, but always check the ticket, especially on the return journey!

When I travel only with a backpack, my choice always falls on the Borealis Classic - North Face, now my faithful and irreplaceable travel companion. In my opinion, it is ideal for trips of up to 3-4 days, thanks to its 29 liter capacity I can always fit everything I need in it: it has lots of very useful pockets and compartments from the bottle holder to the padded space for the laptop or tablet, and the straps to fasten it at the waist and chest allow me to carry it on my shoulder comfortably without getting tired.


Ireland Visa

Ireland is part of the European Union (don't get confused with Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom), so if you are traveling to Ireland and you are not a citizen of the UK, Switzerland, or a country in the European Economic Area (the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein), you may need to apply for a visa.

Anyway, I always suggest you check if you need or not a visa to travel to Ireland on iVisa.com: just insert your own country and your destination and they will be able to tell you if you have to apply for an Ireland tourist visa.

iVisa.com provides online travel documents such as visas for entry to countries around the world (but also health declaration forms, embassy documents, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards and other travel documents ). The site is safe and secure, the service is fast and efficient, and the team is experienced and available 24 hours a day for any need. Relying on iVisa.com will allow you to fully concentrate on your journey without wasting time and struggling with bureaucracy, as well as allow you to leave without anxiety because there will be no hitches once you reach your destination. Click here to access directly to the page to apply for visas and travel documents.


How to get to Dublin city center from the airport

The Dublin Express is a bus service that connects the airport with the center of Dublin with various very convenient stops close to the key points of the city, such as Temple Bar and Trinity College. B

Buses leave from the stop located right in front of the exit of both Terminals 1 and 2 and pass through the Port Tunnel, making the Dublin Express the fastest means of connection between the airport and the city center. The Dublin Express has two lines, 784 and 782, I leave the map of the stops below. You can buy tickets on-site or in advance on the official website, the cost of the ticket is €12 return.

Mappa fermate Dublin Express

How to move around Dublin

Dublin is not a huge city and the center is quite limited: most of the attractions are all quite concentrated, which makes it possible to move easily on foot without covering too many kilometers. The important thing is to make a good program by grouping the various things following a logic of proximity and convenience.

Exploring Dublin by bike

Dublino in bicicletta

There are a. few points of interest outside the center, such as Kilmainham Prison and Phoenix Park... to be able to reach them easily, an excellent solution is to plan a day on a bike! Dublin is well accessible by cyclists and the bike is certainly an economical and green way to cross the city while enjoying the view. We decided to group the most distant destinations into a single day so that we could visit them all, reach them by bike and rent it for just one day. Instead of looking for a shop that rented bicycles (I honestly haven't seen any around) we relied on public bicycles that are used on a limited basis and can be found in many parts of the city. There were some a short distance from our hotel so we took advantage of them. The service is called Dublin Bikes and is quite simple and cheap.

The first time you use it you need to download the app and sign up, choosing the type of subscription you want to use. Among the various options, there are two that are ideal for tourists: the one-day pass or even the 3-day pass. We did the 1 day one, which costs €3.50, after which you pay for the time you use the bike. Through the app, you have access to the city map with the various bike collection points. Once you reach the point, simply select the bicycle number and unlock it from the app. The first 30 minutes of use are free, subsequently various rates are applied: the more you use the bike the more the prices increase, which is why I advise you to leave your bike at the designated collection point every time you have to stop - in this way, you will spend very little! I guarantee you that it is doable and not at all problematic, the city is full of Dublin Bike points, there are on almost every street. In this way we spent €5 on usage, to be added to the €3.50 of the daily pass, in total it is €8.50 for the whole day: absolutely an excellent deal! The bicycles are all equipped with a basket, adjustable gears and a lock with a key. We had a great time and I would like to recommend this solution to you: it guarantees you to cover large distances in a short time, in an absolutely economical and green way, maintaining the freedom to stop wherever you want and not having to stick to the times of public buses or transport.


When to go to Dublin

Dublin's climate is oceanic: cool and humid all year round, with average temperatures of 5°C in January and February, and 15°C-20°C in July and August. The city is subject to frequent rain, although usually not abundant, but it is located in the least rainy part of Ireland: rain is frequent all year round, especially in winter and summer. The best period for a trip to Dublin is certainly the summer one, from the end of May to the beginning of September, while the worst period is the winter one, with low temperatures, high humidity, often cloudy skies and sporadic wind storms. Having said this, however, exceptions must be made for some festivals that make the city magical and worth a visit even if the climate is not the best: - Mid-March, for St. Patrick's Day - March 17 St Patrick's Day; - Halloween weekend - when we went; - For Christmas, when Dublin is filled with wonderful lights and decorations.

St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

St. Patrick's Day is the celebration of Ireland's patron saint St. Patrick and is the most important holiday of the year. During the days of St. Paddy, as it is called by the Irish, Ireland dresses in green and above all Dublin turns into a continuous celebration with many festivals, musical and cultural events scattered throughout the city! This anniversary is much loved by tourists from all over the world who flock to Dublin in this period which becomes one big joyful and colorful event that unfolds between parades, fireworks, rivers of Guinness and traditional music sessions in the pubs, in a unique and engaging atmosphere that flows from the premises into the streets and squares of the city!

Halloween in Ireland

For those who don't know, Halloween was born in Ireland and here it is celebrated in great style: it is a holiday of Celtic origin created to celebrate the end of summer. My friends and I went for the Halloween weekend and I must say that it was a wonderful experience: I love this holiday and, in Ireland, they really live it to the full!

On October 31st and in the days preceding it, the streets, houses, pubs and shop windows are filled with ghosts, witches, little monsters and Jack-o'-lanterns, the carved pumpkin.

Jack-‘O-Lantern's legend

Jack was a miserly and very cunning blacksmith who managed to deceive the devil and escape from his hands. When Jack died he was denied Heaven and was forced to knock on the doors of hell. The devil, who had been deceived not once but twice, however did not let him in and threw a burning brand at him. Jack picked it up and stuck it in a turnip he had with him to prevent the wind from blowing it out and from that day on he wanders with his strange lantern looking for a place to stop. At this point, you may be wondering what pumpkins have to do with the legend of Jack and the answer is simple: nothing. The truth is that when many Irish emigrated to the United States due to famine in the nineteenth century, they brought this story with them, but in America turnips were not widespread and were thus replaced with pumpkins, which were much more common.


Useful tips for your first trip to Dublin

  • Ireland is part of the European Union (don't get confused with Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom), so the Euro is the official currency and you don't need a passport, an identity card is enough;

  • Dublin's time zone is that of Western Europe, on the Greenwich meridian (GMT/UTV), one hour behind Italy all year round, as summer time is also in force in Ireland;

  • Book in advance Dublin's most famous attractions such as the Book of Kells exhibition and the Long Room at Trinity College, Kilmainham Prison, the Guinness Storehouse tour and the Whiskey tasting;

  • What to pack: definitely a raincoat (it is very likely that it will rain), comfortable and possibly waterproof shoes - I am always very comfortable and warm with my Martens 101 Vegan - and try to dress in layers, the weather is quite changeable;

  • I will never tire of recommending the Fjällräven Kånken hip pack: since I discovered it I have never separated from it! It is extremely comfortable, spacious and allows me to go around the most crowded places without fear that something might be stolen because I can always have it comfortably underneath my eye!

  • I always recommend having a pack of Compeed plasters in your suitcase which can always come in handy, you never know;

  • Don't forget the adapters for electrical sockets: you will need the Type G 230V-50Hz!


Dublin Travel Guide

If you are passionate about travel guides and want to read something more about Dublin before leaving, I can only recommend my usual beloved Lonely Planet. You'll be happy to know that you can possibly choose between at least 3 options: - Dublin Lonely Planet: the classic one, that unfortunately is a bit old now since it is the 2020 version;

- Dublin Lonely Planet - pocket: if you are planning to go to Dublin next year, I suggest you wait to buy your Lonely Planet pocket and buy the new edition coming in April 2024 (Dublin Lonely Planet - pocket 2024), otherwise you can choose the current latest edition that is still quite recent: Dublin Lonely Planet - pocket 2022;

- Ireland Lonely Planet: if Dublin is just a step in a longer trip across Ireland, then this is the travel guide you have been looking for. It can come in handy also for a future on the road trip across Ireland.. just in case!


I would say that now you are ready to organize your perfect trip to Dublin!

For any doubts or further information, do not hesitate to contact me!


Go n-éirí an bóthar leat - have a nice trip in gaelic

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