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9 Mistakes Tourists Make While Visiting Dublin

Travel9 Mistakes Tourists Make While Visiting Dublin

Dublin has long appealed to tourists thanks to its rich history, vibrant pub culture and walkability. But travelers tend to make a few mistakes during their time in Ireland’s capital city ― and locals certainly take note.

To help future visitors, we asked people who’ve lived in Dublin to share some of the faux pas they’ve observed. From misguided itineraries to public transit mishaps, here are nine common blunders among tourists visiting Dublin and some advice for avoiding them on your travels.

Limiting your visit to the city center

“Don’t just stick to the city center. Check out the neighborhoods. Rathmines is a short walk from the city center and is great for thrift shopping and cute places to eat. There’s even a revamped vintage cinema, The Stella, which is a great way to spend an evening. Stoneybatter has some of the best restaurants in Dublin (book in advance for Grano) and even has an urban sauna which is perfect after a day of exploring.” ― Tara Povey, blogger at Where Is Tara?

“A mistake is not knowing that Dublin is a city of villages. If visitors only hang out in Temple Bar and don’t explore other neighborhoods like Stoneybatter, Ranelagh, Donnybrook and Clontarf, they miss out on a more authentic experience.” ― Catherine Reilly, managing director of Brendan Vacations

Not utilizing public transit

“The public transport in Dublin is pretty good, so don’t waste your money on Ubers and taxis. Pick up a Leap card in any convenience store and explore the city using the LUAS, the DART and local buses. It will definitely help your travel budget.” ― Povey

Going only to touristy pubs

“A mistake tourists should avoid when traveling to Dublin is only visiting touristy pubs. The pub plays a central role in Irish social culture. It’s where friends and neighbors meet to chat and catch up over a couple of pints, watch a football match, or escape the cold and rain. Yet many tourists only visit the lively pubs in Temple Bar and miss out on the more local experience. If you’re coming to Dublin, try to get out of the city center and head to a local neighborhood pub. It’s a great way to meet locals and get a feel of traditional Irish pub culture.” — Tamar Marder, blogger at World By Weekend

“Temple Bar is not the only place to get a drink in Dublin. In fact, it’s probably the most expensive part of Dublin for a pint and is full of tourists. Venture a bit further to areas such as South William Street (I recommend Grogan’s) or Capel Street (Check out Bar 1661 for cocktails) for some more authentic places to grab a drink and mix with locals.” ― Povey

Expecting clubs to stay open late

“A mistake is not realizing that our nightclubs end quite early in comparison to other major cities. Most of our clubs close around 2:30 a.m. with a select few going until 4 a.m. After that there’s absolutely nowhere to go dancing, which is why our house party scene is quite significant.” ― Sarah Hanrahan, Irish travel creator

Thinking you’re in the U.K.

“One of the biggest mistakes I see tourists make when visiting Dublin is thinking Ireland is part of the U.K. Even those who know Dublin is not in the U.K. often assume that the Irish and British are mostly the same. Not only is this offensive to Irish people (who endured a long history of life under British rule), but it couldn’t be further from the truth! While the two countries have close ties, Ireland has a unique culture that holds its own against its larger island neighbor. So, when you’re in Dublin, don’t embarrass yourself (and upset the locals!) by referring to the Irish as British.” — Marder

Missing out on live music

“Dublin is known for its vibrant music scene. Go to The Cobblestone, Whelan’s, O’Donoghue’s for live sessions.” ― Reilly

Misunderstanding bus payment

“One mistake I can think of is tourists thinking they can pay by bank card on busses; our public busses require a specific card ― a Leap Card ― to pay for your journey, or the exact amount of money for the cost of the fare. The bus driver doesn’t handle the cash and you won’t get change.” ― Hanrahan

Skipping the local food

“Another mistake is not trying local food ― soda bread, Cashel blue cheese, fish and chips, Murphy’s Ice Cream.” ― Reilly

Not allocating enough time for Dublin

“A big mistake is not allocating enough time for Dublin. Take a walking tour with a local — who else is going to tell you that Dublin has a hidden network of underground rivers flowing beneath its streets?” ― Reilly

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