Nuts-and-bolts information to plan your trip, plus a checklist of essentials to include when you pack and a list of links to local media

Planning

Entry Requirements: U.S. citizens need a valid passport to enter Ireland.

Security: Crime in Dublin is relatively low compared to other major cities. The peace accord that ended the hostilities with the IRA in the mid-1990s has held for more than a decade now, so the instability that troubled Ireland in the past is mostly a memory. But don’t argue politics or religion, as these are still sensitive subjects.

Time: Ireland is five hours ahead of U.S. eastern standard time.

Money: Ireland is part of the Eurozone, so its currency is the euro. For current conversion rates go to OANDA Currency Converter. www.oanda.com/convert/classic

Phone Calls: The international country code for Ireland is 353. The Dublin city code is 1. To call Dublin from the U.S., dial 011 353 1 the local number. To call the U.S. from Ireland, dial 001 area code the local number. Mobile phones are readily available for rent in Dublin by the week or month. In an emergency, dial 999 or 112 and specify whether you need the police (Garda), an ambulance, the fire service, or coastal rescue.

When to Go: There’s an old Irish joke that if it wasn’t for Ireland blocking the wind the English would freeze to death. Ireland is a blustery place in the fall and winter. Winter temperatures generally stay just above freezing; summers rarely rise to 90°F (32°C), spring and fall are rainy and variable. Wear layers, bring a small umbrella, and pack sturdy, waterproof shoes.

Getting There: Dublin Airport is about six miles (10 kilometers) north of the city center. From the airport, rent a car, hop in a taxi, or take one of Dublin’s buses.

Getting Around: The Irish drive on the left side of the road, and statistics indicate they don’t do it very well. Ireland has a relatively high road death rate, though luckily, the road fatality numbers are dropping. Drive defensively. Speed limits top out at 74 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour) on motorways. Trains and buses are a handy alternative, and you can traverse cities in Ireland in a fairly short period of time. In Dublin, the LUAS light rail will take you out to the coastal suburbs, while buses and cabs can ferry you around the rest of the city.

Checklist

Rain Gear: The gray and rainy Dublin weather will be one of the biggest factors in any holiday, so pack accordingly. Bring an umbrella small enough to tuck in your bag or pocket when the skies clear.

Jacket: Pack an overcoat or waterproof jacket, even in the summer. Getting soaked through isn’t much fun, and sometimes the rain blows sideways.

Layers: Even when it’s cold outside it’s warm inside, so pack clothes that can be peeled off once you’ve found shelter.

Sturdy Walking Shoes: The best way to get around Dublin is on foot, so you’ll probably do lots of walking; be prepared.

Good Street Map: They sell excellent maps at the Dublin tourist office, and it’s a good idea to get one before you set off. Don't rely on skimpy free maps from your hotel.

Driver’s License: If you’re planning to rent a car, you’ll need a valid driver’s license and a healthy dose of courage.

Web Links

Discover Ireland
The official website of the Irish tourism board offers practical tourist information plus articles on everything from food to festivals. www.discoverireland.com

Visit Dublin
Official Dublin city tourism website. www.visitdublin.com

Gulliver
Accommodations booking website; a good place for last-minute lodging deals. www.gulliver.ie/dublintourism

Dublin Bus
Information about getting around Dublin. www.dublinbus.ie

Guinness Storehouse
See where they make the famous beer. www.guinness-storehouse.com

James Joyce
Find activities and exhibitions related to one of Dublin’s favorite writers. www.jamesjoyce.ie

Ireland-Guide
Georgina Campbell’s excellent guide to Irish restaurants and hotels. www.ireland-guide.com

Hotpress
Frequently updated listings guiding you to Dublin’s nightlife. www.hotpress.com

The Journal of Music in Ireland
The online version of the magazine devoted to traditional and roots music in Dublin and the rest of Ireland. www.thejmi.com

The Dubliner
The online version of the city’s slick monthly magazine of the same name; a good place to find out what’s going on in the city. www.thedubliner.ie

InDublin
Formerly a magazine, now an arts and entertainment listings website. www.indublin.ie

Local Media

The Irish Independent
The country’s best-selling newspaper, published daily. www.independent.ie

RTÉ One, RTÉ Two
Ireland’s two major terrestrial television channels, both operated by the Irish state network Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ), a public network comparable to Britain’s BBC. www.rte.ie

The Dubliner
Slick, monthly magazine with listings, arts, and culture information. www.thedubliner.ie

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About Dublin and Ireland

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