Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is the capital of and largest city in Ireland, near the midpoint of Ireland’s east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the center of the Dublin Region. Founded as a center of Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland’s capital since medieval times.

Getting Around
Local buses, run by Dublin Bus, are frequent and cheap . Bus stops are green with a sign indicating the bus numbers that stop there.Fares start at E0.75 for a short hop within the city (up to three stages), and the exact amount must be paid in coins to the driver on boarding the bus. The driver can only give change in the form of a ticket, which can be redeemed at the Dublin Bus office on O’Connell Street. An excellent bus map of the city is available free of charge from Dublin Bus or the tourist office.
If you plan to stay in Dublin for more than 24 hours and you intend to travel around the city a lot, you should consider buying a Rambler ticket, valid for one (E4.50), three, five or seven (E16.50) consecutive days on all Dublin Bus scheduled services including the Airlink bus

Taxis were deregulated in Dublin in 2002. There are now far more cabs available, but this does not seem to have resulted in fare reductions. Taxi ranks in the city center are situated at O’Connell Street Upper, St Stephen’s Green, Aston Quay and College Green as well as at Busáras and the railway stations.

Dublin’s light railway system, the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) links the coastal suburbs with the city centre. It is useful for short hops between the north and the south of the city and for transport to hotels and places of interest in some suburban areas.

Shopping
Where Dublin excels in the shopping stakes is in locally crafted goodies from woolly jumpers to hand-woven rugs, and from gorgeous pots to elegant furniture, glass, jewelery and fashions. Beautiful, covetable items from all over Ireland are sold in Dublin through dedicated sales shops and in the big craft stores on Nassau Street.

The two main shopping areas are based around Grafton Street and Henry Street. Each has a distinctly different tone: Grafton Street is definitely the more upmarket of the two, with a number of quality boutiques among the high-street chains; Henry Street is a little seedy in places, but has an excellent street market and good shops in the adjoining arcades.

Tours and Attractions
An excellent way to get an insight into the city is to join one of the many specialist guided bus or walking tours doing the rounds of Dublin’s familiar and not-so-familiar sites of historical and cultural interest. These usually run daily and can be joined at the starting point, although it is wise to book ahead for some of the more unusual walking tours, as they may not run if there isn’t enough interest.

Dublin Bus operates the hop-on, hop-off Dublin City Tour, with open-top buses running every 10 minutes between 0930 and 1700 and every 30 minutes from 1700 to 1830, starting at McDonalds on O’Connell Bridge. The complete tour takes over an hour and visits 16 sights around the city, with guided commentary provided by the bus driver. The bus ticket (E10 adult, E5 child under 14) includes discounts at each of the sights and is valid for a day.

Click here to see some photos I have taken on my trip to Dublin.

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