While preparing for a trip to Dublin, there are a few tidbits of information that would be useful to know before you go. Let’s take a look at some important cultural facts and customs you’ll likely encounter in Dublin.
Basic information to know before visiting Dublin
Let’s start with some basics you should know about how things work in Dublin.
Currency: The currency in Ireland is the Euro. However, be mindful that if you travel up to Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, you may need to take out Pounds.
Tipping: Like the rest of Europe, Dublin has no tipping culture, so people rarely tip except occasionally for cabs if the distance is long or if you’ve got a massive bill at a restaurant and have had great service. Some might even consider tipping rude, so don’t feel the need.
Adapter plugs: Ireland uses type G power plugs and electrical sockets, so you’ll need an adapter.
Public transportation: Dublin has a variety of public transportation options, including buses, trains, and trams. There are several different ticket options and prices to suit your specific trip. Check them out & order yours here.
Ireland & Northern Ireland are two different countries!
Dublin is the capital of The Republic of Ireland, which is often known simply as Ireland, while the northern part of the island is a separate country called Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the UK (and therefore no longer a part of the EU) while The Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK, and therefore still a part of the EU. The two countries have a complicated and, at times, very bloody history. It’s probably best not to bring it up to Irish citizens, unless you’re sure they don’t mind discussing it.
Don’t bring up stereotypes
This should be obvious, but what may seem like a harmless joke might be actually offensive to some locals, as it could be steeped in difficult parts of history. Others are just plain annoying. Best not to bring up leprechauns or lucky charms, and avoid trying your hand at an Irish accent. Whatever you do, never order an Irish car bomb at a bar. You’ll get kicked (more likely, thrown) out of the place before you know what’s happened.
Be careful crossing the street
Remember that, in Ireland, they drive on the opposite side of the road. This means you’ll have to get used to looking the opposite direction than you’re used to before crossing the street. The roads in the capital can be a bit chaotic, too, so you’ll want to take extra caution when crossing.
The food is better than you think
Irish food gets a bad rap. Irish food is extremely fresh, filling and flavorful. Sure, you won’t have much variety, as you’ll probably find the same dozen or so menu items in most cafes. But you’ve got good-quality basics: meat stews, flavorful cuts, and delicious dairy, all sourced from the country’s own abundant hills and pastures. The type of food that really hits the spot in a cozy pub on a rainy day – with a pint of Guinness to wash it down, of course.
Bring a raincoat & an umbrella
Regardless of what time of year you go to Ireland, the chances are high that you’ll encounter at least some rain during your stay. Remember to bring weather-appropriate clothes, like a raincoat and waterproof shoes, as well as an umbrella – unless you’d like to buy one of the overpriced options they sell to naive tourists.
If they like you, they’ll take the piss
One of the few generally accurate stereotypes about the Irish is that they are quite a kind and welcoming people. You’ll find this especially true if you take a day trip to some of the smaller towns. But they also love to mess around, and consider “taking the piss” – teasing in a playful manner – a national pastime. Don’t get offended if it happens to you, as it might be a test of your sense of humor. Take the joke like a champ or even tease back, and you’ll likely find yourself with some new Irish friends.
Now that you’re fully prepped to visit Dublin, sign up for our Saint Paddy’s Day weekend trip coming up this Spring 2022!